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emailing from database. DIY or buy?

I've developed a database for a client. They want to email every body on it every so often (HTML with images).

Should I develop my own code using CDO etc. or are there ready made solutions (I'll want to install it on their system, don't want anything web based).

Windows XP clients on a Windows Server 2003 network, running Exchange Server/Outlook clients.

Oh, and the database is, ahem, MS Access.

Not really an email guy
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I added simple e-mail notifications to an Access app.

I wrote a simple wrapper around Outlook automation.  I think it took me 10 lines of code.

However, the user will get a stupid Outlook security warning saying "Another app is trying to send e-mail. Continue?"

Which isn't bad if the e-mails are infrequent.

There are ways of overcoming that - but of course they take a lot more effort.
DJ Send private email
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Roll your own but don't use Outlook automation.
FoxCoder Send private email
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Well, the best thing is to send the mail from Outlook, using the clipboard for IPC...
Thursday, November 15, 2007
You could use Microsoft Word's e-mailmerge. Or better still, Microsoft Publisher's.
Raj Chaudhuri Send private email
Friday, November 16, 2007
There is no reason to use Outlook to send email unless you want the side effects.  Just use the provided SMTP library in whatever language you're using -- no muss, no fuss, much less work than outlook automation.  Otherwise you're just creating work for yourself and others instead of automating things.
Patrick McKenzie (Bingo Card Creator) Send private email
Friday, November 16, 2007
If you go with Outlook, use a wrapper or you'll get warning messages.

google "outlook redemption".
Justin Send private email
Friday, November 16, 2007
Berislav Lopac Send private email
Friday, November 16, 2007
If you roll your own, be ready for some headaches. I nearly tore my hair out before I discovered that there were TWO pieces of software blocking my emails - Windows Firewall and an anti-virus package. Even today, I have to reconfigure the AV every time our network admins push down a new virus definition.

Now that I think about it, a purchased solution wouldn't have prevented me from having that problem. But it would have saved me from trying to debug a problem that wasn't in my own code.
Mark Ransom Send private email
Friday, November 16, 2007
Running a good email campaign or developing a workable flow for such a deployment, especially one that scales, can be as much headache as web development.

Have a search at the Joel on Software and Business of Software forums for mailing lists managers. It's a type of software oft talked about and might lead you to something you find suitable. It's definitely one of those where someone has taken the pain of understanding the milllions that will foobar your campaign and turn it into a reasonably priced software.

It's good to think seriously about this option because you really don't want to be in the business of being smothered by the many unanticipable things that can go wrong. Better to concentrate on using the medium and the tool to really listen to your customers. I would even venture to say that email is an order more complex to develop software against compared to the web. I mean, if you just learn Dreamweaver and turn on HTML 4.0 validation: you are going to make magically compatible pages for everyone that can be served reliably from any decent $40 a month VPS account*. It doesn't seem as easy to use email to create an environment where you and your subscribers enjoy a non-spamy and highly bang-on one-on-one communication. In fact, the gurus of the field all adamantly believe that you should just get over it, the one-on-one horse is dead--just spam with it. For an example of that sentiment just pick up

Once you read this book, you'll quickly realize what it is like to be a person who seemingly cannot imagine that technology can be an enabling tool for doing the right thing.

* Famous last words, yes, it's a stereotypical case.

Also, always look for some way to make the message personal. Strive for 1 on 1. And use the medium to request information, not spray spam. It's about the only way you are going to get anywhere with the medium. If and when you figure out concretely what EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOUR SUBSCRIBER wants on an individual, one-on-one, level, should you start thinking of advertising to them. And even then, tread with extreme caution.
Li-fan Chen Send private email
Friday, November 16, 2007

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