Bruce Perens: What's Going On About Open-Sourcing the OpenMail Program
In late 1995 Shell Canada rolled out HP OpenMail as a replacement for MS Mail (and PROFS which was IBM mainframe-based). No MS Mail to OpenMail translator existed.
That summer, a co-op student (a very talented engineer who's now at the Robotics Institute, his talent was totally wasted at Shell) tried in vain to write a translator but the tools available at the time for MAPI just plain didn't work. If they did he would have finished it before his work term was over.
A few weeks after he left, Windows 95 came out and it shipped with MAPI 1.0, which actually worked. I wrote a complete translator in 3 weeks and Shell Canada used it to translate all their mailboxes. :-)
I remember my boss telling me HP wanted to buy the translator from Shell because noone else had one and all their customers wanted it. As far as I know, they didn't buy it but it was very flattering at the time, especially so early in my career. So, it's sad to hear OpenMail is dead.