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How do I get Outlook MSG renditions out of RM8.2?

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I'm having a hard time exporting MSG files out of RM8.2 when they were saved with the previous version of TRIM.

In Trim7 I could export files using Trimport & both MSG & VMBX's would be exported.  In RM8.2 Dataport I'm only getting the VMBX files, which aren't much use. 

I've also tried Web Publish, but that converts the VMBX's to HTML documents (without formatting).  It won't publish MSG's.  

Its not a problem where MSGs are the only copy of the document in RM.  It only occurs when there are both VMBX's & MSG's.  

I undestand HP's logic.  VMBX were the primary rendition.  And HP have provided a tool to convert the VMBX's to EML.  But that doesn't restore the document formatting.  For that I need the MSG files.  

Does anyone have any advice?  Thanks.

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Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral

Steve,

Did you try opening the XML file in Excel?  For every record exported there is column with both the VMBX filename (FILE65) and the rendition filename (FILE).  Not sure exactly what causes multiple lines to be created but it is easy enough to filter these in Excel.

Brian

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Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral

Steve,

Did you try Send To > Export XML

Brian

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Micro Focus Expert
Micro Focus Expert

Basically, the export is taking the details of what to export from your Saved Search - and it looks like the reference to the document in the store is set to the vmbx version, so that it is exporting only that format when there is a vmbx that has been created from a msg document.  If there is just a msg - then it will off course use that. In View Pane below the search results with the Properties tab for a record, you should be able to see the Document Details - the information for the location and name of the associated document.

Adding  extra criteria to the search to also use the extension, so msg, that will return only records where an msg document is associated, but that probably will not help. What you really need is a search that will return both the vmbx and related msg, so both versions and documnet links are included in the search. I do think this may be a limitation - I will check it further and see what I can find.

(Please state the version of TRIM/RM/CM that you are using in all posts)

**Any opinions expressed in this forum are my own personal opinion and should not be interpreted as an official statement on behalf of Micro Focus
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Thanks brian-b. The XML export was a good idea, but it produces a new problem.

: (

Now I've got a folder full of MSG files named only by the Rendition URI.  How do I match those to a record number?

The XML file contains the data I need, but I need to convert that into a table that matches the record number to the rendition-based file name.

I need to match one of the record identifiers

<RECORD uri="uuuu"> ...
<NUMBER propId="2">nn-nnnn ...
<LONGNUMBER propId="4">nn-nnnn ...

to the file name or the rendition number

<RENDITION uri="rrrr"> ....
<ELECTRONICDOCUMENTLIST><FILE>export_rrrr.VMBX ...

Thats not how its formatted BTW.  There's lots of other fields in nested tables.

Alternatively I could run a query in SQL.

My gripe is the end-user could do this easily in Trim7.  Now it requires a much higher skill set.

BTW does anyone know how to convert an xml file into a table using a simple utility or with a MSOffice 2010 or 2013 tool?

 

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Thanks Tonyt_1 .  You're right.  I need to export MSG files as well as VMBX files for emails saved into Trim7.  It would be nice if we could search & export "Renditions" the same way we can search for other object types (eg Audit Events, Reports, Report Graphics etc).

Basically this impacts recordkeeping compliance.  There are going to be cases where we need to exchange data with other agencies when functions are transferred, or when dealing with information requests.  That seems to be much more difficult in RM8 where Outlook emails have been saved in prior versions of TRIM.  VMBX's aren't really a compliant recordkeeping format (being text files) so the original format is necessary.

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Micro Focus Expert
Micro Focus Expert

I would open a case with support for this issue - it does seem like this is maybe a limitation, and it is coming from the way in which the older version of Trim handled the msg files. You can convert the vmbx rendition to eml - in RM 8.3, but that converts the vmbx and really what you need is to go back to the original msg file. The problem may be coming from a change in the handling of emails is the latest releases - emails are treated as 'final' documents and changes that you can make are limited - this is inline with the current Record Management standards and polices for email handling.  So this maybe something that the developers need to look at. If the original msg file is required, then there needs to be a way of being able to identify the msg from the metadata. As I say the current versions, do not allow you to change the emails themselves or create revisions, so that in this case the electronic document that is now associated with the record is the vmbx and all that you can do is convert these to eml format.

