Simple Mail Access Protocol

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The Simple Mail Access Protocol (SMAP)[1] is an application layer Internet protocol for accessing e-mail stored on a server. It was introduced as part of the Courier suite, with the goal of creating a simpler and more capable alternative to IMAP.

Notable features of SMAP:

  • MIME attachments can be transmitted in their raw, decoded form. This allows large base64-encoded attachments to be transmitted without the 4:3 inflation that base64 encoding usually incurs.[2]
  • Support for sending outgoing e-mails through the SMAP connection, instead of using a separate SMTP connection to the server. An outgoing message only needs to be transmitted once to both send it and save a copy to a server-side folder.
  • Unicode folder names, with native support for hierarchy.
  • SMAP clients and servers can fall back to IMAP if the peer does not support SMAP.

As of 2005, SMAP is still considered experimental, and is only supported by the Courier server and Cone client.

See also[edit]

  • POP4, another attempt at creating a "simpler IMAP", by extending POP3

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Wang, Xiao Lei (2005). "Performance evaluations for multimedia applications over PR-SCTP" (PDF). University of British Columbia. pp. xii. Retrieved December 1, 2012. 
  2. ^ "SMAP". Retrieved December 1, 2012.