RFC 744 (rfc744) - Page 1 of 6
MARS - a Message Archiving and Retrieval Service
Alternative Format: Original Text Document
NWG/RFC 744 JS5 8-Jan-78 21:59 42857 Network Working Group Joanne Sattley Request for Comments: 744 JZS@CCA NIC: 42857 8 January 1978 MARS - A Message Archiving & Retrieval Service I. Introduction ------------ This document describes a Message Archiving and Retrieval Service (MARS) which has been developed at Computer Corporation of America; it utilizes the Datacomputer, a network database utility developed by CCA for ARPA. [Research and development of a prototype MARS system was supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense, under the ARPA Very Large Databases program, and was monitored by the Office of Naval Research under Contract No. N00014-76-C-0991.] The Service is available, primarily, to groups for storage of teleconferencing transcripts. Is is also available, upon request, to individual ARPANET correspondents. There are both 'public' and 'private' messages in the database. Public messages may be retrieved by anyone. The public collection includes the messages of the Header-People [@ MIT-MC] group, and the MsgGroup [@ USC-ISI] proceedings. Private messages may be retrieved only by the users who have archived them, or anyone whose name appears on the list of message recipients. Messages archived using MARS are heavily indexed and can be retrieved in a variety of ways, including Boolean combinations of message recipients, message composition date, any text words in the message subject, and text words in the message body. The MARS facilities are integrated very naturally into the existing collection of message-handling tools: . A message is designated for archiving by sending it to MARS-Filer @ CCA using one of the usual message-mailing tools such as SNDMSG. . A message is designated for retrieval by sending a request as ordinary mail to MARS-Retriever @ CCA. The Filer program checks for mail every hour; the Retriever program checks every quarter-hour. The periodicity can be altered to meet demand but the intent is for MARS to operate as a background job and only during extremely low-activity periods. The next section (II) describes the indexing operation in greater detail, and how to archive and retrieve messages. The last section (III) is an extractable user card.