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Splitting email attached documents Disclosure Number: IPCOM000227403D
Publication Date: 2013-May-06
Document File: 2 page(s) / 31K

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The Prior Art Database


Big documents attached to an email normally represent a bottleneck of the email systems. This creates problems to the network bandwidth utilization, to the mail server/client storage size, to the cumulative turnaround time needed to send/receive the email. There are cases where there is a cumulative big document to be sent, but not all the receivers need a complete copy of it. Often each receiver is only interested in some parts of it. Current systems allow to store document copies on a Centralized Server and each client can access and download the copy stored there, but this does not resolve the network/transfer problems. Alternatively, the document is posted on the WEB (public or intranet) and just a link is provided, but this anyway has the same download constraints and requires WEB access.

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Splitting email attached documents

Hereafter is proposed a system that can help in case different mail receivers are interested only in specific parts of a cumulative document.

Once the system knows the document parts on which each user has registered interest, it can automatically split the original document and send to each receiver only a partial copy which includes the relevant parts. This reduces the size of the document sent to each receiver, requires less storage and less bandwidth for the transmission and helps reduce the turnaround time. This result can be very important for portable devices email receivers (like less powerful smart phones or netbooks) which might have storage or bandwidth constraints.

The system detects when the user (mail client side) is sending an email with a large attachment, (it can be detected based on documents metadata, like size, number of pages ...). The system also detects the type of attachment (based on the file extension, for example) and asks the user if he likes to send partial copies selectively to the users. If the user selects the split attachment option, then he specifies a range of document pages for each receiver he adds to the email TO, CC and BCC list. The range can be: ALL for the whole document, a pair of values (start-end), a list of pairs of values.

To enable this mechanism, the user sets a preference in the email program. In this way, before sending an email with attachment, the email program asks if a selective attachment sending must be performed. This mechanism can be enabled always, on demand or based on a threshold. For example if the attachment is a text document, a value 300-500 indicates to send only th...