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Outlook 2011 and attatching PST file

    Question

  • I'm an Exchange 2007 admin for my company and we've rolled out Outlook 2011 to our MAC users. Due to compatibility issues with our Archiving server I need to export all Outlook 2011 users Archived email to a standard Windows PST file and give it to each user. I want to know if it is possible to attach a PST to an Outlook 2011 profile the same way you can in Outlook on Windows i.e. through data file management. I don't have a MAC with Outlook 2011 so can't test and the users are west coast and I'm east coast.

    I know it's possible to import a PST into Outlook 2011, but I don't want to do that. Some of these users have 10GB and 100,000 items in their archive so the last thing I want to do is for them to breach their mailbox limits and have performance problems because of too many items in their Inbox\Sent Items etc.

    Thanks!

    Friday, August 12, 2011 6:24 PM

Answers

  • One more reason to upgrade to Exchange 2010. While Outlook 2011 does not support Exchange 2010 Personal Archives yet, there are rumors that "the Mac Business group is looking at supporting this with a future update" (Henrik Walther). Anyhow, your Mac users could have accessed these Exchange 2010 archives with OWA. But back to the issue at hand. I do think this article is right:

    Outlook 2011 mac pst import and export
    http://www.lukedarby.co.uk/?p=244

    You cannot open an .PST file the same way as with the Windows Outlook versions, but you can import them. Then they at least start to be stored on the computer. They are displayed in the ‘On My Computer’ section. I just imported an .PST file worth 354 MB. The size of my Exchange inbox has so far not increased. And I don't see any of these items in Outlook 2010 on my Windows 7 box.

    Luke Darby says: "The mail does not go via Exchange, if you monitor your server based mailbox it should’t show any difference before and after (assuming no new mails have been sent to you)."

    If the above holds true, then for all practical purposes in your scenario, you have "an attached PST to an Outlook 2011 profile the same way you can in Outlook on Windows." And your mailbox limits should not be breached.

    BTW (and as to "not ready for prime time"), there are 3rd party tools for handling Office 2011 Exchange mailboxes: Softhing Outlook Exchange Accounts Optimizer and Outlook Email Archive. http://www.softhing.com/home.html
    (Several other solutions are in the works, for instance Symantec Enterprise Vault will support Outlook 2011 in Q3.)

    I will investigate further during the weekend, by importing more .PST files from my former job, study the behavior and come back with a report.

    Exchange 2010 Online Archive Mailbox Client Support
    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/exchange-2010-online-archive-mailbox-client-support.aspx


    MCTS: Messaging | MCSE: S+M

    • Proposed as answer by Rowen-Xu Monday, August 15, 2011 3:13 AM
    • Marked as answer by MitchMG Tuesday, August 16, 2011 8:27 PM
    Friday, August 12, 2011 10:52 PM

All replies

  • Unfortunately no, you can't attach a pst.  Outlook 2011 really doesn't have any selective archiving support

     

    http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/mac/two-reasons-outlook-2011-isnt-ready-for-prime-time/874

    Friday, August 12, 2011 9:24 PM
  • One more reason to upgrade to Exchange 2010. While Outlook 2011 does not support Exchange 2010 Personal Archives yet, there are rumors that "the Mac Business group is looking at supporting this with a future update" (Henrik Walther). Anyhow, your Mac users could have accessed these Exchange 2010 archives with OWA. But back to the issue at hand. I do think this article is right:

    Outlook 2011 mac pst import and export
    http://www.lukedarby.co.uk/?p=244

    You cannot open an .PST file the same way as with the Windows Outlook versions, but you can import them. Then they at least start to be stored on the computer. They are displayed in the ‘On My Computer’ section. I just imported an .PST file worth 354 MB. The size of my Exchange inbox has so far not increased. And I don't see any of these items in Outlook 2010 on my Windows 7 box.

    Luke Darby says: "The mail does not go via Exchange, if you monitor your server based mailbox it should’t show any difference before and after (assuming no new mails have been sent to you)."

    If the above holds true, then for all practical purposes in your scenario, you have "an attached PST to an Outlook 2011 profile the same way you can in Outlook on Windows." And your mailbox limits should not be breached.

    BTW (and as to "not ready for prime time"), there are 3rd party tools for handling Office 2011 Exchange mailboxes: Softhing Outlook Exchange Accounts Optimizer and Outlook Email Archive. http://www.softhing.com/home.html
    (Several other solutions are in the works, for instance Symantec Enterprise Vault will support Outlook 2011 in Q3.)

    I will investigate further during the weekend, by importing more .PST files from my former job, study the behavior and come back with a report.

    Exchange 2010 Online Archive Mailbox Client Support
    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/exchange-2010-online-archive-mailbox-client-support.aspx


    MCTS: Messaging | MCSE: S+M

    • Proposed as answer by Rowen-Xu Monday, August 15, 2011 3:13 AM
    • Marked as answer by MitchMG Tuesday, August 16, 2011 8:27 PM
    Friday, August 12, 2011 10:52 PM
  • Friday night (2011-08-12) I imported another .PST file to Outlook 2011, this time 847 MB. There has been no increase in my Exchange mailbox (other than some few inbound / outbound e-mails).

    So as far as I can tell, this should work you. One main problem with storing mail on local drives is backup. Time Machine appears to handle this a lot better than with Entourage, since Outlook for Mac stores messages and other items, such as calendar events, contacts, tasks, and notes, as individual files. But when you restore items, Outlook's database has to be rebuilt. Depending on the size this might take some time.

    While the interface of restoring from Time Machine is tremendous (you move back in time in a 3D world, perhaps 4D), there are certain other limitations with Time Machine that need to be considered. But this did not belong to your initial question.

    All in all: You can "attach PST files" without breaching any mailbox limits and you can automate backups of these ".PST files", which might be bit harder with open .PST files in the Windows world (or at least, it is seldom done).

    OS X Lion Developer Preview 3 - Updated Time Machine (1:02)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JFw9zVyaLw


    MCTS: Messaging | MCSE: S+M

    • Proposed as answer by Rowen-Xu Monday, August 15, 2011 3:13 AM
    Sunday, August 14, 2011 11:01 AM
  • Thanks for the feedback. Saved me a lot of time and effort! I will pilot the Import of the PST for a couple of the users and keep an eye on their mailbox size.
    Tuesday, August 16, 2011 8:28 PM