|By Ben Forta||
|September 11, 2003 12:00 AM EDT||
One of the most used tags in CFML is <CFMAIL>. It is definitely the most used of all the Internet protocol tags, and as one of the original CFML tags (it was actually one of the DBML tags and originally named <DBMAIL>), it has also been slowly enhanced and updated with each new release of ColdFusion. Slowly. Maybe a little too slowly.
ColdFusion MX 6.1 introduces a whole new <CFMAIL>, a much better and much more powerful <CFMAIL>, and this month I'd like to walk you through these important changes.
Let's start with performance. <CFMAIL> was never designed to be a high-performance mass mailer, and yet many developers have tried using it as just that. <CFMAIL> has always been very capable of delivering hundreds, even thousands, of messages, but that's about as far as the tag could be pushed.
ColdFusion MX 6.1 introduces important changes to the <CFMAIL> engine that facilitate dramatically increased mail-delivery performance. In fact, in testing, we clocked <CFMAIL> on a fairly typical box delivering mail at over 1,000,000 messages an hour (so fast that the bottleneck became the network and mail server rather than ColdFusion).
So what changed? Two things:
<CFMAIL> performance has been improved in all versions of ColdFusion, but if you need high-volume mail delivery, then you should be using ColdFusion MX Enterprise. The two changes just described apply to ColdFusion MX Enterprise only.
One frequently requested <CFMAIL> enhancement is support for backup SMTP servers so that if a mail server is down, a backup SMTP server would be used. Support for redundant (backup) SMTP servers has been added to ColdFusion MX 6.1 Enterprise (this too is an Enterprise-only feature).
ColdFusion Administrator contains a new field (in the Mail page) named "Backup mail servers". You may specify as many servers as you like here (DNS names or IP addresses) in a comma-delimited format (you may also list backup servers right in the <CFMAIL> tag SERVER attribute). The specified servers are the backup servers, and will be used automatically if the primary SMTP server is unavailable.
It is important to note that <CFMAIL> does not support multiple mail server delivery. These additional servers are backup servers and are used only if the primary server is unavailable. If a server (any server) is unavailable, then ColdFusion will attempt to use the next server in the list. Once a server has been flagged as unavailable, ColdFusion will not attempt to use it again for 60 seconds. If all servers are unavailable, then an error is logged.
Like the high-performance features discussed above, the ability to specify backup SMTP servers is an Enterprise-only feature. (From this point on, however, everything discussed applies to all versions of ColdFusion, including ColdFusion MX Standard).
SMTP was never designed to a be a secure protocol. As we are all painfully aware, you can never really be sure who mail comes from and whether or not a FROM field contains the actual sender address. It's all too easy to submit fake SMTP e-mail to mail servers for processing.
In recent years, mail administrators have started taking steps to prevent their servers from being used to deliver unauthorized mail (commonly known as relaying). One technique that has gained popularity is to require an SMTP login. Unlike POP, which always requires a login, SMTP usually does not, but many SMTP servers now do require that login credentials be passed in in order to deliver outbound mail. If enabled, this security prevented the use of <CFMAIL>, as <CFMAIL> provided no way to specify login information.
ColdFusion MX 6.1 supports SMTP logins in two ways:
The ability to use SMTP logins is an important enhancement, and one that will make many server administrators very happy.
Multiple MIME Types
One of the most eagerly anticipated <CFMAIL> enhancements is the ability to include multiple bodies of different MIME types all in a single message. What does this mean? Consider the following:
You deliver reports via <CFMAIL>. Your reports are detailed, have columns, colors and fonts, use images, and more, and so you tell <CFMAIL> to deliver the e-mail in HTML, as most mail clients, including Outlook and Outlook Express, support HTML e-mail. The problem, however, is that not all users have mail clients capable of displaying HTML e-mail, so you also need to generate a plain-text version of your report for those users. Of course, this then requires that you maintain a record of which version to send to which user (probably a flag in your database). You'd need a way for users to specify the message type they'd like, and then mail generation code that might look a bit like this:
<!--- Check HTML mail flag --->
<!--- Send HTML version --->
<!--- Send text version --->
You'd need to repeat everything, not to mention maintaining the user mail preferences. You'd also not be able to use the <CFMAIL> query attribute easily, or you'd need two queries - one for text message recipients and one for HTML message recipients - and then you'd need two <CFMAIL> tags (one for each query).
