Sakai has historically handled site emails through the Email Archive tool, and (more recently) the Private Messaging of Message Center. But some legacy systems may have created an expectation for a modest email client within the LMS/VLE, and although private messaging within a discussion forum and high-priority announcement notifications can accomplish this purpose as a kind of workaround, they are not intuitive avenues for accomplishing this task.
Further, while the Email Archive tool is for sending messages out to an entire site membership, there is a need for a tool that can allow site participants to quickly target subsets of other site participants, either individually, by role, or by defined section or group.
Since "Messages" became unbundled from Messagecenter beginning with the 2.4 Sakai release, the functional roles of Mailtool and Messages largely overlap, with the following exceptions:
- Messages persists messages online with an option for forwarding to an email address, while Mailtool only sends out emails.
- Messages limits recipients to site members, while Mailtool allows you to specify arbitrary recipient addresses.
- Mailtool allows you to append messages to the Email Archive.