Plain old Post Office Protocol (POP) is fine for just logging in and grabbing your e-mail from a dial-up service, but more elaborate mail-management and messaging solutions require a more capable protocol. The Internet Mail Access Protocol (IMAP) fits the bill by allowing you to pull off all sorts of mail-management tricks. With IMAP, a single user can see the same messages and folders on many computers, or multiple users (members of a sales team, say) can each integrate a common folder into their individual organisational hierarchies. Managing IMAP
shows how to perform these feats and many others, and presents a rigorous comparison of IMAP clients and servers.
On the server side, the book focuses on the University of Washington IMAP server--the standard implementation that IMAP inventor Mark Crispin wrote--and the feature-rich Cyrus IMAP server. The features of each are explained, in addition to how each integrates with its operating system. "Common Tasks" for each are covered, including details of precisely what system administrators have to do to establish access privileges on a mailbox, add users, set up shared folders and so on through their respective feature sets. Most of the how-to material takes the form of "type this, get that" listings, with plenty of annotation that explains what's going on. Later sections are platform-neutral, covering security (perhaps better covered in specialised texts), spam filtering and performance optimisation. Managing IMAP has done a great job of cataloguing and commenting upon the various IMAP administration utilities that exist. --David Wall
It's an invaluable resource for anyone faced with tasks as IMAP system provision, maintenance, administration, and performance tuning. -- Jeff W.Durham, Unix Review.com