Is it possible to store user contact/ address book in imap server?

Cyrus Daboo daboo at
Tue Jul 15 12:21:15 EDT 2003

Hi David,

--On Tuesday, July 15, 2003 04:30:24 AM -0400 "David H. Lynch Jr." 
<dhlii at> wrote:

| 	There is nothing special about contact/address book information.
| There is no reason you can not store contacts, tasks, calendar items,
| ... In any IMAP server you choose. All they are is specially formatted
| messages.
| 	The Problem is that there are no IMAP clients that can properly
| understand and treat those messages as contacts, tasks, ...

If you consider IMAP as a MIME store rather than a message store (the later 
is of course a subset of the former) then one can consider storing any type 
of data in IMAP. Obviously one could store vCards and vCalendar objects in 
messages and have special mailboxes for those to represent address books 
and calendars. The problem is there is no 'standard' way to do this, and 
without a formal standard to describe where those items go and how they 
should be managed, there is no way to guarantee interoperability between 
clients, which is of course essential.

IMAP also presents certain hurdles. In particular, messages in IMAP are 
immutable - i.e. you cannot edit the content of a message once it is in the 
mail store. The only option for editing addresses or calendar events then, 
is to delete/expunge the old item and append a new item. That leads to the 
possibility of race-conditions when multiple clients are being used at the 
same time.

Cyrus Daboo

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