Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Another note on Zoe. One of the things I am excited about with Zoe is that it provides me with a nice way to work around our company's email retention policy. My email is automatically deleted after 90 days unless I move it to a special folder in Outlook. I cannot reorganize that folder so it looks like a big dumping ground. With Zoe capturing and indexing my emails I do not need to worry about saving old emails or having them deleted out from under me.
2:45:57 PM    Google It!  

I am excited about Zoe. I saw a note on Scripting News yesterday pointing to Jon Udell's column about Zoe. What is Zoe? Jon aptly calls it software for Googling your email. Since Jon describes it better than I can I will leave it at that.

I downloaded Zoe this morning, installed it, and have been playing with it throughout the day. Getting it to work with Microsoft Outlook in an MS Exchange environment was a little difficult. Zoe indexes inbound mail by running as a POP3 (or IMAP) client. I set up the POP3 client settings on the Zoe Preferences page. For me the trick was correctly identifying the mail server. After several failed attempts I finally tried plugging in the Exchange server name itself for the "Host" (found in Outlook's Tools/Services menu by clicking the properties button for the Microsoft Exchange Server service). That did the trick, Zoe is now picking up and indexing new emails coming into my Outlook In-Box.

I also wanted to index all of my existing emails. Zoe provides two ways of doing this. The first is to set up an Internet Email service client within Outlook that points to Zoe as an SMTP server. You can then mail all your old mail items to Zoe. I was not able to successfully set up the Internet Email Service client. I suspect the email support group might have disabled this feature on our machines, but I cannot figure out how they did it. Zoe also provides an import feature, but this only works with mail clients that store mail in the mbox format. I found a utility to convert Outlook's .pst mailboxes into the mbox format. Out2Unix is a little buggy, but workable. Using Out2Unix I was able to export many of my old emails into mbox format. I was not able to export everything. Out2Unix appeared to crash when attempting to export subfolders. It also crashed inexplicable during single folder exports. I do not know why; I was able to get most of what I wanted so I did not pursue it. After adding a .mbox extension to the files Out2Unix exported and then moving them into a \documents and settings\mwoods1\library folder (I had to create the library folder), I was able to use Zoe's import feature to retrieve and index all of the exported mail items.

The last thing I want to set up is SMTP forwarding. That is, I want Zoe to capture and index the emails I send before sending them on to Exchange. It seems the best way to do this, in my case, is to send my emails via Zoe (using it as an SMTP server) and then let it forward them on to Exchange. However, this forces me back to setting up an Internet Email client in Outlook - something I seem unable to do (I can add the service, but I cannot the properties wizard fails to start so I cannot identify the SMTP server).
2:43:38 PM    Google It!