P.O. Box 1005, Greenwood, IN 46142 - Phone: 317-919-7831, Fax: 866-571-0372

 Form Mailer - internet Computing Solutions - www.icoso.com

In order to use BFormMail, a customized version of Matt Wright's Form Mailer, follow the directions below, and proceed to the next page when are finished. Matt's Form Mailer is a universal WWW form to E-mail gateway which is fairly easy to use if you follow the directions outlined below.

1. Create your Form

Setup your form the way you want it on your website. Your must start with the following line below.

<FORM ACTION="/cgi-bin/FormMail.cgi">

Now you must use some special input fields within your form. For example, if you want to require that certain field are filled in to submit the form, redirect visitors to a different HTML page when the form is submitted, or use environmental varibles when the form is submitted, see below.

The following is the only REQUIRED field for your form.

Field: recipient
Description: This form field allows you to specify to whom you wish for your form results to be mailed. Most likely you will want to configure this option as a hidden form field with a value equal to that of your e-mail address.
Syntax: <input type=hidden name="recipient" value="webmaster@domain.com">

Optional Form Fields

Field: subject
Description: The subject field will allow you to specify the subject that you wish to appear in the e-mail that is sent to you after this form has been filled out. If you do not have this option turned on, then the script will default to a message subject: WWW Form Submission
Syntax: If you wish to choose what the subject is:

<linput type=hidden name="subject" value="Your Subject">

To allow the user to choose a subject:

<input type=text name="subject">

Field: email
Description: This form field will allow the user to specify their return e-mail address. If you want to be able to return e-mail to your user, I strongly suggest that you include this form field and allow them to fill it in. This will be put into the From: field of the message you receive. If you want to require an email address with valid syntax, add this field name to the 'required' field.
Syntax: <input type=text name="email">

Field: realname
Description: The realname form field will allow the user to input their real name. This field is useful for identification purposes and will also be put into the From: line of your message header.
Syntax: <input type=text name="realname">

Field: redirect
Description: If you wish to redirect the user to a different URL, rather than having them see the default response to the fill-out form, you can use this hidden variable to send them to a pre-made HTML page.
Syntax: <input type=hidden name="redirect" value="http://your.host.com/to/file.html">

Field: required
Description: You can now require for certain fields in your form to be filled in before the user can successfully submit the form. Simply place all field names that you want to be mandatory into this field. If the required fields are not filled in, the user will be notified of what they need to fill in, and a link back to the form they just submitted will be provided.

To use a customized error page, see 'missing_fields_redirect'
Syntax: If you want to require that they fill in the email and phone fields in your form, so that you can reach them once you have received the mail, use a syntax like:

<input type=hidden name="required" value="email,phone">

Field: env_report
Description: Allows you to have Environment variables included in the e-mail message you receive after a user has filled out your form. Useful if you wish to know what browser they were using, what domain they were coming from or any other attributes associated with environment variables. The following is a short list of valid environment variables that might be useful:

  • REMOTE_HOST - Sends the hostname making the request.
  • REMOTE_ADDR - Sends the IP address of the remote host making the request.
  • REMOTE_USER - If server supports authentication and script is protected, this is the username they have authenticated as. *This is not usually set.*
  • HTTP_USER_AGENT - The browser the client is using to send the request.

    There are others, but these are a few of the most useful. For more information on environment variables, see:

    The CGI Resource Index: Documentation: Environment Variables
  • Syntax: If you wanted to find the remote host and browser sending the request, you would put the following into your form:

    <input type=hidden name="env_report" value="REMOTE_HOST,HTTP_USER_AGENT">

    Field: sort
    Description: This field allows you to choose the order in which you wish for your variables to appear in the e-mail that FormMail generates. You can choose to have the field sorted alphabetically or specify a set order in which you want the fields to appear in your mail message. By leaving this field out, the order will simply default to the order in which the browsers sends the information to the script (which is usually the exact same order as they appeared in the form.) When sorting by a set order of fields, you should include the phrase "order:" as the first part of your value for the sort field, and then follow that with the field names you want to be listed in the e-mail message, separated by commas. This version allows a little more flexibility in the listing of ordered fields, in that you can include spaces and line breaks in the field without it messing up the sort. This is helpful when you have many form fields and need to insert a line wrap.
    Syntax: To sort alphabetically:

