Archiving Emails from Microsoft Office 365

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This implementation guide covers the specifics of archiving Exchange Online / Office 365 mailboxes. It is assumed that you already have a MailStore Server installation or test installation and are familiar with the fundamentals of MailStore Server. Please refer to the Manual or the Quick Start Guide for more information.

MailStore Server offers several ways to archive emails from Exchange Online / Office 365 mailboxes, which are described below. If you are not sure which archiving method best suits your company, please refer to the chapter Choosing the Right Archiving Strategy.

Please note: For better readability the term Exchange Online / Office 365 hereinafter is being referred to as Office 365.

Synchronizing Users

MailStore offers direct user synchronization support for Office 365. The setup procedure for the required service principal is described in the chapter Office 365 Integration of the MailStore Server manual.

Note that while Office 365 manages users in Azure Active Directory, this itself can be synchronized with on-premise user information. Even if Office 365 / Azure AD is not the primary source of user account information in your environment, it is highly recommended to synchronize MailStore directly with Office 365 to fetch all information that is relevant for archiving such as email addresses.

Archiving Individual Office 365 Mailboxes

In MailStore Server, Office 365 archiving tasks are stored in archiving profiles. By following the procedure described here you can archive a single Office 365 mailbox for a specific MailStore user. The archiving process can be executed manually or automatically. You can find further information about executing archiving profiles in chapter Email Archiving with MailStore Basics.

Important notice: Archiving a single mailbox requires the Exchange Online feature EWS Application support. Please make sure that your Office 365 plan supports this feature. More information is available in this TechNet article.

For each mailbox, please proceed as follows:

  • Unless the mailbox of the current user is to be archived into his or her own user archive, log on to MailStore Client as MailStore administrator. Only an administrator can archive emails for other users.
  • Click on Archive Email.
  • From the Email Servers list in the Create Profile area of the window, select Microsoft Exchange to create a new archiving profile.
  • A wizard opens to assist in specifying the archiving settings.
  • Select Single Mailbox.
    Office365 mailbox 01.png
  • Leave the protocol under Access via on HTTPS. Also the option Ignore SSL Warnings should be left deactivated because Office 365 uses official certificates.
  • Under Host, enter outlook.office365.com.
  • Under User Name, enter the Office 365 login name of the user whose emails are to be archived (e.g. barbara.ross@example.com).
    Please note: Alternatively, any user with the appropriate access permissions for the mailbox to be archived can be specified. In this case, it is imperative that this mailbox is specified under Mailbox (see below).
  • Under Password, enter the user's password.
  • The field Mailbox must be left blank if a user, whose Office 365 login name and password is being used, wants to archive his own mailbox. Otherwise, the primary email address of the user whose mailbox you want to archive has to be entered here.
  • Click on Test to verify that MailStore can access the mailbox.
  • Click on Next.
  • If needed, adjust the settings for the List of Folders to be Archived, the filter and the Deletion Rules. By default, no emails will be deleted from the mailbox. The Timeout value only has to be adjusted in specific cases (e.g. with very slow servers).
    Xchg mailbox 03.png
  • Click on Next to continue.
  • If logged on to MailStore Server as MailStore administrator, the Target Archive can be specified. Select the archive of the user for whom the selected mailbox is to be archived. If the user does not exist yet, click on Create a New User.
    Xchg mailbox 02.png
  • Click on Next.
  • In the last step, a name for the archiving profile can be specified. After clicking Finish, the archiving profile will be listed under Saved Profiles and, if desired, can be run immediately or automatically.


Archiving Multiple Office 365 Mailboxes Centrally

With MailStore, some or all Office 365 mailboxes can be archived in a single step. All necessary preparations, such as creating MailStore users, and also the archiving process itself can be executed manually or automatically.
Before the archiving process can be set up in MailStore, a service account needs to be created that has access to all mailboxes.

