Filename extension: .stm
Developed by: IBM
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The STM file format is a data file primarily associated with Microsoft Exchange Server's streaming media storage. Introduced with Exchange Server 2000, this file type works in tandem with the EDB (Exchange Database) to store non-MAPI (Messaging Application Programming Interface) messages which are primarily MIME-formatted email messages. The streaming file essentially stores the internet content of these messages, optimizing message delivery and enhancing server performance.

How the STM File Works

In the infrastructure of Exchange Server, the STM file operates alongside the EDB file. While the EDB file holds MAPI messages, the STM file complements it by storing the MIME data. When a message is transmitted via SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol), its Internet-styled components are placed in the STM file. This separation improves the overall efficiency by allowing the server to quickly render and transmit data in its native format without unnecessary conversions.

Software That Utilizes STM Files

Primarily, Microsoft Exchange Server utilizes STM files as part of its database system. However, software designed for Exchange Server management and backup may also interact with STM files, enabling administrators to execute tasks like data recovery and email extraction. Notably, as newer versions of Exchange have phased out STM in favor of a unified EDB file system, the interaction with STM files has become less common.

Alternatives to the STM Format

As Microsoft evolved its Exchange Server, it eventually integrated the separate STM functionality into the EDB files starting with Exchange Server 2007, effectively rendering the STM format obsolete. Modern alternatives involve the comprehensive database formats provided by other email server technologies, which often use singular database files that handle all types of message content, such as the MBOX format used by various email clients. Additionally, for specialized applications, formats like MSG and EML can be used to store individual email messages.

Supported converters for STM files

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