I was wondering if anybody here has any best-practice advice on what infrastructure software to use to send an e-mail message to hundreds or occassionally a few thousand people. The same list of recipients will never or hardly ever be used twice. I was thinking of just putting everybody in BCC, and let plain ol' Postfix handle the delivery, which is something that has worked out quite well in the past. But one of our sysadmins would prefer me to use SOAP calls to connect to a SYMPA listserver, create a temporary list, add all addressees to the list, send an e-mail to that list, and then remove the temporary list. His reasoning is that a listserver can better handle hundreds or thousands of addressees than postfix, sendmail, exim or whatever.
From a developer's perspective, creating lists for things that aren't really lists (they're used once and once only, they're not user-facing, you can't subscribe or unsubscribe to them) gives me the heebie-jeebies, but if that's really the best way to do things, I'd be happy to accede to his request. Which is why I landed up here: is it really so that sending a sizable volume of e-mail traffic straight through a regular mailserver is indeed a bad practice and to be avoided? If it's a bad practice, is the listserver solution a good idea? If not, any other suggestions?
Context: I work at a university and I'm currently developing an application that allows deans to send very targetted e-mails to groups of people, e.g. send a mail to all senior students in Chemistry who are over 30, to alert them of an exciting new program they are setting up for students who were previously active in the industry. They select those criteria in a simple web interface and send their mail via that same web interface.