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Search results of Vault Cache in Outlook returns significantly fewer returns than a WDS search

Created: 24 Jan 2012 • Updated: 30 Jan 2012 | 4 comments's picture
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We have a case number -  415-611-058, regarding to the following issue:

When attempting to perform a search within outlook client (Instant search)  for items that are stored in the Vault Cache, the results are not accurate,

In compression to the same search in WDS outside the Outlook client or same search in Archive explorer.    Items that could be found in Archive explorer \ WDS are could not be found when searching in instant search.

Please notice TSE explanation as follows:



When performing the same search in Instant Search and Windows Desktop Search (WDS) less results appear on Instant Search. It is even possible that Instant Search doesn't show any results while WDS does.




Instant Search is searching for items in the Vault Cache when searching Virtual Vault. Vault Cache is made up of two parts, The MetaData Cache

and the Content Cache.

 The MetaData Cache is an MDC File (which is in a PST Format) that contains metadata for all the emails in Vault Cache and folder structure.

The Content Cache are dozens of DB Files (also in a PST Format) separated in to date ranges and have the full messages including attachments.

When you open up Virtual Vault you see the structure and messages held in the MDC, when you click an item to preview it you will see the

preview as held in the MDC file, when you open up the message, it is then retrieved from the DB file and displayed as a message within


When you search through Windows Search, you search both the Metadata and Content Cache, you can search all message content.

In Outlook, under the Instant Search Options you will have to select the data files to search, in this case you should be presented with any

PST's currently attached within outlook and the Virtual Vault itself, which is the MDC only. In File->Data Management it can be seen that only

the .mdc file is included. So when searching for words that aren't present in the message as previewed, for example some words on the message

body that don't appear when previewing it, no results are returned.

I can advise that you can submit an enhancement request to have Symantec address a change in the way our product works by following the link include below,


You will need to register to gain access to the resource but this is very easy.


Once you are logged in click on the Create Content menu and then the Idea link, which is where you can provide the details of your request.


As per our agreement I will not archive the case immediately, I will leave it open until end of business on Wednesday and if I have not heard anything from you to indicate the case cannot be closed I will go ahead and archive it.


Best Regards,

Jacques Venter


According to this explanation, Searching inside outlook (Instant search) for vault items, won't be effective, it will only work when searching words that located within the preview part (120 first words) of the message body.

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Alex Brown's picture


Thanks for the post and I can confirm that changing the behaviour of Virtual Vault being searched by Outlook integrated search so that it includes all the characters of messages contained in the cache is something we are looking at delivering in a future Enterprise Vault release.

I also want to point out that when you instigate a search from Windows search (in Windows Explorer for example) and providing you have enabled the Enterprise Vault search protocol handler to enable the indexing of Vault Cache then end users can already search against archived items full content. The restriction described above only applies when using Outlook integrated search.



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Hi Alex,

Thank you for your reply.

Is there any estimation, in which Future Enterprise vault release, the Instant search issue\bug will be fixed?



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Alex Brown's picture

We are looking to get something done in the next major release of EV however we are too far out to give an indication of release timeframes.

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Mark Ratcliffe's picture

Hi Alex

I understand this now an old post however we have just implemented the Vault v11.0.0.1444 and have the same issue when searching from Outlook 2010 in Windows 7 OS.  Can you advise if this issue has been now fixed and if so any idea why this issue still exists please?

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