Skip to main content

Using Exchange Search and AQS with EWS on Exchange 2010

One of the great new features of Exchange Web Services on Exchange 2010 is the ability to use AQS (Advanced Query Syntax) when querying a mailbox folder. The reason this is helpful is that it provides an easily assessable entrypoint into the Exchange Search Service. The Exchange Search Service has been constantly improving with each new version of Exchange when you consider the size and Item counts of the modern mailbox this has now become a vital component of Exchange and something that those using EWS should consider taking advantage of. For the basics behind the difference between a Store Search and one use that utilizes the Exchange Search Service the Exchange Team blog has a great three part post on the subject.

The main points of interest are that index searches are considerable quicker and can be used to do things such as look at the content of an attachment which a normal store search can not do. Of course there are also a number of things a store search can do that a index search can't because a index search is always limited to searching the properties it indexes.

Using AQS also allows you the opportunity to have more flexible functions and methods when compared with creating search filters in EWS. For example most search filters are hard-coded for a particular property or you create a collection of search filters to apply additional logic. An Example of this would be

SearchFilter sf1 = new SearchFilter.IsEqualTo(ItemSchema.Subject, "Blah");
SearchFilter sf2 = new SearchFilter.IsGreaterThan(ItemSchema.DateTimeReceived, DateTime.Now.AddDays(-1));
SearchFilter sfcol = new SearchFilter.SearchFilterCollection(LogicalOperator.And, sf1, sf2);

While the equivalent AQS query that can be used is

FindItemsResults fiItems = service.FindItems(QueryFolder, "Received:yesterday AND subject:\"blah\"", iv);

Working Out the AQS Syntax

This is perhaps the hardest thing when it comes to using AQS the documentation can be a little confusing and sometimes doesn't show everything you need to know the two articles i would have a look at is firstly


The detail provided in the later is of importance because it provides good detail on what the conditional logic is that can be used with AQS when you need to constructed more advanced searches. For instance if you had to search all messages where a particular name is in the body but where only give part of the first or surname of the person. The COP_WORD_STARTSWITH help do this so you could find say any matches on "Microsoft Exchange" using "body:$<\"Micro Exc\"" this will find any a word starting with micro, followed by a word starting with exc.

Is this useful for SysAdmin's ?

ECP is a exceedingly powerful tool and if you where doing mailbox discoveries then this is what you should be using. However every problem is unique and having this ability availability at the command-line to do this can be very advantages. Using the EWS Managed API allows you to do this in Powershell relatively easily. Eg the following script will take the input of the Mailbox you want it to run against (as primary email address) and AQS query you want to use to search with an return the results to the console

$MailboxName = $args[0]

$dllpath = "C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange\Web Services\1.0\Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.dll"

$service = New-Object Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.ExchangeService([Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.ExchangeVersion]::Exchange2007_SP1)

$windowsIdentity = [System.Security.Principal.WindowsIdentity]::GetCurrent()
$sidbind = "LDAP://"
$aceuser = [ADSI]$sidbind


$folderid = new-object Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.FolderId([Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.WellKnownFolderName]::Inbox,$MailboxName)

$iv = new-object Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.ItemView(2000)
$fiItems = $service.FindItems($folderid, $args[1], $iv)
foreach ($Item in $fiItems.Items)

With this you can then make queries like

./aqssearch.ps1 "sent:today"

./aqssearch.ps1 "sent:thismonth"

find attachment content with

./aqssearch.ps1 "attachment:Good Movies"

There are a large number of problems you can solve relatively easily just by learning some simple AQS syntax so for both the Admin and developer if your using Exchange 2010 this is something to examine and start using.

I've put a download of the script here.

Popular posts from this blog

Export calendar Items to a CSV file using EWS and Powershell

Somebody asked about this last week and while I have a lot of EWS scripts that do access the Calendar I didn't have a simple example that just exported a list of the Calendar events with relevant information to a CSV file so here it is.

I've talked on this one before in this howto  but when you query the calendar folder using EWS you need to use a CalendarView which will expand any recurring appointments in a calendar. There are some limits when you use a calendarview in that you can only return a maximum of 2 years of appointments at a time and paging will limit the max number of items to 1000 per call. So if you have a calendar with a very large number of appointments you need to break your query into small date time blocks. In this example script I'm just grabbing the next 7 days of appointments if you want to query a longer period you need to adjust the following lines (keeping in mind what I just mentioned)

#Define Date to Query
$StartDate = (Get-Date)
$EndDate = (Ge…

EWS Managed API and Powershell How-To series Part 1

I thought I'd start the year with a series of posts that goes back over the basics of using the EWS Managed API from Powershell and provides a modular remarked example that you can easily cut and paste to build your own scripts. Along the way in this series I'll show a whole bunch of examples around specific things.

As a starting point for versions this will be Powershell Version 2.0  and the EWS Managed API 1.1 (which will soon change to 1.2 once released)

The starting point for any EWS script your going to write is connecting to Exchange for which there are three important pieces of information you will need. Firstly you need to know the version of Exchange your running in this script its going to be held in the following variable

$ExchangeVersion = [Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.ExchangeVersion]::Exchange2010_SP1

Other valid values for Exchange 2007 would be

$ExchangeVersion = [Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.…

Writing a simple scripted process to download attachmentts in Exchange 2007/ 2010 using the EWS Managed API

Every complicated thing in life is made up of smaller simpler building blocks, when it comes to writing a script (or any code really) the more of these little building blocks you have to figure out the more the process of solving a problem can become bewildering. The Internet generally provides you with lots of half eaten sandwiches of information something someone else has taken a bite out but a lot of the time half done, and as with any code its usefulness declines over time as new and better API's and methods are derived. In this post I'm going to go through a simple scripted process that hopefully covers a few more of these smaller building blocks that you might face when asked to come up with a simple costless solution to perform an automated business function with a script.

So the process im going to look at is one that comes up a lot and that is you have an Email that comes into to certain mailbox every day with a certain subject in my case "Daily Export" this …
All sample scripts and source code is provided by for illustrative purposes only. All examples are untested in different environments and therefore, I cannot guarantee or imply reliability, serviceability, or function of these programs.

All code contained herein is provided to you "AS IS" without any warranties of any kind. The implied warranties of non-infringement, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose are expressly disclaimed.