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Need some help describing a problem with some web developers

Client's website, example.com, has a "contact us" form for visitors to get more information.  They also host their own email in a SBS server, mx 10 mail.example.com.  This same server is also the authoritative server for their sister website, otherexample.net.  DNS/nameserver is hosted at a GOdaddy, but the actual website is at Fast Domain.  (long story)

When the example.com's web form is configured to go to admissions@example.com, the email never arrives.  When the form is configured to go to admissions@otherexample.net, the mail comes in fine.  So I know it is not a spam filter or even web site code problem.

I am trying to convince the web dev, that he needs to disable local delivery or have the website log into an SMTP service in order to get the email form working as it should. I am thinking the website is trying to deliver email to itself and never bothers to do a public lookup in the MX record, and this is reflected as there are no entries in the Exchange logs of IP of the website ever trying to get to the server, pass or fail.

Do you guys have any specific sites that describe this problem so I can do more than just say, "this is why I think it is the web guys problem".  I do believe it is a LAMP stack website if that helps.

Similar in concept or perhaps other tricks as described here
http://serverfault.com/questions/65365/disable-local-delivery-in-sendmail
Apache Web ServerWeb Components

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Dave Baldwin

8/22/2022 - Mon
SOLUTION
Imtiaz Hasham

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Dave Baldwin

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tsaico

@ihasham
From the web server perspective, there is no local email server.  The server that is hosting the website is located with a separate facility.  I offered to allow him to authenticate against the SBS server as a traditional SMTP user, but his comment was "It will take too long to re-code" the site.

@daveBaldwin
Perhaps, but I I have no email issues from the SBS perspective, and we can get the web form to work, just not with same domain to same domain email.  I do not have dropped emails, and can freely email to and from it (under either domain).  As long as the webserver does not email an address that is from the same domain, it works fine per my examples.  Because it did work fine when the same web server sent an email to the same email server, just using the 2nd domain this exchange server is hosting, I was able to capture the email logs, see that the sending IP got whitelisted,verbose logs, etc.  

So while I do agree that many web servers have different quirks, I know it is web server and how it is handled a lookup for the MX record.  So I think perhaps I didn't explain the situation to you correctly.

problem_domain.com -> admissions@problem_domain.com != delivered
problem_domain.com -> admissions@second_hosted_domain.com =  delivered

Keep in mind, it is the same web server and the same SBS involved here, the issue I am having is that the web server looks to itself as the email server when it is not.  So the email never gets routed to the exchange server listed in the public MX record, rather the webserver thinks it is hosting the email too and tries to deliver locally.
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ASKER
tsaico

Ok, found what I wanted, or more specifically what was going on and how to describe it, since his response was "it always just works, it must be your spam filter" and that he has never in his x number of years ever heard of any problem with PHP sending where the webserver was at fault, it is always at the email server side.

In any case, I sent him https://www.google.com/search?q=php+send+mail+to+same+domain&rlz=1C1ASRM_enUS528US528&oq=php+sendmail+to+sam&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l3.10818j0&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

and suddenly the website to same domain email started working...
Dave Baldwin

I'm glad you were able to 'encourage' him to fix it.  Thanks for the points.
Your help has saved me hundreds of hours of internet surfing.
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