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How to share Web research results as reports and collections

Mar 24, 20042 mins
Enterprise Applications

* Aggregating HTML with MHTML

In the last newsletter I discussed a Web research tool called Onfolio and mentioned that you could share your research results as reports and collections. What I didn’t clarify was how this is done.

Underlying Onfolio’s content sharing is a standard that isn’t well known or understood outside of the developer community: MIME Encapsulation of Aggregate Documents RFC 2557 (see links below).

RFC 2557 summarizes the standard as: “In order to transfer a complete HTML multimedia document in a single e-mail message, it is necessary to: a) aggregate a text/html root resource and all of the subsidiary resources it references into a single composite message structure; and b) define a means by which URIs in the text/html root can reference subsidiary resources within that composite message structure.”

When this encapsulation method is applied to HTML content we get MIME Encapsulation of Aggregate HTML, or MHTML.

MHTML provides an architecture to encapsulate referenced resources within the message body so that an e-mail client can render page content without having to retrieve the resources from network servers.

Onfolio, and WinMHT (a Web site archiving utility), MS Office XP/2002, MS Office 2000 Web archive add-in, and MS Internet Explorer (MSIE) all save MHTML archives with the default extension of .mht.

MHTML also becomes a browser method as in:


Constructing an mht archive can be done easily with a tool such as Chilkat MHT .NET Component. Designed for use with C#, VB.NET, and ASP.NET, Chilkat MHT automates the conversion of HTML into MHTML with embedded images and style sheets and outputs an e-mail object.

Another MHT generating tool is WebArchiveX Component from C Systems for .NET C#, C++, Java Script, Visual Basic and ASP.

MHTML archives are powerful tools for packaging rich Web content generated by server-side Web applications.


Mark Gibbs is an author, journalist, and man of mystery. His writing for Network World is widely considered to be vastly underpaid. For more than 30 years, Gibbs has consulted, lectured, and authored numerous articles and books about networking, information technology, and the social and political issues surrounding them. His complete bio can be found at

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