In Exchange 2010, we introduced Retention Tags, a Messaging Records Management (MRM) feature that allows you to manage email lifecycle. You can use retention policies to retain mailbox data for as long as it’s required to meet business or regulatory requirements, and delete items older than the specified period.
One of the design goals for MRM 2.0 was to simplify administration compared to Managed Folders, the MRM feature introduced in Exchange 2007, and allow users more flexibility. By applying a Personal Tag to a folder, users can have different retention settings apply to items in that folder than the default tag applied to the entire mailbox(known as a Default Policy Tag). Similarly, users can apply a different tag to a subfolder than the one applied to the parent folder. Users can also apply a Personal Tag to individual items, allowing them the freedom to organize messages based on their work habits and preference, rather than forcing them to move messages, based on the retention requirement, to an admin-controlled Managed Folder.
You can still use Managed Folders in Exchange 2010, but they’re not available in Exchange 2013.
For a comparison of Retention Tags with Managed Folders and migration details, see Migrate Managed Folders.
If you like the Managed Folders approach of being able to create a folder in the user’s mailbox and configure a retention setting for that folder, you can use Exchange Web Services (EWS) to accomplish something similar, with some caveats mentioned later in this post. You can write your own code or even a PowerShell script to create a folder in the user’s mailbox and apply a Personal Tag to it. There are scripts available on the interwebs, including some code samples on MSDN to accomplish this. For example:
Note: The above scripts are examples for your reference. They’re not written or tested by the Exchange product group.
We frequently get questions about whether this is supported by Microsoft. Short answer: Yes. Exchange Web Services (EWS) is a supported and documented API, which allows ISVs and customers to create custom solutions for Exchange.
When using EWS in your code or PowerShell script to apply a Personal Tag to a folder, it’s important to consider the following:
For IT Pros
If using EWS to apply a Personal Tag to custom folders helps you meet your business requirements, absolutely! However, do note and consider the following:
Provisioning custom folders with different retention settings (by applying Personal Tags) may help you meet your organization’s retention requirements. As an IT Pro, make sure you understand the above and follow the best practices.