Yesterday we (WireLoad) launched a new service named YippieMove. The idea of the product is to ease the pain of leaving an email account behind. Most of us have probably been in that situation at least once. For most users, the options are limited to:
- Forwarding all emails, one by one. This is not a very appealing solution because it’s very time consuming, but also because it ruins the integrity of the emails by inserting a forwarding tag.
- Just forget about the messages and let them be deleted when the account expires. This is obviously not a very appealing solution either.
- Setting up the account in a desktop email client and drag and drop the messages. Not only is this very slow, but it’s also too complicated and error prone for the greater majority of the users.
If you’re really tech-savvy, you know that there are a few different tools you can use for this. However, as I recently was in this situation myself I realized that none of them worked out very well. After some research I discovered that there were only a few Open Source tools that could do the task. Out of these, Imapsync and imapcp seemed to be the most realistic tools. However after playing with these tools for a while, I realized that imapcp was to immature, and Imapsync was just too slow and too memory consuming (also, I was looking for a tool that copied the messages, hence the ‘sync’ part was just plain overkill). Because if this, we developed our own solution and turned it into a web app.
Even for tech-savvy users, YippieMove is a reasonable option, as it does what the Open Source tools mentioned above does (but without the hassle of figuring out how to use them). However, if you’re migrating hundreds or thousands of accounts, YippieMove might not be the best option….yet.
When we designed YippieMove, we tried to make it easy enough to use for even the most novice users, but at the same time provide the option that tech-savvy users are looking for. So far, judging by the feedback we’ve received, we have succeeded.
So how does YippieMove work? Well, we decided that everything more than three steps makes the service too complicated. Thus we created a simple three-step-process.
In Step 1 we ask you for the account details for the source account. You can either choose to use one of the pre-configured settings, or ‘other,’ where you can fill in the server settings yourself.
Here’s an example of how Step 1 looks using the pre-configured settings for Santa Clara University.
Here’s an example of how Step 1 looks with the ‘Other’ option. As you can see, you can enter the host yourself as well as selecting if you want to use SSL or not. For tech-savvy users, we also allow you to specify a non-default port.
In Step 2 we ask you to fill out the account details for the destination account. At this point we only support Gmail as the destination. However, we will be adding more types of destinations shortly. The argument for initially using Gmail as a destination was that Gmail both supports IMAP and that it has generous storage quotas. Unfortunately the IMAP setting in Gmail is disabled by default. To solve this, we provide a simple guide below the input-boxes where we explain how the user can enable IMAP.
As you can see above, this step is very straight forward.
Here we ask you to select what folders to transfer. This is very simple for the more tech-savvy user, but might be a bit confusing for the most novice users. To cope with this problem, we’ve tried to make an educated guess of what folders the user may want to transfer. To be safe, we worked out a list of folders to exclude (ie. Junk, Spam, Trash), rather than a list of folders to include. For most users, the default selection should be sufficient.
In this screenshot you can see that we’ve selected ‘Apple Mail To Do,’ ‘Drafts’ and ‘INBOX.’ We decided to not include ‘Cabinet,’ ‘Calendar’ and ‘Checklist’ as these are Novell GroupWise specific folders.
And You’re Done…
In three easy steps, you’ve successfully managed to migrate your email. I hope we’ve shown in this article that YippieMove is designed for the entire spectrum of users, from the most novice to most tech-savvy. If you have any comments or feedback, please let us know.
Author: Viktor Petersson Tags: WireLoad