Community Knowledge Base

Message Archiving

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 in compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 or other regulatory compliance.

By default, SmarterMail does not archive any messages. To specify which domains on the SmarterMail are archived, the system administrator will need to create archiving rules. Note: If the system administrator wants to allow individual domain administrators to search their domain's message archive then individual rules need to be set up for each domain. Setting the message archiving rules to "all domains" means only the system admin will be able to access message archive and search for messages on the mail server.

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.

To view the message archiving rules for your installation, log into SmarterMail as a System Administrator and click on the Settings icon. Then click on Message Archiving in the navigation pane. By default the Archiving Rules tab will be highlighted.

To create a new archiving rule, click on the New button. When adding or editing a message archive rule, the following settings will be available:

  • Domain - The domain on the SmarterMail server to be archived.
  • Archive Path - The directory on the hard drive in which archived messages are saved.
  • Rule - Set the direction of the messages you want added to the Archive. The following Rules are available:
    • Save All Messages
    • Save Inbound Messages
    • Save Outbound Messages
  • Reindex Archive - Allows system administrators to manually initiate a reindexing of the message archive. This can be done to fix any issues that cause messages to be excluded from the index.

Once email archiving is set up, both System Administrators and Domain Administrators can search the archives. Note: Please note that Domain Administrator search requires individual domain archiving rules to be set up, as noted above.

It is also important to know that archives are not deleted by SmarterMail and, as a result, they can get very large. Be sure to check your archive folders regularly to see if they should be backed up and removed from the hard drive.

Archive Search

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 Admininstrators can search across any and all domains, regardless of the Rules that are set up. Regardless of whether a Domain Adminstrator or System Administrator is performing a search, the following is available for search criteria:

  • Archive - Whether the search will encompass all domains or an individual domain.
  • 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 - This will download a copy of all messages selected as a .Zip file. 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 - 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 account can be set up for the organization, and any messages found via Archive Search can be moved to that new account for later review. Messages can even be moved to a specific folder, or specific folders, within that new account so they're contained and easily organized.