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Netmail Archive (all versions)
Groupwise 7.x and higher


The goal of this article is to highlight and explain how 100% retention works with the Netmail Archive platform in a GroupWise environment.


To help understand this process, the article will present a diagram an example from a Netmail test environment.


Assume that two regularly-scheduled archive jobs are already configured, and assume that they are both set up to run nightly.

Also assume that the policies associated with the two jobs are slightly different: Note that one job uses a Trash only policy, while the other uses a Mailbox policy that archives everything EXCEPT trash (as shown below): 

Daily Archive Jobs (run nightly)

Trash and Mailbox Policy Criteria

Notice that the Mailbox policy is set to:

14 days and Older

whereas the Trash policy is set to:

7 days and Older


To better illustrate this, the diagram below will show what these jobs are trying to accomplish: 

Next, assume that 100% Retention must be guaranteed, i.e,. there must be a guarantee that an archived copy of every single message that exists in a user's mailbox will be created and stored in XML format.

To accomplish this, the GroupWise Retention Stamp feature of GroupWise is applied:

  • To determine whether mailbox messages were already flagged for retention, the message retention application adds a time stamp to the mailbox.The time stamp represents the most recent date and time that message retention was completed for the mailbox. 
  • Since the retention time stamp is applied at the mailbox level, this means that it is set at the USER level in GroupWise, i.e., the retention stamp cannot be applied to a specific folder (Trash, Mailbox, Cabinet, etc.) or specific message and is instead one retention stamp per user.
  • The retention stamp feature forces email to remain in a user's mailbox until there is an archived copy of it, in XML format, and messages delivered after the time stamp cannot be purged until they have been retained.

The option to set the retention timestamp is located on the Criteria tab of the Archive Job itself, as shown below: 

The next question is this: which of the two jobs should the Retention Timestamp be applied to?  The answer is quite simple - The 14 day 'Mailbox Policy' job.

Why is this the case?

To illustrate, consider the diagram that was presented above. A copy of every single message in the mailbox must be available BEFORE it can be deleted/purged from the GroupWise system.

Knowing that, if the retention flag was part of the 7 day Trash Policy, there would NO LONGER be 100% retention, and the following diagram explains why: 

This scenario illustrates that if the retention time stamp is set to 7 days (as with the trash policy), retention is no longer at 100%. This is because the trash policy only flags the user's GroupWise database to stamp all mail that was in the mailbox 7 days ago.

This is problematic since the Mailbox archive job only archives messages that are 14 days and Older, and it follows that there won't be a copy of messages sitting at the 0-14 day mark in the Mailbox. This also leaves a 7-day hole making it possible to delete messages that are 8-14 days old, as well as Purge them from the GroupWise system WITHOUT having a copy in XML format.

However, if the retention timestamp option is set on the 14 day and Older Mailbox Job, 100% retention is GUARANTEED. This is because the policy is designed for the system to create an archived copy of ALL email messages that are 14 days and older.

The lesson learned from this article is that is is important to be VERY, VERY CAREFUL when it comes to setting the retention timestamp! If it is improperly set, there is the potential to open holes in the mail archive, allowing messages to be deleted and purged without being archived!



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