3 Replies Latest reply on Jul 30, 2007 9:21 AM by c_wigginton

    Import Contacts from emails like hotmail, gmail,...

    Akundera
      Do you kno wany functions atht permit to import contacts from main emails (yahoo.com, hotmail, gmail, ...) if the user accepts to give his user and password .
      it is used to send invitations to diffrent users. A lot of sites begin to use that, it is completely viral and I found scripts for .net, c++, php, vb, .. but not for ColdFusion.
      It is comletely actaul to have this fucntion available since concurrent use it and I don't find any way to do it in Coldfusion except by using cfx_http5 but is does not use the API of the emails providers and is not easy to support( if the email change his design, the cfx_http5 function has to be corrected each time).
      I think it could help a lot of users to have this function available for Cold Fusion.
      Any idea ?
      Thanks.
        • 1. Re: Import Contacts from emails like hotmail, gmail,...
          c_wigginton Level 1
          Sure hope you're using https. You're opening a whole can of liability by actually logging onto someone elses email account and in some cases may be violating that user's TOS which could get their email account delisted.

          I'd suggest a tell a friend page instead where they fill in 5 email fields. Add an incentive such as each email is worth an entry in a monthly drawing for something. I also suggest that you validate that email once the recipient accepts.

          You still have to worry about SPAM laws, so make sure you track who submitted the emails and prevent abuse such as someone suddenly blasting out hundreds of emails, have a decent TOS, an opt out method and so on.

          • 2. Re: Import Contacts from emails like hotmail, gmail,...
            Akundera Level 1
            Strange answer.
            It works only with autorisation of the user (of course , we beed him to temporaremy give his password) so there is no violation of privacy.
            the problem is not the 5 fields. Myspace and other big sites do it !
            The problem is that this solution exist for other languages and we see concurrent that use this really viral way and their numbers dramatically increases. Why does this solution exist for .net, php , asp and not for CF ???This is the question. We need this but will not migrate all our code to php only for that ????
            Producrs exist but never for CF.
            See for example http://www.octazen.com/product_abimporter.php for more info.
            Not using it is just as be died in a few months if other does.
            • 3. Import Contacts from emails like hotmail, gmail,...
              c_wigginton Level 1
              Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it isn't possible, I was just mentioning that you might want to consider another option, giving the user a bit more control.

              I haven't seen any CF based solutions for what you are describing, but If you've found scripts in c++, consider turning that into cfx_tag. If you can find a Java based solution, that might be easier to integrate by installing the class/jar file and using cfobject.

              Screen scraping is probably the only option unless the target service provides an easily consumable source such as XML or through an API. In the case of a Yahoo Premium account, you can export contact information, such as to a CSV. You may also have to develop the authentication mechanism which might require the use of an API key along with some encryption mechanism (usually MD5) to encode the api key, userid, and password to obtain an authentication token.

              As far as "MySpace is doing it", there might be some behind the scenes agreements that have been worked out both from a technical as well as a legal aspect. I would suggest that you contact each service that you are planning on supporting with this feature directly. The response you get back should give you a pretty clear indication on what is allowed, assuming you can get past the "Customer Support" screeners.

              You mentioned that what you are attempting is temporary in nature, but can the user be 100% convinced that it is temporary? Unless the user has 100% access to your system to verify that the information hasn't been kept in a log or database, they can't be sure. Case in point, Disney is a well respected company but recently one of their employees was caught in an Identity Theft Scheme. ( http://www.identitytheft911-newdimensionsfcu.com/alerts/alert.ext?sp=996)

              A user's permission doesn't mean that you haven't violated the services "TOS" . While there are coding applications in other langages that can perform email harvesting, that doesn't necessarily mean that they are legal just because they exist.

              Here's an excerpt from the Yahoo Developer docs on the Mail API ( http://developer.yahoo.com/mail/docs/html/index.html)
              . Item 2, while it specifically states "User Data", the contents of the address book could be easily construed as user data.
              --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              1. You must use the Browser Based Authentication API to enable access to the user's Yahoo! account through your Application.

              2. You may not use the Yahoo! Mail Web Service API to mine or scrape user data from the user's Yahoo! account.

              3. You may not use the Yahoo! Mail Web Service API to recreate a mimicked version of Yahoo! Mail on your site.

              4. You may not use the Yahoo! Mail Web Service API to display the user's Yahoo! account information in a third party email client.