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Comparing Mail Attender and PST Capture

by Rick Wilson on March 5, 2012

If you follow the topic of email management then you probably know Microsoft recently released PST Capture, their free utility for importing PST data into Exchange 2010. Since several analysts have already reviewed the utility (I’d recommend Tony Redmond’s piece) I would like to take a different approach in this post and highlight the advantages of using Mail Attender for your PST import project.

PST Capture is a great option for simple PST migration projects. It installs quickly, is easy to use and (did I mention) it’s free! In my experience however, migration projects are rarely simple. They tend to raise all sorts of difficult questions such as; “who owns the data being imported,” “how much of the information should be imported” or “how do I avoid importing the same message multiple times”. Sherpa’s Mail Attender product can be particularly helpful for administrators who must undertake a PST migration project with this type of complexity. Here is a quick recap of some areas where Mail Attender can extend the type of basic data import facilities offered by PST Capture:

  • Determining PST ownership – if the Mail Attender scan process cannot uniquely identify a valid Active Directory owner for the PST (based on an analysis of the message data) it will store a table of the top five likely owners for the administrator to review
  • Selectively importing data – for scenarios where more control is required over the import, Mail Attender can filter messages based on criteria. For example, maybe any item over three years old should be imported to the Online Archive and any item newer should be imported to the mailbox.
  • Broader version support – Mail Attender works with Exchange 2003, 2007 or 2010 and installs on either 32 or 64 bit operating systems
  • Data Analysis – if you need to obtain a break down of PST data (for example by age or type) Mail Attender can generate ad-hoc reports or on-demand statistics
  • De-duplicating data - this feature (available soon) will de-duplicate the messages being imported from multiple PST files into the same target repository (mailbox or Online Archive)

Not every situation calls for a set of import options that are this extensive, but it is nice to know that they are available when the project requires more finesse. A complete comparison between Mail Attender and PST Capture is available on our web site. If you have specific  questions about how Mail Attender could help with your migration project please contact your Sherpa sales representative or our customer support team, we will be happy to assist you.


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