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Sylius Blog:
Sending configurable e-mails in Symfony
Oct 05, 2015 @ 11:15:46

In a post to the Sylius blog Mateusz Zalewski shows you how to create configurable emails in your Symfony-based application with help from a custom bundle they've released to help make it a much simpler process.

Every developer, during their adventure with PHP programming has been struggling with sending emails in a web application. However using PHP send() function is often insufficient for common web applications, when you need templates, variables, configurations etc.Fortunately, Sylius provides SyliusMailerBundle and Mailer component, with some awesome features. [...] Of course, this bundle and component are fully decoupled and can be used in any Symfony application.

They walk you through the installation (via Composer) and configuration of the bundle, adding it's dependencies to the kernel of your application. He shows how to configure the container with connection information (like the name and from values) and update your database with the tool's migrations. From there he shows how to customize your emails, making use of the Twig template handling to define the body contents. The bundle also makes it possible to define custom email types with different settings for each. Finally they show how to send the emails, grabbing the sender information and sending the email, either more manually or via a custom defined email type.

tagged: symfony email configurable tutorial bundle customize template sender

Link: http://sylius.org/blog/sending-configurable-e-mails-in-symfony

Marc Morera:
Re-thinking Event Listeners
Aug 21, 2015 @ 09:17:34

Marc Morera has posted an interesting article to his site suggesting a re-thinking of how event listeners are used in applications and libraries.

Let’s talk about Event Listeners. Do you know what an Event Listener is? Well, if you are used to working with Symfony, then you should know what is intended for. If you don’t, don’t hesitate to take a look at the Symfony documentation. This post aims to start a small discussion about how an Event Listener should look like if we really want to keep things decoupled.

The starts with a brief summary of the post (tl;dr) for those in a hurry but goes on to explain things in a bit more detail too. He starts by laying a foundation, introducing what event listeners are. He also shows how they're commonly implemented and used (in Symfony2 specifically but it applies more generally too) to trigger actions in applications. He suggests decoupling things a bit more from the flow of the action and allowing, in this case, access to both the order and the customer (on a "order created" action). He takes it one step further and decouples the sending of an email into a service and then creates an instance of this when needed in the event and not before.

tagged: event listener decouple ecommerce email order action

Link: http://mmoreram.com/blog/2015/08/20/re-thinking-event-listeners

Coding.bmail.net Blog:
Advanced logging system in PHP for careful developers
Aug 05, 2015 @ 12:19:51

On the Coding.bmail.net blog they've posted a guide to what they've called an advanced logging system in PHP for careful developers - essentially a logging system that's as "error proof" as possible and that works with as little user exposure as possible.

Being aware of all the activity and problems under the hood is essential when running big websites with lots of users, many features and, as it is usual in such cases, weak spots that must not be left untracked.

In order to be the first in knowing when errors or other events of interest happen we need a well designed logs manager. My code will provide such a feature, for PHP based websites.

They briefly outline how the complete setup will work, failing back to email if the database connection isn' available and logging based on environment. It also includes error levels and, on development only, a method for showing the errors being logged. While a good bit of this functionality could be handled by something like Monolog they do include some additional features like the email fallback, output of the errors in development mode and custom error/exception handlers.

tagged: logging advanced system custom database email environment tutorial

Link: http://coding.bmain.net/tutorials/php/advanced_logging_system_in_php_for_careful_developers

E-mail List Alternatives With PHP: Using Mailgun's List API
May 25, 2015 @ 08:12:15

In a new tutorial posted to the NetTuts.com site they show you an alternative method for sending emails from your PHP application: using the Mailgun API. This API provides an interface into the Mailgun service, specifically made for sending emails without the hassles of hosting your own email server.

Over the past couple years I've run into various frustrations with both open source email list applications and paid cloud-based providers. In this tutorial, I'll guide you through my adoption of Mailgun.com, an economical solution I've been using successfully now for two years. [...] Mailgun is a cloud-based SaaS email cannon, like SendGrid. It's actually free for up to 10,000 emails per month. Mailgun is incredibly powerful and offers a well-documented API in a variety of popular languages. It provides for both send and receive capabilities, the latter of which can be quite difficult to develop from scratch. While Mailgun doesn't provide templates for rich HTML newsletters, it provides a platform upon which you can build anything.

He shows you how to use the service using a simple "ListApp" application (found on GitHub here) that provides some of the most common email list management functionality. He shows you how to set up a free Mailgun account and where to find their PHP SDK for the PHP integration. He then gets into the code examples, showing how to connect to the API via the SDK and doing tasks such as:

  • Creating and update a mailing list
  • Importing members to a list
  • Showing a list of current list subscribers
  • Send a new message
  • Synchronizing lists and members

He ends the post with a quick section about extending the ListApp application (or the PHP SDK) with a suggestion to add better error reporting or a queue system to manage the remote API requests more efficiently.

tagged: tutorial email list alternative mailgun api sdk listapp github

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/e-mail-list-alternatives-with-php-using-mailguns-list-api--cms-22824

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Sending Emails in PHP with PHPMailer
Apr 27, 2015 @ 12:53:56

The SitePoint PHP blog has a tutorial from Narayan Prusty showing you how to effectively use PHPMailer to send emails from your PHP application. PHPMailer provides a simplified interface to send both simple and complex emails.

PHPMailer is one of the most popular open source PHP libraries to send emails with. It was first released way back in 2001 and since then it has become a PHP developer’s favorite way of sending emails programmatically, aside from a few other fan favorites like Swiftmailer. In this article we’ll talk about why you should use PHPMailer instead of PHP’s mail() function and we’ll show some code samples on how to use this library.

