Sun Java System Messaging Server 6.3 Administration Guide

14.8.2 Milter/Messaging Server Theory of Operations

Milters control what action is to be performed on a message. Messaging Server controls what messages are to be acted upon by a Milter using the methods described in 14.2.2 Specifying the Messages to Be Filtered.

In sendmail, Milter consists of support code in sendmail itself and a separate libmilter library. Filter authors link their filters against libmilter to produce a server. Sendmail is then configured to connect to these Milter servers.

Messaging Server provides a library that emulates the sendmail side of the Milter interface. This allows Milters written for sendmail to be used with Messaging Server.

A few words of caution are in order here. The Milter protocol consists of a complex mixture of text and binary elements and is not well documented. Additionally, Milter semantics are tightly coupled with sendmail's way of processing messages. In particular, Milters can and usually do access a subset of the macros defined in the sendmail configuration. Messaging Server's Milter client library attempts to provide a reasonable set of sendmail macros, but it is entirely possible for a Milter to be written that depends on a specific aspect of sendmail configuration which is not currently implemented. The net result is that an arbitrary Milter pulled off the network may or may not work with this client library. If problems develop we'll try and resolve them, but we cannot possibly guarantee success with every Milter out there.