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Tools that support Boolean searches of Exchange mailbox data and .PSTs

Discover Microsoft Exchange Server tools that will allow you to perform defined searches of .PST files, the Exchange information store and mailbox data.

I'm looking for a relatively inexpensive tool that supports full Boolean searches of the Microsoft Exchange Server information store and/or .PST files. I only need to search one Exchange Server mailbox at a time. Ideally, the tool would allow me to define a date range, some parameters like "to" and "from," and then a complex sequence of parameters with Boolean operators, such as "(a OR b) AND (c OR d OR e)." Does such a tool exist?
That's a really good question. Not all of the following tools support the complex queries you're looking for, but I'll lay them out for you regardless. Here are your options:

  1. Native ExMerge is no longer supported in Exchange Server 2007, but it gives you the ability to search mailboxes for parameters including to/from and message keywords or attachment filenames. There are limitations around search complexity and there is no search in attachments or in public folders. It does allow exporting to .PST files or production mailboxes.
  2. Exchange 2007 Export-Mailbox cmdlet supports a search within Exchange 2007 mailboxes, and includes searches within attachments (assuming that the correct iFilters are installed). The limitations include lack of public folder support and there is, currently, no export to .PST files.
  3. Third-party tools such as Kroll OnTrack PowerControls or Quest Recovery Manager for Exchange (disclaimer: I work for Quest) support searches within Exchange databases (e.g., .EDB files, including public folders) and .PST files. You can also export to .PST files or production mailboxes.

Do you have comments on this Ask the Expert Q&A? Let us know.

Related information from SearchExchange.com:

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  • Tip: Manage full-text indexes with MSSearch Administration Tool
  • Tip: Get organized with Outlook 2003's search folders
  • Tip: Tool lets you search and replace in Microsoft Outlook
  • Reference Center: Exchange Server administration tools
  • This was last published in October 2007

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