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A Universal Method for Managing E-Mail Attachments Disclosure Number: IPCOM000032972D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Nov-19
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Nov-19
Document File: 3 page(s) / 53K

Publishing Venue



E-Mail services currently lack a universal method for managing e-mail attachments. Mail servers and e-mail programs utilize large storage space to store both the e-mail and the e-mail attachments. The moment the e-mail author sends the e-mail with the attachments, the hosting mail server creates a storage space for the attachment until such mail reaches the intended recipient(s). With the growing popularity of e-mail communication in today's society, there has also been a growing need to send e-mail with a large size attachment to a group of recipients that may range from one to a hundred or more. Management of such large size attachments that may be distributed to many recipients across the continents pose storage problems, performance degradation and viral threats. This invention describes how to solve the problem of sending e-mail attachments with e-mails, introduces an effective and optimum method of storing attachments and accessing such using links in the e-mail.

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A Universal Method for Managing E -Mail Attachments


Consider a hypothetical example of an e-mail with a 400-page document attachment that is being sent to 120 recipients. Also consider having the recipients' mail and attachment stored on different e-mail servers. Assuming that there are 100 mail servers involved in this e-mail distribution. Each of the 100 mail servers receiving the e-mail will have to store the 400-page document and distribute them to the individual e-mail recipients. Figure 1 shows an example of 1.3 MB worth of e-mail attachments sent to 20 recipients. It will require a total of 1.3 MB * 20 recipients or 26.0 MB of storage space for this e-mail attachment.

The scenario just described also highlights the performance problem that causes networks to be bogged down by large attachments circulating with the e-mail. There is also the risk of proliferation of viruses because the attachment circulates to all the network links and mail servers and personal computers of the recipients.

Figure 1: Storage for e-mail attachments in today's environment lacks resource optimization

Today's Environment - Storage for e-mail attachments

E-mail Attachments

**An Example**

Total = 35.1 MB

Invention - A Universal Method for Storing E -Mail Attachments

The invention is a Universal Method for Storing E-Mail Attachments. This invention provides a universal mechanism where an e-mail program can send an attachment to a remote storage location that can either be centralized or distributed. It also provides a universal mechanism where an e-mail program can retrieve an attachment from a remote storage location that can either be centralized or distributed. Storing of e-mail attachment remotely and retrieving of such remotely allows storage resource usage to



















. 20

Storage Required on 20 Recipients = 1.3MB * 20 = 26.0 MB

Storage Required on 7 Servers = 1.3MB * 7 = 9.1 MB


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be optimized. Furthermore, remote storage of e-mail attachment frees the network from circulating large sizes of attachments that slows down network traffic. Storage resource optimization can be done by implementing the Web Services technology with e-mail attachments. The invention provides a capability to Virus Scan att...