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CN1115642C - 电子邮件网关 - Google Patents

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CN1115642C
CN1115642C CN 98808133 CN98808133A CN1115642C CN 1115642 C CN1115642 C CN 1115642C CN 98808133 CN98808133 CN 98808133 CN 98808133 A CN98808133 A CN 98808133A CN 1115642 C CN1115642 C CN 1115642C
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electronic
mail
network
gate
electronic mail
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CN 98808133
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CN1269034A (zh )
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斯蒂芬·J·H·欧文斯
迈克尔·S·芬尼
迈克尔·L·斯奈德
兰德尔·S·赖特
詹姆斯·W·佩因特
罗宾·R·巴德
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克兰贝里资产有限公司
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q10/00Administration; Management
    • G06Q10/10Office automation, e.g. computer aided management of electronic mail or groupware; Time management, e.g. calendars, reminders, meetings or time accounting
    • G06Q10/107Computer aided management of electronic mail
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L51/00Arrangements for user-to-user messaging in packet-switching networks, e.g. e-mail or instant messages
    • H04L51/06Message adaptation based on network or terminal capabilities
    • H04L51/066Message adaptation based on network or terminal capabilities with adaptation of format
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L51/00Arrangements for user-to-user messaging in packet-switching networks, e.g. e-mail or instant messages
    • H04L51/14Arrangements for user-to-user messaging in packet-switching networks, e.g. e-mail or instant messages with selective forwarding
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L51/00Arrangements for user-to-user messaging in packet-switching networks, e.g. e-mail or instant messages
    • H04L51/36Unified messaging, e.g. interactions between instant messaging, e-mail or other types of messages such as converged IP messaging [CPM]
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M3/00Automatic or semi-automatic exchanges
    • H04M3/42Systems providing special services or facilities to subscribers
    • H04M3/50Centralised arrangements for answering calls; Centralised arrangements for recording messages for absent or busy subscribers ; Centralised arrangements for recording messages
    • H04M3/53Centralised arrangements for recording incoming messages, i.e. mailbox systems
    • H04M3/5307Centralised arrangements for recording incoming messages, i.e. mailbox systems for recording messages comprising any combination of audio and non-audio components
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M3/00Automatic or semi-automatic exchanges
    • H04M3/42Systems providing special services or facilities to subscribers
    • H04M3/50Centralised arrangements for answering calls; Centralised arrangements for recording messages for absent or busy subscribers ; Centralised arrangements for recording messages
    • H04M3/53Centralised arrangements for recording incoming messages, i.e. mailbox systems
    • H04M3/533Voice mail systems
    • H04M3/53333Message receiving aspects
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N1/00Scanning, transmission or reproduction of documents or the like, e.g. facsimile transmission; Details thereof
    • H04N1/00127Connection or combination of a still picture apparatus with another apparatus, e.g. for storage, processing or transmission of still picture signals or of information associated with a still picture
    • H04N1/00204Connection or combination of a still picture apparatus with another apparatus, e.g. for storage, processing or transmission of still picture signals or of information associated with a still picture with a digital computer or a digital computer system, e.g. an internet server
    • H04N1/00209Transmitting or receiving image data, e.g. facsimile data, via a computer, e.g. using e-mail, a computer network, the internet, I-fax
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
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    • H04N1/00127Connection or combination of a still picture apparatus with another apparatus, e.g. for storage, processing or transmission of still picture signals or of information associated with a still picture
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    • H04N1/00209Transmitting or receiving image data, e.g. facsimile data, via a computer, e.g. using e-mail, a computer network, the internet, I-fax
    • H04N1/00212Attaching image data to computer messages, e.g. to e-mails
    • HELECTRICITY
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    • H04N1/00127Connection or combination of a still picture apparatus with another apparatus, e.g. for storage, processing or transmission of still picture signals or of information associated with a still picture
    • H04N1/00204Connection or combination of a still picture apparatus with another apparatus, e.g. for storage, processing or transmission of still picture signals or of information associated with a still picture with a digital computer or a digital computer system, e.g. an internet server
    • H04N1/00209Transmitting or receiving image data, e.g. facsimile data, via a computer, e.g. using e-mail, a computer network, the internet, I-fax
