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1.0 Introduction
E-mail is the most widely used Internet on one of the services, that is users send and receive e-mail using clients tools such as Microsoft Outlook, Yahoo, Gmail and many more free e-mail services on the internet. The term webmail covers all internet-based email services which can be accessed with only web browser and an internet connection. Webmail services allow users to access their mailboxes from any computer with an internet connection regardless of geographic location. YahooMail or Gmail are good but to built our own webmail pages has some unique advantages such as when develop the webmail, it give us the basic concept how it webmail works, easy access to archive messages and full control over backups, queries, and copies of database and it also easy to maintain including upgrades and security fixes because it undertakes all administration to maintain the service centrally. Webmail is an email client that allows us to check the mail using web browser. This means that we can check the mail as long as there is internet connection connected to the computer. Usually webmail has several features including address books, personalized display setting and support mail folders. In order to build our own webmail, we have to understand the connection between Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) and Mail Delivery Agent (MDA) and how it works behind the scene. Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) is software agent that works as mail relay that transfer mail message from one computer to another and Mail Delivery Agent (MDA) is software agent that used by MTA to responsible for deliver mail message to the particular users mailbox.

1.1 Problem Statements

Webmail allow us to read and write on the internet web from anywhere at any time. With webmail, there is no software to install or maintain. Nowadays almost everybody use email services but they do not ever wondered how e-mails gets from computer to a server or other around computer around the world. So this project will give a concept how the e-mail works and operate. The main reason to develop this webmail is easy to monitor and maintain for example in one organization, we do not have to hire outside computer administration because this type of webmail can be handle by their staff. The webmail provider undertakes all administration to maintain the service centrally, including upgrades and security fixes. Basic email functionalities comprising sending, receiving, composing messages. So it would be beneficial to empower the everyday lives of organization staff and by using these technologies.

1.2 Project Objectives

The objectives of this project are: To do research how the webmail functions as well as operates.

1.3 Methodology
The project will develop using the Iterative Method.

Figure 1.0 Iterative methodology process The iterative methodology is an evolutionary methodology that combines the elements of the linear sequential model (Waterfall methodology) and the iterative philosophy of Rapid Web Prototyping. The reason for choosing this methodology because using this method can quickly present a clickable webmail prototype. This gives the opportunity to experience the functional design and webmail concept before it is actually built.

1.3.1 Planning Phase In the planning phase The problem is specified along with the desired service objectives (goals) The constraints are identified

1.3.2 Define Requirement Define problem statements and identify how to relate this system to the user. Determine the project objectives according to the problem statements and study about technical aspect of hardware and software requirements

1.3.3 Analysis and Design In the analysis and design phase the system specification is produced from the detailed definitions of planning phase. Then the system specifications are translated into a software representation which is either with the hardware or software system. It prepared based on the requirement such as software SquirrelMail webmail and at this stage is concerned with: Data structure Software architecture Algorithmic detail Interface representation to develop a

1.3.4 Testing In the testing phase all the program units are integrated and tested to ensure that the complete system meets the software requirements. After this stage the software is delivered to the customer.

1.3.5 Implementation In the implementation phase stage the designs are translated into the software domain (coding). Detailed documentation from the design phase can significantly reduce the coding effort.

1.4 Project Scopes

The project scopes are as below: To understand the knowledge about Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) and Mail Delivery Agent (MDA) also the understanding about webmail and how it works. Enable user to read and write email. Include the database of registered user using this webmail. This webmail program will be tested among the academic and technical staff at International Islamic College.

1.5 Project Significance

Having staff able to access their email from a variety of locations may encourage efficient and flexible working and may increase productivity. Also with the webmail, all the incoming and outgoing mail can be administer by the system administration.

1.6 Expected Outcome

Upon completion, this fully functional webmail system that uses integration between MTA and MDA will have a user-friendly graphical user interface (GUI). This webmail will be capable to produce a well organized, simple and clear interface to ease any user that not literate in IT.


2.0 Introduction
This chapter offers an overview of the proposed system and will review and analyze the existing system that almost similar to the proposed project - Integration between MTA and MDA to develop webmail. This literature review is needed in order to have insight knowledge about the development of the other project.

2.1 Information Gathering Method

This chapter discuss about literature review of this project. This literature study will be based on various sources as websites, articles, journal, and books to gather an overview and information for the existing system. Then the information gathered used to compare the existing system with the proposed system for benefits and drawback.

