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SMTP Mail Delivery

, 28 Mar 2002
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A beginner's guide to SMTP automated mail delivery with the CDONTS library.


Handling email is a very important part of every active website. Automating mail delivery could be extremely useful and could have many uses such as:

  • Online order verification.
  • Creating a mailing list to update customers of recent news/sales.
  • Responding to a software download.
  • And the list goes on...

The reasons may vary, but the need is the same: your site should be able to send email automatically. And this is exactly what you're going to learn in this article - using the CDONTS library to send email.

Important notice: the CDONTS library is only applicable to NT users, it will not work for PWS users.

The Importance of Automated Mail Response

Just a moment before we delve into the techy stuff, I'd like to emphasize the importance of an automated mail response. When a user gets an email notification from your site he gets the feeling that someone has answered him, he has someone to talk to, this isn't yet another dead-end sale. The response to the user's action gives him a sense of security. Automated mail response is an important tool - use it wisely.

Let the learning begin!

The SMTP Service

SMTP - Simple Mail Transfer Protocol - is a Service on the NT OS. It is installed with the IIS (if you choose it from the list of components).

How can you know whether it is installed on your server or not? Simple. Call it and see if you get an answer! Choose Start > Run from the Start menu and type telnet [ServerName] 25.

Check for the STMP service

Replace ServerName with your server name of course. 25 is the port number SMTP listens to.

If it's installed you should get an answer similar to this:

>220-MyServer Microsoft SMTP MAIL ready at
Sun, 24 March 2002 18:12:21 - 0500 Version 5.5.1877.977.9
220 WSMTP Spoken here

If not, then you probably don't have SMTP installed on your server. To install it run the NT Option Pack installation, and choose the appropriate option.


The CDONTS library - Collaboration Data Objects for NT Server, which also comes with the NT Option Pack, provides very useful objects for delivering/receiving mail through SMTP. Note that there is another library called CDO, which is much richer and provides a lot more options. It comes with the Microsoft Exchange Server. The CDONTS library is simpler to use, and with it you can send mail within a few lines of code.

Lets get on with it already!

The NewMail Object

The CDONTS library contains a number of objects, but we will focus on the simplest object: NewMail. It is used for quick and simple mail delivery.

Lets quickly review the NewMail object properties:

Property Explanation
Bcc Blind Carbon Copy (additional delivery address)
Body The message body
BodyFormat Message format: 0-HTML 1-Text
Cc Carbon Copy (additional delivery address)
ContentBase Base path for files in the message
ContentLocation Relative base path for files in the message
From Sender address
Importance Priority: 0 to 3
MailFormat Delivery method: 0-Mime 1-Text
Subject Message subject
To Receiver's address
Value Additional message headline
Version CDONTS version

There are 3 options to add receivers' addresses:

  1. To - the simplest way, this is the primary receiver address.
  2. CC - additional receiver (the receiver can see who else received the message).
  3. BCC - additional receiver (the receiver can't see who else received the message, it will look as if it was sent only to him).

Now lets review the NewMail object methods:

Method Explanation
AttachFile Attach a file to the message
AttachURL Attach URL to the message
Send Send the message
SetLocaleIDs Set a Code Page for the message


Sending the Mail!

Ok, we've come this far now lets send a message!

Create myMail - a NewMail object:

Set myMail = Server.CreateObject("CDONTS.NewMail")

Now set the message properties: receiver's address, sender's address, message content, subject and so on.

myMail.To = ""
myMail.Body = "Hey Bill, how come you're using yahoo mail service?"
myMail.From = ""
myMail.Subject = "Testing"

Set the message format to MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension):


Add a file attachment:

Call myMail.AttachFile("\\server\bill_photos\bill_wife_nude.jpg", "BILL_WIFE_NUDE.JPG")

Send it already!


Now don't forget to clear the object...

Set myMail=nothing

Cut! And we're done.


So, what have we done so far?

  • We discussed the importance of automated mail response.
  • We got the SMTP Service up and running.
  • We reviewed the NewMail object from the CDONTS library.
  • And we sent out a simple message, though I assume you'll improve the code to suit your needs.

Wrap it up guys.


