Improved version of office 365 Message Tracking

In this blog we will look at the new features added to the latest version of message tracking system, and also compare the new interface with the previous version and see the differences between both the versions.

Message Tracing is a key tool for Exchange Admins to troubleshoot and track the health of their organizations mail flow. Exchange Admin Center (EAC) is a useful tool to accomplish the task of message tracking in an efficient way.

Office 365 monitors messages as they move around your client, and it gives you access to that data. So, message tracking is extremely valuable for discovering the end result for messages that were sent to your client, or that were sent inside your client environment. Hence message tracking within your messaging environment is considered as an easy part.

The major issue with the message tracking is it can’t see the end result of the messages before they arrive or after they leave the client system, which is a major disadvantage, only you can show the user that it was delivered to the destination organization but won’t be able to convey the user that their outbound email was delivered to a recipient outside your organization.

Message tracing in the exchange admin center

Now let’s check the features of message tracking in the exchange admin center. The interface of the message trace in EAC is very simple and easy, just select a data range and add some information which you are required to trace and click on search. The below image shows the result of the search operation where it has retrieved all the messages from the username John for the last one week.

The result of the message tracing is shown in the below image

john-message-trace

If you want to see details for any of the mail obtained after message tracing just double-click it, and a new window will open showing all the details of the mail.

In the above image we can see the message sent by John was delivered to my inbox folder in mailbox, Here it is possible to know because my mailbox is in present at the office 365 tenant but if i need to search for the message sent from me to the John it doesn’t give me the assurance of delivering it to the receivers mailbox inbox folder this we can observe in the below image. we can only know that the message has successfully reached the destination organization so by this we can easily understand that we can get the full information about the message only within our organization and the information about some others organization is limited.

Message trace in the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center

Microsoft has released a new message tracking interface in the security and compliance center which can be seen in the Mail Flow section. Dashboard and Message trace are the two new sections added into its new interface.

The dashboard helps to take a quick look about the health of your environment by providing some information that will be useful in diagnosing the problems, such as the below mentioned problems.

  • The total number of messages sent and received in my tenant
  • The number of connection that were applied and made with TLS security
  • The number of messages queued from long time.

The below image of the dashboard will provide a pictorial representation of the health of your environment.

mailflow-dashboard

Message trace page

mailflow-message-trace

Now let’s take a quick look on the Message trace page which is very much needed section for us. By clicking on the start a trace button you can start the new default trace, this will allow you to search for all messages for all senders and receivers for the last few days or you can use any other queries available in the categories, such as

  • Default queries – These are the built-in queries provided by Office 365
  • Custom queries – These are the queries saves by admins in your organization for future use.
  • Autosaved queries – These are the queries which are simple and easy to use where it allows you to pick up from last ten most recently run queries

New message trace options to filter by senders and recipients

It allows to filter the results based on senders and recipients, by default values are all senders and all recipients and it also provides some more options to filter the results such as

  • By these people – This field allows you to select one or more senders from your organization just by typing a name and result will be shown from the items in the list.
  • To these people – This field allows you to select one or more recipients from your organization.
    It also allows to select by typing the email addresses of external senders and recipients, wildcards are also supported but the problem is multiple wildcard entries are restricted to use in the same field at the same time

Report Types

There are three types of Reports

  • Summary report
  • Enhanced summary report
  • Extended report

Summary report provides quick access to view the results in the web browser and it is limited to access the information of the last 10 days

Enhanced summary and Extended reports provide a detailed information of the generated results., it can fetch the information of last 90 days hence it will take a lot of time to complete the task while compared to summary report.

Summary

The newly released Message tracing in the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center comes with cool interface and also its features are really helpful to perform the message tracking process in an easy and better way, it is definitely making you feel better to work and also saves a lot of time.

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