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UEAS Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is UEAS?
2. Another web-mail service? Bah...
3. So, you mean I can use my voice too!?
4. What are the requirements?
5. Where do I get it?
6. How do I install and configure it?
7. Right, I got it running... How do I add users?
8. Are there any bugs?

1. What is UEAS?

UEAS stands for Universal Email Access Service. It is a service that allows users to have access to their POP or IMAP-based email accounts from virtually any kind of device. Currently access for HTML devices, WAP/WML devices and VoiceXML has been implemented, but more can be easily added without having to change any single bit of the code. That flexibility is provided but the template engine that on top of which the application is built.

The main advantage of UEAS in front of any of the other web-based email services is that it is only a single application which provides the support for all the different devices. It is built on Sun's Java and needs of a servlet container such as Tomcat.


2. Another webmail service? Bah...

The main advantage of UEAS is that it is not simply a webmail service. It has already been pointed out before that the single application or block of code provides support for virtually any kind of device. New device types can be added at any time and the only thing that needs to be provided are the templates that render the code for the device. As a reference implementation, the standard distribution comes with support for (X)HTML devices (browsers and some modern handsets), WAP-enabled devices and even VoiceXML, so that the user can have access to their mailboxes using his or her voice.

An all-in-one solution eliminates all the hassle of dealing with three different applications for the same purpose. At the time of starting the project no other application was found to be capable of providing such integration.

Another important feature of UEAS is that from the development point of view, it can be easily improved.


3. So, you mean I can use my voice too?

Yes, support for VoiceXML is provided with the standard distribution. However at the moment of writing this, VoiceXML is the less developed platform because testing it is not as easy as with HTML or WML.

In order to use the voice access at least a test phone number and a voice network provider are needed. These voice network providers usually have all the necessary infrastructure to run such applications, which is normally made up by a piece of software called the VoiceXML gateway, and the connectivity to the telephonic network. That connectivity allows them to provide customers with special numbers so that they can call in and use the application. As this is maybe too much hassle, almost all of them provide with a web-based development environment and a "free" test number where developers can call in and test the application. (It is not really free unless the voice network provider has an agreement with any of the operators in your country. Most of the voice network providers are established in the US)

The idea of providing a voice-based email access was the pre-idea that brough UEAS to life. Some research was being done by me at that time on VoiceXML and it turned out to be quite a promising technology, so it was decided to use it for something else than online-booking systems. Hopefully while designing the voice-based email service application it was seen that with just a little bit of more effort, the whole application could be used to provide different output depending on the client's platform. And UEAS was born.


4. What are the requirements?

On the development side, UEAS is built with Java and depends on some external libraries. This is the list of libraries that UEAS depends on:

Velocity Template Engine
Java Management Extensions (JMX/JRI)"
MySQL JDBC Connector

On the deployment side, alongside with the above-mentioned libraries, the following pieces of software are required:
Java2 Standard Edition 1.4.1
Jakarta-Tomcat Servlet Engine
MySQL server

UEAS is developed in Java, so it should run in any architecture as long as there is JVM for that particular architecture. Therefore, if all these requirements are met there should be no problem in getting UEAS up and running.


5. Where do I get it?

The latest release of the software can be downloaded from the project page at sourceforge: New releases are added often so stay tuned!


6. How do I install it?

There a whole document dedicated to how to install UEAS. Please refer to that document for more information on how to install and configure UEAS in your system. The document can be found here.


7. Right, I got it running... How do I add new users?

It was considered no necessary for this project to take care of adding new users to the system so that they can use the service. Therefore a second servlet, adduser was created. The adduser servlet only supports HTML access and will insert a new user into the database. Every user can have more than one email account but that possibility is not accepted yet.

The adduser servlet is built on the same template engine as UEAS is, so customizing and adapting the template to our needs should be as easy as editing the HTML code. A custom service could be developed for that purpose as long as the right data is inserted in the right place in the database for UEAS.

Releases for the adduser servlet can be found in the project page as UEAS.

8. Are there any bugs?

Of course there are! Please check the Bugs section in the project page in SourceForge, here.


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