JMAP open standard for email gets closer to replacing IMAP and SMTP

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) recently published the specifications for JSON Meta Application Protocol (JMAP), a modern open standard replacement for IMAP and SMTP, that makes communicating with email servers faster and more secure.


Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) was created before the onset of webmail and mobile access to the internet. As a result, IMAP performs poorly on slow networks and can also cause performance issues with email and webmail clients. Software companies have been forced to create proprietary protocols as an alternative to IMAP to fix those performance issues. For example, some developers are using intermediary connections (proxies) as a way to speed up its UX, but proxies aren’t a good solution because they add another layer that can create privacy and security concerns.

Five years ago, Fastmail created JSON Meta Application Protocol (JMAP) as a modern replacement for IMAP and Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). They designed it for 1) efficient use of network resources, 2) ease-of-use for developers, 3) alleviating the need for insecure proxies, and 4) to keep the next generation of email an open standard.

Fastmail recently announced that the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) published the public specifications for The JSON Meta Application Protocol and the version specifically for Mail. The published specs are meaningful because the IETF reviews, refines, and publishes high quality, fully open technical specifications that enable interoperability on the web. It sets JMAP up as the true open standard and modern replacement for IMAP and SMTP that isn’t hindered by proprietary protocols.

JMAP Features

The official JMAP site stated that their upcoming work includes adding contacts and calendars (replacing CardDAV/CalDAV).

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Jon Henshaw

Jon is the founder of Coywolf and the EIC and the primary author reporting for Coywolf News. He is an industry veteran with over 25 years of digital marketing and internet technologies experience. Follow @[email protected]