    • H04N1/00214Transmitting or receiving image data, e.g. facsimile data, via a computer, e.g. using e-mail, a computer network, the internet, I-fax details of transmission
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N1/00Scanning, transmission or reproduction of documents or the like, e.g. facsimile transmission; Details thereof
    • H04N1/00127Connection or combination of a still picture apparatus with another apparatus, e.g. for storage, processing or transmission of still picture signals or of information associated with a still picture
    • H04N1/00204Connection or combination of a still picture apparatus with another apparatus, e.g. for storage, processing or transmission of still picture signals or of information associated with a still picture with a digital computer or a digital computer system, e.g. an internet server
    • H04N1/00209Transmitting or receiving image data, e.g. facsimile data, via a computer, e.g. using e-mail, a computer network, the internet, I-fax
    • H04N1/00214Transmitting or receiving image data, e.g. facsimile data, via a computer, e.g. using e-mail, a computer network, the internet, I-fax details of transmission
    • H04N1/00217Transmitting or receiving image data, e.g. facsimile data, via a computer, e.g. using e-mail, a computer network, the internet, I-fax details of transmission only involving computer data transmission protocols, e.g. SMTP, WAP or HTTP
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N1/00Scanning, transmission or reproduction of documents or the like, e.g. facsimile transmission; Details thereof
    • H04N1/32Circuits or arrangements for control or supervision between transmitter and receiver or between image input and image output device
    • H04N1/32358Circuits or arrangements for control or supervision between transmitter and receiver or between image input and image output device using picture signal storage, e.g. at transmitter
    • H04N1/324Circuits or arrangements for control or supervision between transmitter and receiver or between image input and image output device using picture signal storage, e.g. at transmitter intermediate the transmitter and receiver terminals, e.g. at an exchange
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N1/00Scanning, transmission or reproduction of documents or the like, e.g. facsimile transmission; Details thereof
    • H04N1/32Circuits or arrangements for control or supervision between transmitter and receiver or between image input and image output device
    • H04N1/32358Circuits or arrangements for control or supervision between transmitter and receiver or between image input and image output device using picture signal storage, e.g. at transmitter
    • H04N1/324Circuits or arrangements for control or supervision between transmitter and receiver or between image input and image output device using picture signal storage, e.g. at transmitter intermediate the transmitter and receiver terminals, e.g. at an exchange
    • H04N1/32406Circuits or arrangements for control or supervision between transmitter and receiver or between image input and image output device using picture signal storage, e.g. at transmitter intermediate the transmitter and receiver terminals, e.g. at an exchange in connection with routing or relaying, e.g. using a fax-server or a store-and-forward facility
    • H04N1/32411Handling instructions for routing or relaying
    • H04N1/32416Storage of instructions or retrieval of prestored instructions
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L51/00Arrangements for user-to-user messaging in packet-switching networks, e.g. e-mail or instant messages
    • H04L51/12Arrangements for user-to-user messaging in packet-switching networks, e.g. e-mail or instant messages with filtering and selective blocking capabilities
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M2201/00Electronic components, circuits, software, systems or apparatus used in telephone systems
    • H04M2201/60Medium conversion
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M2203/00Aspects of automatic or semi-automatic exchanges
    • H04M2203/30Aspects of automatic or semi-automatic exchanges related to audio recordings in general
    • H04M2203/301Management of recordings
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M2203/00Aspects of automatic or semi-automatic exchanges
    • H04M2203/45Aspects of automatic or semi-automatic exchanges related to voicemail messaging
    • H04M2203/4509Unified messaging with single point of access to voicemail and other mail or messaging systems
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M2203/00Aspects of automatic or semi-automatic exchanges
    • H04M2203/45Aspects of automatic or semi-automatic exchanges related to voicemail messaging
    • H04M2203/4536Voicemail combined with text-based messaging
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N2201/00Indexing scheme relating to scanning, transmission or reproduction of documents or the like, and to details thereof
    • H04N2201/0077Types of the still picture apparatus
    • H04N2201/0086Image transceiver
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10STECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10S707/00Data processing: database and file management or data structures
    • Y10S707/99931Database or file accessing
    • Y10S707/99939Privileged access

