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This is one of the possible Use Cases.

1. Abstract

In many email client/server systems, a user can define her own rules so as to automatically process incoming and outgoing messages. When a user switches to another email system it would be desirable to be able to interchange the rules between these systems using a rule interchange format.

2. Status

The use case has been proposed by REWERSE to the RIF WG participants as use case 'Rule-based email manipulation'.

3. Links to Related Use Cases

4. Relationship to OWL/RDF Compatibility

5. Examples of Rule Platforms Supporting this Use Case

6. Benefits of Interchange

Benefit 1: This use case clearly motivates the need for a rule interchange format since rules expressing policies are to be exchanged between parties engaged in negotiations.

7. Requirements on the RIF

8. Breakdown

8.1. Actors and their Goals

8.2. Main Sequence

9. Narratives

In Microsoft Outlook, for example, rules are used for automated message processing. The rule module is called 'Rule Wizard'. A Microsoft Outlook rule can be specified for incoming or for outgoing messages. It consists of a set of conditions referring to the message and its parameters, and of a set of actions. The specified conditions determine the messages the rule applies to. Negative conditions are called "exceptions".

The specified actions may do something with a qualifying message, such as moving it to a specific folder or deleting or printing it, or they may do things like playing a specific sound, starting a specific application or sending a reply message.

So, there are two basic event types, i.e. incoming message (Inmsg) and outgoing message (Outmsg) and many action types.

A condition is a conjunction of atomic and negated ('except') atomic conditions, where an atomic condition is a substring relation or a string equality involving string constants and the parameters of a message (such as ?To, ?From, ?Cc, ?Body). Thus, Outlook rules are reactive (or Event-Condition-Action) rules, having one of the following forms:

ON Inmsg(?To, ?From, ?Cc, ?Body)
IF some condition involving ?To, ?From, ?Cc, ?Body holds
DO some action

ON Outmsg(?To, ?Cc, ?Body)
IF some condition involving ?To, ?Cc, ?Body holds
DO some action

To ease the use of rules, Microsoft Outlook provides a natural language template interface for specifying rules.

10. Commentary

Both rules, r1 and r2, can be implemented as reactive rules.