Easy IMAP Email Synchronisation for FileMaker Databases


Compare FM IMAP vs. FileMaker's native email features





Email client interface

Fully scripted, no programming necessary

Synchronise your inbox, sent folders, personal folders etc. with your database and choose which folders to synchronise

Synchronise the standard IMAP flags: Seen, Answered, Flagged, Deleted and Draft


Configure your email accounts just like any normal email application

Specify SMTP server settings

Advanced SMTP authentication

Supports Google oAuth (alternative to user name & password stored in the database)


Send plain text emails

Send Rich Text messages (automatically converts FileMaker text to Rich Text)

Send HTML messages

Send multiple attachments

FM 17+

Automatically saves and syncs emails in your Drafts folder


Receive email

Multi-threaded receiving

Access full email headers

Download attachments or leave on server

View emails with inline images

Move messages to another folder


Create local folders (not synchronised). Useful for archiving or legal requirements

IMAP synchronisation can run server-side for improved multi-user experience

Detailed activity log

Compare FM IMAP vs. Dacons Mailit, 360 Works Email plug-in and CNS POPit & SMTPit

The following are the results from our internal testing as well as feedback from FM IMAP beta testers who have also used or tested the other plug-ins. Whilst we have done everything possible to confirm these details, we cannot guarantee their accuracy. If you have a different experience or are aware of any errors in the following comments then please advise us and we will rectify them immediately. Our intention is only to give an honest comparison to help you make an informed decision.

What is IMAP

IMAP is an extra protocol in addition to POP or SMTP. IMAP is where the magic happens, that synchronises the emails in your database with your desktop mail app and mobile devices. For example, without IMAP the emails sent from your FileMaker database will not be visible in the sent folder of your email applications or other devices and visa versa. For more details on the differences between POP and IMAP, please see the FAQ at the end of this page.

…but neither of these plug-ins fully implement synchronising multiple IMAP accounts and folders in their sample files, so you will need to program that too - and IMAP synchronisation is extremely complex (it's over 5,000 lines of code in FM IMAP).???

All three of these plug-ins are excellent products in their own right and if your main requirement is just to send and receive emails then any of these might do some or all of what you need. Each plug-in has it's own strengths and some offer features not available in FM IMAP. This comparison is focussed on IMAP and not other features. Please therefore download and test the other email plug-ins to do a full comparison of the features you require.

Dacons Mailit v7.0.0.43

??? Dacons does not appear to support Google oAuth, which means under certain circumstances, it will be impossible to connect to Google accounts unless you enable the "Enable Less Secure Apps" option, which we would not generally recommend. ???

360 Works Email plug-in v3.1
The 360 Works sample files we downloaded did not provide any IMAP synchronisation built in. It can download messages using the IMAP protocol. It also provides commands to move message from one folder to another and read and write flags (two of the core concepts of synchronisation), but you will have to write all the programming code yourself. As mentioned above, this is extremely complex and includes over 5,000 lines of code in FM IMAP.

360 Works does not appear to support Google oAuth, which means under certain circumstances, it will be impossible to connect to Google accounts unless you enable the "Enable Less Secure Apps" option, which we would not generally recommend.

During our internal testing we were unable to connect to either iCloud or gMail accounts but you should do your own testing.


As far as we are aware, the CNS POPit & SMTPit plug-in combination do not provide any support for IMAP.

To offer a completely balanced comparison, FM IMAP requires the outstanding MBS plug-in, so you will need to licence that separately if you don't already have a licence. The MBS plug-in adds over 5,000 new functions to FileMaker, making it extremely powerful and could help you make lots of improvements elsewhere in your FileMaker solutions. FM IMAP takes advantage of the full cURL implementation in MBS, which is far superior to the limited subset of cURL available directly in any version of FileMaker.

As mentioned in the FAQ section below, FM IMAP requires FileMaker 16 or later, whereas the other plug-ins will usually work with older version of FileMaker. If you're using FileMaker 15 or earlier then you will need to upgrade to use FM IMAP.

Key Features

Full IMAP synchronisation in FileMaker

No need to write any code. We've done it all for you!

Send emails from FileMaker and see them in the sent folder on your other devices and vice-versa

Supports Google oAuth as well as traditional user name / password combinations

Syncs multiple IMAP accounts simultaneously and fast

Easy to integrate into your own solution or just use our files if you don't already have a FileMaker email client.

Schedule server-side scripts so it all happens in the background

Technical Requirements

Requires FileMaker 16, 17 or 18 and MBS plug-in 7.5 or later.
Best with MBS 9.1 or later since it utilise some of the latest cURL updates to improve speed and other features.

