Learn the Basics of Journaling in Exchange Server 2007

These days, there are a lot of federal regulations in place that require companies that function as a part of various industries to archive their mail. When Microsoft created Exchange Server 2007, they provided a few different mechanisms to assist in the archival process. One of these mechanisms is Journaling. Journaling existed in previous versions of Exchange, but has been enhanced in Exchange Server 2007. In this article, I will discuss some of the basics of journaling in Exchange Server 2007, and how to use it to gain more granular control over the archiving process. If you are interested in learning how to create a journaling rule, I will demonstrate the technique in the next article in this series.

Before I Begin

Before I get started, I just want to mention that although journaling can be used as a part of the archival process, journaling is not technically the same as archiving. Archiving refers to the practice of backing up messages, and then removing them from their original location. Journaling records e-mail communications and forwards them to a designated mailbox.

Another important thing that you need to know about journaling is that depending on the industry that you’re in, journaling may or may not satisfy the legal requirements for archiving.  I recommend consulting a legal professional when determining the suitability of journaling in your organization.

What’s New in Exchange Server 2007?

Exchange Server 2003 supported journaling, but it used an all or nothing approach.  The journal included either all of the recipients, or none of them.  Exchange Server 2007 takes a much more granular approach to journaling by allowing you to journal specific recipients, distribution lists, or even public folders.

Journal Rule Scopes

One of the first things that you will have to decide when creating a journal rule is the scope of the rule.  The scope determines what type of messages will actually be journaled for the selected recipients.  There are three different scopes that you can choose from.

The Internal scope journals messages sent only between internal recipients.  The External scope causes Exchange to journal messages sent to or from the select a recipient and the outside world.  Finally, but Global scope causes Exchange Server to journal all messages for the selected recipients.

Unified Messaging

If you happen to have unified messaging enabled in your organization, then you will have to make a decision as to whether or not you want to journal voice messages and missed call notifications.  Some organizations choose to journal this type of data because doing so allows the organization to keep much more comprehensive records of employee activity.  However, some organizations prefer not to journal this type of data because it consumes a considerable amount of disk space.

One thing that you need to know about unified messaging though, is that faxes are always journaled, even if voice messages and missed call notifications are not.

Journaling Mailboxes

The way that journaling works in Exchange Server 2007 is that it sends all Journal reports to a designated mailbox.  This mailbox is known as the journaling mailbox.  From a technical perspective, there is nothing special about a journaling mailbox.  In fact, you can choose any mailbox in your entire organization to act as a journaling mailbox.  You also have the option of creating multiple journal rules that deposit messages into either a common journal mailbox, or into multiple journal mailboxes that are used for various purposes.

The most important thing that you need to understand about journaling mailboxes is that they contain sensitive information.  As such, you should take all appropriate measures to make sure that access to this mailbox is limited to authorized users only.

It is also important to keep in mind that depending on the scope of your journaling rules and on the number of recipients that you choose to journal, the journaling mailbox can grow to a considerable size.  This means that you need to store the mailbox on a server that has plenty of disk space, and adjust your disk quotas accordingly.


In this article, I have discussed some of the basic concepts associated with using journaling in an Exchange Server 2007 environment.  If you are interested in moving forward with using journaling in your organization, then be sure to check out my next article in this series covering creating journal rules.