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Command Language for an IBM-X.400 Gateway

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000122145D
Original Publication Date: 1991-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-04
Document File: 2 page(s) / 92K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Gering, MF: AUTHOR [+5]

Abstract

The International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee (CCITT) X.400 Recommendations for Message Handling Systems (MHS) define a world-wide standard for electronic mail interchange. To enable users of current systems based on proprietary architectures to exchange messages with X.400 compatible systems, many vendors offer some form of gateway facility which performs a bidirectional conversion between the native system protocols and data streams and those defined by X.400. An inherent limitation of protocol conversions is that they are rarely without loss. The extent of the functional degradation depends on the specific semantic and syntactic mismatches between the respective architectures and protocols.

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

Command Language for an IBM-X.400 Gateway

      The International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative
Committee (CCITT) X.400 Recommendations for Message Handling Systems
(MHS) define a world-wide standard for electronic mail interchange.
To enable users of current systems based on proprietary architectures
to exchange messages with X.400 compatible systems, many vendors
offer some form of gateway facility which performs a bidirectional
conversion between the native system protocols and data streams and
those defined by X.400. An inherent limitation of protocol
conversions is that they are rarely without loss.  The extent of the
functional degradation depends on the specific semantic and syntactic
mismatches between the respective architectures and protocols.

      This article considers such a gateway solution, whose function
is to map X.400 addresses, protocols and encoded information types
to/ from those supported by IBM's Document Interchange Architecture
(DIA) and SNA Distribution Services (SNADS), as implemented by
current IBM products.  It describes a simple command language
technique to enable an originating IBM DIA user to cause the
generation of certain P2 header elements which would not otherwise be
possible by mapping from DIA/SNADS protocols.  (P2 denotes the X.400
Interpersonal Message content type and associated procedures, as
defined in Recommendation X.420)

      X.400 defines a set of capabilities which must be made
available to all originating users in order to conform to the
requirements of the X.400 Interpersonal Messaging (IPM) service.
Many of these can be mapped by the gateway from analogous functions
in DIA/SNADS.  However, there are several required user facilities
which have no counterpart in IBM DIA/SNADS products, as well as
others which, although non-mandatory, are nonetheless useful and
desirable.  To allow an originating DIA end user to invoke these
X.400 facilities, the following simple command language technique is
used:

      The sending IBM office system user can use the DIA "message"
operand (a 256-character maximum textual field) to convey special
"dot" commands to the gateway, which interprets them and generates
the corresponding P2 protocol elements in the outgoing X.400 message.
In addition, the user can also use the DIA message ope...