IMAP4 Referrals

Document Type Expired Internet-Draft (individual)
Author Mike Gahrns 
Last updated 1997-04-22
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This Internet-Draft is no longer active. A copy of the expired Internet-Draft can be found at


When dealing with large amounts of users, messages and geographically dispersed IMAP4 [RFC-2060] servers, it is often desirable to distribute messages amongst different servers within an organization. For example an administrator may choose to store user's personal mailboxes on a local IMAP4 server, while storing shared mailboxes remotely on another server. This type of configuration is common when it is uneconomical to store all data centrally due to limited bandwidth or disk resources. Additionally, users may be frequently moved from one IMAP4 server to another because of hardware failures or organizational changes. Referrals allow clients to seamlessly access mailboxes that are distributed across several IMAP4 servers or to transparently connect to an alternate IMAP4 server. A referral mechanism can provide efficiencies over the alternative 'proxy method', in which the local IMAP4 server contacts the remote server on behalf of the client, and then transfers the data from the remote server to itself, and then on to the client. The referral


Mike Gahrns (

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