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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why msgparser when there is POIFS anyway?
Q: Can I modify .msg files?
Q: Why storing all attachments in memory?
Q: Can I access an attached .msg file as a byte array?
Q: There is "room for improvement". Can I help?
Q: I need more information. Where to get it?
Q: What's the quality of the code?
Q: Which Java versions are supported?
Q: Is it possible to access compressed RTF bodies?
Q: Is there any other alternative library?

Q: Why msgparser when there is POIFS anyway?
A: Apache POI - POIFS is a library for parsing the OLE 2 Compound Document format. As such a file, an .msg file contains internally something like a filesystem with folders and documents. msgparser provides the functionality to retrieve the most important information from these directories and documents. See fileformat.info for information about the internal structure of an .msg file.

Q: Can I modify .msg files?
A: Not with this library. You would have to resort to the Apache POI - POIFS library.

Q: Why storing all attachments in memory?
A: It is clearly not very nice to store all attachments in memory, because they may be really big. On the other hand, it is much more convenient and we are hoping that the JVM has more memory to offer than the mailserver is willing to accept as the maximum mail size.

Q: Can I access an attached .msg file as a byte array?
A: Not yet. See next question...

Q: There is "room for improvement". Can I help?
A: Sure. The msgparser is open source. Thus, you can download the source code and provide ideas or even patches.

Q: I need more information. Where to get it?
A: There is little information about the .msg file format in the Internet (apart from fileformat.info). If you know of any other source of information that would help to improve the code, please let us know.

Q: What's the quality of the code?
A: msgparser is used in productive environments. Unfortunately, we do not have the time and resources to test a wide range of .msg files. On the other hand, it worked smoothly for those we tested and if you really need such a library, there are not many other (free, open source) choices.

Q: Which Java versions are supported?
A: msgparser needs at least Java 5.

Q: Is it possible to access compressed RTF bodies?
A: Yes.

Q: Is there any other alternative library?
A: Apache provides with POI-HSMF also a library for reading the content of an Outlook MSG file.