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Huge Improvements in Message Tracking in Office 365

by Lalita Negi on August 24th 2018

Message tracking within Office 365 wasn’t that great and Microsoft had been working to improve upon it. Recently some new changes were made and a new interface was introduced. So far now, you can track your messages as long as they were within your messaging environment i.e. after they arrive at your tenant or before they leave it. But you can’t see what happens to them outside it, in other words, you won’t be able to tell sender of an email in particular to whom their email was sent but only the destination organization. Let’s have a look at the classic message tracing features of Office 365 and what changes were made to it.

Message Tracking via Exchange Admin center

The usual interface for message tracking in it is not complicated. You just have to select a date range, along with some information related to the messages you are looking for and you can find all the messages that fit your criteria. If you need more information about a particular message, you simply gotta select them and the relevant info will be displayed. You can see which messages you sent and which you received.

Message Tracing via Security and Compliance Center

The onboard by default message tracing experience wasn’t that great though it fulfilled the needs of those looking for basic tracking features. Microsoft in its new release has added the messaging tracking interface in the Security and Compliance center under the Mail Flow section.

Once you open it, you will first come across the two new sections added i.e. Message Trace and Dashboard. Within the dashboard, a sort of summary is provided for your viewing related to information such as total messages sent, queued messages, secured connections made etc and more. Further, when you open the new Message Trace tab, you will find that it is much more effective for those who are inexperienced in message tracking.

First thing in this section is the five default queries provided which cover most of the information administrators look for. Apart from this, you can do a lot by yourself as well. Take example for the very first thing that you do when you don’t receive an expected mail in your inbox, you check your spam emails. You can do that easily in here via a simple search. To even more utilize the search function, you can list emails from a particular sender or recipient. It also saves your last most recent ten queries in autosave section and has an option to save queries by choice as well.

You can get three types of a report from within it, a summary report, enhanced summary report, and extended report. If you need detailed information then you can choose from either of the extended or enhanced summary report, as they are compiled using archived data thus providing more detailed information but also taking a long time. On the other hand, summary reports are limited to the last ten days of data as compared to 90 days of data for the other two.

Exchange admin center and security and compliance center give the same results for all the reports if run against the same data and with the same parameters. The basic difference being the interface and format of those results. Overall, the new interface that’s introduced doesn’t overturn the table but what it does is bring a nice texture and ambiance to it. It’s easier to use and does the job of saving your time and efforts.

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