Internet Message Protocol
RFC 759

Document Type RFC - Historic (August 1980; No errata)
Last updated 2013-03-02
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IEN: 113
RFC: 759
                                    
                                    
                                    
                                    
                                    
                                    
                       INTERNET MESSAGE PROTOCOL
                                    
                                    
                                    
                           Jonathan B. Postel

                              August 1980
                                    
                                    
                                    
                                    
                     Information Sciences Institute
                   University of Southern California
                           4676 Admiralty Way
                   Marina del Rey, California  90291

                             (213) 822-1511






August 1980                                                             
                                               Internet Message Protocol

                           TABLE OF CONTENTS

    PREFACE ........................................................ iii

1.  INTRODUCTION ..................................................... 1

  1.1.  Motivation ................................................... 1
  1.2.  Scope ........................................................ 1
  1.3.  The Internetwork Environment ................................. 2
  1.4.  Model of Operation ........................................... 2
  1.5.  Interfaces ................................................... 4

2.  FUNCTIONAL DESCRIPTION ........................................... 5

  2.1.  Terminology .................................................. 5
  2.2.  Assumptions  ................................................. 5
  2.3.  General Specification ........................................ 6
  2.4.  Mechanisms ................................................... 7
  2.5.  Relation to Other Protocols ................................. 10

3.  DETAILED SPECIFICATION .......................................... 13

  3.1.  Overview of Message Structure ............................... 13
  3.2.  Message Structure ........................................... 14
  3.3.  Identification .............................................. 15
  3.4.  Command ..................................................... 15
  3.5.  Document .................................................... 19
  3.6.  Message Objects ............................................. 20
  3.7.  Data Elements ............................................... 27

4.  OTHER ISSUES .................................................... 35

  4.1.  Accounting and Billing ...................................... 35
  4.2.  Addressing and Routing ...................................... 36
  4.3.  Encryption .................................................. 37

5.  The MPM:  A Possible Architecture ............................... 39

  5.1.  Interfaces .................................................. 39
  5.2.  MPM Organization ............................................ 40

6.  EXAMPLES & SCENARIOS ............................................ 45

  Example 1:  Message Format ........................................ 45
  Example 2:  Delivery and Acknowledgment ........................... 47

Postel                                                          [Page i]



                                                             August 1980
Internet Message Protocol
Table Of Contents

7.  SPECIFICATION SUMMARY ........................................... 55

  7.1.  Message Fields .............................................. 55
  7.2.  Deliver Message ............................................. 58
  7.3.  Acknowledge Message ......................................... 59
  7.4.  Probe Message ............................................... 61
  7.5.  Response Message ............................................ 62
  7.6.  Cancel Message .............................................. 64
  7.7.  Canceled Message ............................................ 66
  7.8.  Data Element Summary ........................................ 68

REFERENCES .......................................................... 69

  

[Page ii]                                                         Postel



August 1980                                                             
                                               Internet Message Protocol

                                PREFACE

This is the second edition of this specification and should be treated
as a request for comments, advice, and suggestions.  A great deal of
prior work has been done on computer aided message systems and some of
this is listed in the reference section.  This specification was shaped
by many discussions with members of the ARPA research community, and
others interested in the development of computer aided message systems.
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