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A look into Conversations with EWS and Powershell in a Mailbox

Conversation views in email clients have become par for the course these days, while I'm personally not a great fan it can be a useful feature to use when looking at Mailbox data. With EWS from Exchange 2010 you can use the dedicated EWS operations which are documented . In Exchange 2013 the conversation operations have been enhanced to offer more functionality such as the ability to use an AQS QueryString to filter the results plus also the ability to apply actions to conversation like applying categories or a specific retention tag.

One interesting thing you can apply these conversation operations to is looking at Mailbox statistics in a different way by looking at the operation of Mailboxes to see how engaged the owners or users of the Mailboxes are, by seeing how engaged in the conversation that are happening in the Mailbox. eg

The FindConversation operation in Exchange will return information such as the MessageCount and Size in a particular folder as well as the GlobalCount and Sizes across all folders in a Mailbox for a conversation.This is sample of a script that uses the findconversation operation to do some statistical sampling of conversation data. So what this does is

  • Does a FindConversation on the Inbox folder to grab the conversation information for the Inbox
  • Does a FindConversation on the SentItems Folder to grab the conversation stats for the Sent Mail
  • Combines the results together to work out the participation rate in the conversation based on the amount of Messages this particular mailbox sent.
  • For Exchange 2013 you can also query based on the received date of the email so you can look at the last 7 days worth or data etc.
So you can run the script like this to examine the whole of the Inbox


or you can use a Date to specify how much data you want to look at eg for the last 7 days use

.\converstats.ps1 (get-date).AddDays(-7)

In the script itself I've got it set to only report on conversation with a messagecount greater then 3 and sort the conversation by the participation rate you can adjust this by fiddling with the following line

$Script:rptcollection.Values | Where-Object {$_.InboxMessageCount -gt 3} | Sort-Object ParticipationRate -Descending | Export-Csv -NoTypeInformation -Path c:\Temp\$MailboxName-cnvStats.csv

