[kwlug-disc] General Thunderbird development ?

unsolicited unsolicited at swiz.ca
Fri Dec 19 12:02:08 EST 2008

OK, good stuff. Help me out here, I don't know enough about CRM guts 
to be specific, but:

- one way or another, you're going to have to identify the incoming 
bit against whom it should apply. Presumably you're going to want a 
pick list - this would mean somehow synchronizing a Thunderbird 
address book against the CRM list of customers. So you can say 'go', 
pick for whom, and magic happens. This doesn't sound like fun 
(Thunderbird Address Book).
- I am presuming the CRM packages handle all the nasty e-mail stuff / 
processing etc. What I'm getting at is, I would have expected the CRM 
packages, if you stay within the package / web interface, to have all 
this nastiness solved for you already.
- if you solve the 'who should it apply to' bit, could you:
   (a) have the package assume that anything coming in, applies. Mail 
would only be accepted from internal workstations.
   (b) simply forwarding the e-mail from TB to the CRM would kick 
things in motion?

Maybe I'm confusing CRM with groupware?

Insurance Squared Inc. wrote, On 12/19/2008 11:47 AM:
> 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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