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PHP to Fax

Posted on 2011-09-24
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I have a client in the field of selling medical supplies that has an all digital fax infrastructure.  They want to have a feedback form on their website coded in php/html that when you click the submit button it goes straight to a fax machine.  How would i create code for something like that.
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Question by:RalphS007
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by:Ray Paseur
ID: 36592908
What a great question!  I am going to guess that the fax is non-technical -- in other words, the information presented over the digital fax is common language and images, not bar codes or OCR.  I think the first thing I would do is reduce the feedback to a black-and-white PDF.  You might find the PHP class FPDF to be helpful for this part.  It might not be necessary, but I would plan for that.

Then I might use this service.  They have been around a while and are fairly well thought-of.
http://www.interfax.net/en/dev/php
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by:maeltar
ID: 36592961
I am guessing that the feedback form goes back to your clients office ?

If so, would sending an email to a central email (group) address be a better option, serving a few purposes, mainly the cost of running the fax, printing supplies etc (am waving the "green" flag)..

Also the data gained from the email could be processed online (intranet) which in turn could give improved analysis of customer feedback .
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by:Ray Paseur
ID: 36593035
waving the "green" flag -- Love it!

I agree with maeltar that FAX is kind of 20th century automation.  Most of the world has moved beyond that.  If you can get your clients to move forward it will be a great benefit to them.
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by:RalphS007
ID: 36593134
what i know is that it's an all digital platform and that if there's a way to setup the fax# to send to email it might help.
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by:maeltar
ID: 36593235
So the people who want the feedback form have the fax machine ?

Also, need to know more than "all digital platform", if you could provide more info it would help with a solution...
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by:RalphS007
ID: 36593445
To my understanding they have a all-in-one copier that includes a fax machine feature and a database possibly oracle.  And they want the submission to go to the oracle database and be stored digitally there as well as print to the fax machine as well.
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MattJellings earned 500 total points
ID: 36594989
One option may be to look at email-to-fax services online or something simialr.  Where basically you email them the message and they send it to a fax machine.

This may prove easier than trying to communicate directly with the fax machine, however I'm not sure of the cost implications for this.

Sorry for just a google link, but it may help: http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=email+to+fax

So essentially, you would process the feedback form server side as normal, then construct an email from the feedback form's data and send it to the online service, who then send a fax to your fax machine.

Cheers

Matt
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