Microsoft extends personal archiving to Outlook 2007

Though it missed the cut with Exchange 2010 SP1, Microsoft has finally added personal archiving for Outlook 2007 users.

IT shops still running Outlook 2007 can check “simpler long-term storage” off their holiday wish lists.

Microsoft said this week that it has extended new archiving features for Exchange Server 2010 to work with Outlook 2007. The update centers on the personal archiving functionality first introduced with Exchange 2010 last November.

The feature is designed to replace the .pst file method for saving email messages over extended periods of time. With Exchange 2010, Outlook users can create secondary mailboxes, or personal archives, as a repository for email messages that need to be stored long-term. Until recently, the function was only available for Outlook 2010 or Outlook Web App (OWA), but has been added for Outlook 2007 users as part of the latest cumulative update for Microsoft Office.

The feature was one of the most talked-about additions to Exchange Server 2010, but received criticism early over Microsoft’s decision to host personal archives and users’ mailboxes on the same database. IT professionals were concerned that this would cause overgrowth of the database, leading to issues with disk consumption and more intensive backups and restores.

In response, Microsoft redesigned personal archiving for Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 1 (SP1) to allow user mailboxes and personal archives to be hosted on separate databases. The feature was not extended for Outlook 2007 in time for the SP1 release, however, and at the time was not expected until early 2011.

Users will be now able to use Outlook 2007 to copy email messages from primary mailboxes or .pst files to and from their personal archives. Searching, however, is still restricted to one mailbox type at a time, as personal archives are not recognized in primary mailbox searches.

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