Symantec Enterprise Vault is an archiving and eDiscovery tool which supports archiving content from IBM Lotus Notes and Domino mail files in addition to many other targets (Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Sharepoint, filesystems and others). Enterprise Vault has many configuration options which allow the administrator to customize the user experience. In addition to the standard out of the box user experience, it is possible to customize the end user experience in other ways.
One out of the box Enterprise Vault option has to do with what to do with the original document in the mail file once its been archived. One of the choices is to leave behind a "shortcut" message. The shortcut is a portion of the original mail message, usually with the attachments stripped off and the body shortened. Even the shortcut is configurable. The administrator can choose how many characters of the mail body to leave in the shortcut body as well as whether to provide links to the original mail message and the attachments in the archive.
Enterprise Vault for Domino provides mail template and Forms file (for iNotes/DWA) client extensions which allow for nearly seamless interaction with the archived content. For example, a user can select an archived mail message and then select a Notes or iNotes action like "Reply to All" and the Enterprise Vault software will automatically create the new draft message by seamlessly pulling the content from the Enterprise Vault and putting it into the subject, body and recipient fields of the new draft message.
If the administrator enables it, users can also delete the shortcuts and the archived content as well. If they select a shortcut mail message and then the Delete action, they will be prompted to choose between deleting the shortcut or the shortcut and the archived mail message. Once completed, these actions cannot be undone by the user. The shortcut is hard deleted and the Enterprise Vault delete operation is initiated.
We recently had a client that wanted to change the default deletion user interface. The client didn't want to prompt the user when they attempted to delete the shortcut document. They wanted to always delete both the shortcut and the Enterprise Vault archived item. In addition, the client wanted to be able to let the user change their mind after performing the delete. As a Symantec STEP partner, we developed a solution which let them achieve these goals.
We designed the software necessary (for both Notes and iNotes) so that the shortcut document is "Soft Deleted" when the user deletes it. What this means in Notes/iNotes is that it is moved into the Trash Folder when it is deleted. At the time it is moved to the Trash Folder the software also triggers a deletion of the archived mail message from the archive. The user can access the contents of the Trash folder and perform limited operations on those contents.
As I mentioned before, Enterprise Vault is highly configurable. The administrator can enable a site wide setting using the Vault Administration Console (VAC): "Allow recovery of user deleted items" and also specify the "Number of days until items are permanently deleted". When this is configured, items deleted by the user aren't really deleted from the archive immediately. Instead the item is marked for deletion for some time later. The archived item is removed from the archive's index the next time the index is updated so that if the user searches for the mail message using the Enterprise Vault search facility, the document will not appear in search results.
With the "allow recovery of user deleted items" option enabled, we are now able to allow the user to "Restore" a shortcut and the archived item that is sitting in a Trash Folder. The user interface for doing this doesn't change from the standard Notes/iNotes interface, the user selects the messages they want to Restore from trash and click on the Restore button (or Restore All).
Our software traps this Restore operation and checks to see if any of the messages to be Restored are shortcuts. For each shortcut found, a copy of the original mail message is retrieved from the archive and replaces the shortcut in the mail file. We also mark this restored message for archiving during the next scheduled archiving operation.
If the user never Restores the shortcut from the trash it will eventually be purged from their trash folder and from the archive.
As with all the Enterprise Vault client extensions, all of the software is deployed via the modified mail template and Forms files. No new software needs to be installed on the user's desktop.
This work has demonstrated the customization capabilities of Notes, iNotes and Enterprise Vault. Since companies have diverse requirements having this flexibility is important. If you would like to learn more about customizing Notes, iNotes or Enterprise Vault please feel free to contact us (jgriep at__ jgriep dot__ com).