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Mail Client Integration

I'm looking at different ways of integrating a project with various e-mail clients. If this was Windows, I'd just write some VB/VBA for outlook and be done with it, but this is looking more towards the Linux end of things; potentionally anyways. It's written in Java.

Looking at what's out there, I see the Evolution, KMail, Opera, Mozilla/Thunderbird, etc., clients. That's a whole slew of options.

For starters, I'd like to import a list of contacts from the addressbook, and then send out an email to one or more of them.  Is there an easier way to do this than just hard-coding an interface to the top 5 or so mail clients?

Seems that this would be a common problem, is there a solution available?

Edward
Tuesday, May 04, 2004

There is probably a common format that all mail clients can use for importing address books, perhaps CSV?

Obviously, you may need to customise the field order for the different mail clients.

Anon
Tuesday, May 04, 2004

I'm trying to think of what application I would want opening my email Address book and sucking the contents out of it. Maybe if I'm changing email clients and want to manually export/import, but automatically? No thanks. This "feature" doesn't seem well supported on platforms other than Windows.

Tom H
Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Anon, the format isn't the issue so much for me, it's the actual method of getting the data out, and sending out emails through the default email client.

Tom, I see where you're coming from, but what about a project management application where you want to email someone who has responsibility for a particular task?

I was thinking it would be very handy to have a reference to (not copy of) a person in the mail clients contact database. The User could then have the capability to quickly send the contact a note. This could quite easily be done through Javamail for example, but I like the idea of all emails going through a common application.

Isn't this what integration is supposed to bring us? Email clients are the Users desired method for sending and receiving and tracking emails, so it should be done through that, at least in my mind.

Edward
Tuesday, May 04, 2004

An LDAP server should store the address book and allow you to suck out email addresses.

As for automatically emailing through your application, you should pipe through the "mail" command on Unix. Hopefully, your users will set aliases to "mail" in their respective shells that point their default email client. Otherwise, the UNIX mail program will send the email.

And BTW, what you want to do is exactly what Outlook viruses do. Linux folks don't like to have that sort of setup possible.

Ankur
Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Edward,

I fail to see why it is important that the email is sent through the client app. If you need a record in the mailclient, just send the sender a notification.

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Geee, didn't expect to be compared to a virus today ;-)

But if I click on an email address in my web browser, my Mozilla mail client comes up with a blank form ready for me to send out. That's all I'm looking for; why is this a bad thing?

Edward
Wednesday, May 05, 2004

In a perfect world it would be a nice feature.

But unfortunately, we live in a world of computer worms, viruses, spam, and identity thieves. So we need to build firewalls and protect sensitive data as best we can.

Tom H
Wednesday, May 05, 2004

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