Use cases

This page is for describing and collecting use cases for structured email.

There’s also an internet draft elaborating this topic.

Transactional email

Most of the use cases currently supported by for Email are rooted in emails automatically generated by services which want to inform users about the status of a certain transaction.

This may involve general orders, their delivery, or reservations of any kind (car, flight, hotel, etc.).

By providing a machine-readable version of the email content, email clients can provide a better user experience (e.g., making it easier to take a follow-up action) or special applications might provide a whole new user experience such as travel itineraries (see KDE Itinerary).

Vacation notice

The case of a “vacation notice” or “out-of-office reply” is an email-specific use case.

Current vacation notice functionality is mostly vendor specific and will return a text message to a sender, stating that the recipient is currently on vacation. There can be multiple pieces of information within that message, which could help the email client of the sender to drive further action:

  • Period of absence (to schedule re-sending or reminding the user)
  • Vacation replacement (to allow re-routing the message, if this is not done on recipient-side)

Apparently, this functionality could also be addressed by a dedicated RFC. However, an implementation based on structured email would only require to model a JSON-LD/ type for a vacation notice. Implemention for email clients might also be more straight forward, even if particular action in response to “structured vacation notices” would need to be realized.

As a side effect, a structured data format for vacation notices could also improve data portability of vacation notice information across different systems (e.g., in a migration scenario).

See also