There's a better way to do this. E-mail messages can actually contain multiple bodies, each of a different MIME type. The problem is that <CFMAIL> did not support the use of this feature. Until now, that is. Here's the ColdFusion MX 6.1 version of the previous example:
<!--- Generate mail message --->
<!--- Generate text body --->
Text body goes here
<!--- Generate HTML body --->
<B>HTML body goes here</B>
As you can see, a single <CFMAIL> tag is being used along with two instances of a new tag named <CFMAILPART>. This new tag allows you to embed multiple bodies in a single message, as long as each has a different MIME type. This way it is the mail client that decides which body to display, and this makes your life a bit simpler. (It also means that your mail messages will be bigger; you'll need to decide whether or not this is acceptable.)
Any and all MIME types are supported, although in practice you'll probably use only TEXT and HTML.
Note: Although we're just covering <CFMAIL> in this column, it's worth noting that <CFPOP> has been similarly enhanced and now supports the retrieval of multiple bodies as well.
In addition to all the changes listed thus far, <CFMAIL> also features lots of little enhancements. Some worth noting are:
<CFMAIL> is an important ColdFusion tag and ranks as one of the most used tags in the CFML language. For high performance and high-availability mail delivery you should definitely consider using ColdFusion MX Enterprise. For all users, the enhancements to this tag in ColdFusion MX 6.1 provide yet another compelling reason to upgrade.
On a totally separate note, this is my 50th CFDJ <BF> on <CF> column - that's 50 back-to-back columns (with only one exception, and I'll try not to let that happen again). While writing this column, I glanced at the topics covered since way back when, and was reminded of just how far ColdFusion has come in such a short time. It's been a great ride thus far, here's to another 50!
|ant 10/09/03 12:10:35 PM EDT|
While much of the new cfmail functionality is great, it comes at a price - The inability to write a text file into email directly from a database or other source. All I had to do was create a boundary and header and add that text in between my cfmail call like so:
After the "upgrade" only cfmailparam worked - back to cfdirectory/cffile calls - more overhead and unnecesary code. The new cfmailpart doesn't allow for attachements like this - ONLY inline content. Oh well, 2 steps forward, one step back...
|Craig Overpeck 09/24/03 12:51:24 PM EDT|
It cut our hardware scaling solution in half. BF is right - a long awaited but noteworthy accomplishment by Alliare...I mean Macromedia. Congrats on number 50 BF!
|prethi 09/24/03 08:33:59 AM EDT|
can i have a sample of cfmail. I have hosted with cfmresources but am not able to send mails.
|Fran Garland 09/24/03 08:31:25 AM EDT|
Yes CFMail has come a long way.
I intend to use some of this new functionalily on my companies web site.
In addition it give me more fodder to upgrade the one server not on the CFMX 6.0 En since the setting staying connected in only available in this version. Enjoyed the article
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner is Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., will discuss the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conduct a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply...
May. 22, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,474
Container frameworks, such as Docker, provide a variety of benefits, including density of deployment across infrastructure, convenience for application developers to push updates with low operational hand-holding, and a fairly well-defined deployment workflow that can be orchestrated. Container frameworks also enable a DevOps approach to application development by cleanly separating concerns between operations and development teams. But running multi-container, multi-server apps with containers is very hard. You have to learn five new and different technologies and best practices (libswarm, sy...
May. 22, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,626
SYS-CON Events announced today that DragonGlass, an enterprise search platform, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. After eleven years of designing and building custom applications, OpenCrowd has launched DragonGlass, a cloud-based platform that enables the development of search-based applications. These are a new breed of applications that utilize a search index as their backbone for data retrieval. They can easily adapt to new data sets and provide access to both structured and unstruc...
