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In many countries, business owners are required by law to archive email and electronic documents containing business content see "Private Email Use in the Enterprise". But even without legal constraints, orderly archiving of email and electronic documents can help reconstruct the facts of a business process without too much trouble, even years later.

Email often contains attachments created with various office applications, which can cause problems with long-term storage. The file formats these programs use are constantly changing. The information must be stored in a format that will remain readable for a long time. Storing in plaintext format offers the biggest benefits. Text files are easy to search, to store in databases, and to convert to a different character set.

The use of Rich Text Format RTF as a storage format for office documents helps keep most of the formatting and offers the benefits of a plaintext file. PDF files can be searched with the use of standard tools such as pdfgrep or pdftotext , but these tools will not work for every document because users can choose to prevent searching when they create documents.

Files created using the print function or the CUPS PDF printer also cannot be searched using these standard tools because what looks like text is actually graphical material. The major league email archiving software grabs incoming and outgoing mail directly at the company's internal mail server.

At this point, a copy of every message is created and archived. In a small business, you will not typically have the infrastructure for this because the email accounts are hosted by an external provider. The email client needs to use the Maildir storage format to ensure a single file for each piece of email. One of the following methods can be used for archiving email in small businesses for one or multiple users:.

The archive directories are located on the system data partition or disk, and the content of these directories is backed up regularly. Additional copies of the archive to external media will allow for evaluation of the data on a different system some time later. To store email and documents, you will need to create an Archive folder in the email client.

This is a link to a directory to which multiple users have access Figure 2. To allow searching of email with attachments, the Baseencoded attachments need to be decrypted and stored as individual files. Integrating ripmime [1] automates this process in a shell script.

The split. The email messages will no longer be accessible to the users now. Each email is assigned a separate subdirectory for storage. This prevents accidental overwriting of attachments with the same name, and you can see which attachment belongs to which piece of mail. The directory name also contains the creation date, which is useful if you are viewing the data manually and need data edited within a certain period.

The script only shows the basic principle of the function, which still needs to be refined. I applied the sample script in split. Figure 3 shows the directory structure in the storage directory after running the script. Written correspondence and other documents can also be stored in the electronic archive.

You need to scan the documents, store them in PDF format, and tag them with search keys. The search keys are entered manually. You can use automated optical character recognition OCR , but this will require some manual revision. In a production environment, the search terms are added in dialogs with fixed terms incoming, customer ID, etc.

The Archive. To begin, gscan2pdf [2] scans the document. The program also lets you integrate OCR, in this case, gocr [3]. You can edit the scan results with an editor and store the results in the clipboard.

After saving and quitting gscan2pdf , a text editor is launched. You can then insert the clipboard content and add the search keys customer ID, date, complaint, return number, etc. The shell script uses pdflatex [4] to convert the content into a searchable PDF document, then pdftk [5] merges this with the scanned PDF document.

After viewing the results, you push the PDF file into the archive transfer directory, where it is picked up and moved to the target directory.

Access to the archived data is provided by a web server, which the users can access on the local network.

The service must provide protection against unauthorized access and reading. Potential approaches include encrypting communication and restricting access to localhost. Namazu [6] is a full-text search engine that lets you search the archive. The program collaborates with web servers, and the package also includes mknmz for creating an index.

It requires namazu to find the desired documents. This value is based on experience. Other configuration options relate to weighting the results, supported and non-supported file types, directory locations, and display options.

The project website has an exhaustive and very readable guide. The index is built after issuing the mknmz command. The program can also handle MIME-encoded mail with the --decode-base64 option.

The sample shell script indexbuilder. The storage location for the index is specified by the -O option. In this shell script, mknmz outputs a message for each document.

At the end of the run, a statistic is shown. When new documents are added, information for the documents is added to the existing index. The index is not normally rebuilt. The search. The call to namazu points to the configuration file -f. The output is limited to matches -n and is returned in HTML format -h. See Figure 4 for the results. The pdftotext tool extracts text from PDF files, and you can then use the resulting text file in a database application.


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Setting up a custom selection menu with shell functions is quite a lot of work. Smenu provides a practical alternative. Using the flexible tool, you can quickly and easily bring up a selection menu on the screen, with relatively simple syntax and with the use of very little code. Many options allow for a versatile design. He writes magazine articles and books on the topics of technology and computing. The fourth edition of his book Computer-Netzwerke was recently released by Rheinwerk Publishing.


Computer-Netzwerke: Grundlagen, Funktionsweise, Anwendung

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Long-Term Storage


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