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PHPBuilder.com: Downloading and Parsing Gmail Messages in PHP

Note: This article was originally published at PHPDeveloper on 1 September 2010.
PHPDeveloper

New on PHPBuilder.com today there's a tutorial showing you how to download and parse messages from Google Mail. In their case it's grabbing and parsing submissions from a form.

Some friends of mine publish a literary journal that accepts submissions via email. At their request I wrote a script to download messages from the journal's Gmail account and do some simple parsing tasks. Most of the submissions are made using an HTML form and a corresponding mailer script on their website, so I knew the precise format of the incoming messages (see Figure 1). What I didn't know was how to access Gmail in PHP.

He tried out the libgmailer script first, but ran into roadblocks until he realized he could use something PHP already had - the imap functions. With these he shows how to make a connection to the Gmail servers, get the listing of messages and pull out the body for the one you want to parse.