Q

How can I separate attachments from e-mails?

What software vendors can separate e-mail from its attachments? I've only heard of one company that does that.

I'd like to manage the storage of attachments (by far the most intensive part) separately from my e-mail management. I've found that when I manually save attachments to my hard drive, some logic is lost between the e-mail, that I now have to delete as a "blob," and what I have now saved to disk. I may not have chosen a directory or filename appropriately on my local hard disk, and have lost valuable information that way. Also, when there's an e-mail thread, the logical chain is broken by having to save attachments locally and delete that big e-mail.
You are right. There are very few companies that separate e-mail from its attachments well. And, it will largely depend on the e-mail package you are using. Most of the e-mail management companies focus on monitoring inboxes for capacity thresholds. Archiving tools can assist with allowing power users to manually detach files and archive them as required for compliance issues. The recommendation I would make would be to contact your e-mail software vendor to see if they have preferred partners that would handle this issue. It is a growing problem, and I think more vendors will be offering advanced capabilities here in the next few years.

This was first published in April 2003

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