Domino® mail files

When you create a user account through the IBM® Domino® registration process, Domino® creates an IBM® Notes® database (NSF file) to serve as the user's personal message store. Each mail file database is created from a mail file template on a Domino® server. The server where the mail file resides is known as the user's home server or mail server. Users can access a Domino® mail file from a Notes® client, a Web browser, a POP3 client or an IMAP client or from multiple types of clients.

Mail databases support full-text indexing, encryption, replication, soft deletions, and archiving. Administrators can specify properties or policies to limit the use of these features on mail files.

For users who access mail primarily or exclusively from the Notes® mail client, you must create User IDs during registration. A User ID is not required if a user accesses mail only from a mail client other than the Notes® client. For example, although a user who accesses mail from an IBM® iNotes®, POP3, or IMAP client must have a Person document and Internet passwords, a User ID is not required. However, a User ID is required for iNotes® users who wish to work offline or read encrypted mail.

The router on a user's home server delivers incoming messages for the user to the mail file. Messages in a mail file may be stored in either Notes® rich text format (also known as Compound Document, or CD format) or MIME format. The format used depends on settings in the user's Person document. If a user's mail client opens or downloads a message that is stored in a format it cannot read, Domino® automatically converts the message. For example, if an IMAP client opens a message stored in Notes® rich text format, the Domino® IMAP service converts the message to MIME before passing it to the client.

In environments where all users access mail from Notes® mail clients, you might specify rich text storage. For users who always access mail from IMAP or POP3 clients, MIME storage eliminates the need to convert messages before they can be read. If you set a user's preferred storage format to Keep in sender's format, the Router does not change the format of messages before placing them in the mail file, so the mail file is likely to contain a mix of rich text and MIME messages.

By default, each user is considered to be the owner of their personal mail file, and as such, is granted Manager access in the mail file's Access Control List (ACL). Users with Manager access can delegate subsidiary access to their mail files to specified, trusted individuals from a Notes® client, iNotes® client, or Webmail client. For example, executives in an organization may allow their secretaries to read and send mail on their behalf.

To allow for mail delivery, the default ACL also grants Manager access to a user's mail server and other servers in the local Domino® Domain. The ACL provides no access to other users in the mail system.

During registration, the presiding administrator can assume Manager access of a user's mail file by resetting the mail file owner access from Manager to Designer. Users require a minimum of Editor access to their mail files to perform routine mail operations -- creating, sending, replying to, and deleting messages. Other mail file operations require greater access privileges. For example, users must have at least Designer access to create a full-text index.

To help manage disk space, you can set database quotas to restrict the mail file size. In the Configuration Settings document, you can enable the Router to withhold delivery of new mail when a mail file reaches its quota. The router continues to withhold mail until the user reduces the size of the mail file by deleting or archiving messages.

In addition to a user's primary mail file, users and administrators can replicate mail files to other locations. Administrators can create server replicas to provide failover. A user can create a local replica on a workstation or laptop and use it to work offline.

Notes® client users can create mail filtering rules to manage inbound messages. Administrators can use the Domino® Administrator and other standard Notes® database tools, such as Compact and Fixup, to perform a variety of maintenance tasks.