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    Email / outlook integration with PHP?


    I have a very simple CRM which I have developed using PHP/MySQL, to track customer contacts, sales tasks, business development activities, etc. A client has been using it for a few years and what they really like is the simplicity (Plus. it's been adapted to their sales process).

    The one thing that it lacks is email integration, which is to say that if they look up a customer in MY CRM, they can find related tasks, phone notes, action items, etc. but in order to see any email correspondence for that customer they need to go to the email client separately, in this case, Microsoft Outlook.

    I would like to add some level of email integration into this CRM but I'm really not sure where to begin.

    Can anyone give me any pointers, suggestions on where to start?

    Thanks
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    First you have to figure out where the emails actually are. Because they're not stored in Outlook itself - Exchange or outlook.com or some other email server.
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    If I was you, I would probably create a simple ticket system. I think that it should be easier to develop.

    If you want to try to integrate the email in your system, please check the following documentation --> stackoverflow.com/questions/2811856/integrating-incoming-email-into-a-php-mysql-app
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    Originally Posted by requinix
    First you have to figure out where the emails actually are. Because they're not stored in Outlook itself - Exchange or outlook.com or some other email server.
    Thanks for the response. Good point about figuring out where the emails actually are.

    I guess there are a couple of ways of looking at this:

    1. Do I want my application to be a mail client which actually retrieves the nail from the mail server and, similarly sends the mail via the server?

    2. Do I want my application to really just access the the mail from another client, i.e. Outlook? At least in my experience with the Outlook client, the mail is actually stored with the application (in a .pst file). Outlook retrieves the mail and then deletes it from the server.

    The answer, and what I think would be simpler is to read the mail from another client which has the overall responsibility for working with the mail server.

    But, again... I'm really just trying to wrap my head around this.
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    #1 is best.
    #2 is a hassle because you have to cross the server/client boundary and make the server access files on the client. That's almost always a bad idea.

    Outlook deleting the emails is a problem. Turn that off. With copies still on the server you don't have to worry about what happens if the client crashes, or if you reinstall Outlook/Windows, or if you do anything without making sure to back up the .pst files beforehand. It's just not safe to keep all the important things on one machine.
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    As i said if it was me I would make a simple ticket system.
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    Originally Posted by webup247biz
    As i said if it was me I would make a simple ticket system.
    Thanks for the follow-up response. I'm not really sure how a ticket system would help integrate the email communication. Can you elaborate?

    Also, there are open source ticket systems available (osTicket for one) but these may be more complex than I really need. I'm trying to avoid a system with so many functions that the users may never use that it appears more complicated than it needs to be.

    Thanks again
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    Originally Posted by SeanF
    Thanks for the follow-up response. I'm not really sure how a ticket system would help integrate the email communication. Can you elaborate?

    Also, there are open source ticket systems available (osTicket for one) but these may be more complex than I really need. I'm trying to avoid a system with so many functions that the users may never use that it appears more complicated than it needs to be.

    Thanks again
    You can make an easy and simple ticket system. Use generated tokens and add them on the database, and use that for the users to find the tickets and answer them. You can send that generated tokens through email.
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    Originally Posted by webup247biz
    You can make an easy and simple ticket system. Use generated tokens and add them on the database, and use that for the users to find the tickets and answer them. You can send that generated tokens through email.
    Ah, yes.

    My system already operates kind of like that. A user can log notes and phone records (business development activities) associated with a company or contact. He can also create action items and assign them to him/herself oir other members of the team with due dates. These actions then show up on each user's home page as a prioritized "To Do list" specific to the user with due dates.

    The part that is missing is the email trail with the client/contact, which is to say that: in reviewing business development activities for a company/contact, any email correspondence with that contact is missing and the user needs to go to the email client to find those records.

    I would like to be able to send (copy?) email records (sent and received) pertaining to a certain contact business development activities to my CRM database so they appear in-line with the notes and actions that the user entered manually via the leyboard.

    Does that make sense?
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    It makes sense. But I can't help you, because I never made anything like that.

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