Abstract

一种用于电子邮件、语音邮件和传真邮件综合通讯的系统。确定了为电子邮件服务和电信服务所使用的公共消息格式,这样包含语音邮件和传真邮件的电子邮件消息可在两种服务间进行交换。消息发送者和接收者可在各种过滤器和发送选项中进行选择,这些选项允许他们管理自己的通讯,并可指定在电子邮件或电信服务内的消息接收优先选择。这些选项被用于确定应用于入境和出境消息的一套法则,这样根据发送者和接收者的优先选择可发送和接收消息。

Description

电子邮件网关

本发明基本涉及诸如电子邮件(e-mail)、语音邮件和传真(Fax)邮件消息接发的通讯技术。本发明特别涉及一个用于综合通讯的电子邮件网关(gateway),以便于获取电子邮件、语音邮件和传真邮件消息。

现今的通迅技术允许个人在一天内的任意时间从世界上的任意地区向其他人发送消息。现在可利用的通迅方式(例如,电话,计算机)和通迅媒体(例如,电子邮件,语音邮件,传真邮件)的多样性允许个人选择一种适合于环境的通迅方式。

总之,如今的消息发送者可以在各种各样的通迅媒体之中进行选择,而消息接收者则受到消息发送者所选选项的限制。如果,发送者用电话留下语音邮件消息,则要求消息接收者也使用电话来恢复这个语音邮件消息。如果,发送者使用计算机发送一个电子邮件消息,那么就要求消息接收者使用计算机来恢复这个电子邮件消息。有时,消息接收者可能无法恢复某一消息,因为所利用的通迅方式不能用于恢复该消息。在其它的情况下,即使一个消息接收者已经拥有电话、计算机,或者一些其它的通迅设备,他也可能更喜欢使用一种设备而不是其它设备。例如,接收者可能将他的大部分工作日花费在计算机上,并且因此更喜欢使用他的计算机来恢复所有入境消息(inbound messages)一而不管这些消息的原始通迅媒体。

在消息发出之后无法改变消息媒体(或者不能使用非发送者所选通迅方式),这给消息发送者和消息接收者带来不必要的负担。发送者和接收者被要求在通迅之前选择一种通迅方式,这样可确保双方及时接收信息。如果在选择媒体之后的任意时刻,接收者的环境发生改变并且接收者不能通知发送者这一变化,则接收者会冒险丢失发送者的信息,因为该消息不能用另外的通讯方式来获取。此外,消息接收者还不能使用单一的通讯方式或设备来恢复所有的入境消息,这导致了额外的负担。比如,当接收者被要求在用于恢复语音邮件消息的电话和用于恢复电子邮件消息的计算机之间进行切换时,接收者会感到十分不便。

已经引入的技术提出,不同通讯媒体的广泛使用增加了许多不便之处。例如,文语转换(TTS)技术允许消息接收者听到电子文本消息。然而,通常消息接收者被要求将这一技术并入他们自己定制的电信/计算机环境。不同媒体中的消息(例如,电子邮件,语音邮件,传真邮件)还不能被无缝并入,从而使得消息接收者可以仅选择一种喜欢的消息发送媒体,并且由此可对所有输入或入境的消息进行处理。

本发明提出现有通讯技术中的局限性,这种局限性要求接收者依据预定的通讯媒体或依据发送者所选通讯方式来恢复消息。本发明是一种无缝结合的通讯系统,该系统将电子邮件、语音邮件、传真邮件消息接发结合起来。本发明的跨媒体的消息接发系统允许在电子邮件和电信服务供应间交换消息,这样消息接收者可以使用电话或计算机恢复所有的入境消息——而不管消息的原始通讯媒体。

本发明是一种电子邮件网关,它允许在电子邮件服务和电信服务之间交换电子消息。由电子邮件服务向电信服务转发的消息可使用电话来恢复。接收者可使用标准电话接听语音邮件消息,将传真邮件改发到传真机,或者“聆听”电子邮件消息,此种电子邮件消息原为文本消息并且是由电子邮件服务发送到电信服务交换机的。消息也可由电信服务转发到电子邮件服务。用户可使用计算机和调制解调器重放语音邮件消息,浏览传真邮件消息,或者阅读原为语音或传真消息的电子邮件消息。使用电子邮件消息接发技术交换的消息或消息附件被自动重新格式化或者自动转换为合适的格式(例如,XING协议,TIFF格式)。消息的重新格式化或格式转化是在发送入境消息的电信或电子邮件服务供应中自动进行的,这样消息接收者只需指定一种喜欢的通讯媒体就可利用本发明的特性和功能。

