How do I migrate items other than email when migrating from an IMAP server?
Migration of items other than email is not possible using IMAP. The IMAP protocol is an email only protocol. IMAP can only be used to migrate email.
- Wikipedia: “items such as contacts, appointments or tasks cannot be managed or accessed using IMAP.”
- RFC 3501: "The IMAP protocol [...] allows a client to access and manipulate electronic mail messages."
Users connecting to email service providers offering IMAP access may be confused by the fact that they are able to create calendar, contact or task items. There are different possibilities:
- Often, items are stored on the email client's machine (in a local PST file, for example). The email client connects to the service provider using IMAP, allowing email to be stored on the server. However, other item types are in fact stored locally by the email client (like Outlook). As a result, those items can never be accessed remotely since they reside in local storage.
- Sometimes, users may access their service provider using a web client. The web client may allow for the creation of calendar, contact or task items. These items are stored on the server but remain inaccessible using IMAP. In some cases, the email provider may implement an API allowing retrieval of calendar, contact, or task items (CalDav, WebDav, EWS, etc.).
- Rarely, users may access their service provider using an email client connected using IMAP, but also use a custom synch agent/connector. The connector calls into APIs allowing retrieval and storage of calendar, contact, or task items (like CalDav, WebDav, EWS, etc.). Changes made to local appointments (for example, in a local PST file) and synched to the server and vice versa.
If the email service provider implements G Suite, do not specify IMAP. Instead, specify G Suite on your connector. This will allow items such as calendar or contact items to be migrated.
If the email service provider implements Exchange, do not specify IMAP. Instead, specify Exchange on your connector. This will allow items such as calendar or contact items to be migrated.