In this article I'd like to give you a tip or two about why items sometimes just simply remaining in an 'archive pending' state. I'm sure you've all seen this from time to time in your environment, or one at a customers, and, you've probably been asked why they are stuck in a pending state. Now, you'll get some answers to help you out when the question arises again.
Backups Not Yet Run
I work extensively in lab environments, and so my safety copy settings on the Vault Stores I work with are invariably set to 'Immediately'. In the real world though, you're much more likely to see:
... the status is set to 'After Backup'.
This means that when an item is manually archived, or archived by the scheduled running of the archiving task, or by manually running the archiving task, the item will not turn into a full shortcut, it will go to a pending state.
Once a good backup has been done of the Vault Store, then the Storage Services will 'flip' all those items from pending to full shortcuts.
Client-Server a bit broken
From time to time the above process is sometimes 'broken' when it comes to an end-user manually archiving an item. Sometimes the client to server communication is broken, and the item goes to a pending state on the client, but never gets archived, and the resulting 'issue' is never pushed back down to the client. The net result is that the item sites in a pending state. Sometimes this can happen if an item goes to a pending state, and then an end-user moves the item to a subfolder.
Server side a bit broken
The general process described above of the backup completing and then storage going through and flipping all the pending shortcuts to full shortcuts also sometimes gets interrupted. When that happens those items can also sit in a pending state, though usually it's a LOT of items which are stuck like that, rather than just a few from end-users.
Most of the things that might get a bit broken, be it server side or client side, or a combination of the two can be fixed by something that is already built in to EV ....
Help on the way?
Enterprise Vault helps with all of this through a process called 'pending shortcut timeout'. It's configured on the archiving policy:
The setting can be configured to a number of days (or turned off completely if that is what you want to do). What happens is that when the archiving task runs in normal or report mode it will clean up the items which are marked as pending, and cancel them back to normal items - so that archiving can be tried again on them. This stops transient issues causing items to stick around in a pending state for a long time.