All About Email Standards
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Standards for Internet Messaging
Proprietary messaging is bad, open messaging is good, right? Maybe, maybe not. Whether it is bad or not, many millions of users rely on proprietary messaging systems of one kind or another, and many more millions rely on open standard Internet messaging. Everyone wants to be able to communicate seamlessly and interoperable with each other.
Adopting open standards doesn’t necessarily have to mean implementing them; it can mean implementing whatever you want and then building modules that translate inbound standard messages into your proprietary formats and translate outbound proprietary messages into open standard formats.
Using standard formats in this way immediately reduces the task of building interoperable messaging gateways. Each proprietary email system implementer needs to build only its own pair of translators: one for inbound messages and the other for outbound messages. No one needs to bother with anyone else’s proprietary formats, and everyone should be able to correctly interpret inbound open standard messages.
This system works only if everyone understands the standards. The five general categories in which open standards are applied to Internet messaging are discussed below..