View Full Version : QuestMail and offering email addresses on our website
07-08-1999, 11:03 AM
I'm wonderin'...can this be a step towards giving FQuesties a way to offer email addresses at our own website?[nbsp][nbsp]There are a few programs out there to do this but they are WAY beyond our church's budget.[nbsp][nbsp]For email privacy reasons, we can't run through another site to offer this feature.
Either way, thanks for QuestMail.[nbsp][nbsp]FQ is THE BEST!
Hosanna! Lutheran Church[nbsp][nbsp]www.hosannachurch.com (http://www.hosannachurch.com)
07-08-1999, 09:23 PM
frankc laid this on us:
'm wonderin'...can this be a step towards giving FQuesties a way to offer email addresses at our own website?[nbsp][nbsp]There are a few programs out there to do this but they are WAY beyond our church's budget.[nbsp][nbsp]For email privacy reasons, we can't run through another site to offer this feature.
There's an alternative way to offer users an email address thru your site. Zapzone.com and several others handle the administration and other headaches, and actually host the mail service. You get to customize the layout somewhat, such as adding your own logo and modifying the color scheme to be more in line with the colors on your site. You get this for free and the email (for Zapzone's service, anyhow) addresses will look like firstname.lastname@example.org. You'll be required to place links to the service's main page on your own site. You can also get the code to insert in your own pages where users can login to their email account directly from your site.
[This message has been edited by zeegraf (edited 07-09-99)]
Any of the POP accounts you have on the server.. can be accessed via QuestMail .... I doubt we will be allowing outside accounts to access it anytime soon though
We can all thank the spammers for the restrictions :( :( :(
07-09-1999, 12:27 AM
Well, I can dream![nbsp][nbsp]Thought maybe there was some sneaky way to alias them but allow retrieval via the web based on a specific alias or something.[nbsp][nbsp]Ah well, another display of ignorance...back to selling signs. ;)
As a side note:[nbsp][nbsp]Once logged in -- you *can* check other email accounts that do *not* reside on the server (go to folders and create POP3 folders for the other accounts).
The only catch is you can *not* send FROM those addresses (but you can set the REPLY TO to them from the area you compose your outgoing message)
[nbsp][nbsp]The above message does make sense -- just trust me ;)
Here's two other potential services:
These are a little different in that the resulting email address takes the form of email@example.com - without any reference to the service. Both, however, require slight changes in the FQ DNS server to function (CNAME and MX need to be changed).
Is it possible to have the MX and CNAME changed to use everyone.net?[nbsp][nbsp]I didn't think this would be possible.[nbsp][nbsp]It looks like a great program if it is possible to have your MX and CNAME changed to reflect it..[nbsp][nbsp]but then, you have to stop and think, would that affect getting your mail from your POP account?[nbsp][nbsp]Would you be limited to getting your mail through the website?
Ah Ha![nbsp][nbsp]TeRRa often says "You are only limited by your own imagination..."
Yes, you could accomplish this ;)
Note: when you have the MX changed... your domain's email (all of it) is handled by the servers of the company you choose to change the MX to.[nbsp][nbsp]But QuestMail would still work for you to send/receive mail.
p.s. This could change in the future depending on the outcome of allowing it.[nbsp][nbsp]Right now I do not foresee any reason it shouldn't be allowed.[nbsp][nbsp]If someone were to give us a reason though...
[This message has been edited by Deb (edited 07-09-99)]
Deb, do you realize just how scary your answer is? I can't imagine anything much worse than offering such a service to our visitors and then taking it away because it proved too successful. A person's email address (even a free one) is too important to take lightly. What happens to the email they would no longer recieve? Does it bounce, go into never-never land, or clog up our own domain boxes? (Can you imagine trying to forward thousands of messages to the appropriate recipient?)
Seems to me that offering a free email account, especially if you have a good domain name, is a great way to build community and traffic. Offering it and then taking it away is an equally great way to completely destroy your whole web site.
Perhaps you, or Andrew, could go into more detail on what kind of impact a really successful venture into this might have on the FQ servers. My understanding is that all such email would be redirected. Doesn't that mean the FQ mail server would still be involved and, thus, potentially over-burdened? Or do the DNS changes propogate, taking the FQ servers out of the loop? I obviously don't understand the way this would work because I can't see any way that QuestMail could still be used to recieve messages; to do so it would have to be smart enough to know which should go to the new mail server and which shouldn't.
I think this is the kind of decision that needs a lot of careful consideration. I'm sure we would all appreciate a little more detail on the potential impact...[nbsp][nbsp]Please? :)
07-10-1999, 01:24 PM
What I am faced with is 'Right of Passage' and how that is determined...[nbsp][nbsp]I am also faced with keeping the resource usage of QuestMail within boundries...
