Sending emails in Java should be easier. Jodd provides some nice classes for sending emails in an easier, practical way.

E-mail definition

E-mail is defined as simple POJO bean of type Email. Each part of e-mail message can be set separately. Moreover, Email supports fluent interface, so even definition of an e-mail message would look natural.

Email supports plain text, HTML messages and any combination of both. When only text or HTML message is set, simple e-mail will be sent. When both text and HTML message is set, or when attachments are added, multipart e-mail will be sent. Actually, Email supports any number of separate messages to be sent as an email. Here are some examples using fluent interface.

Plain-text email:

    Email email = Email.create()
        .addText("A plain text message...");

HTML email:

    Email email = Email.create()
        .subject("Hello HTML!")
        .addHtml("<b>HTML</b> message...");

Text and HTML email, high priority:

    Email email = Email.create()
        .addText("text message...")
        .addHtml("<b>HTML</b> message...")

Email Addresses

All email addresses (from, to, cc…) may be specified in following ways:

  • only by email address, eg:
  • by personal (display) name and email address in one string, eg: John <>
  • by separate personal (display) name and email address
  • by providing EmailAddress, class that parses and validates emails per specification
  • by providing InternetAddress or just Address instance.

Consider using personal names as it is less likely your message is going to be marked as spam ;)

Multiple email addresses are specified by repeated call to relevant method:

    Email email = Email.create()
        .subject("Hello HTML!")
        .addHtml("<b>HTML</b> message");

Alternatively you may pass an array of strings, EmailAddress or InternetAddress. In this case, the addresses will not be appended, but replaced!


There are several attachment types that can be added:

  • bytes attachment (ByteArrayAttachment), when byte content is added as attachment,
  • input stream attachment (InputStreamAttachment), when input stream will be read on sending,
  • file attachment (FileAttachment), for files,
  • and generic DataSource based attachment.

One note for file attachments - they depend on javax.mail content type resolution (that might not work for you). You can always attach files as byte or input stream attachment.

Adding attachments is also easy - just create an attachment class and attach() it.

However, there is an alternative way of building attachment classes, more convenient one, using EmailAttachmentBuilder. It is sufficient for most cases and easier to use (see examples in next section).

Embedded (inline) attachments

Special case of attachments are inline attachments. These are usually related content for HTML message, like images, that should appear inside the message, and not separate as real attachment.

Embedding is also supported. All attachments created with the ContentID set will be considered as inline attachments. However, they also need to be embedded to certain message, to form a so-called related part of an email. Email clients usually requires to have all inline attachments related to some message.


Here is an example of creating the same message, but using two ways of building the Email.

Email using common API

This is default way of building Email. It is very verbose, but you have the most control. So here it is.

    Email email = new Email();


    EmailMessage textMessage = new EmailMessage("Hello!", MimeTypes.MIME_TEXT_PLAIN);

    EmailMessage htmlMessage = new EmailMessage(
        "<html><META http-equiv=Content-Type content=\"text/html; charset=utf-8\">" +
        "<body><h1>Hey!</h1><img src='cid:c.png'><h2>Hay!</h2></body></html>",

    EmailAttachment embeddedAttachment =
        new ByteArrayAttachment(
            FileUtil.readBytes("/c.png"), "image/png", "c.png", "c.png");

    EmailAttachment attachment = new FileAttachment(
        new File("/b.jpg"), "b.jpg", "image/jpeg");

Let's analyze. We create empty Email and then set from, to and subject. Then, in lines #7 and #8 we create plain text message. Few rows later (#10 - #14) we create HTML message. This message uses one inline attachment referred as c.png. So we create inline ByteArrayAttachment - it's inline because we have specified the ContentID (last argument). This inline attachment has to be embedded to a message (line #18). Finally, we create a regular attachment and attach it to the email.

Email using fluent API

Fluent API is less verbose and, therefore, more convenient. Here is the same example from above:

    Email email = Email.create()
            "<html><META http-equiv=Content-Type content=\"text/html; charset=utf-8\">"+
            "<body><h1>Hey!</h1><img src='cid:c.png'><h2>Hay!</h2></body></html>")
        .embed(attachment().bytes(new File("/c.png")))

As you see, it's really less code:) Biggest difference here is that instead of creating email attachments using constructors, we have been using EmailAttachment.attachment() helper - a smart factory for email attachment classes.

Important note: embed() method embeds attachment to the last message! Hence the order of methods is important.

Both ways are equally valid, just be sure to understand all consequences of using it.

Sending e-mails

Emails are sent using SendMailSession. Mail session encapsulates process of preparing emails, opening and closing transport connection and sending emails. Mail sessions should be created by some SendMailSessionProvider. One such provider already exist: SmtpServer. It encapsulates SMTP server that might use simple authentication.

With send mail session it is possible to send several emails at once, using just one connection. This is significantly faster then to opening session for each email.

Here is an example of sending previously defined emails:

    SmtpServer smtpServer = SmtpServer.create("")
                .authenticateWith("user", "password");
    SendMailSession session = smtpServer.createSession();;

Since opening session and sending emails may produce EmailException, it is necessary to wrap methods in try-catch block and closing the session in the finally block.

SmtpServer uses fluent interface so you can easily specify different configuration. For example:

        SmtpServer smtpServer = SmtpServer
                .create("", 587)
                .authenticateWith("test", "password")

Here we specified the timeout value and provide additional mail properties for the SMTP server.

