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Keeping People from Deleting Messages

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench

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Posted: 22 Jun 2001

Current Version: GroupWise 5.5EP, GroupWise 6

We recently ran this Q&A and asked for any suggestions from the School of Hard Knocks. Check out the submissions, and if you have any other bright ideas, by all means let us know.


Allan A. wrote: I am the office manager of a collision repair shop. We use GroupWise 5.5 for all of our scheduling and intra-shop communications. Recently it came to my attention that some of our users have been deleteing their messages after they read them. This destroys my ability to go in and find out where we have breakdowns in communication when problems develop. I would like to know if you have any recommendations on how to maintain our data so that we can find out who is accountable if problems arise in the future.


Hmmm, this is a tough one. Anyone out there handled this situation effectively? We're guessing it's going to require more than just gently urging the users not to do it, especially if it might come back to bite them somehow. (These users are the kinds of guys who know how to hide the dents.) If you have a cool solution for Allan, let us know.


Ray Spencer

  1. Don't underestimate the value of setting the Status Tracking to "All information" as a system-wide default. A hard copy of the "Properties" of the message in question, waved under a nose, is impossible to refute.
  2. A solution we implemented to overcome support personnel not taking responsibility for fault calls, with them subsequently slipping through the cracks and having irate users complaining about service levels may help:

    We created a "Support" Resource, making the manager of the support personnel the Owner. He then created a bunch of folders, naming them with the names of his various personnel. His personnel were all given "Read only" Proxy access to the Resource - they can not delete or reply to the messages.

    When calls are logged, the call centre mails them to "Support". The manager drags them from the main mailbox to the relevant folders and marks them "Read Later". Support personnel are expected to Proxy to "Support" x-number of times throughout the day, and can see at a glance if there are any new calls in their folder - but the most damage they can do is drag them to another folder! Once the manager is happy that the call has been closed, he deletes the message himself.

Eric van der Pluijm

Give the user Proxy rights to an account and revoke the delete right.


Perhaps you can't keep them from deleting messages, but you can track when they delete them, and whether or not they ever read the message. After setting this up you can check a sent item's properties to see who did what with it.

Patricia Paparelli

I don't know how to keep people from deleting messages, but I do know how to track them and prove that they received and/or deleted it.

Before sending a memo, in 'Properties' you must request a return receipt. When a memo is read by the recipient(s) and when the recipient(s) subsequently deletes the memo, GroupWise will send you notification immediately.

Go to Properties, Status Tracking. On the drop down you may choose to receive mail when your memo is opened and deleted OR to receive a mail receipt and a pop-up notification. Either way, you will know immediately when your message is read and/or deleted. You will then be able to contact the user and let them know you are aware of this or simply print your receipt and file it.

Another way to track your 'sent item' is to go to 'Sent Items', click on the particular memo, click on properties and view all the dates and times that the recipient(s) received, opened, deleted and even emptied the memo from their trash. The subject line appears also which will connect this information to whatever title is given to the memo (i.e, work order number if listed in the "Subject" box.) I know it works for mail and appointments, I don't know about scheduled/posted tasks.

This can only be done from the "Sender's" mail box.

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