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Tough one here! Order to fax machine?

7:47 pm on Jun 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hello All;

Here's one that will be very simple or very hard to answer.

I have a client that wants an online menu built for his web site! My client wants his customers to place orders via internet, and in return he'll have the orders ready at the desired time! Now for the kicker! he has no internet connection at his restaurant!

Can a form be built to send the information via computer to his fax machine? If so, please tell me how or point me to the tutorial!

At the moment, all my forms are PHP controlled.


8:03 pm on June 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It's possible to do this. There are companies you can e-mail the order to and they'll send a fax. Most of these services seem to charge around three cents per page. If you have a fax/modem on the server the website's running on it will be even easier. Either way there will be expenses involved that need to be factored into the total cost of providing this service. I did a web search on "fax from website" and got a ton of options. Hope that helps.

EDIT: Maybe an easier option would be to use text messaging to send the order to the restaurant owner's cellphone. Most cellphones seem to be able to accept text messaging sent to an e-mail address that relates to the phone: 3055551234@wireless-carrier.com.

12:00 am on June 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Yes it is possible to have the computer fax the orders if you have fax/modem and appropriate software e.g. Cheyenne Bitware. However it involves quite a bit of work to get it working, the company I worked for did it as part of a larger B2B project.
So if you don't want to spend a lot of time/money getting it working, then google (or whatever your favourite search engine is) the phrase "PHP to fax", or "email to fax", and you will find various people offering services that will do the trick for you, so shop arround.
Have a look at this discussion as well
12:48 am on June 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I set something similar up for a client.. I used Efax. I had my php form send an email to efax, which sent the fax to my client. Easy!

Problem was that efax didn't work a lot of the time. They credited me for one month that they were down, but I continue to have problems with their service.

Any equally simple service suggestions would be appreciated (I like the simplicity of efax, but the service has not worked well).

4:50 am on June 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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You might also look at HylaFAX. You most definitely can do this. The questions are is the webserver local (toll free) to the owners fax machine does or can the webserver have a faxmodem card and a telphone line. If no you might have the order forward from the web server via email or ftp across the internet to a fax server that is local. HylaFAX can send a pdf, ps or tiff image to the owners fax machine. Either way the web server could output or the fax server could convert your order into the needed format to send. I would say it is very do-able it just depends on which way you want to go or have the most resources available to go with.