Sync File

Sync File Features

  • This is the file where all the magic happens. Unlike email plug-ins that give you the functions but often require you to go and write the code or modify their sample code, we have created the entire sync solution. Downloading emails using POP or even IMAP isn’t too hard, but doing a full two-way synchronisation is actually really complex.
  • Supports all usual email providers including Google oAuth. We have tested over 100 providers, so hopefully you won’t have any problems connecting to your provider.
  • Syncs multiple IMAP accounts simultaneously and super fast. Our internal testing shows it is up to 25 times faster than some other FileMaker email plug-ins.
  • Choose which IMAP folders are synced, e.g. might have a personal folder in an email account that you don't want in FM.
  • Sync can be run on client, PSOS or scheduled server.
  • Syncs the standard IMAP flags \Seen \Answered \Flagged \Deleted \Draft.
  • Full error log for debugging.
  • Local folders for archiving

Email Client

Email Client Features

  • FM IMAP comes with an email client interface file or it can be integrated into your exiting email client interface, as appropriate.
  • Our email client is a completely open if you should want to modify it.
  • Converts outgoing emails that use FileMaker rich text formatting, e.g. colours, fonts, size etc. Converts them to HTML.
  • Toggle between standard and Unified inbox.
  • Stores plain text and html versions of each received email.
  • Option to not download remote or inline images for added security.
  • Option to only download attachments when required (reducing storage requirements).
  • Optionally create local folders that are not synchronised, e.g. to move an email out of IMAP so it’s only stored in FM (coming in an update).
  • Uses a proper ‘Outbox’ for emails waiting to send.
  • All standard email client features like write message, mark as read/unread, forward, reply, reply all, flag etc.


Qty Email Accounts

Annual Subscription



Free for the first year

Up to 5

£ 295

Up to 10

£ 395

Up to 25

£ 495

Up to 50

£ 695

Up to 100

£ 1,195



Licensing Options

  • Annual subscriptions are based on the number of email accounts being synchronised, not the number of computers / devices or people. If you have an organisation with 100 people all sharing a single info@ email address, then you just need a licence for one email account. If you have an organisation with 8 people using individual email addresses and one shared info@ email address then you need a licence for up to 10 email accounts. If you have an organisation running FileMaker over 3 servers with 15 different email accounts used on each server, then you need a licence for up to 50 email accounts.
  • Subscriptions include support and updates.
  • Each license is per "entity" where the term entity refers to a single business, organisation, company, school or similar.
  • Professional FileMaker developers integrating FM IMAP into multiple bespoke client solutions require a licence per entity.
  • Professional FileMaker developers integrating FM IMAP into a Vertical Market product require a licence for the 'default number of email accounts' per end-user entity using your VM solution plus the VM Licence option below. In this example, the 'default number of email accounts' simply means 'how many email accounts do you want to include in your VM product for each client?'. If you want to include up to five email accounts with your VM solution then purchase a licence for five email accounts plus the VM Licence option below.
  • All prices are in UK GBP and exclude VAT, which will be added at the checkout if applicable.

Vertical Market Licence

VM licence is per single product. If you wish to integrate FM IMAP into more than one VM product, please purchase a separate VM licence for each product.

£1,795 per solution plus the default number of email accounts per customer licensed installation of your product. You can add more licences for individual customers if required.

Vertical Market Licence Notes

  • The VM licence is per VM product and is not appropriate for bespoke or custom developed solutions which require their own licences per entity.
  • There is no limit to the number of devices using FM IMAP in your product, only the number of email accounts.
  • If one of your VM customers requires additional email accounts, either they or you can purchase an additional licence as appropriate.
  • Licensing management must be provided by the VM product developer. Support will only be provided to the VM product developer and not directly to your customers.

Custom Integration

Assistance integrating FM IMAP into your existing solution or helping you to develop a custom solution based around FM IMAP. Please get in touch to discuss your requirements.

£125 per hour


Explain POP3 vs. IMAP?

POP and IMAP are the protocols or technologies that you use to download messages from mail servers to your computers and mobile devices.

POP is the older tecnhnology and only allows downloading - it's a one way street. Once downloaded there is no connection between an email on the mail server and the same email on your device. If you delete it from your device, it's still on the mail server. If you go to another device and downloaded your emails, it would be there again, as if by magic, because it never got deleted from the mail server. This is why old POP accounts used to become full much quicker… because emails never got deleted from the server. This lack of synchronisation can be a real pain!

