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How To Email From A Custom Module In Magento

Magento seemingly makes the most mundane development tasks an exercise in patience. The over engineered PHP beast makes you do more XML situps than the most anal of Java app environments all with zero documentation of its convoluted naming conventions. Therefore, when I wanted to email from within a custom Magento module I found myself back in the Magento source and forums to try and figure it out. I was just about to go down Asad Rahman’s approach or Branko Ajzele’s but digging around in Magento’s source led me to believe there was an easier way. Please note, however, if you want to take a template approach to emailing then you are probably left with the aforementioned approaches and I wish you luck. This approach is very straight forward and about as simple as it gets in Magento. The following function probably doesn’t need a lot of explanation:

public function notify($sendToName, $sendToEmail, $subject, $msg) {

    Mage::log(“Sending email to $sendTo”);

    $mail = Mage::getModel(‘core/email’);
    $mail->setFromName(“Your Friendly Neighbourhood Support”);

    try {
    catch (Exception $e) {
        return false;

    return true;

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