    <input type=hidden name="sort" value="alphabetic">

    To sort by a set field order:

    <input type=hidden name="sort" value="order:name1,name2,etc...">

    Field: print_config
    Description: print_config allows you to specify which of the config variables you would like to have printed in your e-mail message. By default, no config fields are printed to your e-mail. This is because the important form fields, like email, subject, etc. are included in the header of the message. However some users have asked for this option so they can have these fields printed in the body of the message. The config fields that you wish to have printed should be in the value attribute of your input tag separated by commas.
    Syntax: If you want to print the email and subject fields in the body of your message, you would place the following form tag:

    <input type=hidden name="print_config" value="email,subject">

    Field: print_blank_fields
    Description: print_blank_fields allows you to request that all form fields are printed in the return HTML, regardless of whether or not they were filled in. FormMail defaults to turning this off, so that unused form fields aren't e-mailed.
    Syntax: If you want to print all blank fields:

    <input type=hidden name="print_blank_fields" value="1">

    Field: title
    Description: This form field allows you to specify the title and header that will appear on the resulting page if you do not specify a redirect URL.
    Syntax: If you wanted a title of 'Feedback Form Results':

    <input type=hidden name="title" value="Feedback Form Results">

    Field: return_link_url
    Description: This field allows you to specify a URL that will appear, as return_link_title, on the following report page. This field will not be used if you have the redirect field set, but it is useful if you allow the user to receive the report on the following page, but want to offer them a way to get back to your main page.
    Syntax: If you wanted a title of 'Feedback Form Results':

    <input type=hidden name="return_link_url" value="http://your.host.com/main.html">

    Field: return_link_title
    Description: This is the title that will be used to link the user back to the page you specify with return_link_url. The two fields will be shown on the resulting form page as:

  • return link title
  • Syntax: <input type=hidden name="return_link_title" value="Back to Main Page">

    Field: missing_fields_redirect
    Description: This form field allows you to specify a URL that users will be redirected to if there are fields listed in the required form field that are not filled in. This is so you can customize an error page instead of displaying the default.
    Syntax: <input type=hidden name="missing_fields_redirect" value="http://www.domainname.com/error.html">

    Field: background
    Description: This form field allow you to specify a background image that will appear if you do not have the redirect field set. This image will appear as the background to the form results page.
    Syntax: <input type=hidden name="background" value="http://your.host.xxx/image.gif">

    Field: bgcolor
    Description: This form field allow you to specify a bgcolor for the form results page in much the way you specify a background image. This field should not be set if the redirect field is.
    Syntax: For a background color of WHITE, use:

    <input type=hidden name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF">

    Field: text_color
    Description: This field works in the same way as bgcolor, except that it will change the color of your text.
    Syntax: For a text color of BLACK, use:

    <input type=hidden name="bgcolor" value="#000000">

    Field: link_color
    Description: Changes the color of links on the resulting page. Works in the same way as text_color. Should not be defined if redirect is.
    Syntax: For a link color of RED, use:

    <input type=hidden name="link_color" value="#FF0000">

    Field: vlink_color
    Description: Changes the color of visited links on the resulting page. Works in the same way as text_color. Should not be defined if redirect is.
    Syntax: For a link color of BLUE, use:

    <input type=hidden name="link_color" value="#0000FF">

    Field: alink_color
    Description: Changes the color of active links on the resulting page. Works in the same way as text_color. Should not be defined if redirect is.
    Syntax: For a link color of BLUE, use:

    <input type=hidden name="alink_color" value="#0000FF">

    Field: cc
    Description: This form field will allow you to send a copy of the user form data to another address instead of putting multiple addresses in the recipient field. This will be added to the e-mail as a Cc: field.
    Syntax: <input type=hidden name="cc" value="webmaster@infosheet.com">

    Field: cc_visitor
    Description: This form field will allow you to send a copy of the users form data to the email address specified by the visitor in the email field. This could be helpful to confirm orders so the visitor has a copy of what was submitted. This tag will not work in conjunction with the cc field above. This will be added to the e-mail as a Cc: field.
    Syntax: <input type=hidden name="cc_visitor" value="1">

