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DCEmail: A Distributed E-mail System Design

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000109530D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-24
Document File: 2 page(s) / 120K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Mock, WE: AUTHOR

Abstract

DCE offers users a new view of traditional networked computers. A user is no longer tied to any particular node in the network. DCE's Distributed File System (DFS) allows a user to access his or her "home" directory from any machine in DCE. This single-system image creates a need for an e-mail system that is DCE aware. It should address the needs of DCE users.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

DCEmail: A Distributed E-mail System Design

       DCE offers users a new view of traditional networked
computers.  A user is no longer tied to any particular node in the
network.  DCE's Distributed File System (DFS) allows a user to access
his or her "home" directory from any machine in DCE.  This
single-system image creates a need for an e-mail system that is DCE
aware.  It should address the needs of DCE users.

      DCE is designed to allow unlike hardware platforms and
operating systems to communicate and share resources.  Each
individual OS has e-mail capability; however, the likelihood of these
different e-mail systems interacting is low.  Furthermore, since many
of these e-mail system were not designed with an environment like DCE
in mind, they do not take advantage of it.
Design Requirements
o  Send mail to any DCE user in your cell or any foreign cell
o  Receive mail from any DCE user in your cell or any foreign cell
o  Receive mail from other e-mail sources, for example, UNIX*, e-mail
o  Support typical e-mail functionality found in most e-mail systems,
message organization and archive, aliasing, etc.
Design Description

      DCEmail is based on the client-server model.  The server
process acts as a "post-office", collecting mail sent from users and
delivering it to the proper "address".  The client program
communicates with the server to send mail to other users and to
receive mail on behalf of its user.  The server program is referred
to as dcepod, for DCE post-office daemon, and the client program is
referred to as dcemail.

      The domain of a dcepod is the DCE cell which it is executing.
It handles all requests for the users that belong to its cell.  It
also must communicate with other cells' dcepod when it gets a request
to handle a message for a foreign user.  It simply becomes the client
of the foreign dcepod.  dcepod stores e-mail in a separate "mailbox"
for each user.  The "mailboxes" are located in DFS; this allows users
access to their own mailboxes from anywhere with DCE.

      dcemail, the client program, allows the user to send mail
messages to any DCE user by simply specifying the user's name.  For
example one would type dcemail wayne to send mail to wayne, who is
assumed to be in the same cell.  To send to foreign users one would
type dcemail/.../foreign_cell/wayne or dcemail wayne@foreign_cell.
In both cases the sender would be prompted to inpu...