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Thread: Mail Merge

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Dear All,

    I am experiementing with a website at present and would like your help. It is for a local church. The various people in charge of lists, rotas & services will enter appropriate dates into thw website. This will be translated via PHP into a MySQL database. From here, I'd like monthly lists to be automatically emailed to people and various bits of the information that they enter to be mail merged into a word document that will become the church's service sheet.

    Is this possible?

    How might I go about accomplishing it?

    Thanks

    Sam

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  3. #2
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    Word will do mail merges, but I don't think you can do it from a MySQL datasource. I've only seen it done from SQL Server and Access databases, and Excel spreadsheets. That would go along with Microsoft's mission to rule the world.

    Incidentally, moved to PHP forum.

  4. #3
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    You do have another option that will be more accessible using PHP and MySQL, and that is to output the results of the merge into a series of HTML-based emails. More people will be able to open those than they will Word docs (although a lot of people can open Word docs). Just a thought.
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  5. #4
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    Part of the reason for my doing this project was for a word document to be produced at the end of it. I was hoping that people cleverer than I might have worked out how to mail merge. After all, I imagine that getting data out of Access or SQL Server is not a million miles from getting it out of MySQL

  6. #5
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    Just had a thought:

    You can export from PHP/MySQL as a CSV (essentially, a comma delimited file), which you can then use for your mail merge.

    That will require a simple web app that reads the database, loops through it, and concatenates the records into a file which is then saved onto your computer.

    Then someone can manually take the file and mail merge it.

  7. #6
    Senior Member rosland's Avatar
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    ...I'd like monthly lists to be automatically emailed to people...
    I'm sure it's possible to make an automated script doing what your asking. However, if you want a script to execute automatically at a certain time without user input, you need to use CRON embedding to make it happen. Why not take the simple approach?

    If you can read email, you can also read web pages. Why not make the incoming emails available through a "guestbook" type setup? That way everything will be instantly available to all parties, and the user inputs has to go through a form of your design, hence you can control the input structure (date, event, responsible person, location, etc). If you want to limit access to this info, it's very easy to create an access/authentication script.

    It appears from your post that your final word document needs some sort of manual filtering, which means you can't autogenerate it based on the email inputs
    ...and various bits of the information that they enter to be mail merged into a word document ...
    If you make a script (quite easy) that lists all post from your "guestbook" and utilize Transio's multidelete script, you can easily erase non essential entries, and display the remaining emails. From there you can just copy and paste the displayed text into a word document where you can edit it further.

    The above mentioned would, as far as I can see, fullfill your requirements and be quite easy to produce.
    S. Rosland


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