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Step 7. Using Email with ColdFusion MX > Understanding SMTP Servers

Understanding SMTP Servers

Before we can even begin talking about using ColdFusion to send email, we have to understand a few things about email servers. First, dedicated machines, generically called mail servers, move email around the web, and sending email is usually done with a protocol called the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). Second, ColdFusion is not an email server. ColdFusion can only interact with mail servers; it cannot actually send email by itself.

You send email by nominating an SMTP mail server for ColdFusion to pass messages to. This can be any SMTP server you have permission to use. If you are currently sending and receiving email with an email client, such as Outlook Express or Eudora, you have permission to use an SMTP mail server. This is typically your ISP’s mail server. If you are hosting web sites with a commercial hosting company, you probably have access to its SMTP server as well.


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