Ok, here goes. I'm writing to ask for some help, like anyone else I suppose, but my situation is complex(for me at least) and I don't expect to get all the answers from this forum, but hopefully a point in the right direction. Ok, here's the situation...

I'm trying to start an online company and its architecture needs to be based on automation and organization as much as possible. I signed up for a PayPal account for accepting credit cards because I have terrible credit myself and cannot afford a merchant account. PayPal seems like a nice system but is very inflexible. When a customer orders from my site, PayPal sends me an email detailing the order. The only problem is I need to organize these orders in a MySQL database.

I'm a fairly competant PHP/SQL programmer (not speller obviously) but have no idea of how to parse email. I've read up as much as possible but it seems to me that most programmers assume too much knowledge on part of the reader, and to top that off, I am an EXTREMELY slow learner. But if taught correctly I can master most systems in a medium amount of time. I am considering hiring someone to write the script or perhaps just guide me through it but money is tight right now so I'm going to have a stab at doing it myself.

My website is Perl enabled and uses EXIM for email filtering..

The PayPal email looks something like this: (simplified)

You have received the following order:

Item: 1024
Amount: 5
Color: RED

Item: 1011
Amount: 1
Color: GREEN

The color aspect is most important since I need to organize items by color in order to drastically increase efficiency.

My main question is: How can I use the above format to detect when a new item is found (as in perl syntax) and how do I access a database and write information using perl. For example, the script should find the first item, write the order number to a db then go to amount and color and record those as well. Then it should find the next item in the list and repeat.

My secondary question, which is more Exim related and not appropriate for this forum: How does Exim interelate with Perl, and does this look like a job Exim could handle?

Well, I think that's it. I apologize for the verbosity of this message leading to two simple questions but I think I will have more questions in the future and it is good to update you on the background of my situation to avoid ambiguity. Thank you for you time and knowledge.