TL;DR: All systems are go. Here’s what you need to know to make it through the final countdown and migrate to an alternative before the Mandrill shutdown.
When Mandrill announced that they were shutting down as a stand-alone service and being rolled into MailChimp’s full-service product, a whole lot of developers took to the net to find a Mandrill alternative… and to tell us what they really needed in a developer-focused email delivery service. (Maybe you were one of them!) We listened—on Twitter, Reddit, Github—and took your feedback to heart.
New SparkPost Features to Help Developers Ahead of the Mandrill Shutdown
We knew we already had the core requirements nailed. SparkPost is just a year old, but we’d already built the industry’s highest-performing, scalable, and reliable email delivery service. As a developer-led company, we knew our APIs were a joy to use. (Really! Joy!) So, we were ready to get to work building some of the specific features and tools you and other developers asked for to make handling the Mandrill shutdown and conversion to SparkPost easier. Here are some of the highlights.
- MST3K Mandrill template converter. This Mandrill template translation tool is a lifesaver. Built by a team of engineers that went to work right away on the issue facing anyone wanting to convert off of Mandrill to SparkPost, this converter intelligently brings templates over from Mandrill to SparkPost. We’ve heard that in some cases this tool has saved around 90% of the time for dev shops to migrate. That’s awesome.
- Subaccounts. Devs spoke up and said you need subaccounts. We already had subaccounts on our roadmap, but we prioritized it to make life easier for Mandrill refugees. Our engineers went to work and released the first wave of subaccount functionality a few weeks ago. This past week, they released more. We’ve heard some innovative requests, and we’ll be rolling out more functionality around subaccounts in the coming weeks. Developer feedback is the gift that keeps on giving and we appreciate it.
- CSS inlining. CSS in email really isn’t much fun, and it turns out devs don’t like to deal with the CSS inlining requirements of email. Go figure. They’d rather a tool do that for them so we built them one.
- Forwarding service. We recently released the sp-forwarding-service for Heroku. It consumes inbound message webhooks and forwards them through SparkPost. It’s so new we haven’t even blogged about it yet! Stay tuned, and we’ll say more about it soon.
- Suppression list import. Developers who’ve been through a migration before know how important it is to bring over your current suppression lists. Our team wrote a command-line tool that makes it easy to import suppression lists from Mandrilll to SparkPost, without resorting to using the manual web UI.
- Test mode. There’s no undo when sending email. That’s why a test mode can give peace of mind while coding. You asked, and so we built it.
- Community Slack. We launched a SparkPost community Slack channel. You showed up. 👋 More devs keep joining. Community members have started helping other community members. We’re in awe of the knowledge and general awesomeness you’ve been sharing in the community channels. Thank you.
And Some Awesome Contributions from the Developer Community
The response from developers has been incredible. We’ve seen you take our platform to another level with your skills and willingness to contribute back to the community. Here’s some of the awesomeness:
- C# library. We hadn’t yet built a SparkPost C# library, but @darrencauthon on Github needed one. So, he built it and contributed it to the community.
- Drupal module. Github user @zaporylie wanted to use a SparkPost Drupal module, so he built one and gave it back it to the community.
I think you can see the pattern of community greatness. These are just a couple examples of many. Many other smart creative devs took on SparkPost for Ruby on Rails (ActionMailer; thanks @dgoerlich!) and SparkPost Python (many devs here… thanks @pegler, @mathiasose, @gnarvaja, @puttu, @svisser, @bartdag to name a few!), extended them, and made them better. There isn’t enough space in this blog post to list everyone that’s made meaningful contributions. Thanks to all these devs!
There’s one more contribution for a quick shout-out:
- Dev Chris Pitt felt there should be some video examples of programming SparkPost, so he created a set of walk-through videos. Thanks Chris, this is amazing. We heard from other users just how helpful your videos are!
With just one week left until the scheduled Mandrill shutdown, I wanted to take a breath and thank our developers and users for joining us on this journey. We’re going to keep trying our hardest to build the best and easiest to use cloud email platform, so that you can focus more on building your apps and services.
Your contributions and feedback have made SparkPost even better than before. It’s why we’re so happy to use the hashtag #WeLoveDevelopers. #AndWeDo.
P.S. Still need to do a last-minute migration to SparkPost before the Mandrill shutdown? We’ve got your back. Check out our Mandrill Migration Survival Guide for the essentials of what you need to make the transition as easy and reliable as possible.