[kwlug-disc] General Thunderbird development ?

Paul Nijjar paul_nijjar at yahoo.ca
Fri Dec 19 12:48:15 EST 2008




--- On Fri, 12/19/08, Insurance Squared Inc. <gcooke at insurancesquared.com> wrote:

> 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 think one issue with having a Thunderbird button is that your users
have to remember to press the button for the database to see what is
going on. For that reason you want to make sure you have to press the
button as few times as possible for a client. 

I respect your desire to keep as far away from the
complexities of mail as possible, but in the long term you may have to
twiddle with it a bit. 

I am thinking along the lines of John's original solution of tagging
the e-mails as they go out and having the mail server silently send
them to the CRM server. Maybe Thunderbird's button could simply be
"Mark as Customer". That would then trigger Thunderbird to do the
following for all e-mails sent to/from the customer:

  - Silently BCC the CRM system on outgoing e-mail
  - Silently bounce a copy of incoming messages to the CRM system when
    they come from the customer 

This way the CRM system is never polling the mail server explicitly,
and it has the data so that you can explore customer interaction
histories (via the web interface, I am guessing). 

Perhaps a more robust option would be to get the mail server to do the
mail interception. When you press the "Mark as Customer" button on
Thunderbird, Thunderbird sends a "register this user" signal to the
mail server, which maintains a list of e-mail address interactions to
intercept and silently forward to the CRM system. The advantage to
this is that this approach is robust over many different mail clients,
but the disadvantage is that you could be getting your hands dirtier
with e-mail server configuration complexity. 

That's all idle speculation, of course, but it is not that different
from how other systems (I am thinking of RT or even Mailman) deal with
e-mail input. 

- Paul




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