按照本发明所提供的一种便于在电子邮件消息接发系统与电信交换机之间进行跨媒体通讯的电子邮件网关,包括:与该电子邮件消息接发系统进行通讯联系的第一主机,该第一主机适于存储和转发多个电子邮件消息;在该第一主机内,用于选择性地改变电子邮件消息的电子邮件分配器,该电子邮件消息路由到与该电信交换机和相联系的多个电子邮箱内;和与该电信交换机进行通讯联系的第二主机,该第二主机适于接收来自于与该电信交换机相联系的该电子邮箱的电子邮件消息。

按照本发明所提供的用于将电子邮件消息转发到电信交换机的方法,包括的步骤:(a)根据第一格式接收来自电子消息接发系统的电子邮件消息;(b)查找与该电子邮件消息收件人相关的文档,该文档包含转发指令;(c)为了将电子邮件消息路由到与该电信交换机相联系的电子邮箱,根据该转发指令改变该电子邮件消息,(d)将该修改后的电子邮件消息转发到该电信交换机。

图1是本发明一最优实施例中系统主要组成部分的结构框图;图2是对发明主要步骤的流程图;和图3是对本发明一最优实施例中公共消息格式的图解说明;本发明是一种易于在发送者和接收者之间进行电子邮件、语音邮件,和传真邮件消息通讯的复杂的计算机系统。该系统由应用程序集和宿于不同计算机(或服务器)和不同设备的服务组成,这些计算机和设备由支持参与实体间电子邮件通讯的基础结构或网关相连。在本发明的最优实施例中,本发明的应用程序和服务以及硬件支持部分,由彼此合作提供本发明特性和功能的不同服务供应商来开发和维护。采用这种配置,各个服务供应商可以致力于适合于其专业领域的技术的开发。在本发明的替换实施例中,由单一服务供应或访问服务来开发和维护本发明的特性和功能。消息接收者依赖服务供应或访问服务来传送语音邮件、电子邮件,和传真邮件消息,这些服务供应或访问服务了解接收者的优先选择,这些优先选择定义在存储于消息接收者或用户文档数据库内的一系列法则中,这样所有消息可依据他或她的优先选择被传送给接收者。本发明的独特之处在于它能基于依据用户优先选择定义的法则在服务供应者之间进行电子消息交换。

本发明为消息的“发送者”和“接收者”提供了多种特性。发送者是向消息接收者进行访问通信的用户。发送者使用特别的通讯方式(例如,电话,计算机/调制解调器)发送消息。起初,消息被路由到并存储在与发送者通讯方式/媒体相兼容的邮箱中。例如,通过电话发送的消息被存储在语音邮箱中。通过计算机和调制解调器发送的消息被存储在电子邮箱中。

接收者是被访问的个人语音邮件、传真邮件和电子邮件消息的用户。接收者最好是电信和/或电子邮件服务的用户(subscriber)或使用者。电子邮件服务可由在线信息服务来提供诸如CompuServe信息服务。诸如CompuServe信息服务的在线信息服务除了提供电子邮件服务外,还可提供互联网访问和访问私有数据库的服务。此种信息服务由大量位于世界各地的网络节点或服务器组成,并且为了创建全球网络它们彼此之间能够进行通讯联系。

由电子邮件服务提供的连接软件允许消息接收者与该服务连接和通讯。连接软件最好是以图形用户界面实现的,它允许用户使用图形显示和指向设备如鼠标与服务进行交互作用。连接软件的一个例子是CompuServe视窗通讯接口模块版本3.0(CompuServe’sWinCIM Version3.0),它支持访问电子邮件服务和与之的交互作用。为了与服务进行通讯,用户或使用者建立与归属于信息服务的网络节点或服务器之间的连接。

连接软件除了提供访问电子邮件服务和与之的交互作用外,还允许用户定义法则或过滤器,并可发送指令来管理输入(入境)和输出(出境)消息。除了其他法则或过滤器和发送指令外,消息接收者还可通过选择定义一个或多个法则的选项,来指示一种优先的通讯媒体,这些法则由电子邮件服务供应自动应用到入境消息中。例如,接收者,可通过选择某些选项,定义一个法则,请求由电话初始化的消息存储在一语音邮箱中,并且将其转发到一个电子邮箱中以供以后浏览。或者,接收者可通过选择某些选项,定义一个法则,请求由计算机/调制解调器初始化的消息(例如,电子邮件消息)存储在一电子邮件邮箱内,并将其转发到一个语音邮箱中以供以后恢复。

