Writing an e-mail application with Lamson - II

In the last post, we saw how to create the skeleton of a basic email application using Lamson. In this part, we'll see how to write a handler (in the controller) to open a ticket in Unfuddle, the project management tool we use at Agiliq.

If you look at the config/settings.py file, you'll see a handlers attribute that should be updated to match the file that contains the rules for mail routing. In this case, let us create a unfuddle.py under the app/handlers directory and update the config/settings.py:

handlers = ["app.handlers.unfuddle"]

In the app/handlers/unfuddle.py, the handler code would be as below:

from lamson.routing import route, route_like, stateless
from config.settings import UNFUDDLE_USERNAME, UNFUDDLE_PASSWORD
import httplib2, json

UNFUDDLE_API_ENDPOINT = "https://%(subdomain)s.unfuddle.com/api/v1"

@route("(subdomain)\+(project)@(host)", subdomain="\w+", project="\w+", host=".+")
def START(message, subdomain=None, project=None, host=None):
   UNFUDDLE_API_URL = UNFUDDLE_API_ENDPOINT %({"subdomain": subdomain})
   h = httplib2.Http()
   _, content = h.request("%(url)s/projects.json" %({"url": UNFUDDLE_API_URL}), method="GET")
   json_content = json.loads(content)
   proj = None
   for proj_iter in json_content:
       if proj_iter["short_name"] == project:
           proj = proj_iter
   if not proj:
       return START
   _, tickets = h.request("%(url)s/projects/%(id)s/ticket_reports/dynamic.json?conditions_string=status-neq-closed"
                          %({"url": UNFUDDLE_API_URL, "id": proj["id"]}))
   ticket_json = json.loads(tickets)
   tickets = []
   if ticket_json["groups"]:
       tickets = ticket_json["groups"][0]["tickets"]
   for ticket in tickets:
       if ticket["summary"] == message.base["Subject"]:
           _, content = h.request("%(url)s/projects/%(id)s/tickets/%(ticket_id)s/comments.json"
                                    %({"url": UNFUDDLE_API_URL, "id": proj["id"], "ticket_id": ticket["id"]}),
                                  body="""{"comment": {"body": "%(body)s" } }"""
                                    %{"body": message.body().replace('"','\"')},
                                 headers={"Accept": "application/json",
                                          "Content-Type": "application/json"})
           return START
   _, content = h.request("%(url)s/projects/%(id)s/tickets.json" %({"url": UNFUDDLE_API_URL, "id": proj["id"]}),
                          body="""{"ticket": {"summary": "", "description": "", "priority": "3"} }"""
                             %({"summary": message.base["Subject"].replace('"', '\"'),
                                "description": message.body().replace('"', '\"') }),
                       headers={"Accept": "application/json",
                                "Content-Type": "application/json"})
   return START

def ERROR(message, subdomain=None, project=None, host=None):
    return START

For a conventional application, e-mail is routed on the basis of rules mentioned in configuration files (aliases, macros etc) and then dropped off to a separate process (like fetchmail or procmail) which finally delivers the e-mail to it's destination. In lamson, all this routing is implemented through 'State Machines'. This makes for cleaner code (unified at one place and process) and easy to develop and debug. Each function generally represents a state and returns the next state (could be the same state itself) where the application should proceed. Lamson uses data stores to store the state. By default, it uses the MemoryStorage but it's very easy to write a custom data storage to say store the mails in a database etc.

In our example app, there are two states to the state machine. They are 'START' and 'ERROR'. The ERROR state is a special state in which the application finds itself when there's any error. The 'START' state accepts all mails with the from address in the regexp format (?P<subdomain>\w+)\+(?P<project>\w+)@(?P<host>.+). These captured regular expression groups are passed as keyword arguments to the 'START' function. Based on these keyword arguments, we use the Unfuddle API (which uses HTTP Basic Auth) to create a ticket if it doesn't exist else attach a comment to the ticket.

We'll have to restart the lamson server to be able to reflect the new changes. You can then use the local mutt config file to be able to send mails to the server and try out your changes (for example, send a mail to <[email protected]>):

mutt -F muttrc

Keep a watch at the logs/lamson.log files while developing because this information may be invaluable.

In the next part, we'll see how to setup and deploy this application.

::: {.note} ::: {.admonition-title} Note :::

The code for this e-mail application is available at https://github.com/agiliq/unfuddle/tree/master/email2ticket :::

Thank you for reading the Agiliq blog. This article was writen by thejaswi on Apr 5, 2011 in e-mail .

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