Rest in peace Mail Rule Utilities!

Five years ago I posted an open source utility called “Mail Rule Utilities” on OpenNTF. I designed this utility when I was on the Lotus product development team. The primary function of the utility was to be able to run mail rules locally on your database. Using the same rules you created in the interface, the utility could run locally without a server involved. This made Notes usable for multiple email accounts in my opinion and is a feature that has been in Outlook for years.

I also blogged about it several times, even offering a download here on my blog for those not familiar with OpenNTF. Between the two sites the utility was downloaded over 7,000 times. Now, according to Mat Newman, it was announced in a session yesterday at IBM Connect that this function will be part of Notes 9.0.2! Here is the tweet in case you missed it:

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 8.12.52 AM




So, I will leave the utility out there for those still on 8.x and 9.0.1 for a bit so don’t worry, it’s not a total rest in peace statement but it’s coming. I had been contacted by the Notes dev team earlier this year and was actually excited this function was going to be put into the product. While the Mail Rule Utility was not a huge effort to support, I would infrequently get enhancement requests, some install issues, etc. Unfortunately I have found the open source concepts on OpenNTF is not truly “open source” as no one else really contributes to the authors projects.

In ending, I really do thank everyone for all of the kind words over the years and the dozens (probably more) of great emails stating they loved the plugin. Thank you, because that is what makes open source worth it!

You can read about the Mail Rule Utilities on the original DeveloperWorks article here.


3 thoughts on “Rest in peace Mail Rule Utilities!

  1. Doesn’t “Retrospective mail rules” just mean that the rules can be applied to exsiting messages versus only new ones? I don’t read Mat’s tweet to mean that the rules can run locally without a server.

    • Rules can run on ~5 levels.

      1) Antivirus/Spam/Rules SMTP Servers (Meaning filtered prior it reach the Mail Servers) [ This are normally only Company Rules]

      2) Internal Mail Routing Rules (Meaning filtered by the Mail Servers prior it reach End “User” Mail-Box) [ These Rules can be made both on Server Level (Company Rules), and Mail-Box Level ( Mail-Box/User Rules) ]

      3) Scheduled Agent or Event Agent on the Mail Server [Before new mail arrives/After new mail has arrived] ( Programming/Coding your know Formula/LotusScript/Java Mail Handling Rules) [ The old way for users to create Rules, and required Coding skills/understanding]

      4) Mail Client executed Download/Fetch Rules ( Meaning filtered during downloading from Mail Server to Client local mail-box) [ This normally a POP3/IMAP only Mail Client feature, and not a Feature found in most corporate Mail Clients, as most companies prefer to filter prior the mail fills up the Mail-Box]

      5) “Retrospective mail rules”, like 3) just done local on the Client and the Client Mail-Box (for POP3/IMAP after mails have been download/collected from Mail Server(s)), And on Eclipse your Java code can also be in a Widget/Plug-in (Like “Mail Rule Utilities”)

      So “Retrospective mail rules” means it will be applied to mails that exist in the End “User” Mail-Box, and normally only the Inbox. But this also means that keep your Inbox cleaned up (meaning do not keep all your mails in the Inbox, move it to Folders), as if you do not do this then execution the Rules will take longer and longer time, as more and more mails exist in the Inbox, and the Rules will be checked/executed on them all !.

  2. Bob, as a user of your plugin for years I would like to thank you for providing this valuable utility. Awesome work mate!

    @Alan: Yes, the feature announced at Connect is exactly what it says it is, create a new rule in the client, and then apply that rule to existing messages in one’s Mail database using the client. No different to the way Bob’s plugin works.


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