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IP.Nexus Dev Update - Incoming Emails [Updated]

Updated 25th June: Due to popular demand, we have added support for POP3 account polling as well as Email Piping


As mentioned in a previous blog entry, IP.Nexus supports Incoming Emails to be parsed as support requests.


Technical Requirements

In order for Incoming Emails to function, you will either need to configure your server to pipe Emails to a script, or a mail account which supports POP3.

Customers using our hosting service who are paying $5 for IP.Content and IP.Nexus will be happy to know their accounts support piping.
We strongly recommend piping over POP3 and customers not using our hosting service should check with their provider if either service is offered.

If piping is not available, most EMail accounts (including GMail) support POP3.
If using POP3 over piping, it is strongly recommended that you use a CRON job to poll the account. Check with your hosting provider if you are able to set up CRON jobs.


How it works

For Email piping:

  1. The user sends an Email to a special Email address which you have configured on your server to be piped to a script in IP.Board.
  2. Your server hands the Email to that script.
  3. If the Email is a reply, the script will detect this from the subject line and add the content of the Email as a reply. If it is a new request, the script will look for support departments with the Email address the Email was sent to and create a new request in that department.


For POP3 polling:
  1. The user sends an Email to a special Email address which you have configured on your server to be piped to a script in IP.Board.
  2. IP.Board periodically checks (by default every 30 minutes, but this can be configured) if there are any new messages on your server.
  3. If a message is found, it is pulled back to a script in IP.Board.
  4. If the Email is a reply, the script will detect this from the subject line and add the content of the Email as a reply. If it is a new request, the script will look for support departments with the Email address the Email was sent to and create a new request in that department.


If the user does not have an account, IP.Nexus will still create the support request and they will receive replies by Email.
If the user then decides to create an account, IP.Nexus will recognise that they already have support requests and assign them to the new account so they can view them in the client area.

Attachments are parsed as per the normal IP.Board attachment settings so you can Email images, zip files, etc. but any file types IP.Board wouldn't normally allow you to upload will be ignored.
They will be displayed in the support request, and treated as normal attachments, just as if they had been uploaded in the client area.


Information for Developers

This is actually a feature of IP.Board 3.1, we just haven't previously announced it since there was no application until now.
You can however, add incoming email support to your own application, and we have written a developer article here which explains how to do it: http://community.invisionpower.com/resources/documentation/index.html/_/hidden-staff-only/incomingemailsphp-r371
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[quote name='IPBSupport.de' date='23 June 2010 - 12:09 PM']
Ouh... Had the hope to import E-Mails from a POP3 account to IP.Nexus - "pipe" is not a feature for the broad masses of customers... :unsure:


Why not? CPanel and Plesk (the most common control panels) both have built in features to set up piping and every mail server I have ever come across supports it.

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[quote name='Andrea Torre' date='23 June 2010 - 08:54 AM']
Excellent guys!!! :)
Given this is actually a feature of IP.Board 3.1, is it theoretically possible to create a new Topic via email?


Not at this time. There are a lot of security issues we must tackle first but we will work on it.

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Customers not using our hosting service should check with their provider if this service is offered. If your hosting provider uses the CPanel control panel, our instructions will also apply to you. If not, you may need to seek their assistance setting it up.

Where are these instructions? :)

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[quote name='Mat (FDNZ)' date='23 June 2010 - 04:13 AM'] Mark: Google Apps, Windows Live Hosted, Exchange, Exchange Hosted Services, MDaemon, DirectAdmin based hosts, Helm based hosts, DotNetPanel based hosts (in case you didn't guess, no Windows email server supports piping).

Yea, will this work for those of us who use Google Apps for email service?

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[quote name='Zack L' date='23 June 2010 - 04:43 PM']
Yea, will this work for those of us who use Google Apps for email service?


It's not a case of what email provider your using. More of what server you're hosted on.

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[quote name='Wolfie' date='23 June 2010 - 06:29 AM']
Are there sites with similar instructions to do this? I think I'm running on a cPanel (HostGator if that helps), so I'd like to take a look to see if it's something I can do or not.

Yes, your hosting provider supplies cPanel on their shared accounts.

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[quote name='FadE.' date='23 June 2010 - 04:27 PM']
Will this interfer with bouncy mail as it uses pipeing to send recive emails??

So who ever is looking for pipeinstructions look up the mod boncy mail.


From AK's instructions...
1: Login to your forums cPanel (example: http://yourdomain:2082 ) 2: Click the "Deafult Address" icon in the list of options 3: In the dropdown list titled "Send all unrouted e-mail for:" select the domain name you wish to use for Bouncy Mail (you can use any domain parked on your hosting account) 4: Click Advanced Options and select "Pipe To Program" once selected enter the path to post_office.php which you uploaded (this should be in yoru forums root folder, for example public_html/post_office.php) 5: Click "Change" to save your changes and your complete. 6: ensure post_office.php has CHMOD permissions of at least 744 or as restrictive as possible with execute permissions for the owner.
I'm not a user of any of his mods, but this is an example of how thorough he is with his design and support. :)

Setting Up the PIPE in cPanel








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[quote name='Cap'n Refsmmat' date='23 June 2010 - 05:26 PM']
SSH access. I do everything manually. No need for cPanel, Plesk, Webmin or the rest.

Ahh, I remember the days of command lines.. Including now a days! :D I use SSH to do things too, much faster than FTP and other tools. :)

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[quote name='Swiftie' date='23 June 2010 - 05:37 PM']
It's not a case of what email provider your using. More of what server you're hosted on.

Well, that's kind of true. If you've got your DNS entries (mx records) set up for Google Apps, then your server isn't handling the e-mail at all, Google is. Maybe there's some workaround, I'm not sure.

The only way I can think of that it would work is if IP.Nexus could directly check a POP3/IMAP account, since Google Apps supports POP3/IMAP access.

Or maybe you could set up a subdomain like tickets.mydomain.com and set up the piping for email accounts like sales@tickets.mydomain.com and support@tickets.mydomain.com.

[quote name='Cap'n Refsmmat' date='23 June 2010 - 10:26 PM']
SSH access. I do everything manually. No need for cPanel, Plesk, Webmin or the rest.

Check the documentation for whatever you use for your mail server. If your server is running *nix, then the answer is most likely yes.

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I can't wait to have IP.Nexus. The support desk and email stuff alone makes this a no brainer for my site. I'm tired of parsing out the emails manually to the appropriate person. With this, I can let the software do it.

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[quote name='erc' date='24 June 2010 - 11:22 AM']
Well, that's kind of true. If you've got your DNS entries (mx records) set up for Google Apps, then your server isn't handling the e-mail at all, Google is. Maybe there's some workaround, I'm not sure.

The only way I can think of that it would work is if IP.Nexus could directly check a POP3/IMAP account, since Google Apps supports POP3/IMAP access.


If you're using GA premium, then you can actually create "routing rules" to send email directed to specific addresses to a different server. But double handling sucks.

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