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Thread: [SOLVED] Mail backup options for end users?

  1. #1
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    Default [SOLVED] Mail backup options for end users?

    This topic must be covered somewhere already, but when I search on "backup" I get too many hits and don't see anything like this.

    Is there any way for users to back up their own mailboxes? We give them a fairly large quota, but with lots of file attachments it becomes impossible to keep more than a year or so. It's also not very likely that they would ever have to go back to something more than a year old.

    So I'm really asking two questions:

    First, how can an individual move all e-mail that's more than 12 months old to their local machine and out of Zimbra? It would be nice to have something automated, but a manual process would be OK as long as it's not too easy to mess up and end up with no backups.

    Second, assuming that they can burn a backup CD containing old e-mails, what would be the best way to access those backups if they ever had to?

    I'm hoping to write a (simple?) procedure that we can distribute to a few thousand e-mail users. Whatever we come up with has to be pretty easy for non-technical people otherwise I'll be getting thousands of phone calls every month.

  2. #2
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    UPDATE: For 5.0.9/10+ I highly recommend the tar formatter for personal backups to get items plus metadata: ZCS-to-ZCS Migrations » Zimbra :: Blog
    (5.0.11/.12+ has it nicely exposed to users -instead of remembering url tricks- in the import/export section of the preferences tab)

    ---

    Though it's not exactly an easy way to search through them later (besides importing them into a mail client or using your operating system's search) to make their own copies:

    Exporting to .zip does not delete them from your zimbra account, but I'll explain below how you could tag the messages you want to remove and delete them from zimbra later.

    Login first
    To get a .zip of all emails in the inbox you would just browse to: http://server.domain.com/user/~/inbox.zip (or any other folder name at the end)
    Easy: http:// server.domain.com/user/~/?fmt=zip&query=is:anywhere

    Notes:
    -Be sure to rename items.zip to something descriptive so you know what it is! (subfolders will show up inside it as well if your searching across multiple folders)
    -You can replace accountnames with ~
    -'user' & 'home', as well as 'service' & 'zimbra' are mostly interchangeable/often not needed/you can construct in a variety of ways. ie:
    /user/~
    /home/accountname
    /zimbra/user/~/
    /zimbra/home/~/
    /zimbra/user/accountnamehere/
    /zimbra/home/accountnameehere/
    /service/home/~
    For instance, you could:
    -Do an advanced search in the web-client first, and move them to a folder or tag named 'NowArchiving' (and if you want then you could just delete that folder after you're happy with your export)

    -Grab a zip of all items with a tag ; without going back into the web-client you can search across all folders for things like:Update: Remove those quotes

    (You can make combinations of the above, for other ideas see Search Tips - ZimbraWiki)

    See more at: /blog/archives/2006/01/rest_update.html & /blog/archives/2005/11/all_rest_and_no.html & /blog/archives/2006/05/updating_via_re_1.html

    To get those stuff back in?
    Import into a thick-client and drag from local > zimbra

    Use CURL/zmmailbox addMessge/zmlmtpinject to put the messages back into zimbra
    (for usage see http://www.zimbra.com/forums/adminis...html#post45630 & http://www.zimbra.com/forums/install...e-folders.html

    Heck, you could build a portal that pulls up their current folder structure/does the search and REST export to .zip in the first place. You would give them some checkbox items for options & a calendar to pick before dates, etc. exporting/importing the .eml (or conversion to .msg)

    Or make a zimlet!

    I suppose you could could go ahead and open an RFE if it's not already open doing something like 'message export/import in preferences', for whole folders it would be just like the contacts & cal import/exports.
    Last edited by mmorse; 01-16-2009 at 08:37 AM.

  3. #3
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    I've been looking for an way of doing this for the longest time, up until just now I've been using mail archive program for Thunderbird. This is much much better.

    The date query string should really be added to the examples in the Wiki page.
    Because we all can't be geniuses, I'll go first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glitch23 View Post
    I've been looking for an way of doing this for the longest time, up until just now I've been using mail archive program for Thunderbird. This is much much better.

    Quote Originally Posted by glitch23 View Post
    The date query string should really be added to the examples in the Wiki page.
    done & don't forget the < > <= >= symbols usage!
    date: Use this keyword to specify a date, using the format that is default for your browser's locale (for US English the format is mm/dd/yyyy). For example, date:2/1/2007 would find messages dated February 1, 2007. The greater than (>) or less than (<) symbols can be used instead of after or before. >= and <= are also allowed.
    after: Specifies mail sent after a certain date. For example, after:2/1/2007 specifies mail sent after February 1, 2007.
    before: Same as after: except specifies mail sent before the specified date.
    Search Tips - ZimbraWiki
    Last edited by mmorse; 10-09-2007 at 12:17 PM.

