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Enter records from emails?


DMHamm

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Please forgive me for asking this before I've learned the program, but I couldn't find anything on this topic in a search and I am hoping I didn't purchase this database for nothing. smile.gif

 

Here are the tools I have: iBook running 'Tiger', Excel, Dreamweaver, and FMP 7. (Not sure what all I will need.)

 

Here is what I would like to do:

1. Set up a web form for users to fill out online.

2. Submit that form as an email to a specific account.

3. Have the FMP database 'somehow' read each new email and create a new record from it.

 

The 'somehow' part is what is I'm stuck on. Can FMP check an email account? Failing that, could I write an Automator script that directs Mail to collect the email and then convert it into something FMP can use? (Maybe using 'Folder Actions' or something along those lines?) I'm just not sure how to start this project - it's for an online seminar registration.

 

Thank you in advance for any advise you can offer.

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Why not have the web form interact with FMP to create a new record, then have a script send the email with pertinent data?

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I'm sorry - I forgot to mention: the web form will be on a different server than FMP, and I won't have access to that server. That's why I need the web form to send the email, and somehow have FMP pick it up and create a new record from it.

 

Thank you for responding, though. I hope somebody has an idea on how to do this - I can't believe it's that unique of an idea.

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It might be more feasible to use a secure copy - is the computer you're running Tiger, FMP, et al visible to the internet? If so, this would be possible, but somewhat complex.

 

You could have the web server (assuming it's a unix-style server, ie: not windows) write a text file (instead or alongside an email) and secure copy (scp on port 22) it to your FMP server. From there, you can either have the file's destination folder armed with a folder action which then prompts Filemaker to import the data in the file or you could have a cron job running to pick up any new data files that have appeared.

 

Another possiblity is to have the remote web server post the data to a local web server which would do essentially the same thing as above - parse the data, write a file, then prompt Filemaker to import it. The only difference is that instead of transferring a file to another server via scp (or sftp, even), you're transmitting or "posting" the data to another web server. Kind of like a paypal transaction routine.

 

Let me know if this is making any sense to you...

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I believe I'm following you (I'm not a programmer - merely a user who knows just enough to be dangerous but not enough to be useful). smile.gif

 

The problem is, I will have no access to the web server at all except to post the web form. I'm doing this for a friend who works for a state educational organization - we'll be lucky if we can just get them to post the page. The database is to help my friend track the responses to the seminar (last year they sent out paper forms and she had to type all the responses into a spreadsheet). I know that's information overload, but I thought it might help to know the background.

 

But it sounds like I could also have Mail copy the incoming email as a text file into a folder, kick off the Folder Action, etc. Correct?

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Well, that's my next suggestion - do it manually or, possibly have Automator do it.

 

Just make sure the data is comma (or some other convenient delimiter) separated in the plain text email and have someone copy and paste the contents into a text file locally, then import the data.

 

Alternatively, you can have Automator (or an AppleScript) do this for you, but I've yet to see Automator in action so, I'm not sure how to go about this. I bet it's pretty simple though!

 

I've yet to install Tiger, so I'd be interested to hear how this goes for you if you decide to try Automator out.

 

 

Are you writing the web form that is to be placed on the remote server? If so, what are you planning on using? Do you have any technical details about the remote server (like what OS it's running, which web server, etc)?

Also, how many of these "transactions" will there be in a given time period?

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Thanks you for your help - I will let you know how it turns out. This is my first Filemaker project and only my second database undertaking (first one was Access), so I've got a LOT to learn.

 

Thanks again.

 

Sorry - didn't notice your edited post. I will be writing the web page using Dreamweaver. I have no information yet, unfortunately, on the web server it will be posted on. The number of registration entries will probably only be 200-400 - not enough to warrant "professional" help, but a royal pain to manually enter. Plus, I want to provide her (my friend) with some better reporting tools.

 

Thanks again.

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