2.2 Overview of Webmail

Webmail is one of the most useful web applications on the internet, it allows users to access, send, receive and manage e-mail through web browser. The great part of webmail is that users can access their mailboxes from almost any computer around the world as long as it has an internet connection and web browser. Nowadays providing a personal webmail services such as for organization or university become more popular. This is because it has some benefits for the organization. There are: Having staff able to access their email from a variety of locations may encourage efficient and flexible working and may increase productivity.

Webmail can be secured in transit using standard commercial encryption. There are minimal dependencies on hardware or software. Email can be accessed from a variety of platforms across the organization. Any device that has a web browser can be used.

Webmail can bring resilience in the event of an incident if the office webmail is available to staff outside of the office environment.

In order to develop our own webmail we have to understand the basic concept of how it works. So two of the software agent that involves in developing a webmail are Mail Transfer agent and Mail Delivery Agent.

2.2.1 Mail Transfer Agent (MTA)

A mail transfer agent (MTA) is a computer program or software agent that responsible for receiving, routing, and delivering electronic mail messages or in the other words it a program that transfers electronic mail messages from one computer to another[4]. Most users are totally unaware of the presence of MTA even though every electronic mail message is sent through at least one MTA. MTA receive electronic mail messages and recipient addresses from local users and remote hosts, perform alias creation and forwarding functions, and deliver the messages to their destinations. The delivery of electronic mail to a users mailbox typically takes places via a Mail Delivery Agent (MDA); many MTA have basic MDA functionality built in but dedicated MDA can provide sophistication. An MTA is sometimes called a mail transport agent, message transfer agent a mail router, an Internet mailer, or a mail server program. Commonly used MTA include sendmail, postfix, Exim, qmail, and Microsoft Exchange Server[4].

2.2.2 Mail Delivery Agent (MDA)

The Mail Delivery Agent (MDA) is a software agent that will be responsible to accepts incoming messages from the Mail Transfer Agent. It delivers and saves the message to particulars individual mailbox. MDA will distribute the message to recipients mailbox if the destination account on the local machine or forwards to another Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) if the destination is on a remote server. Any computer programs that actually handle a message for delivery to the point where it can be read by a Mail User Agent can be considered an MDA. Many users do not directly use MDA because only Mail Transfer Agent and Mail User Agent are necessary to send and receive electronic mail. However some MDA may be used to sort messages before they are read by a user, which is a big help if received a lot of electronic mail. It also performing additional tasks action such as processing the message rules, filters the message content and forwarding the e-mails. MDA is usually integrated with the MTA.

2.2.3 Mail User Agent (MUA)

The Mail User Agent (MUA) is the program which the user uses to read and send electronic mail means that it is a frontend program that manages electronic mail. It reads incoming messages that have been delivered to the recipients mailbox and passes messages to an Mail Transfer Agent for sending.

2.3 Basic Concept of Mail Systems Work

The Mail Transfer Agent is the most important agent between Mail Delivery Agent and Mail User Agent. It is responsible for doing all the intelligent work of electronic mail transfer. While it does not actually perform any of the delivery itself, it is the part which tells the other parts how to interact and what to do. In a sense, the Mail Transfer Agent is a bridge which connects the whole process together. The figure below show that what happens when the users send electronic mail from the different host.

Figure 2.1 Three part of Mail Agent

Electronic mail is based around the use of electronic mailboxes. When an electronic mail is sent, the message is routed from server to server, all the way to the recipient's email server. More precisely, the message is sent to the mail server tasked with transporting electronic mails using Mail Transfer Agent to the recipient's Mail Transfer Agent. On the Internet, Mail Transfer Agents communicate with one another using the protocol Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)[5].

The recipient's Mail Transfer Agents then delivers the electronic mail to the incoming mail server which is Mail Delivery Agent, which stores the email as it waits for the user to accept it. There are two main protocols used for retrieving email on an Mail Delivery Agent:-

Post Office Protocol (POP3)

The most recent version of a standard protocol for receiving electronic mail. POP3 is a client/server protocol in which electronic mail is received and held it by Internet server and in certain cases, leaving a copy of it on the server.

Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP)

It is a method that allows user to access electronic mail or messages that are kept on a mail server. In other words, email stored on an IMAP server can be read and responded to from a desktop computer at home, a workstation at the office, or a laptop computer while user are traveling, and user do not need to transfer these messages back and forth between computers. This protocol works best when a user is reliant upon multiple computers in multiple locations.

For this reason, incoming mail servers are called POP servers or IMAP servers, depending on which protocol is used.

