Exporting E-Mail to Outlook data files programmatically

Introduction

This post discusses a simple script to export one or more Exchange Online mailboxes to an Outlook data file programmatically.

Why am I doing this?

I wrote the script to export the mailbox data from an Office 365 tenant for an Office 365 tenant-to-tenant migration. Now I know there are tools out there that do this but money constraints meant I had to come up with something else.

How does it work?

First of all your Outlook profile must contain all the mailboxes you want to export i.e. you have been granted ‘Full Access’ over the mailboxes and they must be in online mode not cached, the reason being if they’re cached the copy process might not contain all the mailbox data. Mailboxes which are cached are reported in the logs as per the image below.

GetOutlookDataLog01

So, the script, well the script uses the Outlook Object Model to connect to Outlook and enumerate the MAPI stores. Each store is assigned an associated Outlook data file, which is attached and named PST: ‘mailbox store name’, next the script enumerates the mailbox store folder structure and copies the data from each folder to the Outlook data file store, once complete it disconnects the Outlook data file store and moves onto the next mailbox store in the profile.

The Outlook data file exports are stored in a directory named exports within the directory where the script is run from and the log file is stored in the script root directory.

GetOutlookDataStore01

Conclusion

The script has scope for lots of improvements such as better error checking, retries if the copy process fails on a particular folder and maybe even consuming user credentials to have mailboxes from both tenants, then run the copy process.

The script can be downloaded from GitHub here: https://github.com/heathen1878/ExportMailboxToPST

References

https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/scriptcenter/en-US/c76c7167-8336-4261-ac40-2fb44ff3b3f3/powershell-and-outlook-removestore-method?forum=ITCG – used to name the Outlook data file store in order to disconnect it reliably.

http://www.bytemedev.com/powershell-disable-cached-mode-in-outlook-20102013/ – used for the disabling of the Outlook cache mode.

 

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