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Social Network Analysis based on Exchange mail

    Question

  • First post here...

    I have been tasked with creating a dataset from my company's email (Exchange 2010) on which a Social Network Analysis can be done (i.e. counting and analyzing mail-based interactions between employees). The dataset shall contain mail objects with attributes from_sender, to_addresses[], cc_addresses[], date_sent (and as we're only analyzing inter-company mailing, any mail which does not contain an internal address in either to_addresses[] or cc_addresses[] should not be included in the set). The suggested timeframe for the analysis is three months' worth of mails.

    I'd be very grateful for some assistance as to how this can best be done.

    First, I'm wondering whether it's possible to get a decent three-month dataset from a single query - i.e. can I get at mails that have been deleted by the user through some archive? Or will I have to create a program that runs for three months to collect the data?

    Next, I'm assuming that EWSMA is the way to go (C# preferred language), to easily get at mail objects and the GAL?

    What should I do to ensure that the company's email flow is not disturbed while I run the program?

    Thanks for any input!


    • Edited by PetterW Monday, February 27, 2012 3:37 PM
    Monday, February 27, 2012 3:36 PM

Answers

  • Before looking at EWS i would suggest you check out the Message Tracking Logs on the server http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb124375.aspx these will contain all the information your looking for but by default the retention period for these logs is only 30 days (people do change the defaults so it could be longer or shorter and you can restore these from backup if they where backed up). There are several third party products that you can use to do the analysis of these logs which can give you quite detailed information like Quests messagestats and promodag. Or they are just tab separated files so you can import them into a database and then create you own reports based on the data.

    > First, I'm wondering whether it's possible to get a decent three-month dataset from a single query

    In EWS No everything is done is the context of one mailbox and in general the context of a particular mailbox folder. (Maybe Multi-Mailbox search http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd335072.aspx but this is really designed for exporting mail not reporting)

    > Or will I have to create a program that runs for three months to collect the data?

    If you don't need to look at historical data then use Message Tracking instead

    > Next, I'm assuming that EWSMA is the way to go (C# preferred language), to easily get at mail objects and the GAL?

    Mail objects Yes the GAL No the directory functionality in EWS is very limited you can use it to resolve names and addresses if you want to list the GAL then you should use LDAP directly to access Active Directory see http://www.infinitec.de/post/2011/10/25/Searching-the-Global-Address-List-C-Edition.aspx

    > What should I do to ensure that the company's email flow is not disturbed while I run the program?

    As long as you haven't disabled it Throttling http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd297964.aspx should stop you effecting the performance of the Server to a point where users would notice.

    Cheers
    Glen

    • Marked as answer by PetterW Tuesday, February 28, 2012 6:44 AM
    Tuesday, February 28, 2012 2:09 AM

All replies

  • Before looking at EWS i would suggest you check out the Message Tracking Logs on the server http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb124375.aspx these will contain all the information your looking for but by default the retention period for these logs is only 30 days (people do change the defaults so it could be longer or shorter and you can restore these from backup if they where backed up). There are several third party products that you can use to do the analysis of these logs which can give you quite detailed information like Quests messagestats and promodag. Or they are just tab separated files so you can import them into a database and then create you own reports based on the data.

    > First, I'm wondering whether it's possible to get a decent three-month dataset from a single query

    In EWS No everything is done is the context of one mailbox and in general the context of a particular mailbox folder. (Maybe Multi-Mailbox search http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd335072.aspx but this is really designed for exporting mail not reporting)

    > Or will I have to create a program that runs for three months to collect the data?

    If you don't need to look at historical data then use Message Tracking instead

    > Next, I'm assuming that EWSMA is the way to go (C# preferred language), to easily get at mail objects and the GAL?

    Mail objects Yes the GAL No the directory functionality in EWS is very limited you can use it to resolve names and addresses if you want to list the GAL then you should use LDAP directly to access Active Directory see http://www.infinitec.de/post/2011/10/25/Searching-the-Global-Address-List-C-Edition.aspx

    > What should I do to ensure that the company's email flow is not disturbed while I run the program?

    As long as you haven't disabled it Throttling http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd297964.aspx should stop you effecting the performance of the Server to a point where users would notice.

    Cheers
    Glen

    • Marked as answer by PetterW Tuesday, February 28, 2012 6:44 AM
    Tuesday, February 28, 2012 2:09 AM
  • Thanks for taking your time to respond with such detail! The Message Tracking Logs sound like it's exactly what I need and should use - and thanks for the links!
    Tuesday, February 28, 2012 6:47 AM