First we'll look at resources:
QuestMail is an *extremely* heavy application with each user/instance consuming 8Mb of Ram (sometimes more)...[nbsp][nbsp]If you do the math, with 512Mb server - subtracting about 128M for overall overhead, that leaves me with 384M to work with allowing 48 concurrent users at a time...[nbsp][nbsp]Right now, QuestMail has peaked at 26 concurrent users and over time it will begin to inch towards the maximum mark of what we are able to offer...
This is why Hotmail / YahooMail / etc... exist, and that they run multiple server farms to handle the load...[nbsp][nbsp]They also use banners/advertising to produce the revenue to pay for all of those servers and the personnel to design/operate/maintain them...
Now we get into the second part of determining who can use it:
At this point in it's 'Right of Passage' design, I do a Reverse Host lookup and test to see if the domain lives within our Classes of IP's...[nbsp][nbsp]This may change very soon to where I will be looking up the DNS MX record and determining if it belongs to one of FutureQuest's mail servers...
QuestMail was behind schedule, and I chose the 'Reverse Lookup' first because it was easier/quicker to implement for rolling it out for all of you to use...[nbsp][nbsp]Now that I have some time to work on the internal design, I will be replacing that subroutine with the original MX lookup that was planned from the beginning...
Deb got caught between a rock and a hard place with all of this...[nbsp][nbsp]The policy change of using MX records for Passage, is being worked on by myself and should be implemented within 2 weeks (code is still rough)...[nbsp][nbsp]Deb was answering to what it would do right now, and I had asked her make a notation that this could change very soon...
acme.com has 50+ free email addresses at BigMailBox, and we allow QuestMail access to those...[nbsp][nbsp]Consider that acme.com will not be the only domain to do this - as more follow suit then QuestMail would begin to be overloaded and not deliver the performance expected of it...
For those using outside mailboxes, then those places should provide a webmail client as well to complement their services...[nbsp][nbsp]I do not feel that we should shoulder the burden of that and place undue load on our servers....
This is the definitive post concerning this issue and will become FutureQuest policy in order to deliver QuestMail to those utilizing our internal mail servers, and not an outside mail system...
--It just makes good plain common sense--
Forgive me, Terra, but I think we have a communications leak. I "think" you just said QuestMail would never be used to grant free email to visitors? Considering its resource requirements, that's certainly understandable. (Considering its resource requirements, I'm a bit surprised it's available at all!)
But while this thread started with that question, it diverged into other areas. Which I "think" remain unanswered.
There are about a dozen companies that seem to provide this type of service; i.e., providing and managing email accounts using our domain name. A few such companies were mentioned earlier in this thread. All of these companies provide their own email client and (I believe) disk space to store the messages. So the QuestMail program would not be an issue.
But all of these companies, in order to work at all, require changes to the DNS server at FutureQuest's end, specifically changes to the MX and CNAME fields. Deb indicated this was possible. For more information about the needed changes, please see http://www.everyone.net/support/html/dnsguide.html (which will hopefully make more sense to you than it does to me :) ).
My question was: do these changes to the DNS simply redirect the email (meaning the FQ servers are still involved and could suffer from overload), or do the changes propogate across the Internet so that email goes directly to the new email server? If the former, just how dangerous is the potential for overload?
Deb indicated the MX and CNAME records could be changed, and in the same breath, said "But QuestMail would still work for you to send/receive mail." Her p.s. then said "this" could change, and I'm unsure whether that means the access to MX/CNAME redirect would change or the use of QuestMail in spite of the redirect. If the latter, no problem. If the former, I'd be reluctant to offer something that might later be taken away.
Does all of this make sense? I am not interested in using QuestMail for visitors (and indeed rarely use it myself). But I "might" be interested in using the MX/CNAME redirect to access the services provided by outside companies (the investigation needed to change the "might" to a "definite" is moot if it's not possible on the FQ servers).
Thanks for your time and ear...
07-10-1999, 11:38 PM
For making the necessary changes to the DNS records to reflect the new MX and CNAME requirements carries a $25.00 one-time administrative fee...[nbsp][nbsp]Changing the MX for a site owner will *always* be an option available <DISCLAMER> (unless for some wildly unknown/unforseen reason it is somehow abused) </DISCLAMER>
Yes, the mail delivery would go to wherever the MX address is pointing to, bypassing our Mail system...[nbsp][nbsp]Once the MX record is changed, then I remove all ability to receive/send mail from the FutureQuest servers for that particular domain (necessary housekeeping)...
My post above revolved around how to allow access to the QuestMail application...[nbsp][nbsp]It will check the MX record, and if it points to one of our mail servers, then access is granted...[nbsp][nbsp]If the MX points elsewhere, then access to QuestMail will be denied...
I hope this clears up any confusion...
--The internet has brought out the best in people, and at times - the worst--
[This message has been edited by ccTech (edited 07-10-99)]
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