To use a real-world analogy, Mail Transfer Agents act as the post office (the sorting area and mail carrier, which handle message transportation), while Mail Delivery Agents act as mailboxes, which store messages (as much as their volume will allow) until the recipients check the box. This means that it is not necessary for recipients to be connected in order for them to be sent email. In order to keep


everyone from checking other users' emails, MDA is protected by a user name called a login and by a password. For retrieving mail, it is done using a software program called an Mail User Agent (MUA).When it is a web interface used for interacting with the incoming mail server, it is called webmail.



3.0 Introduction
This chapter will describe about requirement analysis and design for the propose webmail system. The proposed system will develop using Iterative methodology and in the iterative methodology, analysis and design phase will determine the design requirement that the new system should meet. This chapter includes the requirement analysis and the flow of process for the proposed system.

3.1 System Requirement Specification

For the system requirement specification, the system will be analyzing base on the three parts which are user requirement, system requirement, hardware and software requirement. The requirement is important in order to determine the functions provide in the proposed system.

3.1.1 User Requirement

It is very important to determine what actually the users want in their system. In the proposed system, there will be 2 types of user.

Staff of IT department/ IT administrator at International Islamic College


Academic staff (International Islamic College)


3.1.2 System Requirement

For the system requirement, it describes what is needed for the system. For the propose system, it will need an online web based mail server in order to let it functional as ordinary webmail system. So the proposed system will use SquirrelMail as a mail server. SquirrelMail is mail server that acts as Mail User Agent and it is the interface between the end users and the rest of the system.

3.1.3 Hardware and Software Requirement

The hardware that will be used to develop the system are: Personal computer that can integrate with mail server SquirrelMail. Minimum requirement: Windows 2000, NT or XP Pentium III 2.0 Ghz or better 2 GB of RAM or better At least 80 GB space of hard disk drive for the require software Input and output hardware such as keyboard, mouse, and printer CRT monitor or LCD monitor supporting 800 x 600 or higherresolution monitor recommended.


The software needed to implement this system are: PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) - PHP needs to be at least 4.1.0. PHP 4, PHP 5 and PHP 6 are all supported. MySQL Database - a relational database management system. Apache Web Server Sendmail for Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) SquirrelMail for the Mail User Agent (MUA) Microsoft Office 2007 Word and Project (to provide the documentation) Adobe Photoshop CS2 HTML Language that use to design the interface. Macromedia Dreamweaver MX


3.2 System Design Analysis

The Data Flow Diagram is commonly used also for the visualization of structured design data processing. The normal flow is represented graphically. A designer typically draws context level DFD first showing interaction between the system and the outside entities. Then this context level DFD will then be exploded in order to further show the details of system being modeled. The system is represented in term of the input data to the system, various processing carried out in these data, and the output data generate by the system.

3.2.1 Context Data Flow Diagram


3.2.1 Level 0 Data Flow Diagram



User Detail
User Login

User Detail


Users File

Check Mail User Register Mail List


User Detail

Users Mail Files

Admin Detail
Mail Server

Admin Detail Mail Detail

Process Mail Detail


Mails File



Display New Mail Delete Message

Filed Mail
Incoming Mail

Removed Mail Message


Reply/Create Message Sent Acknowledgement

Sending Mail

Save Mail to Outbox


3.2.1 Process 1 of Data Flow Diagram

1.1 USER

User Detail
Authenticate User

User Detail


Users File


Lecturer I nformation
User Login Page

3.2.1 Process 2 of Data Flow Diagram


Administrator Detail


Administrator Detail


Users File

Administrator Login

Mail Detail

Check Mail
USER Mail Service System

Process Detail


Mails File

Mail List

Go To Process 3


3.2.1 Process 3 of Data Flow Diagram

3.1 USER

Display New Mail

Receive Mail

Filed Mail


Mails File


Delete Message
Delete Mail

Remove Message

3.2.1 Process 4 of Data Flow Diagram

4.1 USER

Compose Message
Reply Mail

Save to Outbox


Mails File


Sent Acknowledge
Authenticate Mail Account


3.3 Conclusion
In this chapter, it has discussed about the requirement analysis, specification and design phase for the proposed project. The requirement analysis is represented in a graphical view using Data Flow Diagram (DFD) in order to show the workflow of the system that will be developed.



[4] Mail Transfer Agent. Retrieve on October 4th at : http://www.search.com/reference/Mail_transfer_agent [5] How email works. Retrieve on October 10th at : http://en.kioskea.net/contents/courrier-electronique/fonctionnement-mta-mua.php3