RoundCube is a popular IMAP web-based email client, known for utilizing AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) technology. This open-source, free software operates under the rules of the GNU GPL (General Public License), except for the plugins and skins.

RoundCube’s original stable version was announced to the world at the start of 2008, and it has built a wide user base since. But what about its core technology, plugins, and features?

The technology of RoundCube

RoundCube is PHP-based, capable of being utilized alongside a LAMP stack or other operating systems (provided they offer support for PHP). The web server requires access to the IMAP server that hosts the email, as well as an SMTP server, to ensure it’s capable of delivering messages.

RoundCube Webmail is built to function on such common web servers as LiteSpeed, Apache, Lighttpd, Nginx, Cherokee, or Hiawatha, along with a relational database engine. The following databases are supported: PostgreSQL, SQLite, and MySQL.

Furthermore, the UI (user interface) can be customized with a variety of skins for detailed personalization. It’s rendered in CSS and XHTML.

jQuery is incorporated into RoundCube for its distribution, in conjunction with a number of alternative libraries including TinyMCE and GoogieSpell.

RoundCube Plugins

Ever since RoundCube version 0.3 was launched, it has utilized a plugin API enabling users to introduce non-standard features without having to alter the source code. A number of plugins can be found in the Plugin Repository.

What was RoundCube Next?

Back in 2015, RoundCube revealed plans to partner with Kolab Systems AG and rewrite RoundCube completely — paving the way for RoundCube Next. A crowdfunding campaign was created to gather financing for the project, with incredible results: the project’s $80K goal had been achieved within two months, and the final sum was in excess of $100K.

RoundCube Next was originally conceived to incorporate such features as file management, a calendar, and chat. It would also use WebRTC and connectors from OwnCloud, Dropbox, and more.

Sadly, though, RoundCube and Kolab Systems chose to end RoundCube Next’s development in 2016.

RoundCube features

You can expect to find the following features in RoundCube:

  • More than 70 languages to choose from, making RoundCube accessible to a diverse audience
  • UI (user interface) incorporates AJAX technology, enabling users to take advantage of various convenient features; these include the ability to manage messages with simple drag-and-drop functionality
  • Can connect to all IMAPv4 servers
  • Total HTML and MIME message support
  • Encrypted TLSv1.2 connection to IMAP server via PHP5.6 SSL/TLS libraries
  • Privacy protection is of a high standard
  • Numerous sender identities
  • Create Rich Text/HTML messages and add attachments
  • Support for IDNA
  • Threaded message listing
  • Integration of LDAP directory, for address books
  • vCard with group support, for a full featured address book
  • Integration of find-as-you-type address book for extra convenience
  • In-built caching for quick access to the mailbox
  • Forward messages carrying attachments easily
  • Search contacts and messages
  • Check spelling for a higher standard of professionalism and presentation
  • External SMTP server support
  • IMAP folder management
  • Shared/global folders and IMAP ACLs can be supported
  • Widescreen (three columns) view for mailbox
  • Templates for canned responses
  • Custom theme templates

RoundCube is packed with amazing features, and its user-friendly design ensures it’s accessible to everyone, regardless of experience or technical knowledge.

Please note that technologies described on Wiki pages are not necessary the part of Plesk control panel or its extensions.

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