在本发明的其它实施例中,消息接收者与一电话语音应答单元交互作用来选择定义法则的选项,这些法则被应用于输入的语音和传真邮件消息。法则被存储在电信服务的数据库内并且被应用于输入消息。

显然,用户的优先选择被选择并存储在电子邮件服务或电信服务的数据库内。当访问接收者的消息达到电信或电子邮件服务(任一种便于消息发送的服务)时,电子邮件分配器(distributor)或其它消息分配器就应用该接收者的法则,这样所有的消息发送和转换(如果需要)可自动执行。然后,消息接收者使用适合的通讯方式就可恢复入境消息。例如,接收者可以用标准电话,拨号进入语音邮箱,并聆听语音邮件消息,将传真邮件改发到本地传真机中,或“聆听”电子邮件消息。或者,用户可以用计算机拨号进入电子邮件邮箱,并重放语音邮件消息,浏览传真邮件消息,以及阅读电子邮件消息。

参考图1,本发明是一种电子邮件网关,它易于在电子邮件服务10与电信服务12之间进行交换电子消息以便支持跨媒体的消息接发。消息是根据公共消息格式进行交换的。在本发明的最优实施例中,电子邮件服务10与电信服务12之间的消息是包括语音邮件或传真邮件附件的电子邮件消息。基于本系统用户的优先选择,在各服务间进行消息交换。在电子邮件消息被发送到电信服务的最优实施例中,一个位于电子邮件服务10的电子邮件分配器14检查来自电子邮件服务10的用户(例如,消息发送者)18的输入消息16,该用户可采用拨号访问20向其他该服务用户(例如,消息接收者)发送消息。或者,输入消息也可以是从其它电子邮件服务或互联网转发到该服务的。电子邮件分配器14,更确切地讲,它是操作在位于电子邮件服务的服务器上的应用程序,它可确定消息接收者,并访问消息接收者文档数据库22,来确定在他或她的文档中,该消息接收者是否具有法则24,该法则24表明其愿意将消息发送到电信服务12以便今后通过电话获取。如果接收者已经为在电信服务12内接收输入消息指定了优先选择(通过存储在他或她的消息接收者文档内的一个法则),那么电子邮件分配器14就修改输入消息16,使之包含电信服务路由信息26。电信服务路由信息最好存储在一个电子邮件分配器14可读取的电信服务路由信息数据库28中。比如,信息以服务路由命名信息对存储在数据库28中。消息接收者的文档包括电信名称,它是电子邮件被发的目的地。电信服务路由信息数据库28包括服务路由命名信息对,这样分配器可在数据库中根据在消息接收者的文档22中找到的服务名称进行查找。

然后,电子邮件分配器14将修改后的电子消息30转发到电子邮箱34中,在电子邮件服务10内,该电子邮箱与电子邮件服务网络节点32通讯,并且它是特别为电信服务12创建的。在本发明的最优实施例中,位于电信服务12内的电子邮件服务网络节点38周期地查询电子邮件服务10内的电子邮件服务网络节点32,以确定电信服务邮箱34中是否包含任何要转发送到电信服务12的修改后的消息。最好使用已在各服务间建立起来的X.25链接36来完成查询操作和各服务间的消息交换。然后,来自电信服务邮箱34的修改后的消息30,从位于电子邮件服务的电子邮件服务网络节点32,经X.25链接36被传送到位于电信服务的电子服务网络节点38。

在电信服务12内,检查输入消息以识别个人消息接收者。随后,每个消息接收者的私人消息被存储在位于电子邮件服务网络节点38的电子邮箱40中。这样,通过在电信服务12内的电话交换机46可得到消息,并且消息接收者可经电话恢复消息30。当消息接收者为恢复消息而呼叫电话交换机46时,电话交换机46,就通过由本地网络42连接的交换节点44,与电子邮件服务网络节点38进行通讯。当消息接收者呼叫交换机要求听到消息时,在电信服务内执行的由文本到语音的转换操作允许他或她听到电子邮件消息。或者,消息接收者可安排在由接收者指定的传真机上接收电子邮件消息。

