by David Karapetyan
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Paubox SMTP service for easy email integration

by David Karapetyan

Abstract image of photograph and text of SMTPSMTP service for easy email integration

This post is about an upcoming release of a new SMTP service that acts as a bridge between SMTP clients and the Paubox REST API. By utilizing our SMTP service you get the benefits of our secure, reliable, and HIPAA compliant email infrastructure without having to worry about developing any special integrations. As long as you have an email client that supports SMTP with mandatory STARTTLS and authentication then you’re good to go.

Easily integrate the new SMTP service

In the rest of the post we’ll go over some of the implementation details and features supported by our SMTP-to-REST API bridge.

Email is a foundational component of the internet and its implementation with SMTP (simple mail transfer protocol) was one of the first widely deployed federated messaging protocols. Throughout the years the protocol has evolved to include various security features that were thought to be unnecessary in the initial trusted networks of the nascent internet (which was mainly operated by universities and various government agencies).

The internet today is mostly a public network maintained by goodwill and trust among a distributed group of network operators. (This includes Paubox and the infrastructure our services run on.) The distributed nature of the network means that bad actors can potentially intervene in some critical parts of the network without being noticed, so security is an important consideration when sending email over the public internet. Our implementation requires an application to support TLS protocol (Transport Layer Security with STARTTLS) of 1.2 or greater and authentication using API keys with validated domains in order to maintain trust and goodwill in the network.

For more details, please take a look at our documentation on how to get started.

A highly reliable SMTP email service for healthcare

Our goal is to make secure email easy to use and widely available so that anyone can leverage our infrastructure to securely and reliably deliver email to their intended recipients. To make sure that our SMTP service is highly available, we use modern best practices for public-facing internet services and maintain a redundant set of servers that are continuously monitored for any anomalies and failures.

Reliability is an important implementation constraint for highly available internet services, so our product is designed to gracefully recover from any unforeseen network failures in order to minimize downtime and customer impact. Our goal is to maintain at least 99.999% uptime, and our SMTP service is designed with that constraint in mind. By utilizing our existing infrastructure you get reliability and visibility from the Paubox administrative dashboard into the status of all your outgoing emails without any extra effort on your side other than configuring an SMTP client to use our service endpoint.

Paubox develops what our healthcare customers need

We are always looking to make improvements so that our SMTP service is as transparent as possible. If you have any suggestions don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for new features and improvements. We plan to maintain feature parity between the SMTP service and our REST API, but there are some limitations and differences to keep in mind when using our SMTP-to-REST API bridge.

Differences between SMTP and REST API

When our REST API accepts a request, the response includes a unique tracking ID that can be used to track if an email was successfully delivered, the delivery time, and whether it was opened. SMTP does not support such tracking, so if you need this feature please consider using our REST API instead. Both options are available today with our Paubox Email API solution.

However, we have plans to make tracking information available for SMTP as well. If you’re interested in this and other improvements, don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know.

For more details on the differences between the SMTP and REST API and how to utilize it please take a look at our documentation. These documents will undergo changes as we add new features and improve our offering, so make sure to bookmark and revisit the page for news and updates.

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