MS Office 365 shortcoming of the week: No way to recover a user to a specific state at a point in time.
Having come from the Zimbra product, there are a number of excellent features on the admin side that Zimbra contained. About the best feature was their point in time restore which was executed from the command line with the 'zmrestore' command. It should be noted that this differs greatly from Microsoft's point-in-time snapshot of Exchange. Their point-in-time applies to all users on the Exchange server. Zimbra's point-in-time applies to individual user mailboxes.
Scenario: User "Sally Smith" calls me at 4:55 PM saying, 'OMG!!! I just accidentally dragged a really important mail folder into the trash and then emptied the trash! It contained 500+ really important messages and reports that I will die without'! I or one of my staff would say, 'No problem Sally. When did this happen'? She'd tell us the time and we'd tell her to log out of mail, then we'd tell zmrestore to set her account back to say... 4:35 PM. Of course she'd run the risk of losing any mail she sent or received between 4:35 PM and 4:55 PM, but moste users would accept that in exchange for retrieving a year or more worth of work deleted in a few seconds. Five to ten minutes later we'd call Sally back and she'd log in to find everything where it belongs. The day is saved.
Ahhh... but not so in MS land (there may well be some third-party product for Exchange sites that would do something similar but they are likely to idiotically be client-side rather than server-side). Instead, users are empowered to be able to recover their own mail (something that is also available in Zimbra 8 which we didn't upgrade to). The user who deleted that folder with 500+ message simply right clicks on the "Deleted Items" folder and selects "recover deleted items". They are then presented with a dialogue that allows them to scroll through an endless list (see my KDE 5 post for my feelings on scrolling lists) and then to select each item they want restores. When they are done clicking all 500+ messages they had to spend time locating, they click a button and the message are restored to... the Inbox. The original folder structure is lost forever and there is no way to specify a different target folder.
This means that after spending all that time locating and recovering their deleted items, the user will then have to go through their Inbox and locate all the messages that were previously filed somewhere else and move them to a new folder. To add more sunshine, these messages are not contiguous as they contain the original time stamps and so are mixed in with anything else in the Inbox. Inconceivable!! (said in my best Wally Shawn voice).
The tragedy here isn't that users are going to be put through needless hassle if they accidentally delete messages. The real tragedy is that most Exchange (Online) mail admins don't even know there is a better way. That is what I am learning as I move into the Office 365 world. I'm trying to embrace it, but it's really hard when you know that things can be done better in so many ways and no one seems to understand or care.