(Please state the version of TRIM/RM/CM that you are using in all posts)

**Any opinions expressed in this forum are my own personal opinion and should not be interpreted as an official statement on behalf of Micro Focus
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Thanks Tonyt_1.

I'll leave this thread going a while longer before submitting a support request.  The issue is more of long-term one so its not urgent for me (it would have been handy yesterday).

Unfortunately the MSG is the best record we have.  The VMBX's lose too much information during conversion to plain-text format to be a worthy recordkeeping format.  Converting VMBX to EML doesn't recover that information.  How much information is lost depends on how the original sender presents their content & that is something we have no control over.  For example when table formatting is lost the content becomes unreadable & impossible to reconstruct.

I think the logic behind VMBX was that in the 1990's MS caused a lot of chaos when they realeased a new version of Outlook that didn't support the old Oultook version's formats.  Emails stored in DMS's were suddenly unreadable. That's when DMS vendors starting saving emails in other formats.  These became "longetivity formats", but they were always work-arounds (for example Hummingbird saved emails in RTF format & embedded attachments inside the document, which could be messy).  The Tower Software solution was better at handling attachments but sacrificed formatting, and required the user's have the TRIM VMBX viewer.  The EML format is supposed to be a big improvement but Microsoft refuse to support it officially in Outlook 2010.  If you use Outlook 2010 to save an email in .EML format you lose all your formatting.  Its a documented issue with others vendors.  That's why we waited for RM8.2 which introduced an option to avoid the EML format.  That was great, but now end users can't export the MSG's in a satisfactory way. <end rant mode>.

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Micro Focus Expert
Micro Focus Expert

Interestingly the vmbx to eml conversion doesn't lose the information, but eml seems to be handled differently in Outlook versions, as you say. Vmbx files are essentially little different from eml files - they contain an additionial header line. I recently tested just changing the file type of a vmbx file to eml - and the table references to point to the eml file, - no conversion just a rename of the file type. The file could then be opened in Outlook as eml. However, in Outlook, the attachements were not visible and accented character where displayed incorrectly, in the RM viewer, the display was correct. What and how it was displayed in Outlook also differed between Office versions., and in Office 2010 it was the worst; Office 2013 is a lot better but still isues with accented characters but there are still some issues with attachments - depending on how they are used in the email.

The vmbx should contain most of the information from the msg - it is just the same but a different format; although the bcc list I am unsure about. If you display the vmbx in the RM Viewer,  what information is missing that was in the original msg file? 

If you want to try, supercopy some of the vmbx files to a local drive, then rename the file giving it a file type of eml. If you open that in Outlook, you can check the results. There are also a number of eml viewers that are available - Microsoft provides an app for Windows 8, 8.1 and 10, for viewing emls that may provide better viewing results. Would that provide a useable alternative or are the results unacceptable. I expect that it may work with most - and certainly with 'simple' emails, but there will be exceptions.

(Please state the version of TRIM/RM/CM that you are using in all posts)

**Any opinions expressed in this forum are my own personal opinion and should not be interpreted as an official statement on behalf of Micro Focus
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Thanks Tonyt_1.

I've never seen VMBX files retain formatting information (eg colours, tables or inline images).  Is that possible?

Non of our VMBX's have any formatting.  They're substantially smaller than the corresponding MSG files.  If the VMBX file has no attachment I can open it in notepad & its literally a text file.  There's no headers, tags or binary information.  

I took your suggestion & renamed a VMBX file to EML.  Its prettier, but still no formatting information or tables.

The problem is no viewer is going to restore formatting information once its been stripped from the file. 

As it stands its critical to keep that formatting information because we don't know in advance when & where it will be important. 

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Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral

Steve,

Did you try opening the XML file in Excel?  For every record exported there is column with both the VMBX filename (FILE65) and the rendition filename (FILE).  Not sure exactly what causes multiple lines to be created but it is easy enough to filter these in Excel.

Brian

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Thanks brian-b.  That's brilliant.  Its what I wanted.  

I didn't know Excel could convert XML files to tables like that.  

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