Targeting Recurring Calendar Entries with Mail Attender

Mail Attender for Windows, Sherpa’s mailbox and PST management and migration solution, has many uses. One of its more common uses is to locate documents that meet some age criteria and either delete or archive them. Typically, these types of Rules specifically target email messages, but occasionally the Rules are pointed at Calendar entries as well. This can be a problem with Recurring Calendar entries.

Recurring Calendar entries are meetings or appointments that occur over an extended period in a regular pattern, such as a weekly staff meeting or a regularly scheduled lunch. Inevitably, we’ll often encounter a situation where some of the recurring meetings have already taken place, while others are still scheduled in the future. Ideally, we’d like to be able to delete “old” meetings while leaving “yet to occur” meetings intact. However, because of the way Exchange treats recurring items, this can be problematic. It’s not possible to delete “past” entries without also deleting “future” items, because Exchange manages recurring meetings as a single event, rather than as individual instances.

It is possible, though, to at least identify which calendar items are recurring. Moreover, when users create the Recurring Calendar item, they have an option to assign an end date. In these cases, it’s possible to craft a Rule within Mail Attender to take action on “expired” recurring calendar items.

Below is a brief summary of how to accomplish this, by defining three test conditions:

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Our first test is to query the Message Type to make sure that the item being processed is a Calendar item at all and not a message or other mailbox object:

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Next, we test whether or not a calendar item is the recurring type by querying the [MESSAGE_CALENDAR_RECURRING] keyword and looking for a value of “Yes.”

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Finally, we test the [MESSAGE_CALENDAR_END_EX] keyword to see if the final instance of the recurring event has elapsed. In this case, we’re looking for a closing date that’s at least 30 days old.

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I’d suggest pairing the Conditions in the above Rule with a second Rule that processes only non-recurring Calendar items. For your second Rule, just use the standard age test and query the [MESSAGE_CALENDAR_RECURRING] keyword for “No.”

For more help on Mail Attender, contact us at 1.800.255.5155 or email tech-support@shesrpasoftware.com

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