In Yes Virginia, there is an Exchange 2010 SP1, we announced Outlook 2007 support for Personal Archives in Exchange 2010 SP1 timeframe. This is now available in February 2011 Cumulative Update for Office 2007.

Exchange 2010 includes Personal Archive, a feature designed to help you reduce the risks from PST files and reduce the costs of discovery. Organizations can provision archive mailboxes for their users, allowing them to store older e-mail that's accessed less frequently in the archive. From the user's perspective, archive mailbox behaves like a PST file, minus the file management overhead and risks of a PST file. For more details, see Understanding Personal Archives in Exchange 2010 documentation. Also check out Exchange GM Perry Clarke's Geek Out With Perry series for a chalk talk video on Exchange Archiving.

In the Exchange 2010 RTM timeframe, users could use Outlook 2010 or Outlook Web App (OWA) to access archive mailboxes. This update extends archive support to Outlook 2007.

How does it work in Outlook 2007?

If an administrator provisions an archive mailbox for a user, it is accessible in Outlook 2007 with the December 2010 Cumulative Update installed. As with Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007 uses the Autodiscover service to obtain information about the user's archive mailbox. This occurs when the user starts Outlook, or at a fixed interval when Outlook is running. The archive mailbox is only accessible when the user is connected to the Exchange server.

Cached Exchange Mode and Archive Mailboxes

In Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2007, users can access archive mailboxes only when they're connected to the Exchange server. The connection can be an RPC (over TCP) connection, or Outlook Anywhere (aka RPC over HTTP). Even if the Outlook profile is configured to use Cached Exchange Mode, the archive mailbox is never cached locally to the user's computer. When the user is no longer connected to Exchange, the archive mailbox becomes inaccessible. The locally cached primary mailbox remains accessible if using Cached Exchange Mode.

Once the archive mailbox is visible in Outlook 2007, users can expand the folder hierarchy, and are able to perform the following operations:

  • Move or copy messages and folders between their primary mailbox and the archive mailbox
  • Move or copy messages and folders between a PST file and their archive mailbox (if access to PST files is not blocked by the administrator).

    Note: In Exchange 2010 SP1, administrators can also use mailbox import requests to import data from PST files to either the user's archive or primary mailbox. For more information, see Understanding Mailbox Import and Export Requests.

  • Export or import messages to and from the archive mailbox
  • Use Inbox Rules to automatically move messages to a folder in the archive mailbox

However, Outlook 2007 does not support the following functionality:

  • Search across primary and archive mailboxes: When a user searches the primary mailbox, and selects All Mailbox Items, Outlook does not search the archive mailbox. Similarly, when the user searches the archive mailbox, the primary mailbox is not searched.
  • Archive policies: In Outlook 2007, users can't use personal tags (also known as archive policies) to move items to the archive mailbox. Any default archive policies for the mailbox continue to be applied. Users can use Outlook Web App to see or apply archive policies.

    Archive policies are retention policy tags with the Move to Archive action. Organizations can use the Default Archive and Retention Policy, or apply custom retention policies to a mailbox. The policies can include a default policy tag (DPT) to move items from the primary mailbox to the archive mailbox, and personal tags which users can apply to messages or folders to move them to archive. For more information, see Understanding Personal Archives, and Understanding Retention Tags and Retention Policies.

With the release of this update, organizations with Office 2007/Outlook 2007 deployed can benefit from Exchange 2010's archiving and retention features.

Bharat Suneja

Updates

2/28/2011: In Feb 2011, we posted about an issue with the Dec. 2010 cumulative update and subsequently released the Feb. 2011 cumulative update, which is a prereq for Personal Archives support in Outlook 2007. This post has been updated accordingly.

3/21/2012: The Feb. 2011 cumulative update requires Microsoft Office SP2.