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Chapter 13. Handling Mail Services with JavaMail

by Joe McGuire and Gurpreet Singh Bhasin


You can add mail capabilities to your WebLogic Server applications with JavaMail. The JavaMail API provides access to the various mail protocols, enabling you to send, receive, reply to, and forward messages. You can also use it to develop fully functional email applications with capabilities similar to Eudora or MS Outlook. It does not, however, provide mail service functionality, so your applications must have access to a mail server to use JavaMail. That's not to say that you cannot develop your own SMTP or POP server, if you're so inclined, but you would need to use tools beyond the JavaMail API to do it.

If you've used JavaMail with WebLogic before, you know that you had to download and install the API as a separate package along with the JavaBeans Activation Framework extension (JAF). These would then be added to the WebLogic Server classpath and could then be accessed by your Java applications. WebLogic Server 8.1 now includes the JavaMail API and the JAF in the main WebLogic package weblogic.jar.

WebLogic Server 8.1 is compliant with the JavaMail 1.3 specification included with J2EE 1.3. However, WebLogic 8.1 ships with JavaMail implementation 1.1.3. The Post Office Protocol 3 (POP3) provider is not included in version 1.1.3, but is available in the following JavaMail API release (version 1.3). It's also available as a downloadable extension (more details on this are provided later in the chapter). The latest JavaMail implementation (1.3) can be downloaded from Sun's Web site at http://java.sun.com/products/javamail/.

This chapter is divided into two basic sections. The first part of the chapter provides an overview of the different mail protocols and the JavaMail API, and the second part shows you how to implement JavaMail into your own WebLogic applications.

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