What is MELIA?
MELIA transfers Exchange's difficult to use tracking log information to a usable Access database or SQL server. While 30 ready to use reports are included, MELIA allows you to easily use Microsoft Access or Excel to write your own reports.
How do I turn on Tracking Logs in Microsoft Exchange?
There are several Message Tracking Logs you can enable.
MTA - On the General tab of the MTA Site Configuration page check the Enable message tracking check box. This will log routing information on all messages processed by the MTA.
Information Store - On the General tab of the Information Store Site Configuration page check the Enable message tracking check box. This will log routing information on all messages processed by the Information Store
Connectors - Each Connector should have an Enable message tracking check box.
SMTP or Internet - On the General tab of the Internet Mail Service page check the Enable message tracking check box. This will log routing information on all messages processed by the the Internet Mail Service.
MS Mail - on the General tab of the MS Mail Connector page check the Enable message tracking check box. This will log routing information on all message processed by the MS Mail Connector.
CC Mail - on the General tab of the CC Mail Connector page check the Enable message tracking check box. This will log routing information on all message processed by the CC Mail Connector.
Does Melia scan the content of messages?
No, it does not scan content of messages (not an SMTP Scanner) as that information is not captured in the Exchange tracking logs.
To be able to report on sender activity, receipt activity, server operation, address lists, etc., a content reporting tool isn't going to work. MELIA provides that information exceptionally well, and also provides some security information.
Why not use Crystal Reports product for this?
Essentially, Crystal Reports has two things against it. First, it is a huge package and second, it's complex and doesn't fall into the 'friendly' category.
We've used Crystal Reports. MELIA was designed to be everything that applications like CR aren't - friendly, fast, simple-to-use, and providing powerful and timely information for making decisions.
MELIA can be set up in under 10 minutes and - very importantly - can be used by a non-technical user. Of course, a technical user can go into the program and do queries and set up new reports.
Why does my company want to know about e-mail use?
There are two reasons technical and managerial.
Technically speaking, Exchange servers are very reliable, but administrators need information to keep them working properly. Mailboxes can grow out of control, users can abuse the system, and additional servers may need to be added to accommodate company and message growth. MELIA can harvest the data from all of an organization’s Exchange servers and provide clear, easy to use reports that help administrators maintain Exchange.
From a management perspective, e-mail is an important tool for communicating, but it can be a source of abuse, or worse, a source of potential legal liability. MELIA allows managers to monitor e-mail use and be alerted to potential problems before they get out of hand.
Also, MELIA can provide accounting for all e-mail sent and received by every department and individual. This means that departments can be billed back for proportionate use or clients can be charged for every e-mail sent on their behalf.
What kind of security information do we need?
There are really three levels of security regarding e-mail. The most absolute is an actual SMTP filter that examines every piece of mail and doesn’t transmit if something seems wrong (note that most of these don’t handle internal e-mail MELIA can report on that, too). This is a very expensive system that actually gets intertwined into your servers and can cause real headaches. In some cases, additional server(s) may be required.
The second level of security would be content examination. In this scenario, the content of the e-mail is looked at, but the operation of the servers is not meddled with. This won’t stop a message from going out, but it will give someone a "heads up" when something is possibly not correct. This is not as expensive as the highest level of security, but still costly as it has to review the messages real time including decoding MIME and UU attachments.
The third level of security is what MELIA provides. It shows everything about the flow of messaging except the content. From this, you can piece a lot together pretty easily and if needed, examine the actual e-mail in question further. For example, being able to check if e-mail is being sent to a particular domain name provides a course for management to investigate further as seems warranted (for example, if mail is being sent to your main competitor). Similarly, if you notice that one employee routinely sends out messages with 75 cc’s, management could suspect they are doing something inappropriate (like joke rebroadcast a prime source of libel sexist material). MELIA can pick up on this type of activity easily.
Each organization needs to ask itself how much security they need. If you need absolute content control, then you really need to be looking at SMTP filtering products be prepared, however, to spend a lot of money. For most organizations, though, the focus is on providing a reasonable level of security. MELIA can inexpensively offer a lot of security protection and it’s easy to use even for non-technical managers.
Can my employees take legal action against us if we use MELIA?
