How To Receive Emails From Your PHP OpenShift Application Using Swift Mailer & GMail


There are times when we need emails to be sent/received from our PHP applications hosted on OpenShift. My particular example is based on a feedback form that I have put on my own PHP based web-application hosted on OpenShift http://www.howmuchisaved.in. Using this form, I can receive email whenever users submit their feedback to me. If your applications is hosted on your own server, you can easily setup Postfix to start receiving mails but things start to get tricky when you have little to no control on the web-server which runs your application. OpenShift doesn’t allow you to configure Postfix or any such utilities. It even doesn’t give you root access to install & configure dependencies. So, you are left with very little options. And this is where Swift Mailer comes to rescue. In this tutorial I will explain how you can leverage Swift Mailer PHP library to be able to receive mails. Please note that this tutorial can be followed for other restrictive hosting solutions as well.

Requirements : –

For this tutorial, you will need one GMail account (more on it below) & one PHP application hosted on OpenShift or any cloud platform.

Steps to be performed : –

Configure Google Security settings

Since we are using GMail as our SMTP, all emails will be delivered/relayed via smtp.gmail.com. By default, Google doesn’t allow less-secure apps (such as your OpenShift app) to access your account. So, go to https://www.google.com/settings/security/lesssecureapps and turn it on. Its better to create a new Google account & turn this setting on for that particular account. Choice is yours, so act accordingly.

Download Swift Mailer PHP Library

Download it from here https://github.com/swiftmailer/swiftmailer & place it inside your project directory.

Or if you have git installed on your machine, you can always use git clone https://github.com/swiftmailer/swiftmailer inside your project directory. This will create a new directory inside your project. Rename it so that its easy to reference Swift Mailer inside your code. I renamed mine as swiftmailer.

Edit PHP code

Now, with Swift Mailer library in place, edit your PHP script that handles e-mail functionality. Below is the sample code snippet from my GitHub repository’s file.

https://github.com/shashank-ssriva/HowMuchISaved/blob/openshift-version/howmuchisaved/send_feedback_mail.php

You may fork or download my entire project if you so wish 🙂 This version is fully functional and is already hosted on OpenShift (as told in introduction above).

require_once 'swiftmailer/lib/swift_required.php';
      //allow less secured app in Gmail settings for this to work.
      //Also use port 465 and ssl if it doesn't work.
      $transport = Swift_SmtpTransport::newInstance('smtp.gmail.com', 587, "tls")
      ->setUsername('your gmail username')
      ->setPassword('your gmail password');

You can see in the snippet above how you need to organise your Swift Mailer directory. You also need to enter your GMail credentials there.

Test your application

After making changes to the code, fire up your application in a browser & check if you received email from this page or not. Please note the line #22 in above
script. It mentions the email-address where you will be receiving e-mails from your application. Change this to yours if not already done.

That’s it 🙂 If everything has been configured correctly, you will start to receive e-mails from this application. You may use my repository for fully functional application & its code.

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Host a PHP/MySQL Application/Dynamic Website on RedHat OpenShift


I had no idea that I can host my PHP/MySQL based application on OpenShift for free until I had to do some work on it a few weeks back. While working on some Automation with OpenShift, I came up with the idea to host my own app on it 😉

If you have a small PHP application or some dynamic PHP based website that you want to host on OpenShift for free, please read on.

So, here is how to do it.

Go to OpenShift Console

Login to your OpenShift account & go to console https://openshift.redhat.com/app/console/applications. You will see a button called “Add Application” like below. Click on it.

Applications___OpenShift_Online_by_Red_Hat.jpg

Choose PHP

Choose any of the PHP versions.

Create_a_New_Application___OpenShift_Online_by_Red_Hat.jpg

Enter a Public URL

Use a unique URL for your application. If you have not created a domain earlier, create one before this step.

Create_a_New_Application___OpenShift_Online_by_Red_Hat.png

Choose Scaling

If you want an HAProxy Loadbalancing, choose Scale with web-traffic as seen above. Please bear in mind that if your application is based on MySQL or any other Database, don’t scale it and go with default. Otherwise you will need to use HAProxy server’s IP or FQDN in your code for database connection string.

Choose Region

Free tier of OpenShift doesn’t allow to choose anything except first 2 options.

Create_a_New_Application___OpenShift_Online_by_Red_Hat.png

Create Application

Click “Create Application” button to create your application. This may take a few minutes.

Get_Started___OpenShift_Online_by_Red_Hat.png

Install Git client for your OS

Install Git client by following instructions shown there on the screen. Also, make note of the git clone command. Using these details, you will clone a repository from OpenShift to your machine. From this repository, you can push to OpenShift after making changes to code. Follow the instructions you see after clicking “Create Application” button.

Add Database gear

Add any of the Database gears. I have personally chosen MySQL 5.5. Make note of the details like database user & password. You will have to use these values in your code.

php___OpenShift_Online_by_Red_Hat.png

Push/Publish Code

Add your code project to this repository (created above). Edit your database connection string in code using the values you got from last step. Then run below commands to push it to OpenShift & restart Apache there. Whenever you make changes to code or add a new file/directory to your local repository, don’t forget to follow below steps.

git add .

git commit -am "adding project data"

git push

You are done 🙂 You will see your application/site hosted on OpenShift now 🙂

I hope you liked this post. Catch you soon with another post!