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LEMONADE and P-IMAP: Terminology Getting Confused

LEMONADE and P-IMAP are both being promoted as open standards email technologies. We’ve seen a number of places where they are presented as being the same thing. But they’re different.

Both LEMONADE and P-IMAP relate to Internet standard email and in particular to IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) and SMTP (Simple Message Transfer Protocol):

  • LEMONADE is not a single standard, but an IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) working group on mobile messaging. The LEMONADE Group is working on a collection of related standards that extend SMTP and IMAP. Some of these are published and some are works in progress. An important milestone for LEMONADE is LEMONADE Profile 1, which is now approved (but not published). LEMONADE Profile 1 is a coherent set of published Internet standards that can be clearly referenced by mobile operators and a service target.
  • P-IMAP (Push IMAP) is a specification based on IMAP developed by Oracle. A number of Oracle partners have endorsed P-IMAP.

Oracle is active in the LEMONADE group, and has proposed all of the P-IMAP features to be a part of LEMONADE. As a consequence, some LEMONADE features are similar to P-IMAP features. Other P-IMAP features are unlikely to be incorporated in LEMONADE, primarily because different approaches will be taken to address the service requirements.

Steve Kille

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