How to redirect all emails to one inbox on Yii2 applications

October 02, 2020 - Let's redirect all the emails sent by our Yii2 aplication to our inbox while developing it. This way we don't need to inspect emails stored in @runtime/mail.

\yii\mail\BaseMailer::useFileTransport is a great tool. If you activate it, all emails sent trough this mailer will be saved (by default) on @runtime/mail instead of being sent, allowing the developers to inspect the result.

But what happens if we want to actually receive the emails on our inboxes. When all emails are supposed to go to one account, there is no problem: setup it as an application parameter and the modify it in the params-local.php (assuming advaced application template).

The big issue arises when the app is supposed to send emails to different accounts (and more if making use of replyTo, cc and bcc fields). It’s almost impossible try to solve this with the previously explained approach and without using a lot of conditionals like if(YII_DEBUG).

Well, next there is a solution:

'useFileTransport' => true,
'fileTransportCallback' => function (\yii\mail\MailerInterface $mailer, \yii\mail\MessageInterface $message) {
    $message->attachContent(json_encode([
            'to' => $message->getTo(),
            'cc' => $message->getCc(),
            'bcc' => $message->getBcc(),
            'replyTo' => $message->getReplyTo(),
        ]), ['fileName' => 'metadata.json', 'contentType' => 'application/json'])
        ->setTo('debug@mydomain.com') // account to receive all the emails
        ->setCc(null)
        ->setBcc(null)
        ->setReplyTo(null);

    $mailer->useFileTransport = false;
    $mailer->send($message);
    $mailer->useFileTransport = true;

    return $mailer->generateMessageFileName();
}

How it works? fileTransportCallback is the callback to specify the filename that should be used to create the saved email on @runtime/mail. It “intercepts” the send email process, so we can use it for our porpuses.

  1. Attach a json file with the real recipients information so we can review it
  2. Set the recipient (TO) as the email address where we want to receive all the emails.
  3. Set the others recipients fields as null
  4. Deactivate useFileTransport
  5. Send the email
  6. Activate useFileTransport
  7. Return the defaut file name (datetime of the operation)

This way we both receive all the emails on the specified account and get them stored on @runtime/mail.

Pretty simple helper to review emails on Yii2 applications.