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Alexander Zammit has been developing server applications for over 15 years. Most of his works involve Exchange integrated applications, including a FAX server, a mail security product and anti-spam products.
Exchange 2007 introduces Messaging Record Management, broadening the scope of automated mailbox processing. Here is what MRM brings and how to configure it in Beta 2.
Note: This article is based on Exchange 2007 Beta 2. Some of the discussed functionality may change in the final release.
The Exchange 2003 Mailbox Manager is primarily concerned with automatic mailbox cleanup. It allows the enforcement of policies that delete content based on message size and age. In an earlier article we showed how this could be employed to automatically cleanup the Junk Email Folder.
Exchange 2007 introduces Messaging Record Management (MRM), broadening the scope of automated mailbox processing. Mailbox cleanup is now coupled with more functionality facilitating legal compliancy. Some of the improvements that will become evident from this discussion include journaling integration, improved support for custom folders and a new policy configuration.
MRM is part of the Exchange 2007 messaging policy and compliancy features. This also includes Message Classification, Rights Management and Transport Policies. Thus today we are only looking at one peace of a bigger puzzle.
For those not yet accustomed to the Exchange 2007 terminology, note the use of the term Messaging Record. This underlies the Unified Messaging environment where different messaging data sits side-by-side. Apart for the classic email messaging elements this also includes faxes, voice messages, RSS items etc.
As we shall see, MRM configuration involves the following steps:
Managed Folders are located under Organization | Mailbox. These are organized in two pages. The Managed Default Folders page lists the standard folders.
The Managed Custom Folders page allows for identifying new folders.
To define a new folder, select New Managed Custom Folder from the Actions pane. This will launch a wizard where the folder name, folder storage limit and a description may be specified.
This completes the custom folder configuration. Exchange will later create and maintain the folder content as per our policy.
From the folder context menu select New Managed Content Settings to configure how each of the folders is to be handled.
The first wizard step allows you to identify the type of messages to which these settings apply. Multiple content handling configurations could be created managing different message types. For example, faxes could be handled differently from email messages.
Next specify the number of days messages are to be retained within the folder. Once this elapses an action is applied. The action list that follows provides a number of options for removing or marking these messages.
The next wizard step provides the journaling configuration options.
This completes the Managed Content Settings for one of the folders. The same procedure should be applied to all other folders being managed.
Select New Managed Folder Mailbox Policy from the Actions pane.
The policy only requires a name and the list of folders whose content settings are to be enforced. Click on the Add button to select the folders and complete configuration.
Policies may be set immediately on creating a mailbox. Otherwise these may be associated in a separate step. This is one area where the power shell is very useful. It can easily configure multiple mailboxes with a single command. Here is the command to associate the "Sales Mailbox Policy" to the user1 mailbox:
set-mailbox -Identity user1 -ManagedFolderMailboxPolicy "Sales Mailbox Policy"
Otherwise select the mailbox properties from the Exchange Management Console.
From the Mailbox Settings page open the Messaging Records Management properties.
In the dialog that opens, set the 'Managed folder mailbox policy' checkbox, click on Browse, and select the policy.
We are almost done. We just need to enable the Managed Folder Assistant on the Exchange Mailbox server.
Open the server properties and select the Messaging Record Management page. From here select 'Use Custom Schedule' and click on Customize to specify when the assistant is to run.
Save changes and sit back until the Assistant kicks in. Actually what about forcing it to run immediately? The console thus not provide for "Run Now" functionality in Beta 2. I hope this is included into the final release. In the meantime we can switch to the power shell and run the assistant using the command:
Once run, the assistant will create any custom managed folders and enforce the policy. Here is how the custom folders look like in OWA:
Exchange 2007 provides revamped mailbox management. As one weapon in the policy and compliancy arsenal, messaging record management is destined to be an Administrator's favorite.
TechNet: Managing Messaging Records Management
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