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Inline Attachments for Oracle APEX Emails

Prior to APEX 21.2, when you add any attachments to APEX email using apex_mail.add_attachment procedure, then those attachments are always added with  Content-Disposition as attachment. This behavior can be verified when we view the received emails as plain text, For e.g. refer to the below screenshot of an email taken using the "Show Original" option in the Gmail web client.

Content-Disposition as "attachment"

APEX 21.2 has introduced a new feature that enables us to send attachments as inline attachments. There is a new parameter p_content_id added to apex_mail.add_attachment procedure. We can specify content_id for attachments and we can use this content_id to refer to the image in cid: scheme in img tags of HTML emails.

In one of my previous blogposts, Including Images in Oracle APEX Emails, I have discussed a few options using which we can include images in emails. One of the options is attaching images to an email and referring to attached images by file name in cid: scheme. This works in desktop email clients, but not in web email clients like Gmail. The reason is, APEX was always using Content-Disposition: attachment; for all attachments and there was no way to change it. Now, in APEX 21.2, when we specify p_content_id for any attachments, APEX will specify Content-Disposition as inline for those attachments and it will also specify the Content-ID. This change enables embedding images in email content in more reliably way and it would work in all email clients that support cid: scheme approach.

Content-Disposition as "inline"

So, let's build a quick demo page to test this new feature.

  • Create a new page and add a text item. In the demo, I have created page 42 and the item name is P42_EMAIL_TO. We will use this text item to enter the email address.
  • Add button next to the text item. Ensure, Button > Behavior > Action is set as "Submit Page". In the demo, I have created a button with the name SEND_EMAIL.
  • Upload any image file that you want to include in the emails to the "Static Application Files" section. In the demo, I have uploaded a file with the name ironman.jpg
  • Create a page process as below
    • Name: Testing Inline Attachments (or any other proper name)
    • Type: Execute Code
    • Server-side Condition
      • When Button Pressed: Select SEND_EMAIL button.
    • Source
      • Language: PL/SQL
      • PL/SQL Code: As below
    l_body        CLOB;
    l_body_html   CLOB;
    l_img_html    CLOB;
    l_id          NUMBER;
-- build html email body
    l_body_html := '<!DOCTYPE HTML>'
                   || '<html>'
                   || '<head>'
                   || '<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">'
                   || '<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width">'
                   || '</head>'
                   || '<body style="background-color: #efefef; line-height: 1.5;">';

-- sending image as CID attachment
-- observe image src attribute src="cid:ironman.jpg"
-- email client will get the image from email attachments based on the content id specified
    l_img_html := '<h1>Below image is sent as inline attachment using 21.2 new inline attachments feature.</h1><img src="cid:ironman.jpg" alt="ironman"/>';
    l_body_html := l_body_html || l_img_html;
    l_body_html := l_body_html
                   || '</body>'
                   || '</html>';
    l_body := 'Please use HTML enabled email client to view this message.';
    l_id := apex_mail.send(
        p_to          => :P42_EMAIL_TO
        ,p_from        => ''
        ,p_body        => l_body
        ,p_body_html   => l_body_html
        ,p_subj        => 'Images as inline attachments'

-- here I am taking one image from "Static Application Files" uploaded in shared components 
-- p_content_id value should match with CID value specified at img src
-- p_content_id is new parameter added in APEX 21.2
    FOR img IN(
            filename = 'ironman.jpg'
            AND flow_id = :APP_ID
            p_mail_id      => l_id
            ,p_attachment   => img.blob_content
            ,p_filename     => img.filename
            ,p_mime_type    => img.mime_type
            ,p_content_id   => 'ironman.jpg'
-- optionally push email

Here is the link for the demo.

Thank you.


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