MailVault supports Single-Sign-On for Office 365

MailVault v4.2.35 is available.

This release contains:

  • Single-Sign-On support for Office 365
  • Enhanced auto-recovery in case of configuration corruption
  • Other minor fixes and enhancements

Organizations using MailVault to backup and archive email from Office 365, can now allow their users to single-sign-on by authentication against O365. And user management is made simpler by allowing MailVault to directly import users from O365.

Power failures, disk crashes and even user-errors can sometimes cause file corruption. When configuration files get corrupted, they affect the running of the software. In such cases, MailVault auto-recovers to older, working configurations. This release enhances the auto-recovery process to give you an even more robust working environment.

You can manually upgrade your MailVault installation by going to:

Settings > Core > Auto updates and click on Check for updates

Then simply follow the on-screen instructions.

Release: MailVault v4.1.18 (Mailbox view, license management, web console)

MailVault v4.1.18 is available.

This release contains:

  • Preference based “mailbox view”, when user logs in to MailVault
  • License management now has it’s own primary tab
  • Auto-pause and scroll in the web console
  • Minor fixes and enhancements

Users can choose to let MailVault display all their messages (most recent first) when they log in, very much like popular web mail interfaces.

License management has been moved out of the core settings into it’s own top-level tab, on the main navigation bar, making it more visible and easily accessible.

The real-time web console now automatically pauses the scrolling messages to allow for easier reading when the admin accesses it.

You can upgrade your MailVault installation by going to:

Settings > Core > Auto updates and click on Check for updates

Then simply follow the on-screen instructions.

Release: MailVault v3.4.17

MailVault v3.4.17 is available.

This release modifies and enhances the sub-admin role.

A sub-admin is no longer allowed to delete messages. Additionally, we have introduced a number of privileges, that may optionally be granted to a sub-admin. This adds to overall security, offers greater flexibility to accommodate various organizations policies and overall makes the sub-admin role more convenient.

You can upgrade your MailVault installation by going to:

Settings > Core > Auto updates and click on Check for updates

Then simply follow the on-screen instructions.

How to backup and archive email into MailVault

MailVault can backup and archive email in a number of ways.

It can “pull” mail from corporate mail servers and public mail servers, parse multiple mailbox formats, pick up randomly scattered mail from the filesystem and read messages from selected email clients. MailVault can also accept email “pushed” to it via the SMTP protocol.

In cases where there is no mail server running, the MailVault Agent installed on remote machines enables users to backup email from their email clients into MailVault.

Mail sources in MailVault

For those familiar with email, MailVault’s capabilities include:

  • Support for network oriented protocols like POP3, IMAP and SMTP thus ensuring connectivity with any standard corporate email server (Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes, Postfix, Qmail, Sendmail, PostMaster, MDaemon, VPOP3, etc.)
  • Support for filesystem based mail sources like Unix mbox, Maildir, regular directories with individual email files (.eml / standard RFC 822 format)
  • Convenient wrappers for public email proividers like GMail, Yahoo, Rediffmail
  • Can read email from email clients like Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail and Thunderbird
Types of Mail Sources

Inspite of all this power and flexibility, using MailVault is quite simple. Let’s look at setting up a mail source.

Configuring a mail source (Generic steps)

For the MailVault administrator, setting up a mail source simply boils down to the following generic steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Mail Sources
  2. To add a new mail source, click “Add new”
  3. From the drop down list, choose a mail source and press “Create”
  4. Configure the mail source specific settings
  5. Press Test to check if the settings are correct
  6. If all is well, press Save

That’s it. MailVault now begins the backup and archive process.

Configuring a POP3 mail source

Most email servers support copying or journaling all email that flows through them into a mailbox, which is POP3 enabled. MailVault can then periodically pickup email from this ‘archive’ mailbox using the POP3 protocol. This makes the POP3 mail source one of the most popular and recommended ways of using MailVault with your mail server. Let’s see how a POP3mail source is configured.

  • Go to Settings > Mail Sources
  • Click on Add new
  • Choose POP3 from the drop down
Configuring a POP3 mail source

With reference to the image above:

  1. Make the name an easy identifier (espcially if you are going to use multiple mail sources)
  2. Ensure the mail source is enabled (default is ON)
  3. We’d like to delete messages from the POP3 box once retrieved into MailVault
  4. Poll the mail source every 10 minutes
  5. Enter the POP3 mailbox username
  6. Enter the POP3 mailbox password
  7. Provide the host name
  8. Check the port is correct (default is 110)

As a good practice, at this point we recommend highly that you press the Test button. Ensure that you get a “Connection successful” message and then save the mail source.

Get a cup of coffee, sit back and relax while MailVault archives your email… 🙂

User Management in MailVault

Generally speaking, user administration tasks can be time consuming, dull and often a waste of your technical administrator’s time. User management in MailVault is designed to change that.

A bunch of convenience features make life easy for the administrators and end-user self-service options means that your user’s can get things done, without waiting for a busy administrator to attend to them.

Understanding user roles
There are three types of users in MailVault. A user type, technically known as “Role” defines privileges and what a user is able to do in the MailVault system. There are three types of roles:

  1. User
  2. Reviewer
  3. Admin

The User role is what most end-users will be. Their actions are restricted to only their own mail,  i.e. email in which they are either a sender or recipient. They can search through their email, forward and even restore it – all without admin intervention.