或者,如果消息接收者没有为在电信服务内接受消息而指定优先选择,那么电子邮件分配器14就根据其它优先选择或消息接收者动作,将电子消息16转发到电子邮件服务10内的接收者邮箱48中,或者将其转发到一个或多个为电子邮件服务其他成员使用而指定的电子邮箱50中。最终,消息16被转发到互联网或另一个电子邮件服务52中。

参考图2,其显示了针对最优实施例的本发明主要步骤流程图,在该实施例中,电子消息由电子邮件服务转发到电信服务。图2所显示的步骤或操作,最好由本发明的电子邮件分配器来完成。当电子邮件分配器接收到输入消息时,它首先检查消息接收者优先选择或过滤器以及转发指令,这些是由存储在消息接收者文档数据库60中的消息接收者文档所定义的。输入消息最好由包括消息接收者或收件人标识符的消息头和消息正文组成。然后,电子邮件分配器根据消息头中的标识符查找接收者文档。下一步,电子邮件分配器依据存储在文档中的信息或指令,来确定消息接收者是否愿意将电子消息转发到电信服务62中。若消息接收者不愿将电子邮件消息转发到电信交换机中,那么电子邮件分配器就安排把消息转发到位于电子邮件服务的消息接收者邮箱中,或发送到其它服务用户处,或者发送到互联网或另一个电子邮件服务64处。如果消息接收者愿意将电子邮件消息转发到电信交换机,那么电子邮件分配器就修改消息,使之包含位于电子邮件服务66的电信服务电子邮箱路由信息。这样,消息就被转发到电信服务邮箱68中。在电信服务邮箱处,当位于电信服务的电子邮件服务网络节点查询邮箱70时,存储在邮箱的消息就被发送到位于电信服务处的该电子邮件服务网络节点。因此,在电信服务内,消息接收者就可通过电话恢复消息。

参考图3,其显示了用于在电子邮件服务和电信服务之间进行消息交换的公共消息格式。消息最好由包封80和主体82组成。公共消息格式的主体最好是由消息发送者发送的原始消息。原始消息最好包含一能标识原始消息主题、收件人、原始消息发送者,以及原始消息被发送的日期和时间的消息头84部分。原始消息也包含原始消息86的文本。在公共消息格式中,包封80最好由包含几个字段的消息头88组成,这几个字段具有允许消息由电信服务或电子邮件服务进行处理的信息。第一个字段90可识别消息被转发到的电信或电子邮件服务供应商。包封88的消息头也可包括具有涉及电信或电子邮件服务的主题行92,和具有原始消息被修改日期和时间的字段94。最后,包封88的消息头还包括字段96,它将消息发送者识别为电信或电子邮件服务而不是原始消息发送者。

对原始消息进行修改使之包括新的包封,这种修改允许电子消息在电子邮件服务与电信服务之间交换。消息在为服务使用所指定的邮箱间进行交换。一个或多个位于各服务的分配器将电子消息路由到服务内的中心存储库中,这样消息就可在各服务间进行交换。消息到达指定服务后,它们被发送到或存储在与个人消息接收者相连的邮箱内,以供消息接收者日后恢复。位于服务和/或位于消息接收者地点的附加设备可根据需要对以上恢复消息进行转换。

公共消息格式和使用各服务的中心消息存储库,使在电子邮件服务与电信服务间交换消息更为便利。公共消息格式是基于已知的电子邮件格式,从而使用标准电子邮件协议,可将消息从电子邮件服务转发到电信服务,反之亦然。使用这种方法,对电子邮件服务来说,电信服务似乎是电子邮件服务全球网络的一部分,并且是消息所转发到的服务的另一个成员。电信服务可接收包括多进制和二进制消息在内的所有类型消息,电子邮件服务能够对之进行处理。例如,电子邮件服务处理消息后,电信服务由此可包括一些附件诸如语音邮件附件(例如,XING协议)和传真邮件附件(例如,TIFF文件)。然后,使电信服务内的设备适于理解公共消息格式,这样可在电信交换机内处理由原始文本组成的电子邮件消息。例如,通过文语处理转换原始文本消息,使消息接收者能通过电话听到原始消息。也可将原始文本转换为TIFF图像,使该消息可由传真机处理。

