Browse Prior Art Database

Mail Address Change Notification

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000103591D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-18
Document File: 3 page(s) / 162K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Clark, DK: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

A mechanism is described which provides a means to automatically change out of date electronic mail addresses that are contained within a user's Address Book and/or Nickname List.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 41% of the total text.

Mail Address Change Notification

       A mechanism is described which provides a means to
automatically change out of date electronic mail addresses that are
contained within a user's Address Book and/or Nickname List.

      A problem that mail system users have is when users change
their mail address, such as User ID and Node ID.  The problem occurs
when a user changes his mail address, such as User ID and Node ID,
and other users try to send mail to the user's original address.

      For example, User B finds it convenient and time-saving to
define several of his frequently-used mail recipients in a Mail
Address Book, also known as a Mail Directory.  User B can use a
nickname for each recipient, and then define a User ID and Node ID
for each nickname.  Then, when sending mail, User B can simply enter
the nickname of the intended recipient, which is easier for User B to
remember.

      When the mail is sent, the mail system automatically looks
through the list of recipients, identifies that a nickname is used,
and then resolves the nickname into a mail address by looking into
the Mail Address Book, locating the User ID and Node ID, and
inserting the mail address information into the routing list for the
piece of mail.  If User B had previously defined a nickname of HARRY
with a User ID and Node ID of USER01 and NODE01, then he could enter
HARRY without remembering Harry's actual mail address.  Later the
system would insert USER01.NODE01 as the actual mail address.

      However, User B will have a problem when Harry moves to a
different mail address (for example, USER20 at NODE15).  If User B
continues to use the nickname HARRY, then the mail would continue to
be sent to USER01 at NODE01.  Two possibilities would result: If
USER01 was deleted, then User B would get a message saying that
USER01.NODE01 does not exist.  Or if USER01 was not deleted, but no
one was using the account anymore, then the mail would arrive at
USER01 and no one would probably log on to receive it.

      Ultimately, User B must (manually) change his Mail Address Book
information to reflect the new mail address for Harry.  If a lot of
people have Harry in their Mail Address Books, then each one would
have to perform this update manually.

      There are several approaches to solving this problem.  For
instance, a special feature in the mail system could be introduced to
watch for mail destined to USER01 at NODE01 and automatically reroute
it to the new address.  This approach is very useful for an initial
time frame, as the address-change is first instituted.  However, the
list of address-changes to monitor will grow and ultimately reduce
performance.  As long as the old address information remains in
various people's Mail Address Books, then the potential for
improperly-addressed mail will exist.  Furthermore, this method will
not be effective in getting mail to the intended recipient if the
original User ID is deleted...