    Field: bcc
    Description: This form field will allow you to send a blind copy of the users form data to another address instead of putting multiple addresses in the recipient field. This will be added to the e-mail as a Bcc: field.
    Syntax: <input type=hidden name="bcc" value="webmaster@domain.com">

    Field: courtesy_reply
    Description: This field initiates an automated courtesy reply to the user to thank them for filling out your form!
    Syntax: <input type=hidden name="courtesy_reply" value="yes">

    Field: courtesy_reply_texta
    Description: The first line of your courtesy reply text.
    Syntax: <input type=hidden name="courtesy_reply_texta" value="Your custom message here.">

    Field: courtesy_who_we_are
    Description: Tell the visitor who you are in the courtesy reply footer.
    Syntax: <input type=hidden name="courtesy_who_we_are" value="Computing Solutions">

    Field: courtesy_our_url
    Description: If you want to put your URL in the footer of the courtesy reply message.
    Syntax: <input type=hidden name="courtesy_our_url" value="http://www.DOMAINNAME.COM">

    Field: courtesy_our_email
    Description: If you want to put your mailto in the footer of the courtesy reply message.
    Syntax: <input type=hidden name="courtesy_our_email" value="login@domain.com">

    Field: append_db
    Description: Appends field values to a flat-file database.

    If you wish to append the form fields to a flat file database, just specify the filename as the value of this field. The value should specify the path and file to hold the data.

    When using the append to database feature, the initial blank datafile MUST be created on the server prior to using the script. The script does not automatically create it; it only appends to it! (Very common mistake). In addition, the data file AND the directory containing it MUST have world write permissions. The permission for the directory holding the data files must have world write access since the server does not have any special privs. World execute access is also required, so the protection should be 773 (rwx, rwx, wx). As for the data file itself, remember it must be created first, manually. Use any editor to create an empty file. If you don't understand empty, create a file with the letter "A" in it, then delete the "A" and resave it! The file MUST have world write permissions for the same reason as above. Use 662 (rwx, rwx, w).

    When specifying the datafile itself in the form field, it can be either a full unix path, e.g. "/home/LOGIN/public_html/cgi-bin/data/datafile.dat" or a relative path, e.g. "./data/datafile.dat". It is important to note that if you specify a relative path, it is usually the path relative from the CGI-BIN directory. Do not specify the CGI-BIN as the location of the data file since your server does not allow write access to this directory. You CANNOT specify a URL such as "http://www.myserver.com/cgi-bin/data.dat".
    Syntax: <input type=hidden name="append_db" value="/home/LOGIN/public_html/formdata/file.dat">

    Field: db_fields
    Description: Specify exactly which fields are appended to the database. Any field not specified in db_fields will not be appended to the database.
    Syntax: <input type=hidden name="db_fields" value="realname,email,homephone">

    Field: db_delimiter
    Description: The separator character between fields in the database. Avoid using common characters, like @.
    Syntax: <input type=hidden name="db_delimiter" value="|">

    Field: faxservice
    Description: The e-mail to fax service provider. Current support is built-in for the following services:

    faxaway - http://www.faxaway.com
    faxsav - http://www.faxsav.com

    If faxservice is not specified, no fax will be sent. BFormMail will format the e-mail as required by the specified service.

    Faxsav and Faxaway are www services which will convert an e-mail message to a fax for a reasonable fee. These services allow the webmaster to create a feedback form and have the results faxed to the recipient for those who don't have e-mail! The only problem is the requirement that the From: field be a registered user of their service, and the To: field is the fax telephone number.

    Matt's script was not designed this way; the From: field is designed to be the web visitor (which will most likely NOT be an existing customer). The fields faxnum and faxfrom were added to support the requirements for this service. If faxservice is specified, an additional e-mail message is sent using the faxnum for the "To: " field, and the faxfrom as the "From: " field.
    Syntax: <input type=hidden name="faxservice" value="faxsav">

    Field: faxnum
    Description: The telephone number to send the fax, including country code, area code and number.
    Syntax: <input type=hidden name="faxnum" value="15551112222">

    Field: faxfrom
    Description: The From: for a fax
    Syntax: <input type=hidden name="faxfrom" value="login@domain.com">

    Any other form fields that appear in your script will be mailed back to you and displayed on the resulting page if you do not have the redirect field set. There is no limit as to how many other form fields you can use with this form, except the limits imposed by browsers and your server.


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