Browse Prior Art Database

Intermail and Commercial Mail Relay services (RFC1168)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000001980D
Original Publication Date: 1990-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2001-Oct-24
Document File: 19 page(s) / 40K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

A. Westine: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

The evolution of large electronic mail systems testifies to the increasing importance of electronic mail as a means of communication and coordination throughout the scientific research community.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 8% of the total text.

Network Working Group                                         A. Westine

Request for Comments: 1168                                    A. DeSchon

                                                               J. Postel

                                                               C.E. Ward

                                                                 USC/ISI

                                                               July 1990

              INTERMAIL AND COMMERCIAL MAIL RELAY SERVICES

STATUS OF THIS MEMO

   This RFC discusses the history and evolution of the Intermail and

   Commercial mail systems.  The problems encountered in operating a

   store-and-forward mail relay between commercial systems such as

   Telemail, MCI Mail and Dialcom are also discussed. This RFC provides

   information for the Internet community, and does not specify any

   standard.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

INTRODUCTION

   The evolution of large electronic mail systems testifies to the

   increasing importance of electronic mail as a means of communication

   and coordination throughout the scientific research community.

   This paper is a summary of the development of, and a status report

   on, an experiment in protocol interoperation between mail systems of

   different design. USC/Information Sciences Institute (ISI) began work

   on this experiment in 1981 and over the years has provided an

   evolving demonstration service for users to exchange mail between the

   Internet and a few commercial mail systems.

   Recently other organizations have begun to provide similar services,

   demonstrating the ongoing need for interoperation of the Internet and

   the commercial mail systems.  We believe that ISI's pioneering work

   in this area has promoted this expansion of service.

   These systems include the Internet mail system, the US Sprint

   Telemail system, the MCI Mail system, and the Dialcom systems. All of

   the systems were designed to operate autonomously, with no convenient

   mechanism to allow users of one system to send electronic mail to

   users on another system.

   The Intermail and Commercial Mail Relay (CMR) services described in

   this paper were developed to provide a means for sending mail between

   the Internet and these commercial mail systems.

Westine, DeSchon, Postel & Ward                                 [Page 1]

RFC 1168      Intermail and Commercial Mail Relay Services     July 1990

   The Internet is an interconnected system of networks using the SMTP

   mail protocol, which includes the ARPANET, MILNET, NSFNET, and about

   700 other networks; mail relays allow the exchange of mail with

   BITNET, CSNET, and the UUCP networks as well.  To the users, this

   Internet looks like one large mail system with at least 100,000

   computers and at least 400,000 users.  Figure 1 illustrates the path

   of a message sent by a user on one Internet host to a user on another

   Internet host.  For more details on the Internet and connected

   networks (see Appendix A).

   As commercial mail systems came into popular use, it became clear

   that a mail link between the Internet and the commercial mail systems

   was necessary (see Appendix B).  More and more commercial and

   research entities needed to communicate with the Internet research

   community, and many of these organizations (for one reason or

   another) were inappropriate candidates for Internet sites.  The

   Intermail and CMR services allow these groups to communicate wi...