I've put a download this script here the script itself looks like
  1. $MailboxName = $args[0]  
  2. $StartDate = $args[1]  
  5. ## Get the Mailbox to Access from the 1st commandline argument  
  7. ## Load Managed API dll    
  10. $EWSDLL = (($(Get-ItemProperty -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue -Path Registry::$(Get-ChildItem -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue -Path 'Registry::HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Exchange\Web Services'|Sort-Object Name -Descending| Select-Object -First 1 -ExpandProperty Name)).'Install Directory') + "Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.dll")  
  11. if (Test-Path $EWSDLL)  
  12.     {  
  13.     Import-Module $EWSDLL  
  14.     }  
  15. else  
  16.     {  
  17.     "$(get-date -format yyyyMMddHHmmss):"  
  18.     "This script requires the EWS Managed API 1.2 or later."  
  19.     "Please download and install the current version of the EWS Managed API from"  
  20.     ""  
  21.     ""  
  22.     "Exiting Script."  
  23.     exit  
  24.     }  
  26. ## Set Exchange Version    
  27. $ExchangeVersion = [Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.ExchangeVersion]::Exchange2013_SP1  
  29. ## Create Exchange Service Object    
  30. $service = New-Object Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.ExchangeService($ExchangeVersion)    
  32. ## Set Credentials to use two options are availible Option1 to use explict credentials or Option 2 use the Default (logged On) credentials    
  34. #Credentials Option 1 using UPN for the windows Account    
  35. $psCred = Get-Credential    
  36. $creds = New-Object System.Net.NetworkCredential($psCred.UserName.ToString(),$psCred.GetNetworkCredential().password.ToString())    
  37. $service.Credentials = $creds        
  39. #Credentials Option 2    
  40. #service.UseDefaultCredentials = $true    
  42. ## Choose to ignore any SSL Warning issues caused by Self Signed Certificates    
  44. ## Code From  
  45. ## Create a compilation environment  
  46. $Provider=New-Object Microsoft.CSharp.CSharpCodeProvider  
  47. $Compiler=$Provider.CreateCompiler()  
  48. $Params=New-Object System.CodeDom.Compiler.CompilerParameters  
  49. $Params.GenerateExecutable=$False  
  50. $Params.GenerateInMemory=$True  
  51. $Params.IncludeDebugInformation=$False  
  52. $Params.ReferencedAssemblies.Add("System.DLL") | Out-Null  
  54. $TASource=@' 
  55.   namespace Local.ToolkitExtensions.Net.CertificatePolicy{ 
  56.     public class TrustAll : System.Net.ICertificatePolicy { 
  57.       public TrustAll() {  
  58.       } 
  59.       public bool CheckValidationResult(System.Net.ServicePoint sp, 
  60.         System.Security.Cryptography.X509Certificates.X509Certificate cert,  
  61.         System.Net.WebRequest req, int problem) { 
  62.         return true; 
  63.       } 
  64.     } 
  65.   } 
  66. '@   
  67. $TAResults=$Provider.CompileAssemblyFromSource($Params,$TASource)  
  68. $TAAssembly=$TAResults.CompiledAssembly  
  70. ## We now create an instance of the TrustAll and attach it to the ServicePointManager  
  71. $TrustAll=$TAAssembly.CreateInstance("Local.ToolkitExtensions.Net.CertificatePolicy.TrustAll")  
  72. [System.Net.ServicePointManager]::CertificatePolicy=$TrustAll  
  74. ## end code from  
  76. ## Set the URL of the CAS (Client Access Server) to use two options are availbe to use Autodiscover to find the CAS URL or Hardcode the CAS to use    
  78. #CAS URL Option 1 Autodiscover    
  79. $service.AutodiscoverUrl($MailboxName,{$true})    
  80. "Using CAS Server : " + $Service.url     
  82. #CAS URL Option 2 Hardcoded    
  84. #$uri=[system.URI] "https://casservername/ews/exchange.asmx"    
  85. #$service.Url = $uri      
  87. ## Optional section for Exchange Impersonation    
  89. #$service.ImpersonatedUserId = new-object Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.ImpersonatedUserId([Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.ConnectingIdType]::SmtpAddress, $MailboxName)   
  90. if($StartDate -ne $null){  
  91.     $AQSString = "received:>" + $StartDate.ToString("yyyy-MM-dd")   
  92.     $AQSString  
  93. }  
  94. # Bind to the Inbox Folder  
  95. $Script:rptcollection = @{}  
  96. $folderid= new-object Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.FolderId([Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.WellKnownFolderName]::Inbox,$MailboxName)     
  97. $Inbox = [Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.Folder]::Bind($service,$folderid)  
  98. # Bind to the SentItems Folder  
  99. $folderid= new-object Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.FolderId([Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.WellKnownFolderName]::SentItems,$MailboxName)     
  100. $SentItems = [Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.Folder]::Bind($service,$folderid)  
  102. function Process-Folder{    
  103.     param (    
  104.             $FolderId = "$( throw 'SMTPAddress is a mandatory Parameter' )",  
  105.             $IsSentItems = "$( throw 'SMTPAddress is a mandatory Parameter' )"  
  106.           )    
  107.     process{   
  108.         $cnvItemView = New-Object Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.ConversationIndexedItemView(1000)  
  109.         $cnvs = $null;  
  110.         do  
  111.         {  
  112.             $cnvs = $service.FindConversation($cnvItemView$FolderId,$AQSString);  
  113.             "Number of Conversation returned " + $cnvs.Count  
  114.             foreach($cnv in $cnvs){  
  115.                 $rptobj = $cnv | select Topic,LastDeliveryTime,UniqueSenders,UniqueRecipients,InboxMessageCount,GlobalMessageCount,InboxMessageSize,SentItemsMessageCount,SentItemsMessageSize,ParticipationRate      
  116.                 if($Script:rptcollection.Contains($cnv.Id.UniqueId)-eq $false){  
  117.                     if($IsSentItems){  
  118.                         $rptobj.SentItemsMessageCount = $cnv.MessageCount  
  119.                         $rptobj.SentItemsMessageSize = $cnv.Size  
  120.                         $rptobj.InboxMessageCount = 0  
  121.                         $rptobj.InboxMessageSize = 0  
  122.                         $rptobj.LastDeliveryTime = $cnv.LastDeliveryTime  
  123.                         $rptobj.UniqueSenders = $cnv.GlobalUniqueSenders  
  124.                         $rptobj.UniqueRecipients = $cnv.GlobalUniqueRecipients  
  125.                     }  
  126.                     else{  
  127.                         $rptobj.InboxMessageCount = $cnv.MessageCount  
  128.                         $rptobj.InboxMessageSize = $cnv.Size  
  129.                         $rptobj.SentItemsMessageCount = 0  
  130.                         $rptobj.SentItemsMessageSize = 0  
  131.                         $rptobj.LastDeliveryTime = $cnv.LastDeliveryTime  
  132.                         $rptobj.UniqueSenders = $cnv.GlobalUniqueSenders  
  133.                         $rptobj.UniqueRecipients = $cnv.GlobalUniqueRecipients  
  134.                     }  
  135.                     $Script:rptcollection.Add($cnv.Id.UniqueId,$rptobj)  
  136.                 }  
  137.                 else{  
  138.                     if($IsSentItems){  
  139.                         $Script:rptcollection[$cnv.Id.UniqueId].SentItemsMessageCount = $cnv.MessageCount  
  140.                         $Script:rptcollection[$cnv.Id.UniqueId].SentItemsMessageSize = $cnv.Size  
  141.                     }  
  142.                     else{  
  143.                         $Script:rptcollection[$cnv.Id.UniqueId].InboxMessageCount = $cnv.MessageCount  
  144.                         $Script:rptcollection[$cnv.Id.UniqueId].InboxMessageSize = $cnv.Size  
  145.                     }  
  147.                 }                 
  149.             }  
  150.             $cnvItemView.Offset += $cnvs.Count  
  151.         }while($cnvs.Count -gt 0)  
  152.     }  
  153. }  
  154. Process-Folder -FolderId $Inbox.Id -IsSentItems $false  
  155. Process-Folder -FolderId $SentItems.Id -IsSentItems $true  
  156. foreach($value in $Script:rptcollection.Values){  
  157.     if($value.GlobalMessageCount -gt 0 -band $value.SentItemsMessageCount -gt 0){  
  158.         $value.ParticipationRate = [Math]::round((($value.SentItemsMessageCount/$value.GlobalMessageCount) * 100))  
  159.     }  
  160.     else{  
  161.         $value.ParticipationRate = 0  
  162.     }  
  163. }  
  164. $Script:rptcollection.Values | Where-Object {$_.InboxMessageCount -gt 3} | Sort-Object ParticipationRate -Descending | Export-Csv -NoTypeInformation -Path c:\Temp\$MailboxName-cnvStats.csv  

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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.