I've created a nightly sync between two database applications for a small construction company and setup simple notifications using database mail to let a few people know if the load was successful or not. Now that they see this notification is working I've been asked to provide status updates to their clients as employees make changes to the work order throughout the day.
I've done some research and understand DB Mail is not designed for this type of feature but I'm thinking the frequency will be small enough to not be a problem. I'm estimating 50-200 emails per day.
I couldn't find anything on the actual limitations of DB Mail and wondering if anyone has tried something similar in the past or if I could be pushed in the right direction to send these emails using best practice.
Best How To :
If we're talking hundreds here you can definitely go ahead. Take a peak at the Database Mail MSDN page. The current design (i.e. anything post-SQL2000) was specifically designed for large, high-performance enterprise implementations. Built on top of Service Broker (SQL Server's message queuing bus) it offers both asynchronous processing and scalability with process isolation, clustering, and failover. One caveat is increased transaction log pressure as messages, unlike in some other implementations, are ACID-protected by SQL Server which in turn gives you full recoverability of the queues in case of failure.
If you're wondering what Service Broker can handle before migrating to a dedicated solution, there's a great MySpace case study. The most interesting fragment:
We didn’t want to start down the road of using Service Broker unless we could demonstrate that it could handle the levels of messages that we needed to support our millions of users across 440 database servers,” says Stelzmuller. “When we went to the lab we brought our own workloads to ensure the quality of the testing. We needed to see if Service Broker could handle loads of 4,000 messages per second. Our testing found it could handle more than 18,000 messages a second. We were delighted that we could build our solution using Service Broker, rather than creating a custom solution on our own.