A Directory-assisted e-mail System
Original Publication Date: 2002-Sep-15
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-21
Both e-mail and corporate directories are common technologies, and, in some cases, they are loosely coupled. For example, e-mail name lookup can be resolved in some (but not all) e-mail systems. However, there is a substantial amount of useful information in directories that is not accessible to e-mail systems. For example, a user might want to send e-mail to an both an employee and his/her secretary. Such cases force users to multiplex among applications to perform their jobs. The invention comprises the following components: an e-mail system, a directory system, a syntax for expressing directory relationships in the e-mail system and an e-mail/directory bridge (EDB) that links e-mail and directory. This article does not comment on either the base e-mail or directory systems, except to note the existence of e-mail systems such as Notes and Outlook, and corporate directories such as IBM's Bluepages. The inventive aspect of this invention is linking these applications, not reinventing them. The small number of required changes will be apparent from the discussion below.