Use Mandrill BCC emails from iDempiere

Introduction

This week i was responsible for for supervising/designing  on an ongoing project dealing  with the iDempiere Dunning Process. Our customers required a software which is able to send e-mails quickly and without planning them too carefully (shooting emails).

Workaround

We did all necessary iDempiere Dunning settings (levels, formats..), and were ready to start sending emails. Customers use a 3th party local SMTP provider to send emails. I´d suggest to use a high transactional mailing system instead of the mentioned SMTP provider. My previous experiences have showed out that SMTP servers using for end user emailing time-to-time stay blacklisted.

Of course there are a lot of tools like mxtoolbox where the customers with admin rights are able to check their IP addresses, and remove their IP from the blacklist but this task is rather time consuming and the result of dunning can be pretty unpredictable.

To achieve the best email-shooting experience possible, I´d recommend to use Mandrill. This is a service, which is absolutely compatible with the iDempiere Mailing system.

What is mandrill ?


Mandrill ActivitiesMandrill is a transactional mail system provided by the popular Mailchimp authors. Mailchimp gives their customers solutions, which can solve both easier and more complex mailing problems. Mandrill supports SMTP or/and Mandrill API interfaces and it really works like a charm: You can quickly setup SMTP servers by including API keys.

Mandrill is free service to store 2000 mails. Of course the size of the storage can be upgraded for some extra charge (cca. 10 USD/month). See more details about pricing.

 

 

Requirement List


To give the best solution to this mailing problem, we also have to focus on our customers questions related to the topic:

  1. How will I know that the e-mail was sent to my customer ?
  2. After I send my mail, where can I find the copy of it ?
  3. Do I get a kind of notification if the e-mail was properly sent or it was returned?
  4. Customers want to send MULTIPLE E-MAILS but they also want to have a copy of those mails in their mailboxes

Customers, using CRM systems have got the same issues, so our solution could be universal…

Components & Setup


  1. Setup iDempiere ERP  – iDempiere has wide range of functionalities according to mass dunning process requirements. We need make some setups. First, we need setup two System Configurator. A. BCC emails to Sender (MAIL_SEND_BCC_TO_ADDRESS=Y) B. Use client level SMTP settings instead user level (MAIL_SEND_CREDENTIALS=C). C.)Next we need setup SMTP server details in Client window.
    As last we can make some mail templates users can select
  2. Setup Mandrill – STMP – as i mentioned above, i like this service because simplicity and good reporting options. When your account is done, then simple create a SMTP token, and for best deliverability you need to setup DKIM and SPF records make entitled and trusted to send emails from customer domain.
  3. Thunderbird as end-user Email Client – de-facto standard, people like it, I prefer it on my projects. Official guide is here. To achieve our goal is setup Apply filter when,

 

The Process


All emails created or generated by iDempiere be delivered by mandrill service to original recipient (customer) and BCC’d to sender email server. E-mails will be stored and are traceable on mandrill activity page. User copies will received in Thunderbird and routed by filter and  stored in Sent Messages Mailbox. 

Future Improvements and Vision

I’m thinking about develop a iDempiere Mandrill plugin, extend iDempiere email setup by features using Mandrill API and sending more detailed informations about emails to make it better filterable.

 

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