How to create context links

Note: this feature is currently in private beta. Please reach out to your account manager for access.


Context links allow you to transform URLs or strings found in comments or messages into structured Orders, Shipments, Itineraries, Tasks etc. that are easy to access right from a conversation in Front.

For example, if a customer writes in to your team with a question that references a particular order, shipment, itinerary, task etc. a context link can automatically extract that object’s URL and other metadata, and attach it to the header of the conversation for easy access:

This also applies to objects referenced in comments, which can also be easily previewed:

When attached to the conversation header, it’s easy to open the object in your external CRM/TMS/management system, or view details directly in Front:


To create a context link, you must be a Company Admin in Front.

Part 1: Initial setup

Step 1

Click the gear icon in the top right of Front and then select the Developers tab from the left sidebar.

Step 2

Once in the Developers page, click the Create app button. You’ll be asked to provide a name for your app and a short description.

Step 3

Once you’ve created your app, click the Features tab and then click See all context links under the “Context link” card. You’ll be navigated to a page that lists all the context links for this app — click Create context link to create a new one.

Step 4

Once in the configuration flow for a context link, choose between matching against strings or URLs.

  • If you want to match against strings like “#1234” or “AB-1234”, select Turn in a string into a context link.
  • If you want to match against URLs like “”, select Turn a URL into a context link.

Depending on your choice, follow the appropriate instructions below. Note that you can create multiple context links for a single app.

Option 1: String targeting

If you selected Turn a string into a context link, follow these steps:

Step 1

First, define the format for the target strings the context link should match against. This should be a combination of static characters and variables. To determine the proper format, consider the types of strings you expect to see, and which parts of those strings are static or dynamic (i.e. can change across instances of those strings).

A few examples:

Example strings

Target string format

ORD-12, ORD-201, ORD-9023


#123, #493, #4930


AB-123, FJ-392, K-594


Make sure your target string format is defined as strictly as possible to prevent unwanted matches. For example, if you know that a portion of your string will always be digits, use the Digits variable instead of the Letters or digits variable. Similarly, if you know that a portion of your string will always have a defined length (for example, exactly three digits), make sure you define the variable as such. You can click on a particular variable to set its length:

Step 2

Once you’ve defined your target string, you need to define the target URL Front should generate for those strings. The target URL should be generated using at least one of the variables you defined in Step 1. To determine the proper target URL, you should open an example of an object you are looking to extract using a context link, and determine how you can generate that URL using the target string from Step 1.

For example, let’s imagine you want to extract order IDs that look like “ORD-123”, and they live in your CRM at a URL like this:

In this case, in Step 1 you would have defined a target string like this: “ORD-[DIGITS]”. To generate the proper URL, you would use the “DIGITS1” variable generated by Step 1 in Step 2. This will ensure that whatever number is extracted for the particular order found in a message or comment is also used for the URL for that link.

The Target URL field will be used when a user selects the Open option in the dropdown of a particular link, or when clicking on a previewed link in a comment.

Now that you’ve configured the target string and URL, continue to the “Configuring how links should be previewed” section.

Option 2: URL targeting

If you selected Turn a URL into a context link, follow these steps:

Step 1

Find examples of the URLs you’d like to extract in comments or messages. These URLs most likely have a format that includes some static portion and a dynamic portion depending on the particular order/shipment/itinerary etc. that is being referenced. For the purpose of this example, let’s imagine we’re dealing with URLs like, where particular orders might have IDs like AB-123, BC-49, or ZA-499.

Step 2

Type the static portion of your URL into the Target URL field, filling in any dynamic portions with variables using the “+” button. For our example, we would create a Target URL like this:

The “Letters (Exactly 2)” variable will match “AB”, “BC”, “ZA” etc, and the “Digits” variable will match “123”, “49”, “499” etc. Note that you can click on a variable to set a specific length — in this case we’ve set the letters variable to a length of 2 because we know that our order format always starts with two letters. Always define your target URL with as strict rules as possible to prevent unwanted matches.

Once you’ve configured the target URL, continue to the “Configuring how links should be previewed” section.

Part 2: Configuring how links should be previewed

Step 1

Once you’ve defined the target string and/or URL, you can choose how the links generated by this context link will be previewed for users in the UI — specifically the title, description, and owner. The description and owner properties are only available for select customers on the Scale plan or above at this time (if you’d like access, please contact your account manager). For more details, see the article covering advanced context links

Any variables you defined when setting up your string or URL targeting will be available to use in the title, description, and owner fields.

For example, in the screenshot below, the title of the link is “ID458080”, the description is the string starting with “Customer: Jamie Saturn…”, and the owner is Sophia Carpenter.

Step 2

If you’d like to extract links from messages as well as comments, make sure you check the Extract context links from messages option.

Step 3

Use the test sandbox to confirm that the preview works as you expect it to. If everything looks good, click Save. The context link will begin to immediately operate on any new comments or messages in your Front instance.

Step 4

If you'd like to set an icon to be used for your links, simply add an icon to the app you initially created by going to the Basic information tab of the app.


What conversations or comments do context links apply to?

Context links automatically operate against all conversations and comments, including in shared and individual inboxes.

Do context links operate on historical comments or messages?

No, they only operate on new comments or new messages created after the context link is configured.

Can context links extract objects from message subjects as well as message bodies?

Yes, if you enable the Extract context links from messages option during the setup process, matching strings or URLs in subjects or bodies of messages will be extracted.

What happens if I delete a context link? Will links previously created by it also get deleted?

If you delete a context link, any links created by it in the past will not be automatically deleted, but no new links will be extracted or previewed.


This feature is currently is private beta but will be available on the latest Growth plan or above.

Customers on the latest Growth plan have access to basic context links, which includes the ability to extract strings or URLs into links with a title and URL.

Customers on the Scale and Premier plans have access to advanced context links, which includes the ability to set Description and Owner fields for their links, and enrich those fields using information retrieved by a third party API. For example, an order found in a message could be enriched with the status of that order pulled from a CRM or TMS, all without writing any code.