RFC 1891 (rfc1891) - Page 1 of 31


SMTP Service Extension for Delivery Status Notifications



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Network Working Group                                           K. Moore
Request for Comments: 1891                       University of Tennessee
Category: Standards Track                                   January 1996


                         SMTP Service Extension
                   for Delivery Status Notifications

Status of this Memo

   This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the
   Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
   improvements.  Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet
   Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state
   and status of this protocol.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

1. Abstract

   This memo defines an extension to the SMTP service, which allows an
   SMTP client to specify (a) that delivery status notifications (DSNs)
   should be generated under certain conditions, (b) whether such
   notifications should return the contents of the message, and (c)
   additional information, to be returned with a DSN, that allows the
   sender to identify both the recipient(s) for which the DSN was
   issued, and the transaction in which the original message was sent.

   Any questions, comments, and reports of defects or ambiguities in
   this specification may be sent to the mailing list for the NOTARY
   working group of the IETF, using the address
   notifications@cs.utk.edu>.  Requests to subscribe to the mailing
   list should be addressed to notifications-request@cs.utk.edu>.
   Implementors of this specification are encouraged to subscribe to the
   mailing list, so that they will quickly be informed of any problems
   which might hinder interoperability.

   NOTE: This document is a Proposed Standard.  If and when this
   protocol is submitted for Draft Standard status, any normative text
   (phrases containing SHOULD, SHOULD NOT, MUST, MUST NOT, or MAY) in
   this document will be re-evaluated in light of implementation
   experience, and are thus subject to change.

2. Introduction

   The SMTP protocol [1] requires that an SMTP server provide
   notification of delivery failure, if it determines that a message
   cannot be delivered to one or more recipients.  Traditionally, such
   notification consists of an ordinary Internet mail message (format
   defined by [2]), sent to the envelope sender address (the argument of



Moore                       Standards Track


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