This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


About the Author

Web Developer Self-Employed
United States United States
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

GeneralCDO for Hebrew PinmemberPhipps Xue9-Apr-07 15:35 
Questionhaving problem with sending email to using CDONTS/CDO PinmemberPINKS253-Apr-06 1:26 
AnswerRe: having problem with sending email to using CDONTS/CDO Pinmemberpiggalee12-Aug-06 20:56 
Generalcdonts mail Pinmembermimisanka21-Sep-05 19:15 
GeneralRe: cdonts mail Pinmemberyjbnew9-May-06 15:07 
GeneralSend Email Problem PinmemberEWE WEI WEN15-Sep-05 16:57 
Generalsending email through SMTP Pinmemberaa_mm28-Aug-05 21:10 
GeneralCDONT SMTP RELAY PinsussAnonymous22-Jun-04 20:46 
GeneralUsing CDONTS But not getting any email PinsussAnonymous28-Apr-04 19:11 
GeneralBody part is not accepted... PinsussOmar Díaz15-Apr-04 6:32 
GeneralRe: Body part is not accepted... Pinsusscruzagr33-Jan-05 7:59 
GeneralSMTP Setup Pinmemberjdj Locasta6-Jan-04 6:25 
GeneralCDO for windows 2003 servers Pinsusspsepesi4-Nov-03 16:46 
GeneralRe: CDO for windows 2003 servers Pinmembererikalee9-Nov-03 20:02 
GeneralRe: CDO for windows 2003 servers PinmemberArkadiusz R. Jagielski7-Apr-04 12:28 
GeneralCDO for windows 2003 servers Pinsusspsepesi4-Nov-03 16:44 
GeneralCDONTS giving warnings PinsussMonte Kottman22-Oct-03 5:04 
GeneralPlz Help me, how ca n i do the same in VC++ PinmemberAzhar Javaid22-Aug-03 1:43 
GeneralRe: Plz Help me, how ca n i do the same in VC++ Pinmemberdharani21-Sep-03 19:58 
GeneralRe: Plz Help me, how ca n i do the same in VC++ PinmemberDimitris Vassiliades17-Mar-04 3:51 
Generalnot a cdont but a SMTPsvg.Mailer Pinmemberflashermx16-Aug-03 16:42 
GeneralSample for Attachment PinmemberPinakin7-Aug-03 17:36 
QuestionHow CDONTS work in VC++ PinmemberRennyAshay6-Aug-03 18:36 
Questionhow make it work with XP Pinmembermoh41010-Jun-03 6:02 
AnswerRe: how make it work with XP Pinmembermarriola6-Aug-03 7:01 
GeneralCDONTS not sending email Pinmembermeghana_parikh@hotmail.com8-May-03 13:31 
GeneralRe: CDONTS not sending email PinsussAnonymous4-Aug-04 23:39 
Generalsending e-mail whith cdonts PinsussAnonymous28-Apr-03 6:31 
GeneralRe: sending e-mail whith cdonts PinmemberArkadiusz R. Jagielski7-Apr-04 12:26 
GeneralCDONTS Pinsussalex197731-Mar-03 23:47 
GeneralRe: CDONTS PinmemberDimitris Vassiliades1-May-03 8:34 
Generaldon't want incoming e-mails PinsussBill coulter20-Feb-03 3:08 
Generalemail with ASP PinsussAreen Ruman31-Jan-03 2:57 
GeneralRe: email with ASP Pinmembersm808216-Jun-03 12:11 
GeneralRe: email with ASP PinmemberArkadiusz R. Jagielski7-Apr-04 12:24 
GeneralRe: email with ASP PinsussAnonymous11-Jul-04 19:39 
Generaltest sent email Pinmemberyot8-Jan-03 5:13 
GeneralGetting dynamic values from a database Pinsussjimmyeprince31-Dec-02 11:09 
Generalerror in open attachements Pinsusslogu23-Sep-02 1:34 
GeneralCDO for Windows 2000 PinsussAnonymous20-Sep-02 6:27 
GeneralReceiving e-mails PinsussA R10-Sep-02 8:55 
GeneralRe: Receiving e-mails PinmemberRyan Binns27-Mar-03 18:49 
GeneralRe: Receiving e-mails PinsussAnonymous29-Jan-04 8:28 
GeneralRe: Receiving e-mails PinmemberRyan Binns30-Jan-04 1:11 
GeneralRe: Receiving e-mails PinsussAnonymous12-Aug-03 21:40 
GeneralRe: Receiving e-mails Pinsussshwetketu6-Feb-04 9:06 
Generalrunning on windows2000 proffisional and problem on windows 2000 server PinsussDodi--ASP--Dodi14-Jul-02 22:04 
GeneralRe: running on windows2000 proffisional and problem on windows 2000 server Pinmemberotherwise19-Jul-03 23:25 
GeneralCDONTS Not Working PinsussAnonymous13-Jul-02 14:47 
GeneralRe: CDONTS Not Working PinsussAnonymous10-Jan-03 8:40 

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