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Environment

Netmail Archive 6.x

Synopsis

Netmail will store the archives of a mailbox on disk, in a folder named after the user's ID+server+domain.  As these elements might eventually change over the lifetime of a mailbox, it's important to keep the archives from getting fragmented and creating "duplicate" folders for the same user.  If this happens, the user will only see the most recent data collected and nothing from before the change.  Netmail leverages an object called a usermap to keep the contents of a mailbox directed to the original folder, even as the userID/server/domain changes.

Solution

To keep a mailbox's archives together, a link must be persisted somewhere about which folder was created for it.  Netmail does this by saving the foldername together with the mailbox itself.  

  • In Groupwise, this means a hidden message in the Work in Progress folder.  
  • In Exchange, a custom MAPI attribute is created on the mailbox.  

In either case, the message/attribute will contain a single piece of information: the name of the folder on-disk that belongs to this mailbox.  The flowchart below illustrates the creation & maintenance of a usermap:

 

Note that the usermap object is created & maintained by the archive job.  But who are the consumers?  These are clients which need to read the archive folders, namely Netmail Search and the admin web console.  Consequently if archive jobs do not run routinely in your environment, the usermaps may fall out-of-date and these components will begin to have trouble locating users' data.

The admin web console will leverage the usermaps to translate folders on disk to their current users' IDs (when selecting users in jobs, for example).  This helps when listing/searching for users, such that they're referenced by the current user ID and not old/previous versions.  This way an administrator looking for Elise Grovner's archives can find it easily without having to remember that she used to be called Elise Dolores.

Netmail Search also requires the usermaps to determine which archives to display for a user upon login.  Similar to the archive job in the flowchart above, it will fetch the mailbox info for a user during login.  However unlike the archive job, it does not connect to the mail system to do this; it will reference the usercache in the Netmail LDAP (created by the Address Book Sync).  Using this info it will try to locate the appropriate folder on disk.  However if the user has changed ID/server/domain since its creation, there will be no corresponding foldername.  The user might receive an error message such as:

"The system was unable to locate archives. If this is your first time accessing archives it could mean that the archives have not yet been created or transferred into this system. If this issue persists, please contact your system administrator."

Thus in order to find the correct folder, the info will have to be translated back to the old ID/server/domain via the usermaps, and only then will it find a corresponding folder and be able to display archives for the user.

Notes

You can fix the Netmail Search error by updating the usermap without actually archiving from the mailbox.  See this article for how to do this.

 


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  1. Netmail has tools to view & edit these hidden messages / attributes in case it's required for troubleshooting.  Please contact Support for more information.