We have tried using a regular API call from various processes....
What we have found is:
a.) You still have to read through all the headers (not getting the full text, just headers)...
*IF* this is a large folder... it is still time consuming...
True, you can parse through the headers as desired.. while reading them... but then what???
If you have the header, then you either have to point back or in some method; get to the actual
email - if the user is wanting them to read.
b.) We have (and do ) an automated "dump" into a database via our own coding... and regular
SMTP/Pop3/IMAP routines... We then store those into various fields for searching.
We then wrote our display - to put in an email format.. so they are not using webmail.
Problem there is, if they want to respond and/or handle it in some way.
So there are lots of ways to do what you desire... what you want to do with the results afterwards, is where the fun comes in.