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Author Topic: Solution for Publishing Email Correspondence on Web Site  (Read 504 times)

aesmith

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Solution for Publishing Email Correspondence on Web Site
« on: November 10, 2021, 05:22:05 PM »

Hi,
This is a requirement for a local community body.  They want to be able publish correspondence, this is normally stuff like planning lists, road closures, public transport updates etc.  Nowadays this is almost always received by email, sometimes the meat is in an attachment but sometimes the text of the email needs to really be read together with the attachment as neither make sense on their own.  Ideally we'd be publishing these emails in as near as possible their original form, showing the original sender, subject and date as well as the body and attachments.

At the moment it's done as a bit of a bodge, the emails are converted to PDF, stored somewhere and the web site shows links with explanatory names.  This is labour intensive.

Can anyone think of a dream solution that would allow email to be filed easily and published on the web site? I have a vague and maybe impossible idea of a mail box that could be made visible but read-only on the web site.  Then the secretary could add that email account onto her mail client, and simply copy the relevant items.

In various companies we have had to cross this one for our document management systems, and the only solution that worked really well was Lotus Notes.

Any ideas welcome,
thanks
Tony S
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gt94sss2

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Re: Solution for Publishing Email Correspondence on Web Site
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2021, 07:30:44 PM »

I haven't tried them personally but something like https://www.publishthis.email/ could be a possibility. Alternatively, WordPress also has a Post by Email feature.
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Weaver

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Re: Solution for Publishing Email Correspondence on Web Site
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2021, 11:45:40 PM »

This is probably going to be a useless idea, but failing all else, is there a way to get the emails converted to plain text easily?

If so, then I, being a true geek, would consider using a very, very short XSLT program to convert the text into HTML or XHTML and then you would have web pages either one per email, or, if you prefer, one page listing the whole lot in a group with any dividers you like.
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aesmith

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Re: Solution for Publishing Email Correspondence on Web Site
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2021, 09:29:46 AM »

Thanks.  I'd prefer to have a single page showing all correspondence.  If it's a web page per email then each page needs to be added to a menu somewhere, with a descriptive title for its link.  I'll try that publishthisemail service, but will need to do so from the original mailbox.
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jelv

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Re: Solution for Publishing Email Correspondence on Web Site
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2021, 10:48:52 AM »

Is a directory on the website with index listing turned on an option? Then it would just be a case of naming the files in a meaningful way with no extra effort to maintain an index.
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aesmith

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Re: Solution for Publishing Email Correspondence on Web Site
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2021, 08:41:28 AM »

Thanks for the comments.  We're off the hook for the moment as the lady who set up the web site in the first place has agreed to upload correspondence as needed.  So whether fiddly or not isn't our concern for the moment.  If she gets fed up, or leaves or moves away we may need to pick it back up again.
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Alex Atkin UK

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Re: Solution for Publishing Email Correspondence on Web Site
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2021, 05:23:28 AM »

I do think manually is the only safe way to be honest.  Or you'd at least need a way to queue them for human confirmation before going live.
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aesmith

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Re: Solution for Publishing Email Correspondence on Web Site
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2021, 12:37:05 PM »

It definitely needs manual approval before publishing.  I had this dream idea that maybe it could be a separate mailbox with say IMAP, then the secretary could copy the relevant emails from the secretary email account, into the "published" email account.  But it would have to be read only on the Internet.
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Alex Atkin UK

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Re: Solution for Publishing Email Correspondence on Web Site
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2021, 05:51:50 PM »

There are various ways.  If you have control over the mail server you can trigger a script for each incoming e-mail (how spam filters work) so it need never even arrive at a mailbox at all, it could be parsed and dumped into say an SQL database.

IMAP obviously is another option, I mean you're basically describing a read-only webmail system with a custom UI at that point.

None of this is particularly hard to do, but to do it in a secure and reliable way is key which is my concern.  Automating it means you now have to worry about security concerns of potentially improperly authenticating the the admin user, stripping the e-mails of anything that could contain exploits, etc.
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