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Setting up Exchange Journaling in Exchange 2003

  • Published: Jan 30, 2007
  • Category: General
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Exchange Journaling is a means of archiving all inbound and outbound messages that pass through a mailbox store. Today we look at how to setup Exchange Journaling and enable Envelope Journaling in Exchange 2003.

Exchange Journaling is a means of archiving all inbound and outbound messages that pass through a mailbox store. Today we look at how to setup Exchange Journaling and enable Envelope Journaling in Exchange 2003.

About Exchange Journaling

Exchange Message Journaling was first introduced in Exchange 5.5 SP1 and has evolved through the Exchange versions to become an indispensable tool for some Systems Administrators. Exchange Journaling allows you to store a copy of any e-mail messages that have passed through the system into a mailbox, public folder or sent to an individual e-mail address.

Some government agencies now require you to adhere to regulatory requirements such as the Sarbanes Oxley Act and the Electronic Commerce Act 2000, and this means keeping an archive of all e-mail communication which may be later used for legal purposes. In some countries, any organization involved in the financial sector is obliged to comply with certain regulations which state that all electronic communication should be recorded. Some companies archive all e-mail communication simply because they are afraid of any law suits that may arise as a result of harassment in the workplace, be it racial, sexual or otherwise. On top of all this Journaling also serves as a means of data integrity and non repudiation.

Creating a Journaling Mailbox

The first stage in setting up Exchange Journaling is to create a new location which will store all the journaled messages. This can either be a public folder, a mailbox, a contact, or a distribution group. The former can be created from Exchange System Manager whereas the latter three locations can be created from the Active Directory Users and Computers console. For demonstration purposes I have chosen to create a mailbox.

Open Active Directory Users and Computers, right click the Users node or the relevant Organizational Unit and choose New | User. Follow the steps through and enter the appropriate information for the AD object you are creating.

TIP: When creating the Exchange user, give it a name relative to its role; something like "archive" or "journal" would be suitable.

Create Mailbox

Figure 1 - Creating a journaling mailbox

Once the journaling location has been set, open Exchange System Manager and navigate to <server_name> | Storage Group | Mailbox Store | Properties. In the General tab, select the "Archive all message sent or received by mailboxes on this store" checkbox. Click the Browse button and choose whichever journaling location you created previously. In this case I have chosen a mailbox called "journal".

Enable Journaling

Figure 2 - Enabling archiving on the mailbox store

From the moment you click Apply or OK, for any messages passing through this mailbox store a copy will be placed into the "journal" mailbox. To confirm this you can connect to the Journal mailbox via IMAP using Outlook Express for example. You will notice the mailbox filling up with messages as they flow through the mail system.

It is important to note that the sending of messages between mailbox stores that have exchange journaling enabled will result in duplicate messages being journaled; one message in each of the journaling mailboxes.

Some third party software leverages the Exchange journaling feature and offers the ability to poll the journaling mailbox and transfer the messages to a database or file system. This data management and archiving software may include indexing and search and retrieval capabilities. This is what Microsoft refers to as a 'Compliance Storage Solution'.

Enabling Envelope Journaling

Envelope journaling allows for the capturing of additional message information such as BCC recipients, message notifications, and distribution groups. An enveloped message contains two parts; a report consisting of the message recipient information in the body and the actual e-mail itself as an attachment. Keep in mind that Exchange 2003 SP1 is required to be installed on all servers in your organization for Envelope Journaling to work correctly and consistently.

There are two ways to enable Envelope Journaling in Exchange 2003; using the exejcfg tool or manually using ADSI Edit.

To enable Envelope journaling using exejcfg you must first download the tool from the Microsoft website:

This tool will allow you to enable and disable envelope journaling via the command line and basically it does automatically what you would otherwise be required to do manually; set a value in Active Directory. To enable envelope journaling using this method open a command prompt and navigate to the folder containing the exejcfg executable file. Now type "exejcfg -e" with no quotes. You should see a confirmation that envelope journaling has been enabled, as shown in figure 3. To disable envelope journaling simply type "exejcfg -d". To view the status of Envelope Journaling at any time use the -l parameter.

Envelope Journaling

Figure 3 - Enabling Envelope Journaling

To enable envelope journaling manually you can use ADSI Edit. ADSI Edit is a tool designed to allow you to view and modify Active Directory objects and it comes with the Windows 2003 Support Tools. If you haven't already done so previously, you will need to register adsiedit.dll from the command prompt (open the support tools command prompt window and type regsvr32 adsiedit.dll). Now open the console (mmc.exe from the Run box) and add ADSI Edit as a snap in.

From the ADSI Edit console navigate to Configuration | Services | Microsoft Exchange | <Organization name>, right click and select Properties. From the Attributes list, select heuristics and press the Edit button. A value of 512 will enable envelope journaling and a value of 0 will disable it.

The image below is a visual example of an envelope journaled message. Nicky@ztabona.local sent a message to Andrew@ztabona.local with in the CC field. The envelope journaling information shows that two additional recipients, namely and were in the BCC field of the message.

Journaled Email

Figure 4 - Example of an Enveloped message

As we have seen, Exchange Journaling, along with Envelope Journaling can be a very useful feature in helping you to fulfil regulatory and archive requirements. However I would not recommend that you rely on Exchange Journaling alone; use it as part of a complete archiving solution that allows easy to use search and retrieval features and stores the e-mails on a medium that is easy to backup.


Troubleshooting message journaling in Exchange Server 2003 and in Exchange 2000 Server

Journaling with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003

User Comments - Page 1 of 1

Mohamed Warssame 25 Jan 2010 09:52
Well written article, summarizing both political and practical of purposes of Journal Mailbox in Exchange server 2003. well done Andrew

Please , write how to import e-mails between BlackBerry and exchange 2003/7 with Outlook.And what is the best way to resolve isssues that arise from it [ when transferring mails).... I am mentioning the best way , because I had an issue today regarding this. ....

Many Thanks.

Richard Graber 23 May 2008 07:52
I have set up journaling on and Exchange 2003 SP2 server to copy all email temporarily to the admin account. However, when I uncheck the archiving option, all email continues to be copied. Is there a registry entry that needs to be updated that isn't being updated?
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