Intro

I was working recently on a project who required data migration from Office 365 to Gmail. Everything went well and we had no issues at all except for a single problem that occurred because of a sort of strange cause…

One of the users has a very large mailbox size, about 70 GB. He uses sub-folders heavily in his Outlook client. And he is not using any sort of rules! He sorts his email manually. When I saw the data migration completed, the IT contact who is working with me from the customer side reported a strange problem in this particular mailbox. He said the user complained about having some of his folders split into two…

Funny problem!

After some funny troubleshooting process, I found out the more funnier reason for this problem. The user because he create a folder for everything, has some folders include the character ‘/’. Because he was on Outlook and MS platform, that character did not mean anything… But in G Suite things are different.

Advertisements

The migration tool interpreted every forward-slash (/) as a separator of label. So it treated it like Linux folder structure and put every part between the ‘/’ in its own label. We ended up with a very awkward inbox for that user.

To make it clear, assume we have the following folder structure in MS Outlook:

  • Inbox
    • Folder1
    • Subfolder1
      • “XYZ/ABC”
        • email messages are all located here
      • “123/321”
        • email messages are all located here

What we ended up with was:

  • Inbox
    • Folder1
    • Subfolder1
      • XYZ
        • ABC
          • email messages are all located here!
      • 123
        • 321
          • email messages are all located here!

That was very awkward, and we ended up clearing the mailbox and doing  a data migration again after we had the user removes all instances of the ‘/’ character. Considering we had this with only one user, I believe these are some cases where the strange problems happen from time to time! Although these problems are very delicate and can have bad effects on the project reputation with the customer… However they show clearly to what level some users go with their email… I a big surprise when I realized that this gentleman managed to work with this amount of email messages manually!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: