Announcing the Email Capture Service

With email capture, Quality Assurance teams testing email delivery can easily see the exact emails customers will receive.

The new Email Capture Service is an SMTP server that accepts all mail regardless of the To and From address. It is similar to Mailsac’s existing disposable mail, with some key differences. The capture service acts like a fake outbound relay, rather than a fake inbound relay.

Messages sent via capture.mailsac.com are available from the Mailsac Website or REST API. This allows Quality Assurance teams to validate that the message was sent and the contents of the message.

Web applications frequently send transactional emails to users. During development and User Acceptance Testing, sending email is disabled in the application – so emails are not accidentally sent to customers or fake test addresses. Sending lots of bounces from a development application is a great way to get your domain blacklisted, greylisted, or onto a spam list.

Send via capture.mailsac.com instead

Web applications can be configured to use the Email Capture Service as their SMTP server. Emails sent by the application can then be viewed by developers and testers.

Customers have been sending test emails to hosted custom domains at Mailsac for years. The email capture services simplifies the process of sending emails to Mailsac by allowing developers to relay through Mailsac without any additional email infrastructure.

Michael Mayer – LLC Member at Forking Software LLC.

Most customers can get started sending through the Email Capture service instantly.
Wherever you input SMTP credentials in your application, change to the following:

  • Server Name: capture.mailsac.com
  • Port: 5587
  • Use Secure Connection: Yes (TLS)
  • User Authentication – Username: Mailsac account username *
  • User Authentication – Password: any Mailsac API Key for the account

Any email sent to the capture server will be available at the TO address in Mailsac’s UI or API.

* a private address or custom domain address may be used if your email library does not support a separate FROM address for the username.

Further Reading

REST Compliant Response From Email Validation API

The GET Method on the REST API endpoint /api/validations/addresses/:addressToValidate has been updated to return a JSON object. Previously, this endpoint was returning an array. The POST Method response remains unchanged.

An example GET request and response has been added to the Mailsac REST API documentation.

Email validation via the Mailsac Website is still available to all registered customers. An email address can be checked for valid format and if it is associated with any known disposable email services.

Slack Webhook Integration with Private Email Addresses

Last year, we soft-launched a new forwarding feature on private addresses. You may have noticed – underneath the “Forwarding” section, there is now a Forward to Slack option. (Manage Addresses > Settings > Forwarding)

With only a little clicking, you can have inbound emails dumped into a Slack channel. It’s easy – no coding, and no servers, are necessary.

We built this feature because we use Slack internally, and had a custom webhook translator to send certain emails to a channel. After a little copy and paste, code massaging, and unit testing, we were able to get the feature into the platform.

Email → Slack Options

After inserting a valid Slack Webhook URL, we give you the option to enable the To and From address to display in the Slack message (Include To and From in the slack message checkbox).
Here’s the difference:

Screenshot from slack receiving an email from Mailsac
Disabled TO and FROM in Slack Message
Enabled FROM and TO in Slack Message from Email

Enabling TO and FROM is useful for support requests, shared email inboxes, or when you might have multiple inboxes pointed at the same channel.

Disabling TO and FROM is useful for receiving alerts or notifications from the same service. For example, if you send a notification about a new purchase on your website to a Slack channel, and it always comes from the same service email address, you don’t need it to take up space in the Slack message.

Email Images and Attachments to Slack

The email-to-Slack forwarding feature supports file attachments, including images. Images will be displayed inline.

We recommend archiving attachments outside Slack at this time. Attachments are subject to recycling. Also, attachments must be made public in order for Slack to accept the messages. So do not send any PII or sensitive information. This is another reason why we chose to recycle attachments.

The same Mailsac message size limits apply for Slack. If you are interested in bumping up the attachment sizes, make a feature request or contact support and include your account ID.

Debugging Forwarding

The mail activity log will show forwards, and reports failures posting to Slack with error messages. (Dashboard / Usage / Recent Mail Activity Log)

Debug logging on email webhooks to Slack. Response data is redacted.
On errors, you will see Slack’s response.

Feedback

As always, please post feedback and questions to the Mailsac Discussion Forum. We think the feature is useful as-is, but we are open to making changes to better meet our customers needs.

Read more about the email-to-Slack webhook on our docs site.

New Feature: Debug Mail Activity and Publishing

A new feature allows viewing recent activity across the account – inbound email messages, web socket publishing, webhooks, and Slack webhook posts.

From the dashboard, go to Usage & Analytics, then Recent Mail Activity Log.

The debug log shows all inbound, outbound, and publishing actions by 15 minute intervals. Business Plans and higher get access to at least 6 months of history. Free and Indie Plans can see the most recent 15 minutes.

We intend to continue improving this feature by including extended debugging information, response codes, bounces, and other useful information. Please share your experiences with us, and report any problems.

This is a good time to mention you can view have inbound and outbound message counts and bandwidth, up to 30 days currently visible.

This tool helps make it easier to understand how many messages your app is sending – whether it is a custom email app built atop Mailsac, or QA integration testing team.

New Delete Messages Flag When Releasing a Private Email Address

When releasing a private address, there is now an option to “empty the inbox” – deleting all messages associated with the private address. You can find the option by clicking the settings button when managing your private addresses.

The API endpoint DELETE /api/addresses/:email now supports the query string deleteAddressMessages. When deleteAddressMessages=true is passed, all messages associated with the inbox will be deleted.

Please note that all messages are deleted, including starred/saved messages. It is immediate and irreversible.

Brand New Look To Dashboard

The Mailsac dashboard has a brand new look. Our commonly used services are easier discover. You may find out about features you never new existed.

Setting up disposable or test email for a domain has never been easier. With the Mailsac Zero-Setup-Subdomain, choose you subdomain name and start receiving emails within minutes.

We do our best to build simple, indispensable APIs and tools for Quality Assurance teams. End to end testing of emails sent by web applications is easy with Mailsac. API Keys are included with all Mailsac accounts, including our free tier with generous API call limits.

Increase your privacy by using the Mailsac’s free disposable email service. Send to virtually any @mailsac.com address and view the email without ever signing in. To see all messages in an inbox and to view images you will need to sign up for a free account. With the free account you can star messages you need to keep and make them hidden to other users. If you find yourself needing extra email addresses that nobody else can see. They are available as an addon.

Authentication Changes

Mailsac now requires authentication on all API routes and many parts of the website. The API key for your account can be created and viewed from the dashboard. If you are using the website to view emails you will need to create an account and sign in to view the body, images, and headers.

API Authentication

Many API routes required authentication prior to this change. If you are a customer with an existing API key and using it to make your API requests, there are no changes you need to make.

If you were using anonymous access, you will need to create an account and create an API key.

There are three methods for authenticating to the API. HTTP Header, Query String Parameter, and Request JSON Body. To use the HTTP Header create the request header Mailsac-Key and use the value of your API key. To use the query string parameter append the query string parameter _mailsacKey to the query section (after ?) in the url. Example: https://mailsac.com/api/addresses/test@example.com/messages?_mailsacKey=eoj1mn7x5y61w0egs25j6xrv
During a POST or PUT operation a JSON field _mailsacKey can be used.

For a complete list of API Routes check out the API documentation.

Website Authentication

The content of the most recent email received is still available without logging in. Older messages, images, and headers will require an account. You can register for an account for free.

Email Forwarding Changes

Email can be forwarded using websockets, webhooks, slack, and catchall. The way email is forwarded has been changed for consistency. Reserved addresses, which are part of a catchall domain, will now be the inbox email is saved to. Catchall forwarding will still take place on websockets, webhooks, and slack webhooks.

Examples:

  • Websocket post to *@domain.com and private@domain.com
  • Webhook post to *@domain.com and private@domain.com
  • Slack Webhook post to *@domain.com and private@domain.com
  • Save email only to private@domain.com