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Please note: the statements on this page reflect the state of affairs at the time of the First Annual IMAP Meeting in early 1996. The IMAP Connection, however, contains regularly updated status, documentation, and implementation information on IMAP.

IMAP: The Internet Message Access Protocol

Brief Overview and History

Terry Gray
Director, Networks & Distributed Computing
University of Washington
gray@cac.washington.edu

IMAP: What is it?

  1. A client/server protocol for manipulating remote message stores.
  2. Part of the Open Internet Messaging Architecture:

IMAP Features

IMSP Features

IMAP Command Summary

IMAP History & Status

1986: IMAP conceived at Stanford University. Interlisp client and DEC-20 server implemented.
1987: IMAP2 defined; client & server updated. First Unix server implemented.
1988: First IMAP RFC published in July (1064). Initial work on C-Client library.
1989: Crispin hired by U. Washington.
1990: Revised IMAP2 RFC published in August (1176). C-Client based Unix server in November.
1991: MIME support added, forming basis of IMAP2bis. IMAP3 offshoot published in Feb. (since abandoned)
1992: IMAP2bis server deployed by UW. Pine 2.0 released with IMAP support. CMU begins AndrewII/Cyrus project.
1993: IMAP2bis I-D published in August. First VMS server implemented. IETF IMAP Working Group formed.
1994: IMAP4 RFCs published (1730-1733). IMAP4 approved as Proposed Internet Standard.
1995: First IMAP4 server released by CMU. IMAP4 C-Client and server implemented by UW. IMAP Consortium planned.

UW Environment

Please note: the statements on this page reflect the state of affairs at the time of the First Annual IMAP Meeting in early 1996. The IMAP Connection, however, contains regularly updated status, documentation, and implementation information on IMAP.



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