Sending using SSL

Preferred way for sending e-mails is using SSL protocol. Jodd supports secure e-mail sending with SmtpSslServer, a subclass of SmtpServer. Here is an example of sending e-mail via Gmail (port 465 is set by default):

    SmtpServer smtpServer = SmtpSslServer
            .authenticateWith("", "password");
    SendMailSession session = smtpServer.createSession();;

Everything is the same, just different session provider is used.

Receiving emails

Receiving emails is similar to sending: there are classes that encapsulates POP3 and IMAP connections, i.e. servers. Both creates the same receiving session - ReceiveMailSession - that fetches emails and return them as an array of ReceivedEmails. This way you work with both POP3 and IMAP servers in the very same way.

Even the instance of the same class ReceiveMailSession is created by both POP3 and IMAP servers implementations, not all methods work in the same way! This difference depends on server type. Commonly, POP3 has less features (e.g. not being able to fetch all folder names for GMail account), while IMAP server is reacher (e.g. it supports server-side search).

During receiving, all emails are fetched and returned as an array of ReceivedEmail objects. This is a POJO object, so its very easy to work with. It provides many helpful methods, too. Each ReceivedEmail also contains a list of all messages, attachments and attached messages (EMLs).

There are several methods for fetching emails:

  • receiveEmail() - returns all emails, but don't change the 'seen' flag.
  • receiveEmailAndMarkSeen() - returns all emails and marked all messages as 'seen'.
  • receiveEmailAndDelete() - returns all emails and mark them as 'seen' and 'deleted'.

The first method does a little trick: since javax.mail always set a 'seen' flag when new message is downloaded, we do set it back on 'unseen' (if it was like that before fetching). This way receiveEmail() should not change the state of your inbox.

Most probably you will need receiveEmailAndMarkSeen() or receiveEmailAndDelete().


For POP3 connection, use Pop3Server:

    Pop3Server popServer = new Pop3Server("",
            new SimpleAuthenticator("username", "password"));
    ReceiveMailSession session = popServer.createSession();;
    ReceivedEmail[] emails = session.receiveEmailAndMarkSeen();
    if (emails != null) {
        for (ReceivedEmail email : emails) {
            System.out.println("\n\n===[" + email.getMessageNumber() + "]===");

            // common info
            Printf.out("%0x", email.getFlags());
            System.out.println("FROM:" + email.getFrom());
            System.out.println("TO:" + email.getTo()[0]);
            System.out.println("SUBJECT:" + email.getSubject());
            System.out.println("PRIORITY:" + email.getPriority());
            System.out.println("SENT DATE:" + email.getSentDate());
            System.out.println("RECEIVED DATE: " + email.getReceiveDate());

            // process messages
            List messages = email.getAllMessages();
            for (EmailMessage msg : messages) {

            // process attachments
            List<EmailAttachment> attachments = email.getAttachments();
            if (attachments != null) {
                for (EmailAttachment attachment : attachments) {
                    System.out.println("name: " + attachment.getName());
                    System.out.println("cid: " + attachment.getContentId());
                    System.out.println("size: " + attachment.getSize());
                        new File("d:\\", attachment.getName()));

Receiving emails using SSL

Again, very simply: use Pop3SslServer implementation. Here is how it can be used to fetch email from Google:

    Pop3Server popServer = new Pop3SslServer("", "username", "password");
    ReceiveMailSession session = popServer.createSession();;


Above example can be converted to IMAP usage very easily:

    ImapServer imapServer =
        new ImapSslServer("", "username", "password");
    ReceiveMailSession session = imapServer.createSession();;

Can't be easier:)

As said above, when working with IMAP server, many methods of ReceiveMailSession works better or… simply, just works. For example, you should be able to use following methods:

  • getUnreadMessageCount() - to get number of un-seen messages.
  • getAllFolders() - to receive all folders names
  • server-side filtering - read next chapter

Filtering emails

IMAP server also knows about server-side filtering of emails. There are two ways how to construct email filter, and both can be used in the same time.

The first approach is by grouping terms:


Static method filter() is a factory of EmailFilter instances. Above filter defines the following query expressions:

    (from:"from" AND to:"to") OR not(subject:"subject") OR from:"from"

With this approach you can define boolean queries of any complexity. But there is a more fluent way to write the same query:


Here we use non-argument methods to define current boolean operator: and() and or(). All terms defined after the boolean marker method uses that boolean operator. Method not() works only for the very next term definition. This way you probably can not defined some complex queries, but it should be just fine for the real life usages.

Here is how we can use simple filter when fetching emails:

    ReceivedEmail[] emails = session.receiveEmail(filter()
            .flag(Flags.Flag.SEEN, false)

This would return all unread messages with subject equals to "Hello".

Note that for IMAP server, the search is executed by the IMAP server. This significantly speeds up the fetching process as not all messages are downloaded. Note that searching capabilities of IMAP servers may vary.

You can use the same filters on POP3 server, but keep in mind that the search is performed on the client-side, so still all messages have to be downloaded before the search is thrown.

Everything else…

Parsing EML files

What if you have your emails stored in EML files. Not a problem, just use EmailUtil.parseEML(). It accepts both file or files content as an input and returns ReceivedEmail of parsed EML message.

Gmail and new message count

Gmail does not support the Recent flags on messages. Since the getNewMessageCount() method counts messages with the RECENT flags, Jodd will not (yet) find any such messages on Gmail servers (hence always returning value 0).

Email parsing and validation

Jodd offer one great class for parsing and validating emails: EmailAddress. It works per RFC2822 standard. This class can be trusted to only provide authenticated results. Since the standard is quite complex, it is not a perfect yet, but it works much better then other solutions.