Integrating a List Server With the Web Site and Member Database
Typically a list server is a self contained product with its own
administrative and application security. Two of the leading products,
Lsoft's List Serve and the Lyris list server are built so that a service
provider can manage a large number of high volume lists, both public and
private, from a single server. The private lists can belong to multiple
Besides a list name, the only essential
information that a list server needs are the email addresses of the
list members. Membership in each list is typically independent of
other list memberships. Thus, list servers do not easily integrate
with a completely different membership and security systems.
Wrapping Lyris in Standard Pages:
The first step was to change standard Lyris pages so they looked like
ATLA NET pages.
Dealing With Lapsed Members:
Web security combined with a Lyris configuration option limited
new list members to active members. We had to deal with list members
who allowed their ATLA memberships to lapse.
Duplicate E-mail Addresses:
Coping with small companies where multiple members share the same
email address. Further, some members will have two or more email
addresses which they want to use for different purposes such as one
for list servers and another for directory listings. A policy to
deal with this is required.
Processing E-mail Updates:
As email addresses become increasingly important for communicating
with members and are stored in growing numbers of systems outside the
central members database, automated updates of this volitile data
Joining and Updating Multiple Lists:
The standard Lyris user interface makes it very awkward for a list member
to change their email address or list settings in three or more lists.
We developed a page that would let members join or leave as well as change
email address or list settings in all the lists for which the member was
Dealing With List Server Upgrades:
The problems of keeping a customized product in sync with an evolving
commercial product are discussed.
The Final Step: Transparent List Access:
Controlling access to lists without having members enter email addresses
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