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ASP FAQ Tutorials :: Classic ASP 1.0 :: Email Scripts & Info :: Should I use form action=mailto: to mail the results of a form?


Should I use form action=mailto: to mail the results of a form?

No! 
 
Many people see this as a viable alternative to using a 3rd party or built-in mail component to e-mail the results of a form: 
 
<form action='mailto:you@yourdomain.com' ... > 
... 
</form>
 
However, there are several reasons you should avoid this:
  • not all browsers support this mechanism 
     
  • not all users have a default mail reader at all (many people use only Yahoo or Hotmail); 
     
  • of those that do have a mail reader, not all have one that supports a mailto form; 
     
  • of those that do have a mail reader that supports a mailto form, it is trivial for them to just not send the e-mail at all, or for a malicious user to alter the from / to / subject / body before they hit send. They can also see any hidden form elements that weren't intended for their viewing; 
     
  • most users that can successfully send a mail will be prompted by a security dialog prior to sending -- this can scare many users from continuing; and, 
     
  • if nothing else, relying on the end user's e-mail program looks sloppy, lazy and unprofessional while it's happening, IMHO.
Handle your mailing tasks on the server, then you have greater control over the result, and do not have to rely on minimum requirements being met by your users in order for your application to function properly. 
 
See Article #2119 for a list of components that will help you send mail from ASP, Article #2026 for information about using CDO.Message / CDONTS.NewMail, and Article #2403 for some techniques for sending e-mail from SQL Server (both using Exchange Server and any SMTP server that allows relaying).

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Created: 7/16/2003 | Last Updated: 7/16/2003 | broken links | helpful | not helpful | statistics
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