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Self-terminated Email

Self-terminated Email

Self-terminated Email

Hi guys,

I was wondering whether there's such a thing as self-terminated email in Lotus Notes. Let say, you send an email to A and after he read it (or after ie one day), the email terminate / delete itself from A's database.

Can programming do that? Thanks for any ideas.

RE: Self-terminated Email

You can certainly modify your mail template to include such functionality.
There is only one way to do such a thing. You need to include a scheduled agent in the mail template, have it signed to execute on the server, and include a flag field in the Memo form that the agent will react to.
Inside your company, you will probably not have any issues with implementing this - once political agreement has been given.
Unfortunately, once a mail exits your company network, it will also leave behind the modification. There is no way you can expect a recipient outside of your company to agree to implementing your modifications - besides the fact that there is no way you can be sure that you are sending to a Notes mailbox in the first place (its even rather unlikely, given the number of Outlook clients).
Since there is no web standard concerning self-destroying email, it won't happen tomorrow either.

But you can do it for your own company, for whatever purpose that can serve.


RE: Self-terminated Email

Thanks for the explanation Pascal.

One more thing, given the methods u mentioned, it will work for all my outgoing emails right. what if i want it to be if only when i choose the function. is there such a way like i can select an option to allow that particular email to be self-terminated? (assuming Notes to Notes environment)

thank you.

RE: Self-terminated Email

Apparently we have a misunderstanding here, so I will stress my point :

It will not work for outgoing emails (messages that exit the company network). This feature can only be envisioned inside the company.

As for terminating only a particular email, when I said include a flag field in the Memo form, I meant for that flag field to be the element that triggers the agent.
It does not mean that that field will automatically be filled, therefor you can perfectly make it a selectable option for the user.

To be honest, I see no use for this kind of functionality. What you want to do, in effect, simply reduces mailbox clutter. It will serve no purpose for email that leaves the company, so the only area where it can be useful is in the company.
When you are in the company, you have two different methods to avoid mailbox clutter :

1) Purge all mail older than (timeframe), except those flagged for keeping
2) Archive all mail older than (other timeframe)

Both of these actions can be implemented rather quickly, and will not change much of anything for the user. The main advantage is, they can be implemented at administrator level (ie the admin is the only one allowed to set the schedule), whereas the self-destruct is an operation that depends on the user.

More on the user : you cannot rely on users to be 100% efficient. That means that a mail that should be set to self-destruct can be sent without that option. Setting the option automatically will not change the problem, it will just reverse it.
The problem with this little detail is that the decision is to be made quickly (before sending the mail), and cannot be corrected once the mail is sent.
Whereas a purge option is something that allows users time to decide and get organized before the cutoff date is reached.
You can even modify the purge process to not take into account user mailbox's for users that are on holiday (a bit more programming, but can be done).


RE: Self-terminated Email

thanks again Pascal. It will do.

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