IMAP4 Multimailbox SEARCH Extension
RFC 7377

Document Type RFC - Proposed Standard (October 2014; No errata)
Obsoletes RFC 6237
Updates RFC 4466
Last updated 2014-10-13
Stream IETF
Formats plain text pdf html
Stream WG state Submitted to IESG for Publication May 2014
Consensus Yes
Document shepherd Murray Kucherawy
Shepherd write-up Show (last changed 2014-06-03)
IESG IESG state RFC 7377 (Proposed Standard)
Telechat date
Responsible AD Pete Resnick
Send notices to appsawg-chairs@ietf.org, draft-ietf-appsawg-multimailbox-search@ietf.org
IANA IANA review state Version Changed - Review Needed
IANA action state RFC-Ed-Ack
Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                          B. Leiba
Request for Comments: 7377                           Huawei Technologies
Obsoletes: 6237                                              A. Melnikov
Updates: 4466                                              Isode Limited
Category: Standards Track                                   October 2014
ISSN: 2070-1721

                  IMAP4 Multimailbox SEARCH Extension

Abstract

   The IMAP4 specification allows the searching of only the selected
   mailbox.  A user often wants to search multiple mailboxes, and a
   client that wishes to support this must issue a series of SELECT and
   SEARCH commands, waiting for each to complete before moving on to the
   next.  This extension allows a client to search multiple mailboxes
   with one command, limiting the delays caused by many round trips and
   not requiring disruption of the currently selected mailbox.  This
   extension also uses MAILBOX, UIDVALIDITY, and TAG fields in ESEARCH
   responses, allowing a client to pipeline the searches if it chooses.
   This document updates RFC 4466 and obsoletes RFC 6237.

Status of This Memo

   This is an Internet Standards Track document.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has
   received public review and has been approved for publication by the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Further information on
   Internet Standards is available in Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7377.

Leiba & Melnikov             Standards Track                    [Page 1]
RFC 7377           IMAP4 Multimailbox SEARCH Extension      October 2014

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2014 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   1.1.  Conventions Used in This Document . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   2.  New ESEARCH Command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   2.1.  The ESEARCH Response  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   2.2.  Source Options: Specifying Mailboxes to Search  . . . . . .   5
   2.3.  Strictness in Search Matches  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   2.4.  Server-Side Limitations on Search Volume  . . . . . . . . .   7
   3.  Examples  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   4.  Formal Syntax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   5.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   6.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   7.  Changes since RFC 6237  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   8.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   8.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   8.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   Appendix A.  Acknowledgments  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11

1.  Introduction

   The IMAP4 specification allows the searching of only the selected
   mailbox.  A user often wants to search multiple mailboxes, and a
   client that wishes to support this must issue a series of SELECT and
   SEARCH commands, waiting for each to complete before moving on to the
   next.  The commands can't be pipelined, because the server might run
   them in parallel and the untagged SEARCH responses could not then be
   distinguished from each other.

Leiba & Melnikov             Standards Track                    [Page 2]
RFC 7377           IMAP4 Multimailbox SEARCH Extension      October 2014

   This extension allows a client to search multiple mailboxes with one
   command and includes MAILBOX and TAG fields in the ESEARCH response,
   yielding the following advantages:

   o  A single command limits the number of round trips needed to search
      a set of mailboxes.

   o  A single command eliminates the need to wait for one search to
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