Wednesday, September 4, 2002 08:36 AM
If you don't need to write a new application, then by all means, don't! It's always better to use a tool which already exists, if it meets your needs (Outlook Express, or Eudora, Pegasus, Netscape Mail, Mutt, any other available email client application). That approach is called "COTS" (for "Common Off-The-Shelf Software") and even big places like NASA have found it very useful as a project architecture strategy. You will do much better at meeting deadlines etc. if you maximize the use of COTS in your project.
API's are just for writing new applications. It wouldn't be a good use of someone's time, in my opinion, to use the JavaMail API just to write a new email client application which does nothing else, which doesn't improve on any COTS email applications (unless it's done as a learning/study project).
The value of the API is in having some other kind of application able to add embedded capability, to do email sending & reading, in the course of doing whatever else it does.
Like, maybe you are building a coffee espresso machine, and you can have it automatically email you, using the JavaMail API, when the coffee is done, or when it needs more milk, etc.
Or you are designing a new keychain for car keys, with a GPS receiver in it, so when you lose your keys, you push a "locator" button on your remote, and they can email you, using the JavaMail API, to tell you where they are
Or you are designing a new car, and have it use the JavaMail API to poll its own email mailbox, so you can email it to tell it where you are, to get ready to come and pick you up at the curb when you're ready, with the heat or air conditioning set to the right temperature, the driver's seat reclined just right, the mirrors adjusted, the radio/CD on the right tunes, etc.(please just acknowledge me in the credits :-)