Community Knowledge Base

Message Archive Search

This feature is only available in SmarterMail Enterprise edition.

Message archiving is a method of storing all email traffic for a domain -- either incoming messages, outgoing messages, or both -- in a separate location on the mail server. Typically, this is a feature used for companies that need mail servers to be in compliance with certain regulatory guidelines, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

When archiving is set up, messages are automatically archived as soon as they hit the spool and before they are handled by any spam and/or content filters. This means that all messages are archived, not simply those that are delivered to a user's mailbox. (The exception to this rule is messages rejected due to SMTP Blocking. If a message is rejected due SMTP Spam blocking, it will never hit the spool and, therefore, will not be archived.) On a nightly basis, SmarterMail zips up archived messages and stores them to conserve disk space on the mail server. However, zipped messages are still searchable.

By default, SmarterMail does not archive any messages. To specify which domains are archived, the system administrator will need to create archiving rules. Rules can be set up for the system as a whole, so all domains are archived, in the system's General settings, or archiving rules can be set up on a domain-by-domain basis on each domain's Configuration tab.

Search Results

If message archive searches have been performed, they'll be listed when navigating to this page. Otherwise, this page will be blank and a new search needs to be initiated. If there are searches that have been completed, you will see the following:

  • Summary - Here, the general details of the search is listed. This includes the search parameters including things like whether the search is for "messages sent to:" a particular user, "messages sent by:" a particular user, the domain or user, and the dates searched.
  • Matches - The number of items than matched the search parameters.
  • Status - Whether the search completed or not, and date and time the search was performed.

Each set of results can be viewed by simply clicking on it, and the results are displayed. Searches can be manually deleted as well by simply selecting a search and clicking the Delete button.

Searching Message Archive(s)

When performing a message archive search, the following search strings will be available: filter for all domains or a specific one, date range, the sender's address, the recipient's address or the subject.

SmarterMail's archiving feature saves any inbound message, outbound message, or both, depending on the Rules that are set up for the domains. That means any spam message, junk message, messages that are eventually deleted, etc. are all saved. That means the ability to find messages, and then perform some action on those messages once found, is extremely important. This is especially true in environments that have compliance guidelines that need to be followed.

When message archiving is set up for a specific domain, that domain's administrator can find a Message Archive Search within the domain's Settings. System administrators can search across any and all domains, regardless of the Rules that are set up. Regardless of whether a domain administrator or system administrator is performing a search, the following is available for search criteria:

  • Start and End - The start and end dates for the search.
  • From - The email address the message is sent from.
  • To - The email address the message is sent to.
  • Subject - A word or phrase that would be in the subject line. If a person wants to find all messages From or To a particular address, this can stay blank.

After a search is performed, and results are found, there are a few actions that can be taken on one or more of the search results:

  • Download / Download All - This will download a copy of individually-selected messages, or all messages. Whichever is chosen a .Zip file gets downloaded. The messages are saved in their original .eml format and can be opened by an email client, email utility or any other standard program that can open emails.
  • Copy to Mailbox / Copy All - In certain instances, it may be necessary to move messages to a separate mailbox. For example, in a situation where an outside organization, like an auditing company, requires access to certain messages. In these cases, a separate user can be set up for the organization, and any messages found via Archive Search can be moved to that new user for later review. Messages can even be moved to a specific folder, or specific folders, within that new user so they're contained and easily organized. Individually selected messages can be copied using Copy to All, or all results can be copied using Copy All.

Search Results

Results from archive searches persist for as long as they're needed. Each set of results appears in a grid so they can be retrieved as often as necessary. Once they're no longer needed, they can be closed out, and removed from the list.