MS Exchange Server is the most popular email server cum contacts manager and calendaring software for over many years and organizations across the globe prefer using it for exchanging information via emails. The Exchange administrator manages the overall activities of the clients (or the employees of the organization), and is responsible for taking care of the exchange of emails. For instance, Exchange administrator is responsible for assigning a user or a group of users the authority to send/receive emails outside the network domain of the organization.
When it comes to storing data, each client has a separate mailbox in the EDB file on the server. Along with this, a copy of the mailbox is stored on the client’s own computer in an OST (Outlook. ost) file, which is an offline copy of the mailbox that remains in sync with the mailbox on the Server. In the unavailability of the Internet connectivity or a like issue causing the clients to be offline, users can interact with their mailbox data. For instance, they can compose/write and read email messages, create notes and calendar events, and schedule tasks, in their mailboxes. Once the Internet connectivity is available again, the synchronization of both the mailboxes starts automatically.
In the mean time, if a need for recently received emails (in the mailbox located on the server) is there, clients may ask the administrator to make them available. The administrator is authorized to convert the mailboxes stored in the EDB file (on the server) to their corresponding Outlook data files (i.e. the PST files), and then the clients can directly import PST using EAC (i.e. Exchange Admin Center) or directly into Outlook client. In fact, having a PST is advantageous, as it is a portable copy of the mailbox and you can import it into Outlook client installed on any computer (both Windows and Mac). In contrast, those who do not want to get involved into import/export and other relative tasks hate PSTs to have.
No matter if you hate or like PSTs to have, this post of mine will help you manage import/export tasks using EAC or EMS (i.e. Exchange Management Shell) in Exchange 2013. The first step is to create a shared folder anywhere on the network to support Import and Export processes, which can also be used for some other features like Exchange Server 2013 Certificates.
Create Exutil Shared Folder
Though the administrator can create shared folder anywhere on the network, it is recommended to create it near the Exchange Server in a drive other than the boot partition that fills up when the Exchange Server operations are performed. Mentioned below are some hints to avoid issue on the Exchange Server:
You must create a procedure or rule to delete the files after a certain period.
The Shared folder must not be on the drive containing database or the logs files.
Make sure you assign permissions to the Exchange Trusted Subsystem to access the shared folder created earlier. Besides, do not forget to add the Exchange Trusted Subsystem to both Security and Share levels.
Manage Import and Export Permissions
In Exchange Server environment, the permissions for both Import and Export are not assigned to the users by default. There must be a collaboration of a user called help desk (a component of Recipient Management) with EAC (i.e. Exchange Admin Center) used to perform the following steps:
1. Launch EAC with Organization Management and click Permissions
2. Double-click Recipient Management, and then click Add in the Roles sections
3. On the new page that opens, click Mailbox Import Export, and then click Add > OK
Export Mailbox Data to PST
After creating the shared folder and assigning the access permissions, go on as the help desk user in the EAC and select the intended mailbox, and then choose Export to as PST file in the list. On the Export page that opens, make sure the user name is same as the one you clicked. The Export wizard allows selecting a source, which can be a mailbox or a mailbox archive. Click Next to step onto the next page, where you need to use the shared folder created earlier, and then add the name of the PST file. In the next step, specify a mailbox that is going to receive an email. Once the Export process is finished, click Finish. Meanwhile, the client that requested to Export PST using EAC or directly will be notified through the EAC.
Additionally, the client will receive notifications at both start and finish stage of the process, which will contain the location of the PST file as well as the time taken to complete the process. In order to test the file that is generated is to open it. There is a folder ‘Recoverable Items’ and three sub-folders in the exported PST file along with all the folders that end-users can see in their mailboxes.
As far as the PST Import process is concerned, it is quite simpler as compared to the Export process. For this, you simply need to follow the steps mentioned below:
1. Select the target mailbox and click more (…), and then choose Import PST in the list.
2. On the Import wizard, select the PST file that is stored in the shared folder created earlier, and then click the Next button.
3. On the next page, click Browse and select a mailbox (or multiple mailboxes) to import data into, and then click the Next button.
4. Choose the option to send an email after completing the process, and then click Finish.
With this, you are done with both Export and Import process in Exchange Server 2013. Once you receive the confirmation email, the import process is finished successfully.