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How to Implement an IMAP Server on Top of a CouchDB/NoSQL Data Store?

Interesting question on SO:

To summarize my objective here, I am really just looking for a simple, opensource method which allows me to create and maintain a (preferably noSQL db) backup/archieve of one/more remote IMAP email accounts on a per user basis and sync each individual users email accounts using a simple, low cost solution which easily scales out, consumes server resources in an efficient maner with the ADDED ABILITY that each user needs to be able to connect to his central email archive by simply addingba new imap account to his existing email client using an imap server, username and password provided through this archive server/setup.

This reminded me of a GSOC project to design and implement a distributed mailbox on top of Hadoop HDFS as part of the Apache James project. The project description can be found on this JIRA ticket and more details here:

We need to implement mailbox storage as a distributed system on top of Hadoop HDFS. The James mailbox API will be used. A first step is to design how to interact with Hadoop (native api, gora incubator at apache,…) and deal with specific performance questions related to mail loading/parsing in a distributed system (use map/reduce or not, use existing local lucene indexes for search,…). The second step is to implement the HDFS mailbox (maildir mailbox is similar because is stores mails as a file and can be an inspiration). A single James server will still be deployed because we don’t have any distributed UID generation.

According to the last comments on the ticket, this project was completed Ioan Eugen Stan under Eric Charles’ mentorship.

Original title and link: How to Implement an IMAP Server on Top of a CouchDB/NoSQL Data Store? (NoSQL database©myNoSQL)