How to use IBM App Connect with an email service

You can use Email nodes in your flows to send and receive emails through connected email servers.
Note: To send and receive emails through Gmail, you can use the Gmail node.
  • A connector in IBM App Connect on IBM CloudCloud-managed connector
  • A local connector in a Designer instance of IBM App Connect in containers (Continuous Delivery release)Local connector in containers (Continuous Delivery release) or later
The following information describes how to use IBM® App Connect to connect an email server to your other applications.

Connecting to an email server

To connect App Connect to an email server account that you want App Connect to use, you need the following connection details:

Select the protocol that is used to connect to the Email Server. By default, the protocol is set to SMTP, which is used to send an email. Select POP3 or IMAP to retrieve emails.
Note: To use the IMAP protocol with some email servers, you need to configure IMAP settings in the email server. For example, for Gmail see
Specify the email address for the account that you are connecting to; for example,
Specify the password for the specified email address.
Note: For some email servers, you need to generate a third-party app password and use that instead of the original account password. For example, to connect App Connect to Yahoo you use a password for App Connect as a third-party custom app that was generated on the Manage app passwords page of the Yahoo account.
Specify the hostname or IP address and the port number of the email server in the format host:port. The default port of SMTP is 587; POP3 is 995; and IMAP is 993.
Enable TLS
Whether to perform implicit TLS connections with the email server.
Network name
Specify the name of the network that is configured in IBM App Connect on IBM Cloud to access a private network (not needed to connect to a publicly available email server).

If you have configured a network in App Connect with access to your email server, you can select that network. Otherwise, you need to configure a network (download and configure a Secure Gateway) for use with an email server on a private network. For more information about how to configure a network, see Configuring a private network for IBM App Connect on IBM Cloud®.

To connect to an email server from the App Connect Designer Catalog page for the first time, under Email click Connect. This action creates an account in App Connect. For more information about ways to connect, see Managing accounts in App Connect.


Before you use the account that is created in App Connect in a flow, rename the account to something meaningful that helps you to identify it. To rename the account on the Catalog page, select the account, open its options menu (⋮), then click Rename Account.

General considerations

Before you use App Connect Designer with Email, take note of the following considerations:

  • (General consideration) You can see lists of the trigger events and actions that are available on the Catalog page of the App Connect Designer.

    For some applications, the events and actions in the catalog depend on the environment (IBM Cloud Pak for Integration or App Connect on IBM Cloud) and whether the connector supports configurable events and dynamic discovery of actions. If the application supports configurable events, you see a Show more configurable events link under the events list. If the application supports dynamic discovery of actions, you see a Show more link under the actions list.

  • (General consideration) If you are using multiple accounts for an application, the set of fields that is displayed when you select an action for that application can vary for different accounts. In the flow editor, some applications always provide a curated set of static fields for an action. Other applications use dynamic discovery to retrieve the set of fields that are configured on the instance that you are connected to. For example, if you have two accounts for two instances of an application, the first account might use settings that are ready for immediate use. However, the second account might be configured with extra custom fields.

Events and actions

Email events

These events are for changes in this application that trigger a flow to start performing the actions in the flow.

New email

Email actions

These are actions on this application that you want a flow to complete.

Retrieve emails metadata
Update email
Delete email
Send email
Move email
Download email content
Retrieve email folders


Dashboard tile for a template that uses Email

Use templates to quickly create flows for Email

Learn how to use App Connect templates to quickly create flows that perform actions on Email. For example, open the Templates gallery then search for Email.

Email flow in detailed view

Use IBM App Connect to build flows that integrate with Email.

Read the blog in the IBM Community to learn how to send an Email when a Salesforce opportunity update fails due to incorrect values. Click Learn more to read the blog.