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Shortcut Content - How big, or how small?

Created: 22 Jan 2014 • Updated: 29 May 2014 • 1 comment
Rob.Wilcox's picture
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Setting up the content of Exchange shortcuts that Enterprise Vault should create is something that should be given due time and consideration.  There are many factors to consider, so let's describe some of them here.
How will users access items
Possibly the first thing to think about is how users will access the archived items. Will they just be using Outlook on Windows? Will they be using mobile devices, or search pages, Outlook Web App and so on? If people are likely to be using mobile devices then having a very small amount of content in a shortcut is going to hinder those users, especially when you take in to account the next point ...
What age will items be archived
If you're running just an age based policy and archiving 'old' items say more than 6 months old, then really, how often will people access the archived content?  Not *very* often I would suggest.  So the content of those shortcuts might not matter so much.  Flip that over to people accessing week old archived data.  Having a small amount of content, or on a mobile device is going to mean that those items will need to be recalled before they can be viewed well, and on a mobile device that might be even more difficult
It is worth remembering that users can have different policies - governed by provisioning. So if you identify some users who might need 'fuller' shortcuts, you can do that.
Content Bits and Pieces
The above is an extreme example in my test environment of the archiving policy -> shortcut content tab. You can see that I include recipient information, and include only 5 characters of the original message body. This, is a small shortcut!  Very good for many purposes, but not very good if you (as a user) want to scan mails to figure out the one you're after.  
The other extreme is 'use message body', which leads to a much bigger shortcut.
There is also, of course, everything in between.  It really does depend, and there is no right and wrong answer when it comes to configuring your policy.  The one other 'big thing' to remember is that changing your mind, and rebuilding all the existing shortcuts is an expensive operation. I've talked about that before, here.

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