Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Introducing the Data Rumble Message Tracking Outlook AddIn for Office 365

With great pride and a little trepidation I'd like to introduce my new venture Data Rumble and our first software release Message Tracking Outllook Addin for Office 365. As a company we are looking to focus on email data so looking at the Metadata an Email message picks up and leaves behind while its in transit to and from a mailbox is the logical first step for us. Launching something new is a lot of work so this first release is a bit of dry run to get all the underlying infrastructure and procedures in place.

At release the main feature of this AddIn is that it allows you to perform a Message Trace on a Message from within Outlook itself using the Office365 Reporting Web Service. This is a REST endpoint that allows you to perform a number of different Office365 Administrative reporting tasks it has been around for a couple of years now and pre dates some of the oauth features that the newer mailbox REST services have so I expect the Endpoint will change soon  (it also has the option to use PowerShell as an alternative to cater for instances where REST doesn't work). . But from this AddIn's perspective it makes use of this endpoint to perform a Message Trace (that you would normally do in the EAC or PowerShell eg https://technet.microsoft.com/EN-US/library/jj200741(v=exchg.150).aspx ) from within Outlook eg. this a screenshot

The Addin post processes the data returned by the Reporting service as well as data extracted from the messages Transport Headers and a few other Message properties and combines those together to provide more information around the message such as the Message header properties, Exchange online protection actions etc (although there is already a good tool for this https://testconnectivity.microsoft.com/ and a corresponding AddIn but this is just another view of the data),Sender and Recipient information. All Message Tracking is done based on the MessageId's extracted from the message in Outlook, it also extracts any associated MessageID's eg if this message is a reply, forward or part of a thread. So you can then query the logs for any associated Messages as well as query for other messages that have been sent or received to and from any of the sender, recipients or envelope recipients found in the log. (envelope recipients would could be BCC's, alternate recipients, forwards or recipients added by a Transport Agent that are available in the Tracing logs). I've created a short video below to showcase the features or you can check and download the software from the product page here.