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Accounts and Users

  • Account: There are two types of Accounts in TMail, Individual Accounts and Organization Accounts. Billing (if any) is managed at the account level. Individual Accounts have a single user, so we can think of Individual Accounts and Individual Users as basically synonymous. Organization accounts have mulitple users and are managed by an Organization Administrator. Individual account users have TMail address of the form joe$tmail21.com. Organization account users have TMail addresses of the form joe$acme.tmail21.com or joe$acme.com.
  • Users: Users are the users of the TMail system. Users can be Individual Account users or Organization Account users. Further Organization Account users can be further classified into Person and Role users.
    • Persons: Organization Users are of two types, viz. Persons and Roles. Person users are actual persons. A Person user can play zero or more Roles.
    • Roles: Organization Users are of two types, viz. Persons and Roles. Roles are used to represent institutional users within an Organization such as sales, procurement, hr etc. A person can play multiple Roles and a Role can be played by multiple Persons.
      • Special Roles: There are two special Roles that are always present in any Organization Account. These are the admin and certifier Roles. These Roles have additional capabilities beyond a normal Role.
        • Organization Administrator: An organization administrator (admin) is a special Role in an Organization. This Role can administer the organization account. Every organization has a single Org Admin Role. However, multiple Persons can play the Role. The Administrator Role can perform various organization level administration tasks such as managing users, managing domains etc.


  • TMailAt its simplest a TMail represents a Discussion thread. A TMail also has zero or more Sections which are content that are modified in the context of the thread. TMails can also be templatized into Processes. A common (but not required) evolution of a TMail is from Topic-oriented Discussion -> Goal-oriented Discussion -> Lean Process.
  • TMail Types: TMails come in three types. The default type is referred to as Basic. The other two types are Template and Instance.
  • TMail Header: Every TMail has its own unique Header Information, including the Subject, unique URL, the TMail Tracking Number (TTN), and a list of Writers (Users on the TMail).
  • TMail Tracking Number (TTN): Every TMail has a globally unique, friendly Tracking Number. An example of a Tracking Number is 024-1234-1235
  • Writers: All the Users associated with a TMail are referred to as the TMail Writers. They are called Writers because they can ‘write’ to Sections.
    • EMail addresses can also be added as writers. When this is done, an email will be sent to the added email address. The recipient must then attach to the TMail before they become a Writer on the TMail. This concept is entirely distinct from that of an attachment.
  • Changeset: Every change to a TMail is a changeset. Changsets are sequentially numbered starting with #1. Changesets contain exactly one comment and zero or more append-only changes (New, Update, Delete) to Sections, zero or more attachments and zero or more added writers.
  • Attachment: Every changeset can have zero or more file attachments. These are very similar to email attachments. In most cases a Section (see below) will be more appropriate than an Attachment.
  • Comment: Every change to a TMail is referred to as a Changeset. A Changeset contains exactly one Comment. Changesets are numbered starting with #1. If a changeset is the 5th changeset, it will also be the 5th Comment in the TMail. Even if a Comment is left empty, it is still considered to be present and is referred to as an Empty Comment.
  • Section: A Section is a piece of content associated with a TMail. They are similar to attachments but without the ‘attachment version nightmare’ problem. They are similar to attachments in that they are associated with changesets in the TMail thread. They are different in that they can be updated. It is always clear what the latest version of a Section is. Sections come in multiple types. All Section types other than the File Section type support Section Diff to see the difference between versions.
    • File: This type of Section represents File content such as Office files, PDFs, image files etc.
    • Form: This type of Section represents Form content. Forms have multiple fields of various types. They are useful for processes and form-type collaboration.
    • Grid: This type of Section is similar to a Spreadsheet but without the formulas. It is useful when you want to represent information in a tabular layout.
    • TextThis type of Section represents rich text content

The User Mailbox

The User Mailbox contains entities that are private to a user. These entities are used to organize TMails, keep track of things to follow up on etc. The common user private objects are Messages, TMail Pins, Message Trackers, Drafts, Response Drafts and Tags. By contrast TMails are Shared Objects.

  • TMail Pins: TMail Pins are User Private Objects that correspond to a TMail. Every writer on a TMail will have a corresponding private TMail Pin. Every TMail Pin contains zero or more Messages
  • Messages: For every changeset on a TMail a corresponding Message is sent to each writer on the TMail (writers that were present at the time of the Changeset).
    • Tracker Messages: Tracker Messages are a special type of Message. Unlike a typical message they do not correspond to a particular Changeset, but rather to the TMail as a whole. There are zero or one Tracker Messages associated with a TMail Pin. Tracker Messages can participate in the Message Flow like a regular Message.
    • Message Flow: This refers to a series of message folders, viz. Inbox, Backlog, On Deck, Waiting and Archive that allow messages to be easily triaged.
  • TMail Drafts: When a new TMail is being created, it can be created in a draft state. In a draft state all of the updates to the draft are private to the user. Only after the draft is ‘sent’ will a TMail be created accessible to all writers.
  • Response Drafts: When a user is responding to a TMail (distinct from Replying) the user can optionally create a Response Draft. This allows the entire Response (comment, Section changes, added writers, attachments etc.) to be edited and saved in a draft mode. It also allows all of these changes to be sent as a single Changeset.
  • Tags:  Tags are User Private Objects used to tag TMail Pins. They enable users to organize their TMails. A TMail Pin may have zero or more tags. And a tag may be associated with zero or more TMail Pins.

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