Important notice: Archiving multiple mailboxes requires the Exchange Online features EWS Application support and Role-Based Permissions. Please make sure that your Office 365 plan supports these features. More information is available in this TechNet article.

Step 1: Setting up a service account for accessing mailboxes

To be able to archive multiple Office 365 mailboxes, you need to create an Office 365 user first. Afterwards follow these steps, to grant access permissions to the newly created user on all mailboxes:

  • Log on to your Office 365 tenant through Microsoft's Online Portal with an admin account.
  • In the Office 365 admin center choose ADMIN > Exchange.
  • Now, in the Exchange admin center, navigate to permissions.
  • Under admin roles select + (New).
    Arch office365 multi 01.png
  • Enter a meaningful name (e.g. MailStore Impersonation) and description for the new role group.
  • Under Roles add the role ApplicationImpersonation.
  • Under Members add the user you want to give permission to access all mailboxes.
  • Click on Save to create the new role group.

Step 2: Configuration of MailStore Server

Please proceed as follows:

  • Log on to MailStore Client as MailStore administrator.
  • Click on Archive Email.
  • From the Email Servers list in the Create Profile area of the window, select Microsoft Exchange to create a new archiving profile.
  • A wizard opens to assist in specifying the archiving settings.
  • Select Multiple Mailboxes.
    Please note: In order to be able to archive multiple mailboxes, the MailStore users along with their email addresses have to exist in the MailStore user management. If this is not the case, MailStore will offer to set up and execute the directory synchronization at this point. Once completed, the wizard will resume.
    Alternatively, you can cancel the wizard and create users manually as described the in chapter User Management.
    Office365 mailboxes 01.png
  • Leave the protocol under Access via on HTTPS. Also the option Ignore SSL Warnings should be left deactivated because Office 365 uses official certificates.
  • Under Host, enter outlook.office365.com.
  • Under User Name and Password, enter the access data of the service account that has access to all mailboxes to be archived.
  • Click on Next to continue.
    Xchg mailboxes 03.png
  • If needed, adjust the settings for the List of Folders to be Archived, the filter and the Deletion Rules. By default, no emails will be deleted from the mailbox. The Timeout value only has to be adjusted in specific cases (e.g. with very slow servers). Please keep in mind that these settings apply to all mailboxes to be archived, as specified in the next step.
  • Select the users whose mailboxes are to be archived.
    Xchg mailboxes 02.png
    The following options are available:
    • All users with configured email address
      Choose this option to archive the mailboxes of all users who are set up, along with their email addresses, in MailStore's user management.
    • All users except the following
      Choose this option to exclude individual users (and thereby their Office 365 mailboxes) from the archiving process, using the list of users below.
    • Only the following users
      Choose this option to include individual users (and thereby their Office 365 mailboxes) in the archiving process, using the list of users below. Only the mailboxes of those users explicitly specified will be archived.
    • Synchronize with Directory Services before archiving
      If selected, the MailStore user list will be synchronized with the configured directory service before any archiving process is executed. This has the advantage that, for example, new employees will be created as MailStore users before archiving, so once the archiving process is executed, their Office 365 mailbox is archived automatically as well. This option is especially recommended when the archiving process is to be executed automatically.
  • Click on Next.
  • In the last step, a name for the archiving profile can be specified. After clicking Finish, the archiving profile will be listed under Saved Profiles and can be run immediately or automatically, if desired.


Archiving Incoming and Outgoing Emails Directly

Together with the Office 365 journal function, MailStore can archive the incoming and outgoing emails of all users automatically. This is the only way to ensure that all emails are archived entirely.

Basic Functionality

The Office 365 journal function makes it possible to record all incoming, outgoing and internal email traffic. At the time of sending and receiving, a copy of the respective email is created by Office 365. The copy is then attached to a so-called journal report and stored in a special journal mailbox. The journal report contains information about the actual senders and recipients; Office 365 also resolves BCC recipients and distribution lists.

