How to Use the Cloud to Send Emails

How to Use the Cloud to Send Emails

Requirements for sending emails from a production system differ from your development setup as you don't want to be limited in the number of emails, the sending rate or the sender address. Thus, using Gmail or similar services is not an option. If setting up and maintaining your own reliable mail server causes you a headache there's a simple solution: Leverage the cloud to send your emails.

This article shows how easy it is to integrate Amazon's Simple Email Service (SES) into Symfony.

Note

You can use the same technique for other mail services, as most of the time there is nothing more to it than configuring an SMTP endpoint for Swift Mailer.

In the Symfony configuration, change the Swift Mailer settings transport, host, port and encryption according to the information provided in the SES console. Create your individual SMTP credentials in the SES console and complete the configuration with the provided username and password:

  • YAML
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    # app/config/config.yml
    swiftmailer:
        transport:  smtp
        host:       email-smtp.us-east-1.amazonaws.com
        port:       587 # different ports are available, see SES console
        encryption: tls # TLS encryption is required
        username:   AWS_SES_SMTP_USERNAME  # to be created in the SES console
        password:   AWS_SES_SMTP_PASSWORD  # to be created in the SES console
    
  • XML
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    <!-- app/config/config.xml -->
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
    <container xmlns="http://symfony.com/schema/dic/services"
        xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
        xmlns:swiftmailer="http://symfony.com/schema/dic/swiftmailer"
        xsi:schemaLocation="http://symfony.com/schema/dic/services
            http://symfony.com/schema/dic/services/services-1.0.xsd
            http://symfony.com/schema/dic/swiftmailer
            http://symfony.com/schema/dic/swiftmailer/swiftmailer-1.0.xsd">
    
        <!-- ... -->
        <swiftmailer:config
            transport="smtp"
            host="email-smtp.us-east-1.amazonaws.com"
            port="587"
            encryption="tls"
            username="AWS_SES_SMTP_USERNAME"
            password="AWS_SES_SMTP_PASSWORD"
        />
    </container>
    
  • PHP
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    // app/config/config.php
    $container->loadFromExtension('swiftmailer', array(
        'transport'  => 'smtp',
        'host'       => 'email-smtp.us-east-1.amazonaws.com',
        'port'       => 587,
        'encryption' => 'tls',
        'username'   => 'AWS_SES_SMTP_USERNAME',
        'password'   => 'AWS_SES_SMTP_PASSWORD',
    ));
    

The port and encryption keys are not present in the Symfony Standard Edition configuration by default, but you can simply add them as needed.

And that's it, you're ready to start sending emails through the cloud!

Tip

If you are using the Symfony Standard Edition, configure the parameters in parameters.yml and use them in your configuration files. This allows for different Swift Mailer configurations for each installation of your application. For instance, use Gmail during development and the cloud in production.

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# app/config/parameters.yml
parameters:
    # ...
    mailer_transport:  smtp
    mailer_host:       email-smtp.us-east-1.amazonaws.com
    mailer_port:       587 # different ports are available, see SES console
    mailer_encryption: tls # TLS encryption is required
    mailer_user:       AWS_SES_SMTP_USERNAME # to be created in the SES console
    mailer_password:   AWS_SES_SMTP_PASSWORD # to be created in the SES console

Note

If you intend to use Amazon SES, please note the following:

  • You have to sign up to Amazon Web Services (AWS);
  • Every sender address used in the From or Return-Path (bounce address) header needs to be confirmed by the owner. You can also confirm an entire domain;
  • Initially you are in a restricted sandbox mode. You need to request production access before being allowed to send to arbitrary recipients;
  • SES may be subject to a charge.

This work, including the code samples, is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 license.