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4theFile Overview

4theFile is a Web facility that allows you to turn an email message, including all its nested forwarded messages and attachments, into a linkable web “Resource” with it's own URL.

How it works, in a nutshell: you forward an email to 4theFile, and 4theFile sends you back the URL for a newly-created web resource. The url is an unguessable random string and the resources can't be found by search engines, so only people you share the random url with (or people *they* share it with, etc.) can see your resource. The resource can be viewed through any standard web browser.

The 4theFile site provides a number of features that allow developers and maintainers of other websites to use 4theFile as a simple web interface to their own sites.

4theFile in Opptuna

We've used the 4theFile API to provide a way to submit emails to the “Notes and Attachments” list for a number of different types of OppTuna records, including Issues, Opportunities, and Leads. If 4theFile integration is enabled in your OppTuna install (see below for a “How To” guide), a special email address is shown on the Notes tab for each record, and emails previously sent to that address appear on the Notes list for the record, like this:

 Notes list screenshot in this example, there's a note with an attached file (paperclip icon), and a link to a 4theFile resource (envelope icon). The mailto link at the bottom is used to submit emails to the dev2issues collection (specific to one OppTuna install) for issue #1490.

Opptuna scans 4theFile using the 4theFile API every 2 minutes for any newly submitted resources with the matching collection address and tag, and includes links to these 4theFile resources in the OppTuna note list for that record.

How To

To enable 4theFile integration for one or all record types (i.e. Opps, Leads, Issues, etc.) in your OppTuna install, follow these steps:

  1. register for a 4theFile account at
  2. set up a 4theFile Collection for each record type you want to enable, with a unique name something like “mycompany-opptuna-opps”. 4theFile will assign you a random “collection key” and a unique collection email address. We recommend using a “private” collection (so there is no public URL to the complete list of resources in the Collection). You may also want to enable the “retro moderation” feature so you'll be notified by 4theFile of new submissions.
  3. request an API key from 4theFile support as directed in the My Account section of the 4theFile site
  4. armed with the 4theFile collection keys and your API key, log into your OppTuna account and go to “Admin/Setup/4theFile Setup” (requires the OppTuna “admin” permission. If you don't have this permission, please ask your OppTuna admin to complete this setup).
  5. enter your 4theFile username, API key, and collection key(s) in the spaces provided
  6. you're done! to test: go to the Notes tab for any OppTuna record for one of the types you enabled (e.g. Opps). You should see a “mailto” link to your collection email address at the bottom. Send an email to this address – it should show up on your Notes list in OppTuna within 2 minutes. You'll also be able to see it in the resource list for your collection on 4theFile.
4thefile_integration.txt · Last modified: 2011/12/13 16:29 by tiffany