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Entourage is Flaky

Today I had to rebuild (or repair) my Entourage 2004 database for the fifth time after warnings came up while I performed a search. Each time I rebuild/repair my database, the categories (and thus colored labels) I've assigned to my folders disappear. Some random emails appeared or re-appeared after the rebuild as well, some as far back as July 8.

Furthermore, rebuilding the database markes every recipient as new, which greatly screws with Sync Entourage-Address Book. The script is awesome, but clearly Entourage puts itself at a major disadvantage when it can't even manage itself properly.

I have three POP accounts, all of which delete the mail on the server. I have only about eight or nine rules, and I use a SpamSieve rule after the first three (which no spam will ever match). I delete most of my mail and have about 1,500 emails maximum. In other words, I'm really not stressing the app too much.

Entourage 2004 may well be the flakiest email application I've ever used.

9 Responses to "Entourage is Flaky"

  1. Entourage is so flaky that pretty much all my OS X users bailed and switched to and iCal. Mailbox DB would get corrupted, Entourage would choke on a big email, etc. I have not heard one complaint since the last person ditched it. The only Entourage user I got left is on OS 9, and I am positive I'll get her switched as soon as I convert her to Panther.

  2. I made the switch to with the Jaguar transition, and I haven't looked back since. While certainly has its quirks, I am very happy with my current setup:

    I have all of my email accounts forwarding to one account on my domain. On the server-side, I use procmail and spamassassin to filter my email into folders. I can connect to my mail server with *any* IMAP mail client and see all of my email pre-filtered into nicely arranged folders and no SPAM. I have webmail access as well. This is all made possible by my *FANTASTIC* provider, TextDrive, founded by Dean Allen of Blogging/TextPattern fame.

    My connects to the IMAP server just fine, thanks, and never seems to lose anything. It never crashes, and pretty much "just works". Of course, there is one little IMAP bug that causes it to need an AppleScript running in the background to have it check my folders for unread mail, but its transparent and starts when I log in, so it doesn't really bother me.

    I would strongly encourage you to give another try, and if you are up for it, give IMAP and procmail a shot for server-side filtering bliss.

  3. I've never really trusted email applications that store email in a database rather than using standard MBOX files as Eudora and Mail do.

    I now archive all of my email on a local IMAP server, which stores my email in a MAIL folder as mbox files. I can also read my email with pine if I want 🙂

  4. I've been using Entourage 2004 since it came out, with a 2 GB e-mail database. No crashes, no problems of any kind. You might want to try exporting/archiving your data and creating a new user identity.

  5. My favorite part of Entourage's flakiness is the fact that you have to rebuild you mailbox to remove your deleted mail... no joking! It's amazing how much disk space I've regained for clients just by having them rebuild their mailboxes every few months (let alone the few that haven't done it in years)!

  6. Morgan: If you'd ever written a database-like storage system for mail handling, you'd know why it's done that way. Moving 600MB+ of data for each deleted mail, yeah right...

  7. I am stuck using the flaky Entourage due to its Exchange support. While at home I can access my work exchange server without using a VPN by using the http:// address of the mail server in the account prefs. Anyone know how to do this with Mail ?

  8. Andy: Unfortunately, I have had similar projects in the past (although I now prefer pre-existing database products) and I do understand the situation. However, there are nearly always methods of minimizing the affects of such problems. It's always a hell of a lot better to handle problems gracefully than hiding them under the rug and letting the user find out later.

  9. Entourage can back up your email in MBOX format. Simply drag any folder from the folders list directly onto the desktop.