Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) - MOVE Extension

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Document Type Active Internet-Draft (imapmove WG)
Last updated 2012-11-21
Replaces draft-gulbrandsen-imap-move
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Network Working Group                                     A. Gulbrandsen
Intended status: Standards Track                                N. Freed
Expires: May 25, 2013                                             Oracle
                                                       November 21, 2012

        Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) - MOVE Extension


   This document defines an IMAP extension consisting of two new
   commands, MOVE and UID MOVE, that are used to move messages from one
   mailbox to another.

Status of this Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

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   This Internet-Draft will expire on May 25, 2013.

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1.  Introduction

   This document defines an IMAP [RFC3501] extension to facilitate
   moving messages from one mailbox to another.  This is accomplished by
   defining a new MOVE command and extending the UID command to allow

   A move function is not provided in the base IMAP specification, so
   clients have instead had to use a combination of the UID STORE, UID
   COPY and EXPUNGE commands to perform this very common operation.
   This has meant needing to cope with partial failures and side effects
   that can occur when multiple commands are involved.

   The MOVE extension is present in any IMAP4 implementation which
   returns "MOVE" as one of the supported capabilities to the CAPABILITY

2.  Conventions Used in This Document

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

   Formal syntax is specified using ABNF [RFC5234].

   Example lines prefaced by "C:" are sent by the client and ones
   prefaced by "S:" by the server.


3.1.  MOVE Command

   Arguments: sequence set
              mailbox name

   Responses: no specific responses for this command

   Result: OK - move completed

           NO - move error: can't move those messages or to that name

           BAD - command unknown or arguments invalid

Gulbrandsen & Freed       Expires May 25, 2013                  [Page 2]
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3.2.  UID MOVE Command

   This extends the first form of the UID command (see [RFC3501],
   Section 6.4.8) to add the MOVE command, defined above, as a valid

3.3.  Semantics of MOVE and UID MOVE

   The MOVE command takes two arguments: a message set (sequence numbers
   for MOVE, UIDs for UID MOVE) and a named mailbox.  Each message
   included in the set is moved, rather than copied, from the selected
   (source) mailbox to the named (target) mailbox.

   This means that a new message is created in the target mailbox, with
   a new UID, the original message is removed from the source mailbox,
   and it appears to the client as a single action.  This has the same
   effect for each message as this sequence:

   1.  [UID] COPY



   Because a MOVE applies to a set of messages, it might fail partway
   through the set.  Regardless of whether the command is successful in
   moving the entire set, each individual message SHOULD either be moved
   or unaffected.  The server MUST leave each message in a state where
   it is in at least one of the source or target mailboxes (no message
   can be lost or orphaned).  The server SHOULD NOT leave any message in
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