Portal/CMS script for giving an email address to people registering on a domain?
December 15, 2004 8:24 AM   Subscribe

CMS/Portal development question: Anyone know of a portal/cms script that will give the folks registering an email address at that domain? [magis insum]

I have done much dev work, and have built out many a portal and cms driven website using some of the more popular open source scripts out there. I could certainly build the portal and the email systems out separately.

However, this is for an alumni site (ie: free) and I would like to roll out something quickly that would be fairly self sustaining and wouldn't require too much of my time to build and maintain (I know, pipe dreams)

I know that portal/CMS questions have been asked umpteen times before, but the email portion is a twist that I have not seen asked, nor have my google/yahoo/askme searches revealed anything like this. And it is the quick and usually astute answers that compell me to ask.
posted by angry jonny to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
Please let there be a drupal module in the works for this.
posted by cairnish at 8:44 AM on December 15, 2004

I was just having a similar conversation with a coworker.

We're thinking there might be an api for our mail host software that we could write an interface to, which would allow automatic account creation for a portal user.

Seems to me any CMS/portal module that meant to do this would have to interact with the mail service running on the web host. I don't think the typical CMS includes its own mail server.
posted by Tubes at 2:02 PM on December 15, 2004

OK, I'm back. In our case, our mail server does come with an API that'll let us do about anything we can imagine, including creating & editing accounts. Even nicer, it allows you to drop properly formatted "semaphore" files into a pickup directory, which it will then process appropriately to create/edit accounts, etc. Should be easy to code a CMS module to create and deposit these files.

If you can find out what mail server your host uses, maybe you can find some documentation and see if you have similar options.
posted by Tubes at 3:15 PM on December 15, 2004

TikiWiki has multiple modules for accessing mail once that email account exists on the underlying system. On some OS's you could patch an 'adduser' system line into your CMS at the appropriate point in the user creation script.
posted by jayCampbell at 3:24 PM on December 15, 2004

Email is normally tied to the domain name/host, not the CMS (though the CMS would want email addresses for registered users).

I would certainly not reinvent the wheel with so many good CMS products out there (Open Source even, like Typo3 or Mambo). Your web host would provide x number of email addresses with a hosting package and you would install the CMS on that same host if you wanted those email addresses to match those of the domain name.

Or am I not getting what you're asking?
posted by spock at 5:27 PM on December 15, 2004

Spock, I think he wants people who sign up at the CMS-backed "alumniportal.com" to automatically be given a "user@alumniportal.com" address.

Since email is not actually run by the CMS package that generates the website, he'd normally have to go into the server's mail admin functions and create each new user. To automate this, the CMS would have to talk to the email server and create a mail account to match each new portal user account.

Like, if you had been told "Welcome! You are now a MeFi user, and by the way, you also get a free e-mail account: spock@metafilter.com. Instructions for using it will follow..."
posted by Tubes at 9:06 PM on December 15, 2004

I wonder if you could have upon registration a portion of the registration script that drops the username into some sort of text file, then maybe a cron job that checks it every 30 minutes or so for changes, creating the account and removing the old file. I wouldn't imagine that you'd want to do actual account maintainence with it though.

I've done alot of looking for something similar without much luck. I think Postnuke might be a good option, the guy who runs www.portalzine.de did some coding for a pay-module that would allow you to access existing email accounts and things of that nature. He might be able to write something ($$ though).

PHPNuke I know has a webmail module, but I'm not particularly fond of it, and I don't don't too terribly much about it.
posted by jackofsaxons at 10:12 PM on December 15, 2004

Response by poster: I have a cpanel server, and I know there are scripts out there (http://scripts.freemans-web.com/scripts/pafiledb.php?action=category&id=1) that will automate the email account (and even subdomain and ftp account) creation. It works well, but I don't have the time to integrate it with a registration process right now.

What I was hoping was that this sort of thing had been wrapped into a CMS/Portal product like a Nuke or Mambo or the like., where one would register, an email account would be created, and the users would have access to it via webmail (or pop)

Tubes is right on in his assessment - I should have been more clear.

Maybe I'll have to integrate it myself. Then my question becomes what's the best portal platform to commit to doing this for?
posted by angry jonny at 6:24 AM on December 16, 2004

aj - there's a good forum over at opensourceCMS.com where you might pose this question. Drupal, Mambo and e107 seem to have good activity on their boards as well (as do many others -- those are just the ones I've been paying attention to lately.)
posted by Tubes at 11:07 AM on December 16, 2004

Response by poster: thanks all who responded - i managed to find something that i think should work

someone has written a cpanel email module for mambo - i am going to install that and give it a shot

if anyone cares to know how this turned out, feel free to shoot me an email and i will update you
posted by angry jonny at 12:45 PM on December 16, 2004

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