May. 22, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,561
Converging digital disruptions is creating a major sea change - Cisco calls this the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE is the network connection of People, Process, Data and Things, fueled by Cloud, Mobile, Social, Analytics and Security, and it represents a $19Trillion value-at-stake over the next 10 years. In her keynote at @ThingsExpo, Manjula Talreja, VP of Cisco Consulting Services, will discuss IoE and the enormous opportunities it provides to public and private firms alike. She will share what businesses must do to thrive in the IoE economy, citing examples from several industry sector...
May. 22, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,710
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal an...
May. 22, 2015 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,243
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
May. 22, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 6,028
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold. Mike Kavis is Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Pa...
May. 22, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 7,469
Disruptive macro trends in technology are impacting and dramatically changing the "art of the possible" relative to supply chain management practices through the innovative use of IoT, cloud, machine learning and Big Data to enable connected ecosystems of engagement. Enterprise informatics can now move beyond point solutions that merely monitor the past and implement integrated enterprise fabrics that enable end-to-end supply chain visibility to improve customer service delivery and optimize supplier management. Learn about enterprise architecture strategies for designing connected systems tha...
May. 22, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 5,730
There's Big Data, then there's really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges. In her session at Big Data Expo®, Hannah Smalltree, Director at Treasure Data, discussed how IoT, Big Data and deployments are processing massive data volumes from wearables, utilities and other machines...
May. 22, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,820
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "First Containers & Microservices Conference" will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. The “Second Containers & Microservices Conference” will take place November 3-5, 2015, at Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
May. 22, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,700
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists will peel away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you'll have no problem fil...
May. 22, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,600
SYS-CON Events announced today that MetraTech, now part of Ericsson, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Ericsson is the driving force behind the Networked Society- a world leader in communications infrastructure, software and services. Some 40% of the world’s mobile traffic runs through networks Ericsson has supplied, serving more than 2.5 billion subscribers.
May. 22, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 780
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
May. 22, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,181
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
May. 22, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,939
Since 2008 and for the first time in history, more than half of humans live in urban areas, urging cities to become “smart.” Today, cities can leverage the wide availability of smartphones combined with new technologies such as Beacons or NFC to connect their urban furniture and environment to create citizen-first services that improve transportation, way-finding and information delivery. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings, will focus on successful use cases.
May. 22, 2015 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,650
The explosion of connected devices / sensors is creating an ever-expanding set of new and valuable data. In parallel the emerging capability of Big Data technologies to store, access, analyze, and react to this data is producing changes in business models under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT). In particular within the Insurance industry, IoT appears positioned to enable deep changes by altering relationships between insurers, distributors, and the insured. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Sick, a Senior Manager and Big Data Architect within Ernst and Young's Financial Servi...
May. 22, 2015 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,481
The recent trends like cloud computing, social, mobile and Internet of Things are forcing enterprises to modernize in order to compete in the competitive globalized markets. However, enterprises are approaching newer technologies with a more silo-ed way, gaining only sub optimal benefits. The Modern Enterprise model is presented as a newer way to think of enterprise IT, which takes a more holistic approach to embracing modern technologies.
May. 22, 2015 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 5,807
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
May. 22, 2015 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,062
One of the biggest impacts of the Internet of Things is and will continue to be on data; specifically data volume, management and usage. Companies are scrambling to adapt to this new and unpredictable data reality with legacy infrastructure that cannot handle the speed and volume of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and president of Infobright, will discuss how companies need to rethink their data infrastructure to participate in the IoT, including: Data storage: Understanding the kinds of data: structured, unstructured, big/small? Analytics: What kinds and how responsiv...
May. 22, 2015 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,200
The Workspace-as-a-Service (WaaS) market will grow to $6.4B by 2018. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Seth Bostock, CEO of IndependenceIT, will begin by walking the audience through the evolution of Workspace as-a-Service, where it is now vs. where it going. To look beyond the desktop we must understand exactly what WaaS is, who the users are, and where it is going in the future. IT departments, ISVs and service providers must look to workflow and automation capabilities to adapt to growing demand and the rapidly changing workspace model.
May. 22, 2015 04:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,977