With the corresponding archiving profile MailStore can archive the journal mailbox automatically. During this process, MailStore parses the information in the journal reports and assigns the emails to their respective MailStore archives. Therefore even with journal archiving all users have access to their own emails only.

Important Notes: Office 365 currently supports only external, non-Office 365 mailboxes as journal mailbox. Additionally, your Office 365 plan must include the Exchange Online feature Journaling. More information is available in this TechNet article.

Before the archiving process can be set up in MailStore, journaling has to be set up for the Office 365 Exchange environment. Please proceed as follows:

Step 1: Creating a Mailbox for Journaling

The following steps describe how to set up journaling for your Microsoft Office 365 account.

  • Log on to your Office 365 tenant through Microsoft's Online Portal with an admin account.
  • In the Office 365 admin center choose ADMIN > Exchange.
  • Now, in the Exchange admin center, navigate to compliance management.
  • Under journal rules, click on + (New).
    The dialog window New Journal Rule opens:
    Arch office365 journal 01.png
  • Enter a name for the journal rule, e.g. Journaling.
  • In the If the message is sent to or received from... section select whether the rule should apply to all messages or to specific users or groups.
  • Under Journal the following messages..., choose whether to capture all messages, internally sent messages only, or only those messages with an external sender or recipient.
  • Enter the email address of the previously created journal user in the Send journal reports to: box.
  • Click on save to activate the rule.
  • If you have not set up a recipient for None Delivery Reports (NDRs) for undeliverable journal reports yet, you are asked to do it now. Just follow the on-screen instructions.

Step 2: Configuration of MailStore Server

The setup of the archiving is very similar to that of an on-premise Microsoft Exchange environment.

Important notice: Office 365 currently supports only external, non-Office 365 mailboxes as journal mailbox. If the journal mailbox is a regular POP3 or IMAP mailbox, you still have to select the Microsoft Exchange > In- and Outbound E-mail Automatically archiving profile for MailStore to process the journal reports correctly. Access via usually needs to be set to POP3/IMAP, POP3/IMAP-TLS or POP3/IMAP-SSL.

Please note that the provider of such a journal mailbox must not remove the X-MS-Journal-Report header from the journal emails and must not suppress the reception of duplicate emails.

Please proceed as follows:

  • Log on to MailStore Client as MailStore administrator.
  • Click on Archive Email.
  • From the Email Servers list in the Create Profile area of the window, select Microsoft Exchange to create a new archiving profile.
  • A wizard opens to assist in specifying the archiving settings.
  • Select In- and Outbound Email Automatically.
    Please note: In order to be able to archive multiple mailboxes, the MailStore users along with their email addresses have to exist in the MailStore user management. If this is not the case, MailStore will offer to set up and execute the directory synchronization at this point. Once completed, the wizard will resume.
    Alternatively, you can cancel the wizard and create users manually as described the in chapter User Management.
    Office365 jour mailstore 01.png
  • Under Access via, select the protocol to be used to access the email server that hosts the journal mailbox. If this is an Exchange server, HTTPS should be used whenever possible.
    Please note: Depending on the protocol chosen, there is the option to Ignore SSL Warnings. Generally, these warnings appear if an unofficial or self-signed certificate is used on the server.
  • Under Host, enter the name of the email server that hosts the journal mailbox.
    Please note: If it is a externally hosted Exchange mailbox and you do not know the host name, you can find it out by using the MailStore Exchange Autodiscover Tool.
  • Under User Name and Password enter the credentials for the journal mailbox.
  • If the journal mailbox is an Exchange mailbox that you want to access through HTTP/HTTPS with credentials that are not those of the mailbox owner, you have to specify the primary email address of the journal mailbox in the field Mailbox (opt.).
  • Click on Test to verify that MailStore can access the mailbox.
  • Synchronize with Directory Services before archiving: If this option is enabled, the MailStore user list will be synchronized with configured directory service before the archiving process actually runs. This has the advantage that, for example, new employees will be created as MailStore users before archiving which enables MailStore to sort their emails into the correct archives. This option is recommended if you want to have the journal archiving job run automatically.
  • With the option Delete them in origin mailbox emails will be deleted automatically in the journal mailbox after they have been archived successfully by MailStore. The option has no effect whatsoever on the emails in the users' mailboxes.
  • Click on Next to continue.
  • A Timeout value can be specified. Change this value only in case of definite need (e.g. with very slow servers).
  • Click on Next to continue.
  • In the last, step a name for the archiving profile can be specified. After clicking Finish, the archiving profile will be listed under Saved Profiles and can be run immediately or automatically, if desired.