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    Wow, this is great! Never had any use of this until yesterday when a client wants to backup his account. Is there any command we can use to backup entire account, (with calendar/adressbook) aswell? At least, all folders/mail ?

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    Default Local backup zimlet

    We have made a zimlet, based on Zimbra's REST functionalities, that allows an user to backup the emails and the folders on his PC. The user can drag an email or a folder on the zimlet's icon to have back a zip file containing the messages. Another option is to double click the zimlet's icon to backup the emails contained in a special folder, named "backup", created on the user's first login.

    If anyone wants to try and to debug the zimlet, can send me a private message
    Stefano Pampaloni
    www.seacom.it

  7. #7
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    I tried it but when i specify a query, the zip file is always empty
    I'm doing something wrong ?

    2 requests :

    - is there a way to backup the whole inbox, including sub folders?
    - Date of each eml file is the date of the zip creation, i would make sense
    to have the date of the message instead.

  8. #8
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    mmorse's URLs are slightly wrong. Try removing the double-quotes around your query and see if it works.
    Bugzilla - Wiki - Downloads - Before posting... Search!

  9. #9
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    Dkarp you're right without " it works better !

    So i can answer to myself for the first request, as putting a before: using the date of the day will give me a full backup, including sub folders.
    But date must be in us format even in i'm in french in browser locale.

  10. #10
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    -sry about those double-quotes! force of habit from other things...

    Anteos has done some excellent work on fbackup! - Especially to get recursive folders working properly (using iframes) as if I remember right recursive=1 had some issues.

    Some notes for those who are interested:
    • Works great on folders - just drag it to the zimlet!
    • (cartella means folder for those who don't know italian)
    • Subfolders will even be sorted in your .zip
    • It creates a 'backup' folder that works like any other; move messages to it & if you double click the zimlet you'll get the items.zip (or drag the backup folder itself)
      • Don't forget you could move your files/folders to the backup folder itself, export them, & move them back out into your normal structure just fine.
    • Because you can't 'move' the inbox/junk/sent/drafts/trash I think the right click could be used to solve this - just links to the folders rest url.
    • You can drag single messages just the same
      • You can only drag one message to it at a time which is fine (though cool of course if this got worked out!)
      • Need to make this message more descriptive:
        • drop 'Warning'
        • 'or folder' isn't needed because you can only drag one folder in zimbra anyway
        • I suggest a change to: "You can only export a single message, but consider putting the messages in the backup folder and exporting it, or drag a folder to the Zimlet itself!"
      • Error message doesn't appear when you try to drag a conversation to it, so you might think the zimlet isn't working. If we can get it to recognize that your trying to move a convo you could also add: "You may be in conversation view, open up the conversation or switch to message view & grab one at a time."
    • Action on dragging an empty folder to it will warn you properly (prototype._FolderDropped)
    • However, if you double click the zimlet when the backup folder is empty you instead get a uncaught exception (though hidden) which might make people think the zimlet just doesn't work or something -till they see the mouseover. (ie: need to fix prototype.doubleClicked)
      • This should also contain some directions: "It seems you are trying to backup the empty folder 'backup'. Drag and Drop a folder with some contents or an individual message on the zimlet.
    • If you already have a 'backup' folder in the first place the 'Cannot create backup folder' etc is not really perfect.
      • Instead let's make the folder it creates something easily distinguishable.
        • You could use the name of the zimlet itself 'fbackup'. But I'd rather it ends up at the top or bottom of people's structures, not lost in the middle.
          • So that rules out BackupFolder FolderBackup as well.
          • I guess *fbackup or .BackupFolder or -FolderBackup would work etc (Though I like to avoid symbols because who knows what people will sync up with someday that may complain.)
          • Same logic 'middle logic' goes if you want to call the folder BackupZip & zimlet label BackupZipper
          • A cool paring would be zipExport & zipExporter
          • (ZipBackup combined with ZipperBackup just seemed weird)
      • We'll ignore for a moment the hidden error you'll throw if if you delete the folder then double click the zimlet, and you won't see the folder till you reload/plus as part of this you won't see the 'backup folder' till 2nd login after deploying. (This is very livable - when testing just load your browser twice.)
    Looking darn good though!
    He's not ready to add it to the gallery yet, but throw him a PM if you want to help test.
    (Don't know if he wants to post it directly here or not because you are able able to sell your zimlets; though I hope this one end's up free - because I know it'll make the end user feel better about 'self backups' if they don't use a thick-client or something.)
    Last edited by mmorse; 11-03-2007 at 11:49 PM.

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