It has been ruled repeatedly in courts that e-mail is the property of the corporation and therefore a company can monitor its e-mail use. However, recent news stories have demonstrated that this is a two-edged sword. Employees claiming patterns of harassment via e-mail have been able to get courts to seize old e-mail as evidence. This is why use of SMTP filtering products may be, in fact, a bad idea as they tend to store copies of all e-mail which might later be used against a company. Using a product like MELIA can help prevent such situations from occurring by alerting you to problems early so that you can stop further abuse. For example, if an employee claims that they are receiving sexually explicit e-mail from another employee, MELIA can report on the e-mail the offender sends to ensure that they, in fact, stop. Obviously, for any legal issues you should consult with your own attorney, but the first steps for any company will involve creating an e-mail use policy and putting tools in place to prevent abuse.
What is e-mail filtering?
E-mail filtering is a process where each outgoing Internet message is examined to look for inappropriate destinations and inappropriate content. To get e-mail filtering, you need to purchase a product that sits between your Exchange server and your Internet connection. Very often, these products need to be placed on a separate server or may even replace the SMTP gateway entirely. Worldtalks WorldSecure is such a product but pricing starts at $10,000. Note that most of these products for not provide significant reporting and do not monitor internal e-mail. MELIA is not an SMTP filtering product.
What does MELIA do?
MELIA goes out and imports Microsoft Exchange log information into its database, decodes the information, and provides ready reports for use. The logs for the Exchange server don’t contain the text of the messages, but they do contain a great deal of information about the messages. This includes who sent each message, when, how big it was, who the recipient was, who each received mail was from, how many cc’s a message had, message flow through various connectors, department e-mail traffic, distribution traffic, and much more.
MELIA also has the ability to report on an unlimited number of Exchange servers throughout an organization. It stores the information either in an SQL server or in an open, accessible Access database.
I just downloaded the 30-day version. Is its functionality limited in any way?
No, it is the full product capable of either SQL or Access operation. This means that you can import logs from 500 Exchange servers and use all of the reports and data. At the end of the 30-day period, the product will simply stop operating.
Does MELIA get installed as part of Exchange?
No, MELIA by design is totally non-invasive and simply runs on any workstation. If you wish to use the SQL version, you’ll obviously need an SQL server.
What do I need for a workstation to run MELIA?
The workstation needs are pretty straightforward. A Windows 95/98 or NT 4.0 workstation is required. While MELIA is quite efficient, the processing of the logs is processor dependent so a Pentium II 300 or greater is recommended.
On all workstation types, you need to install Microsoft Outlook 98 this is because a required Microsoft Library (Collaboration Data Objects (CDO), version 1.21) is only distributed with the Outlook 98 product. We expect Microsoft to change this distribution in the not-to-distant future and will update the code at that time. Make sure you install Outlook 98 before you install MELIA.
What is the Configuration Wizard
Configuration -- When you run MELIA for the first time, the configuration wizard will automatically run. This will allow you to create a new MELIA site or connect to an existing site. If you are installing MELIA to run for a user that will only access reports, select the User option. Select Super User if you want the individual to actively work with the database and oerform imports.
I had a MELIA 1.0 site. Can I just point 2.0 to the 1.0 database?
No, YOU CANNOT CONNECT TO A MELIA 1.0 DATABASE. If you need to use the data you have already imported into MELIA 1.0 we suggest you re-import that data into 2.0. Version 2.0 uses a faster engine and a different storage method.
What is the security file that is mentioned in the installation?
In order to allow multiple machines to work with multiple servers, MELIA uses a centralized security file. This file holds the information on where the servers are and where the database is located. When used with an Access database, the security file is stored in the same location as the database file. This should not be a concern to users as they will simply be asked where the security file is. MELIA will open it and discover the rest.
I have a lot of servers to register is there an easier way to do this?
Possibly. If you’ve already set up MELIA as part of your 30-day trial, simply e-mail the security file to your purchaser. It contains all of the required information the organization name (case sensitive), each server name (always upper case), and the key code. You will receive back an e-mail that contains the registration code for each server. You can then cut and paste this information into MELIA to complete the registration.
Where are the Exchange log directories?
You can check your Exchange Server for this directory location, but it is usually in \\server\exchsrvr\tracking.log. If you have multiple servers MELIA will remember where the data for each server is being stored.
What is the option check box for moving logs used for?
If you check this box will move log files from the Exchange directory after processing. This can be useful in assisting you to manage large numbers of files. It is recommended that you move the files rather than leave them behind.
What other information does MELIA provide?
In the MELIA.MDB Access file you will find several useful items. First, the Exchange Tracking Log data will be imported to the ExchangeTrackingLog table (if you are using MELIA in the Access mode). MELIA stores decoded data in a table named ExchangeTrackingLog. This table has been provided. One other table is also included. The Events table lists each of the EventID codes and details about them. You should refer to this when writing reports.