[kwlug-disc] General Thunderbird development ?

Insurance Squared Inc. gcooke at insurancesquared.com
Fri Dec 19 11:47:28 EST 2008

As your questions point out, there's a lot of complex issues I haven't 
addressed :).  Most of that's due to the complexities of email, along 
with the issues of trying to integrate email (remote server app), the 
crm (another remote server app) and thunderbird (local app).  

What I'm trying to get is the simplest and least expensive way to get 
the integration done.  I don't want to reinvent stuff that's in 
thunderbird and I want to stay as far away from the complexities of mail 
as I can.

I'm thinking John's solution may be the way to go.  If I just put a 
button on thunderbird that says 'send this email to the database', then 
as client emails come in, I just hit the button and it gets pushed to 
the database over the network.  The database can then just import the 
email basically as a static text file and attach it to the record.  I 
think that way the only hiccup I have is ensuring that the database is 
smart enough to assign the email to the right record.

I don't think I want to get into the database polling the mail server 
and funkying around with it that way.  That's actually the cause of all 
my problems with my current system.  And if a large company with 
millions of dollars in funding can't get it right, I don't want to tread 
in those waters :).

unsolicited wrote:
> Can you flesh out some details?
> Thunderbird, being a mail reader, is presumably being used to view 
> stuff. Externally?
> Also, presumably, the CRM includes its own mail server / processor - 
> so storage is local, and the CRM includes local magic that processes 
> 'stuff.'
> Internally, would you not use the CRM web interface to do things, or 
> are you looking to view via Thunderbird and build some automation 
> widgets into Thunderbird?
> However data is being fed in and processed, there are only internal 
> readers? No external clients?
> Insurance Squared Inc. wrote, On 12/19/2008 10:54 AM:
>> It seems I need to develop a CRM type database for my niche as 
>> everything I'm finding just doesn't work well enough.  The CRM is 
>> basically a client administration database, server hosted and accessed 
>> through a browser.  Our leads are inserted into the system then it 
>> manages them through to sales and afterwards.  It'll be developed in 
>> php/mysql.
>> It's all standard database stuff, with one exception.  I'd like to 
>> integrate thunderbird into the system.  But I'm not sure if that can 
>> easily be done, and if so, what functionality is possible.  Part of the 
>> confusion is that thunderbird is local, and the CRM is hosted on an 
>> inhouse server.
>> But ideally, I'd like to be able to somehow use thunderbird for emails, 
>> while still tagging emails to the client records of the CRM.  For 
>> example if I pull up client A, it'd be nice to view all the emails that 
>> went back and forth with that client, even if I'm not at the machine 
>> that sent and received the emails. 
>> Does anyone have any thoughts on such an integration?  I know it's a bit 
>> of a vague problem, but I'm not 100% certain exactly how much 
>> integration is actually feasible.
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