IMAP is the newer technology that both downloads and synchronises your email folders and their contents. Once downloaded, if you delete an email from your device, it deletes it from the mail server when it next synchronises. If you send an email from one device it will appear in the sent folder on your other devices.

People often ask about SMTP… When you send an email it goes via SMTP whether you're using POP or IMAP. The difference is that with POP/SMTP, it's just in the sent folder on the device you sent it from. The extra technology in IMAP subsequently synchronises all the folders (including your sent folder) on your various devices so that the email you sent on your computer appears in the sent folder on your phone and vice-versa. Without IMAP, SMTP is a one way street, just like POP.

The IMAP protocol doesn't just synchronise the emails, but any changes, e.g. read or unread status, whether it has flags and which folder its in. IMAP can also synchronise draft emails, so you can start an email on one device, then complete and send it on another.

Can I access emails offline?

Yes. Because of the way FileMaker works, our synchronisation process creates local copies of all your emails in a FileMaker table.

Once synchronised, copies of the emails are stored in your FileMaker database so you can read them offline. By default FM IMAP doesn't download attachments or inline images so you may want to download those before going offline. You can edit the default settings to download inline images and attachments if you prefer.

How often should I run the sync script?

It depends on how many email accounts you're synchronising, how many emails are in those account folders and whether or not your database is hosted on FileMaker Server.

With fewer email accounts and / or if you're just running your database on FileMaker locally (not on FileMaker Server), then you can click the synchronise button whenever you need to.

If your database is hosted on FileMaker Server and you click the sync button in FileMaker client, FM IMAP uses the Perform Script on Server method because it makes more efficient use of your network bandwidth and will therefore run faster.

However, if your database is hosted on FileMaker Server it might be advantageous to schedule a script to run on your server anything between every 5 to 60 minutes (or as frequently or infrequently as you need) so that updates happen in the background without affecting FileMaker users. We would generally not recommend setting the scheduled script to run more frequently than every five minutes since could cause overlaps, especially if you have lots of email accounts and / or lots of email in any of the accounts. We recommend that you first look at the FM IMAP logs (or run the sync on a FileMaker client) to see how long synchronisations take and thus how long to leave between server schedules.

Do you support local non-sync'd folders?

Let's say that for legal reasons, you need to keep some emails in FileMaker even if they were to be get deleted from the mail server.

FM IMAP supports ‘local’ folders that don't synchronise with the mail server. This enabled you to take advantage of IMAP for downloading / synchronising emails sent from elsewhere and also moving them into a local folder to meet archiving or legal requirements.

Will it work with FMP v15 or Runtimes?

Currently we make extensive use of the following features which are not supported in FileMaker 15 or earlier:

- CryptDecrypt
- JSON functions
- Using variables to reference external data files
- Card windows

FileMaker 15 or earlier: The above features are not available in FileMaker 15 or earlier.

Runtimes: The runtime engine was officially deprecated in May 2015 with the release of FileMaker 14. Since then any new features added to FileMaker have not been added to runtimes. Even if you produce a runtime solution from FileMaker 17 it will not support any newer features introduced in FileMaker 15, 16 or 17. Since the above listed features were all introduced in FileMaker 16 or later, they simply won't work in runtimes.

The only solution would be to redevelop many thousands of lines of code in the FM-IMAP synchronisation engine to use the MBS plug-in features instead of FileMaker's native functions, which would require a lot of work. We are happy to review this if there is sufficient demand or a customer wishes to sponsor the work.

Are there any known issues?

The following are known issues as of 2nd May 2019. We hope to address most of these issues in updates. Please check back for more details.

  • Haven’t yet implemented an option to delete trash after xx days. This is usually managed by other email clients or server settings.
  • Folder names with international characters will synchronise correctly but the foreign characters will be displayed incorrectly in FileMaker. IMAP uses UTF-7 for international characters which FM doesn’t support. Christian has added a new function in MBS v9.2 to convert UTF-7, so this is dixed for users with MBS v9.2 or later (in beta at the time of writing).
  • Replying / forwarding HTML emails: Since FileMaker can’t retain the images in the a text field, image links are shown instead. We hope to add TinyMCE HTML editor in an update.
  • Does not currently support creation of or renaming folders in FM.
  • Does not currently support coloured flags that Mac Mail uses… just shows as a flag.
  • Does not currently support flags on Microsoft 365 email accounts since Microsoft haven’t properly implement the IMAP protocol for flags (they’ve rolled their own method). Will be added in an update.