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Use email to import data to your website

Author: James Brown

One of our clients wanted us to allow them to update their online recruitment system with emails they send out to candidates and clients. Whenever they sent messages to prospective candidates & clients or to existing candidates & clients they wanted that message to be created as a note within their online system.

To achieve this we needed to set up an email address (drop box address) to forward the email to a script on the website. (Basically an email forwarder was set up). It is this email address that our client would then CC in any emails to candidates & clients that would need to be recorded in their online system. When an email is sent to the drop box address this would then be forwarded on to our script where it is able to read the email in its raw format and identify the basic elements: From address, To address, Subject, Mail body.

With the email elements identified, we can use the To Email Address to update the system. We can check this email address against the candidate records and also the client records. If we get a match then the email body will be added against the relevant record as a note. If no matches are found then a new person record can be created in the system which our client can approve and then move to the relevant candidate or client section. So not only can you update current records but you can also create new records all via email.

This feature can be used for most of the database driven systems we develop, such as updating blogs, threads and posts for a message board, customer records, product records etc.