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I have a comprehensive internal web site for my company, which handles a lot of crm functions as well as other customized functions.

I am trying to integrate all needed aspects into this, and am currently stumped on the easiest way to implement email.

The ideal thing i am going for is to program a simple front-end email client - i do want to program this as it is integrated, though i can use something already made if it is fully customizable., but i want a basic generic email client, such as Microsoft Outlook, as a customizable web-app that i can fully integrate into my own application.

I don't know what the best and easiest backend (preferrably java) package there is, or if any really good exist, for doing this. Preferrably it is easily configured, i put in the basic settings:

pop/imap (even imap only is fine) incoming server authentication encryption method outgoing server authentication

and i get the basic interface of viewing, and replyhing to emails. Nothing complex at all. I do want full control of it as i need to be able to read the content of these emails into my own internal database to save them in computerized customer files, etc. etc. i can figure that out as long as i can find the best solution to fit my needs on the above.

Does anyone have any really, really, good suggestions on this?

share|improve this question

What you didn't say, but implied, is that you want open-source, yes?

I have never heard of this, but there's probably a simple version of it in the latest wiki software. If that doesn't pan out, I recommend trying sourceforge for a possible project.

Be sure to come back here and tell us what you find, if someone here doesn't give a great answer!

It's worth saying that the reason I don't think this is a common project are two: 1) most geeks I know don't particularly care for web-email, so it probably wouldn't occur to them, and; 2) it's really easy to do this yourself - a few days work maybe. I'd probably use PHP to do it and not bother to code the actual IMAP or POP code, just call it at a lower level...


Two relatively easy ways to handle the back end stuff come to mind, depending on platform.


The first, and in my view simplist (depending on existing infrastructure) would be to call the old command-line utility "mail." It's available on all 'nix systems - at least, I've NEVER heard of it missing! It is certainly on the latest Fedora Core, for example. You pipe mail into it and out of it, get a list of what's in there easily, too..

Just type "mail" at the system prompt and check your email! To find out how to use it, type:

man mail


The second way would be to use a programatic toolset like JavaMail. (Information on JavaMail can be found here. There is a complete API for it. There's an equivalent in C#, if you mgiht preferr. It should be noted, however, that this type of solution will require a substantially more involved framework. For example, to use JavaMail, you'll need to be able to run java applets, maybe Java Server Pages and the like. Other toolsets will also require more involved environments. If you were already programming in Java, that'd be the no-brainer way to go, but given that you're using PHP, converting won't be that much fun - you'd be better off doing your whole environment in that other toolset!

Good luck.

share|improve this answer
thanks for your answered, Richard. Yes, i did mean something open source - but your last paragraph hit it. I just don't know anything about the backend of an email setup - dont know where to start. I don't know where I could find/get the complex end of the pop / imap code - you see i just want to be able to make a front-end of a generic email system and not have to worry about the backend. whatever i am looking for, i would just take the backend code from. does this make sense? – David Caccavella Mar 12 '12 at 17:40
I have a highly detailed web-based system for dealing with our organization's public. From this one webapp you can already call (connects to asterisk), view profile data, write letters, message others on the system, etc. etc. I just want an email front-end that i can throw in as a module to the system, and dont know how to deal with the backend of it. As you said, ideally id like to turn the backend into a bunch of servlet calls that i can make http/ajax requests to and get and receive email from, in three days or less! – David Caccavella Mar 12 '12 at 17:47
see - would something like JavaMail do the trick - cover all of the backend and i just interface into it through web calls? Maybe these are dumb questions ive just never dealt with email guts and am an ajax/front-end/js specialist. – David Caccavella Mar 12 '12 at 17:53
@DavidCaccavella OOPS! After writing the update to my answer I just posted, I re-read your question and just realized I thought you were coding in PHP, but if it's an ajax front end, then switch to use JavaMail! – Richard T Mar 15 '12 at 15:32

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