The miscellaneous ramblings and thoughts of Dan G. Switzer, II

Sending e-mail attachments in CFMX without writing data to disk

One of the many projects I'm currently working on is some code to delay sending of e-mails until a specified window of time. We're generating some report data for clients during the offhours, but the clients want the results e-mailed no earlier than 8am.

Our reports often contain images or other attachments that need to be included e-mails. One issue I really don't like about the implementation of CFMAIL in CFMX is that it requires attachments to be written to disk before you can send the mail. This means if I want to use the CFMAIL tag to deliver delayed e-mails, I would to manage attachments until I'm sure the message is delivered. I don't like that solution, so I set out to see if there might be other ways of generating attachments from binary data in memory. This lead me to researching the JavaMail API—which is the API that CFMAIL uses behind the scenes.

I quickly learned that even CFMX v7.02 still uses JavaMail v1.3.1—which is an older version of the API. One of the issues in v1.3.1 is that it does not include any classes for taking a binary stream from memory and converting to an attachment. It comes with a FileDataSource class—which will read in a file and convert it to the correct data source. This might be the reason that Macromedia/Adobe requires the file to be written to disk.