The Reviewer role can do everything that a User can, with the additional privilege of being able to search through all email in the MailVault archive. This role is primarily meant for personnel with email auditing responsibilities.

The Admin role can of course do everything that User and Reviewer can – additionally it allows for administration of MailVault.

Adding users

Users can be added singly or in bulk.

While adding a single user, the admin can specify the password in the conventional manual style or simply choose the Auto option to have MailVault send a self-activation email to the user. End of story. Each user must have a primary email id that is unique across all other users. Additionally, users may also have optional secondary email ids.

Bulk users can be imported into MailVault from various sources including CSV files, Active Directory and LDAP. MailVault can also import user’s directly from the popular PostMaster email server.

Welcome mail
An option welcome mail can be sent to user’s automatically when they are added to MailVault. This mail can carry a custom message and is a perfect way to inform employees about corporate email archiving policies, etc.

User list
The user list allows for listing, searching and modifying users. You can also export all MailVault users in a CSV format for use elsewhere.

And those are the basics of user management in MailVault.

First steps after installing MailVault

There is a book that goes by the name of “What to say, after saying Hello” (or something like that!). A WHOLE BOOK? I guess human beings are complex creatures.

Fortunately, interacting with MailVault isn’t anywhere near as complex. Inspite of all it’s power and flexibility, it is simple to use. For a new setup, on-screen instructions and hints guide through the few basic steps required to get going.

Here is the 1-2-3-4 of configuring MailVault once you’ve installed it.

Logging in

The preset username and password for MailVault is “admin” and “password”. A notice on the login page displays these details and will stay visible on the login page until the admin password is changed.

MailVault Login Screen

Needless to say, it is strongly recommended to change the admin password at the earliest.

Basic configuration

On logging in, the main page (which happens to be the Search page) of the application is displayed. Obviously there is no point in executing a Search right now… 🙂

In the area under the search box, are listed the recommended steps for completing the basic configuration. As you complete each one, the line turns from blue to grey.

MailVault Basic Configuration

Let’s take them in order:

1. Admin’s email id

Specify a valid email-id for the administrator. This will be used as the sender email-id for mail originating from MailVault (alerts, search result forwarding, etc.). Additionally, in case you forget your password, this will be needed to reset your password.

To set the email id, go to Users > User list and edit the Administrator entry.

2. SMTP relay server

MailVault needs a SMTP server through which it can relay mail. Normally this will be your corporate email server.

To set this, go to Settings > Outbound email and fill the relevant information.

3. Your domains

These are used to identify your corporate email from other external mail and can be set at Settings > Core > My domains.

4. Mail sources

MailVault acquires mail using mail sources. Many types of mail sources are supported, but the most commonly used one is POP3.

Head over to Settings > Mail Sources > Retrieve mail from and click on “Add new”.

Once all of these items are configured, MailVault will no longer display these hints on the main Search page.

Basically that’s it. MailVault will now begin the process of archiving your email.

Other stuff

Now while MailVault does it’s stuff you can go ahead and do other things – like adding some users. Feel free to wander through the various settings and check out the available options. If you don’t feel the need to tinker or customize, no worries – most settings in MailVault have sane default values.

All Settings pages have a “guidelines area” on the right hand side which informs you about the purpose of the page’s settings. Additionally, every setting section on a page has it’s own little “help line” at it’s bottom.

Finally, if you really need to you, can request assistance online at the MailVault site; but we assure you, you won’t need an entire book on what to do after installing MailVault! 🙂

Feel free to tell us about things you liked, didn’t like and how we can make your MailVault experience even better…

Installing MailVault

Note: For now, these instructions are for Microsoft Windows platforms only.

Installing and setting up MailVault is easy.

1. Download

Download MailVault and save the installable in an appropriate location on your disk.

2. Install

Double-click the installable to start the installation process. Follow the instructions to complete the installation and to create a shortcut MailVault icon on the desktop. The default installation location isC:\Program Files\DigitalGlue\MailVault.

3. Initial configuration

Start MailVault by double-clicking it’s shortcut icon. On it’s first startup, MailVault needs two pieces of information to be confirmed by you:

  1. The port on which to run it’s webserver (default is 8080)
  2. The location of your mail archive, logs, and other dynamic data (default is under the installed location)
Initial Settings for MailVault

Our advice would be to keep the archive location away from and out of the program installation location – preferably on a separate partition, where there is enough space to hold all the mail you plan to archive.

Once these settings are confirmed, MailVault starts up into normal operation. Simple on-screen hints are available to assist you in completing the basic recommended configuration.

MailVault is now running in demo mode (as indicated on the upper right corner of your screen). In demo mode, more or less all the functionality is available – the limitations being that you will be able to create only two other users and MailVault will archive up to 1000 messages only.

4. License deployment

If you have a license file (evaluation or commercial) – normally emailed to you separately – you can deploy it by copying it into the configuration folder under the MailVault location (in this example under C:\Program Files\DigitalGlue\MailVault\config). You must ensure that the license file is named license.

Restart MailVault. The Demo version on the top right corner of your browser, should now be replaced by your company name.

Test, play, enjoy!