He starts by answering the obvious question - is it an alternative to PHP's own mail function? He describes the differences, mostly in the way of enhanced functionality PHPMailer offers. He then helps you get it installed via Composer and how to send a first simple email. Next up he shows how to send an email with attachments and connecting the library to an external SMTP server for sending. The tutorial finishes with a quick mention of using POP3 to read emails and how to show local error messages when something goes wrong.

tagged: tutorial send email phpmailer library simple attachment smtp pop3 error

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/sending-emails-php-phpmailer/

Design Patterns: The Decorator Pattern
Jan 23, 2015 @ 12:08:21

The NetTuts.com site has continued their series looking at design patterns and how they can be used in PHP. In this new post they focus in on the Decorator pattern, most commonly used to add functionality to a existing class (to "decorate" it).

Earlier in this series we explored both the facade and adapter design patterns in this series. Using facade, we can simplify large systems, and by implementing adapter we can stay safe while working with external API and classes. Now we are going to cover the decorator design pattern, which also falls under the category of structural patterns. We can use the decorator pattern when we just want to give some added responsibility to our base class. This design pattern is a great alternative to a sub‑classing feature for extending functionality with some added advantages.

They start with a problem that needs solving - sending an email with additional content not defined in the parent class. They show how to do something similar with child classes, but quickly find a limitation. Instead, they show how to use decorator classes and a simple interface to provide interchangeable classes that augment the contents of the email body as passed in via constructor injection.

tagged: designpattern decorator tutorial series email body content

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/design-patterns-the-decorator-pattern--cms-22641

Building Advanced Email Features With IMAP and PHP
Oct 21, 2014 @ 12:19:47

On the NetTuts.com site they've posted a tutorial showing you how to build advanced features with IMAP and PHP. He bases it on the SimplifyEmail project and incldues examples of three different features to get you started.

Analysis of my own email showed I was receiving email from more than 230 automated senders, far fewer actual people. I was tired of constructing filters in Gmail and filling in a myriad of unsubscribe forms. I wanted to have more control over managing my email and simplifying my life. Finally, this past year, I decided to build the features I needed. The result is Simplify Email (SE), a small web app you can host yourself which offers a variety of cool new email features all of which you can check out on the project website. The coolest thing about SE is that it's a platform for reading, analyzing, routing and managing your email - the possibilities abound. Simplify Email is essentially a programmable playground for "hacking" your own email.

His three examples show you how to:

  • Checking your inbox and filter messages
  • Implement a Whitelist challenge to unknown senders
  • Reporting unanswered email

Each of these comes with plenty of code examples, screenshots and output examples (as well as some places where you might need to change some SE configuration values).

tagged: advanced email imap tutorial feature simpleemail filter whitelist reporting

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/building-advanced-email-features-with-imap-and-php--cms-22059

Rob Allen:
Sending attachments in multipart emails with ZendMail
Sep 16, 2014 @ 09:18:09

Rob Allen has a new post today showing you how to use the ZendMail component of the Zend Framework 2 to send attachments with multipart emails. A multipart email allows you to combine both the HTML and plain text versions of the content into a single email.

I've written before about how to send an HTML email with a text alternative in ZendMail, but recently needed to send an attachment with my multipart email. With help from various sources on the Internet, this is how to do it.

He includes the full code for the example first: a "sendEmail" function that sets up the MIME and plain-text parts and uses the "MimeMessage" and "MimePart" objects to attach the file. He goes through each of the parts of the script and describes what's happening and how that changes the content of the email. You can find out more about the ZendMail component in this section on the Zend Framework manual.

tagged: tutorial send email attachment multipart zendframework2 zendmail

Link: http://akrabat.com/zend-framework-2/sending-attachments-in-multipart-emails-with-zendmail/

Sending HTML Emails with Drupal 7, Webform, and Mandrill
Jul 21, 2014 @ 12:42:45

The php[architect] site has a new tutorial posted giving you a step by step guide to sending HTML email with the combination of Drupal 7, Webform and Mandrill (the mail service by Mailchimp).

By default, Drupal is configured to send out plain text emails. For many developers, plain text email is sufficient and preferable to HTML email. HTML email is still, in this day and age, not guaranteed to render the same across email clients, more likely to be labeled as spam, and requires a significant amount of testing to make sure it works. Still, a minimally styled HTML message can be easier for recipients to read and help reinforce your brand/design (if you don’t depend on images to do so). In this article, we’ll look at the modules to install and configure to enable HTML emails and, specifically, how to change the default Webform email template to send submissions as HTML.

The tutorial comes in four different sections, each with plenty of description and some code to make it happen:

  • Set up your site to send email
  • Allow outgoing email to use HTML
  • Formatting Outgoing Email
  • Send Webform Submission as HTML Emails
tagged: tutorial html email mandrill drupal7 webform

Link: http://www.phparch.com/2014/07/sending-html-emails-with-drupal-7-webform-and-mandrill/

Did You Mean Advanced Email Validation in PHP
Apr 09, 2014 @ 11:50:21

In this most recent post to the PHPClasses.org blog Manuel Lemos talks about invalid email addresses and shows the use of this package to evaluate them.

When you take users' email addresses, for instance in a site sign-up form, there are great chances that the addresses may be incorrect because of a typing mistake or it is not possible to deliver the message to the specified address for some reason. This e-mail validation package can detect and prevent that users enter incorrect addresses even before you accept them.

He starts the post with a list of six types of invalid email addresses including everything from simple typing mistakes out to temporary rejection from "gray listing". He shows how set up the class and briefly covers some of its methods and what they do. Also included is an example if it in use to validate the address. There's also a brief section at the end talking about using OAuth to work around users not wanting "yet another account" or to share their details with an untrusted application.

tagged: email validation tutorial package example

Link: http://www.phpclasses.org/blog/package/13/post/2-Did-You-Mean-Advanced-Email-Validation-in-PHP.html