Emails can be sent via PC School in two different ways – via MAPI or SMTP.
The setup of both these methods of sending email are done by altering the PCSchool.ws file. Note that this .ws file is a Client file and must be altered for each PC School workstation that needs to send emails.
‘SMTP’ Mode directs all mail to a specified SMTP compatible Mail server such as Exchange Server. To use this the following setting should be made in the .ws file.
The advantages of using SMTP is that messages can be tracked by your Mail Server, and enhanced formatting such as HTML, bold, italics, etc can be used in the body of the email.
Email Mode should be set to SMTP. When this is set the EmailServer and Email values must be defined for emails to work.
Email Server points to the URI or IP address of the mail server. This must be defined when using SMTP, failure to do so will result in “Server not found” errors.
Server IP Address
The Email port will default to 25 when not specified in the .ws file. Only specifiy this value of your mail server setup requires a different port value.
The Email address from which emails from this workstation are sent. This may be any valid email address. This must be set when using SMTP.
The Email From Name specifies a name from which the email is sent. This will appear in the From field in the recipients email software. When not defined the Email value is used.
EmailFromName=Someone at St Something School
For schools that use Authentication to the SMTP server, this may be set to ON. When set, a Account and Password must be defined.
ESMTPAccount & ESMTPPassword
The EMSTP Authentication and Password values only used when AuthMode is ON. Must be set otherwise the user will be prompted for their details upon sending emails.
PC School can support SSL for emails, commonly used for Google Apps accounts. To switch this functionality on, you need to add the following to the Preferences.ini file:
ESMTP Authentication should also be used.
MAPI Mode uses a MAPI compatible program such as Outlook to relay the emails. When an email is sent, this is directed to the Outbox of the MAPI client, and that program takes care of sending the email.
The advantages of this method is that a record of the emails sent are kept in the users email client. The disadvantages are that MAPI messages are text only and enhanced formatting made in the Email and Emerge views (bold, italics, etc.) will not be visible.
To use MAPI in PC School the pcschool.ws file should include the line:
When in MAPI mode, any other email settings made in the .ws file are ignored.
Once the appropriate settings have been made to the .ws file to suit your environment, the easiest way to test PC School is with the Email view under the Utilities view in any PC School module. To test and email:
- Open the Email View.
- Add a subject and Body to the email by typing values into the appropriate forms.
- Add a recipient by double-clicking the To item, or right clicking and selecting Add To Recipient in the left.
- Click the Send button at the top of the view.
- It’s also worth sending an email with an attachment to test for the exception regarding Error 9.
If the email can’t be sent, an error message with an error number will be displayed.
If the email has been successfully sent, then emails should now be working in all areas of PC School.
Emails may be logged by entering a file name and path into the Log File field in the Email Settings section of the email view. This will generate a log of the communication between PC School and the SMTP server, and can sometimes be useful in diagnosing potential problems. The log files generated are text files which can be viewed in text editors such as notepad.
When using MAPI to send emails, the Outlook client, depending on it’s setup uses a proprietry mail format to send emails. This is fine if the recipient uses Outlook to open the email, but when using alternative programs like Mozilla Thunderbird, all the recipient sees is a Winmail.dat file. Normally a quick setting change in Outlook corrects this problem.
- Error 7 – The from address was not formatted correctly or was rejected by the SMTP mail server. Some SMTP mail servers will only accept mail from particular addresses or domains.
- Error 8 – An error was reported in response to a recipient address. The SMTP server may refuse to handle mail for unknown recipients.
- Error 9 – There was an error connecting to the SMTP mail server.
- Error 10 – There was an error opening a file. If you have specified file attachments, ensure that they exist and that you have access to them
The above information is for users of PCSchool Student Management School Software.