Re: Receiving email into pl/sql (follow up)

From: DA Morgan <>
Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2007 08:18:46 -0800
Message-ID: <>

shakespeare wrote:

> "shakespeare" <> schreef in bericht 
> news:4732d249$0$244$
>> "Lee" <> schreef in bericht 
>> news:fgu3sr$s28$

[Quoted] >>> DA Morgan wrote:
>>>> Lee wrote:
>>>>> I've sent email from pl/sql with utl_smtp and with 10g's utl_mail; but 
>>>>> now I want to do the inverse, i.e. I want to READ email from pl/sql.
>>>>> The idea is to set up a dedicated email account. Users could send 
>>>>> stereotyped messages to that account, and the pl/sql routine would read 
>>>>> the mail, parse the messages and do the needful.
>>>>> As far as I can tell, utl_mail will send, but not receive email.
>>>>> I can think of some Rube Golberg workarounds but can anyone point the 
>>>>> way to a "no fuss" way to read simple text emails?
>>>>> Thanks in advance
>>>> If you think it is a good idea to send emails, across the web, from
>>>> some Microsoft Outlook client directly into an Oracle database I am sure
>>>> we can recommend a good 12 step program for you.

>>> As you yourself point out, the email winds up as data somwhere; so why
>>> would it be worse to send email to an automated agent than sending email
>>> to a human agent or just reading an input file as data?

>>> Why would reading email to drive a script from inside a stored procedure
>>> be more dangerous than running a static batch script or a script that
>>> takes input from a human or from a data file?

>>> I assume you're concerned about sql injection attacks or maybe some sort
>>> of spam and/or spoofing, or even an attempt to "flood" the system a la
>>> DDOS attacks?

>>> Maybe I'm not being sufficiently imaginative or paranoid, but I cant see
>>> how the sort of scheme I'm thinking of is more dangerous than crossing
>>> the street. Everybody and his uncle has a listserv that runs on commands
>>> sent in by email, so why is that setting off alarm bells?

>>> I can use an http callout to get data from anywhere on the planet. There
>>> are "rest"-full web services, and SOAP interfaces and all sorts of ways
>>> to have all kinds of heaven-knows-what get presented as input. A routine
>>> that parses stereotyped email messages and deliveres canned reports in
>>> response seems pretty benign.

[Quoted] >>> Or am I living in a fools paradise?
>>>> Incoming emails are stored somewhere. Find the location. Read them using
>>>> anything from UTL_FILE to whatever.

>>> My Oracle server is running on a different box from my email server, so
[Quoted] >>> the trick is to get the data from the mail server to the oracle box.

>>> If I dont mind having more moving parts, there are plenty of ways to get
>>> from there to here; but I was hoping for something with "no fuss, no muss
>>> and no bother". Reading email seemed to fill the bill until
>>> I realize that I dont seem to have a slick way to make that happen.

[Quoted] >>> Maybe something in Java running in the database?

>>> Of course there is that proverb about the relative velocity of fools and
>>> fearful angels, so tell me more about why I could be stepping off a cliff
>>> here.
[Quoted] [Quoted] >> Back in the nineties, Oracle used to have a product called Oracle Mail, 
>> which was able to receive email (and yes: in the database). It became part 
>> of Oracle Interoffice (which died some years later).  Don't know if it's 
>> still around as a product, but it is stil there as a part of Oracle 
>> Collaboration Suite (able to receive mail in the database). I had a 
>> customer who installed Coll. Suite for this purpose solely: they wanted to 
>> be able to start processes based on email.
>> Installing OCS is quite a fuss, keeping it running even more, but it may 
>> be worth a try. You'll have to pay for it, though.
>> Oracle Interconnect had an SMTP adapter (but that was in 2001). We never 
>> got it working, iirc it could not handle attachments.Could be part of BPEL 
>> now (does someone know?).
>> Shakespeare
> Checked it out: there still an SMTP adapter in Oracle Application Server 
> Integration InterConnect. But it can only handle IMAP4, no POP3.
> I think that was our problem back then......
> Shakespeare 

Get a Collab Suite license. That's another solution.

Daniel A. Morgan
University of Washington (replace x with u to respond)
Puget Sound Oracle Users Group
Received on Thu Nov 08 2007 - 17:18:46 CET

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