Public Folders

MailStore Server can archive the emails from the public folders of Office 365 and make them available to some or all MailStore users. The archiving process can be executed manually or automatically.

Please note: Archiving public folders requires the Exchange Online features EWS Application support and Public Folders. Please make sure that your Office 365 plan includes these features. You can find more information in this Technet article.

Step 1: Creating a User Archive for Public Folders

Archived emails are always assigned to a particular user. You also need to specify a target archive when archiving a public folder.

As best practice, please create a dedicated MailStore user (e.g. publicfolder) whose archive acts as target for the public folder archiving profile. Through the MailStore privileges you can grant access to the archive of the user publicfolder to other MailStore users. This way the archived emails of the public folder are made available to those MailStore users.

You can find more information on how to create a new user in MailStore in the chapter User Management.

Step 2: Granting permissions on public folders in Office 365

Accessing public folders needs an Office 365 user that has a mailbox because the necessary permissions are implemented on mailbox level. If the above mentioned MailStore service account should be used for public folder access also, an Office 365 license has to be assigned to that account first.

To grant the Office 365 user the necessary permissions, please proceed as follows:

  • Log on to your Office 365 tenant through Microsoft's Online Portal with an admin account.
  • In the Office 365 admin center choose ADMIN > Exchange.
  • Now, in the Exchange admin center, navigate to public folders.
  • Click on the Ellipsis (…) and select Root permissions.
    Arch office365 pf 01.png
  • A new browser window opens. Click on + (Add).
  • Use Browse to choose the Office 365 user you want to grant permissions.
  • Choose Custom as Permission level and grant Read items and Delete all permissions.
    Arch office365 pf 02.png
  • Click on Save.
  • Enable the option Apply changes to this public folder and all its subfolders.
  • Click on Save.
  • Click on Close after saving has been completed successfully.

Step 3: Setting up the Archiving Process

Please proceed as follows:

  • Log on to MailStore Client as administrator.
  • Click on Archive Email.
  • From the Email Servers list in the Create Profile area of the window, select Microsoft Exchange to create a new archiving profile.
  • A wizard opens to assist in specifying the archiving settings.
  • Select Public Folders.
    Office365 public 01.png
  • Under Access via, leave the protocol on HTTPS. The option Ignore SSL Warnings should also be left deactivated because Office 365 uses trusted certificates.
  • Under Host, enter outlook.office365.com.
  • Under User Name, enter the Office 365 login name of the user you have prepared in step 2 for public folder access.
  • Under Password, enter the user's password.
  • Leave the field Mailbox to its preset value /public.
  • Click on Test to verify that MailStore can access the public folders.
  • Click on Next to continue.
    Xchg public 03.png
  • Adjust the settings for the List of Folders to be Archived. By default, all public folders that contain emails will be archived.
  • If needed, adjust the filter and the Deletion Rules. By default, no emails will be deleted from the public folders. The Timeout value only has to be adjusted in specific cases (e.g. with very slow servers).
  • Click on Next to continue.
    Xchg public 02.png
  • In the next step, select the archive of the user you have prepared in step 1.
  • In the last step, specify a name for the archiving profile. After clicking Finish the archiving profile will be listed under Saved Profiles and can be run immediately or automatically if desired.
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  • MailStore Server is one of the leading email archiving solutions for SMB.
  • For private use there is a free tool for email archiving furthermore: MailStore Home.