Customizing the Name of the Online Archive… Unfortunately Still Buggy.

With Exchange 2010 SP1, I have a lot more options for helping users manage their emails and help our company meet requirements regarding email retention policies, compared to past versions of Exchange. While the original Exchange 2010 RTM “Managed Folders” features are still available via PowerShell, the most current iteration of MRM involves Retention Tags and Retention Policies.

While our lawyers hammer out the details regarding how long we should be holding onto mail, I’ve been playing around with the tags and working out the most suitable way to implement the technology for our office. Part of this involves the use of the “Online Archive” feature as a way to eliminate the difficult to manage PST files and to ensure that the primary mailbox database remains small enough to restore quickly in the event of a system failure.

Online Archives act as an extension of the primary mailbox and the folders and mail within it are still subject to the retention tags that were applied to mail messages and folders. So for my needs, the “archive” is simply a place to automatically move the mail that is subject to our longer retention needs.

By default the label of the archive in OWA and Outlook is “Online Archive – User Name”, however for my office I’d like to change the name from “Online Archive” to something more appropriate for our use of the feature, like “Retained Mail – User Name”. 

The word “archive” seems to imply that any message put in that area will be saved indefinitely and I want to make sure it’s clear that those messages are still subject to the retention rules. It’s a cosmetic change and mostly semantics, I know, but I think it’s important for the scope of our project.

Within EMC there is a spot on each users mailbox settings where you can customize the display name of the title. I changed my test account and was happy to see it reflected in OWA and Outlook 2007.  We’ll be upgrading our users to Outlook 2010 in order to fully support the retention tag features, so I updated my lab workstation to Outlook 2010 as well.

Much to my dismay, I noticed the online archive title was not customized in Outlook 2010. It now read, “Archive – email address”.  Curious.  I did a little search on the Internet and found a detailed posted describing the problem from fellow MVP, Tim Harrington.  The post dates back to December 2010, so I’m disappointed that the bug still exists after a year’s worth of Office 2010 patches and updates.  But there you have it.

Another quick note on Office 2010… If you launch Outlook during your Windows session, then close it and launch it again, it may hang on the “Loading Profile” step.  Switch over to Task Manager and you’ll likely find several “agent” processes.  Kill them and Outlook will load properly when launched.

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