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Intelligent handling and management of e-mail attachments Disclosure Number: IPCOM000248590D
Publication Date: 2016-Dec-20
Document File: 4 page(s) / 73K

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The Prior Art Database


Disclosed is a method which describes how to intelligently store e-mail attachments, for example in a directory structure reflecting a classification of random subjects. This classification can be based on keywords and/or history data for example and allows fast attachment search and retrieval.

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Intelligent handling and management of e -mail attachments

Disclosed is a method and apparatus to intelligently store attachments in a location, for example in a directory structure, which reflects a classification of random subjects. The classification can be based on keywords and/or history data for example. The apparatus suggests a location to store a new attachment or asks the user to add a new location. The name of the actually used location (directory/folder and so on) is automatically saved in the e-mail. The location can be local to an e-mail client or global in 'the cloud'. Search and retrieval for an attachment and its contents is fast and straightforward, as its location is stored in the mail and can directly be used for the search. Storage space and network traffic is reduced.

Current e-mail attachment tools like the ones of Lotus Notes, Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird store e-mail attachments into one big attachment repository, which is a general location only.

Available attachment handlers offer the following functions and do: Delete an attachment from the e-mail and store it into one flat, big attachment  folder Add, for example, a document link to the attachment in the e-mail. This link does  not reflect any information on the location of the attachment either in the local file system of a computer or in the cloud. It also has no other information on the attachment contents or the e-mail contents like subject, sender, and so on. Others allow the user to save/delete an attachment for example to a folder  without any information about the location of the saved attachment in the e-mail.

Drawbacks of such attachment handling are: There is no tool supported location structuring. Even if an user does a location 1. structuring manually, he has to remember and find the appropriate location each time he/she wants to save/detach an attachment there. The idea of location structuring is for example that if a Lotus Notes e-mail is saved to the folder for customer X, then an attachment for customer X is saved in the file system / cloud in a location (directory/folder and so on) also named ‘customer X’. Outlook allows to manually create folders, but does not add any information about a saved attachment or its location.

A 'mass' operation on attachments is cumbersome. 2. For example, an e-mail user receives regularly e-mails with an attachment, for example his/her payroll, which is stored for example from the Lotus Notes


attachment tool in the "attachment repository". If the user wants to print, download/store or resend all the payrolls from the last year, this is very time consuming as he/she has to open each e-mail again, click on the link to the attachment and then run the operation. No single search operation for mail and attachments is possible, if attachments are saved, either thru the MyAttachments tool or if manually saved. Search must be done in the mail client and another search in the "attachment repository", probab...