6 Replies Latest reply on Jul 29, 2011 1:13 PM by pauland

    How to Test if an Email Address Exists?

    William Spence Level 1

      So we have all been doing email address validation for awhile which I know how to do, but validation only tests if an email address is entered in the right format.  It doesn't verify if an email address actually exists.  I am creating an application  where there will be membership fees, and so an email has to be in more than the right format, I must be positive that it actually exists when the account is created before any money changes hands.  This is critical.  Unfortunately, all of my searching for this relating to Flex or Flash Builder has yielded no results.  Does anyone know of any tutorials or blogs or articles that discuss how to test if an email address entered by a user actually exists using Flex?  or does anyone here have any suggestions on how to approach this problem?

       

      Thanks!

        • 1. Re: How to Test if an Email Address Exists?
          kokorito Level 4

          only way I know of is to send an email with a confirmation code which the user has to re enter on the site

          I dont think there is a way to tell instantly if an email is real

          • 2. Re: How to Test if an Email Address Exists?
            JeffryHouser Level 4

            The only definitive way is to send the user an e-mail, and have them verify the email address.

             

            In the past I remember researching options.  Depending on how mail servers were set up; I thought there was some way to ping a mail server and ask if the e-mail address was valid.  This functionality was turned off on most mail servers to prevent spammers from harvesting email addresses.

             

            Here are some good info on the general approach:

             

            http://stackoverflow.com/questions/565504/how-to-check-if-an-email-address-exists-without- sending-an-email

            • 3. Re: How to Test if an Email Address Exists?
              William Spence Level 1

              Wow, I felt almost certain that Google or some large internet presence would have a service or a small-fee service where you could verify an email address. So what you are saying is that a user can mis-spell their email address during a business transaction and therefore never receive an invoice or communication for the service they were provided? I feel almost certain that I have entered my email address into a service like iTunes or something in the right format but mis-spelled when signing up and it was rejected. Does anybody else have some thoughts on this? For big companies, there has got to be some option doesn't there?

              • 4. Re: How to Test if an Email Address Exists?
                pauland Level 4

                William Spence wrote:

                 

                Does anybody else have some thoughts on this? For big companies, there has got to be some option doesn't there?

                 

                If I create an email user on my domain, how could anyone else possibly know without emailing the server. My email user won't be a user with a logon, just a user associated with mail server and the actual email name can be arbitrary. I can tell my email server to reject non-existent email users, or accept them and pass them to me.

                 

                There's a reason why many subscription services send a verification email and it's because they have no way of knowing if the email is valid otherwise.

                • 5. Re: How to Test if an Email Address Exists?
                  William Spence Level 1

                  I guess I just hoped that there would be some organization that mail servers reported to, or that like with search engine companies, there were spiders that collected this information that was held in some repository that you could check against.  So are you saying that the best thing for me to do is to have my customers provide an email address and password, and then to email them a code that they have to enter to complete the sign-up procedure?  Is this the best option I have of verifying an email address?  I guess I am just a little afraid that the extra step will be considered a hassle and may turn customers away.

                  • 6. Re: How to Test if an Email Address Exists?
                    pauland Level 4

                    The usual thing is to send an email containing a clickable link. All the user has to do is click the link to  prove that the email has been received.

                     

                    It's not essential to verify an email address or register anyone when taking an order. Many companies don't. They just give you the chance to enter the email twice and warn about the importance of getting it right!