使用公共消息格式方法,电信服务对于电子邮件服务来说,似乎是另一个可从中获得电子邮件消息的电子邮件服务。起源于电信服务的语音邮件消息可按照电子邮件格式转发到电子邮件服务,该电子邮件具有包含原始语音邮件消息的附加音频文件。然后,计算机用户使用连接软件来恢复包含有涉及音频文件的电子邮件消息的电子邮件消息。安装有音频文件播放器的连接软件,可在用户要求下,为计算机用户播放语音邮件消息。或者,起源于电信服务的传真邮件消息可按照电子邮件格式转发到电子邮件服务,该电子邮件具有包含原始传真邮件消息的附加TIFF文件。计算机用户使用连接软件来恢复包含那些带有传真文件的电子邮件消息的电子邮件消息。使用连接软件所提供的传真浏览器(viewer)可查看传真文件。

虽然,就单一最优实施例和某些替代实施例,对本发明作了详细的说明,但本发明并不局限与这些特殊的实施例或替代实施例。例如,在本发明的范围和精神内,可改变和削减提供本发明特性和功能的组成部分。本发明的范围由以下权利要求来确定。

Claims (12)

1.一种便于在电子邮件消息接发系统与电信交换机之间进行跨媒体通讯的电子邮件网关,包括:与所述电子邮件消息接发系统进行通迅联系的第一主机,所述第一主机适于存储和转发多个电子邮件消息:在所述第一主机内,用于选择性地改变电子邮件消息的电子邮件分配器,所述电子邮件消息发送到与所述电信交换机和相联系的多个电子邮箱内;和与所述电信交换机进行通讯联系的第二主机,所述第二主机适于接收来自于与所述电信交换机相联系的所述电子邮箱的电子邮件消息。
2.权利要求1的网关,其中所述电子邮件消息接发系统是在线信息服务的一部分。
3.权利要求1的网关,其中所述电子邮件分配器,根据电子邮件消息收件人文档,选择性地改变路由到所述电子邮箱内的所述电子邮件消息,该电子邮箱与所述电信交换机相联系。
4.权利要求1的网关,其中所述电子邮件分配器,根据公共消息格式,选择性地改变所述电子邮件消息。
5.权利要求1的网关,其中所述电子邮件分配器,通过将新的路由信息连接到某些所述多个电子邮件消息,选择性地改变所述电子邮件消息。
6.权利要求5的电子邮件分配器,其中新的路由信息包括识别电子邮件服务供应者的发送者字段和识别电信服务供应者的接收者字段。
7.一个便于在电子邮件消息接发通迅系统与电信交换机之间进行跨媒体通讯的电子邮件网关,包括:与所述电信交换机进行通迅联系的第一主机,所述第一主机适于存储和转发具有语音邮件或传真邮件附件的多种电子邮件消息;与所述电子邮件消息接发系统进行通迅联系的第二主机,所述第二主机适于接收来自于所述第一主机的带有所述附件的电子邮件消息;用于将带有所述附件的所述电子邮件消息分配到多个电子邮箱内的电子邮件分配器;和由所述电子邮件消息收件人使用的图形用户接口,所述图形用户接口适于与所述电子邮箱进行通讯,并包括播放所述语音邮件附件的音频播放器和显示所述传真邮件附件的传真浏览器。
8.权利要求7的网关,其中所述电子邮件消息接发系统是在线信息服务的一部分。
9.用于将电子邮件消息转发到电信交换机的方法,包括的步骤有:(a)根据第一格式接收来自电子消息接发系统的电子邮件消息;(b)查找与所述电子邮件消息收件人相关的文档,所述文档包含转发指令;(c)为了将电子邮件消息路由到与所述电信交换机相联系的电子邮箱,根据所述转发指令改变所述电子邮件消息,(d)将所述修改后的电子邮件消息转发到所述电信交换机。
10.权利要求9的方法,其中所述电子邮件消息是根据公共消息格式修改的。
11.权利要求9的方法,其中步骤(c)包括将新的路由信息连接到所述电子邮件消息中。
12.权利要求11的方法,其中所述新的路由信息包括识别电子邮件服务供应者的发送者字段和识别电信服务供应者的接收者字段。
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