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Mailtraq can be configured to use either of three database structures: AFV, Firebird/SQL or AFX

See the tip below to see which one you are using.


AFV is the original Mailtraq database format, and is the only one available to Mailtraq Essential users. The AFV database is a fast access system best suited to POP3 installations where mail is stored on the client machines, for example in Outlook pst files. It is not possible to do a live or online backup of Mailtraq running under AFV, see for alternative backup procedures.

Secure Delete

Messages removed from AFV files during compression are erased securely by being overwritten with random data. 

For each mailslot Mailtraq maintains a number of supporting files. The compression process removes individual message entries from the database which are no longer indexed such that all message files and their indices are harmonised and space utilization within the filing system is optimised.

Database compression is carried out automatically by Mailtraq and does not require user intervention. Transferring mail messages to another object in the Console or to another host, compresses the source object immediately after the transfer has taken place. 

So, for example, if a mailbox is emptied by a POP3 collection to an email client then the 'mailbox' in Mailtraq is erased securely by being overwritten with random data. 

Available for AFV Database only, from build


The Firebird/SQL database available in Mailtraq Professional was introduced as a more robust data structure than AFV suitable for use where mail is stored on the server either for archive purposes or IMAP/Webmail.
Online or live back-up of the complete installation is available from within the Mailtraq Console.

Firebird can be run in Client/Server mode to allow direct access to the mail store using third-party tools, however, it has been replaced by AFX as the default database as there can be speed issues on large data stores with Firebird. It is best suited to special purpose installations.  Read more ...


AFX, Mailtraq's default database, is the newest of the three database engines provided.  It was introduced to improve performance under heavy loads and to ease maintenance. AFX is suitable for all Mailtraq Professional users, and is the recommended choice for IMAP and Webmail users.

AFX provides a separate file for each mailslot which includes integrated full text search.  Because each mailslot resides in a separate file contention is reduced.  Further, this engine maintains internal record numbering which optimises operations that iterate through messages.  As a result IMAP and WebMail performance is improved for all users.  It also means that console access is much faster and doesn't prevent other access methods.

AFX greatly increases the efficiency of all Mailtraq Archiving or where messages are stored on the Server for use in Webmail or IMAP. Also, in a POP3 environment, where all mail is collected from the server by the email client, AFX automatically manages mailbox compression to minimize database size. An upgrade wizard makes it easy for existing Firebird users to move to the AFX structure.

How to Upgrade to AFX

The upgrade procedure is simple and is explained here: Migrating to AFX ...

Which database am I using?

You can confirm which type of data structure you are using by going to Help | About Mailtraq and looking under the Version number.

If you are using AFX you will see AFX Database Engine
If you are using Firebird SQL you will see Firebird SQL/RDBMS
If you see AFV or no entry at all in this position is means that you
are using the AFV data stucture.

This information is also displayed in the Console at: Options | Server | Database

Database Maintenance

This dialog is accessed from Options | Server | Database-tab on all versions of Mailtraq.

Some database operations such as message indexing, removing messages marked for deletion or expiring messages from mailboxes (Archiving) can be processor intensive.

These controls allow you to postpone such operations until a specified time.  We recommend postponing to the recommended settings below.

Recommended settings
It is usual to set Maintenance everyday outside normal working hours, plus all day at week-ends, if your business allows. See the illustration above for a typical set-up.

Maintenance vs Backup Schedules

Set your Backup schedule to start a short time, say 15 minutes, before the Maintenance window starts.

Maintenance operations will be automatically postponed if a backup is active. Setting the maintenance to run after the backup means that the maintenance will automatically start as soon as the backup completes without having to worry about exact timings.


All processes are available during Maintenance, but live services, such as webmail or IMAP may be slower than normal.



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Mailtraq Highlights...
 SMTP Server     Mailtraq SMTP email server video IMAP Server     Mailtraq IMAP email Server video
 POP3 Server     Mailtraq POP3 email server video Proxy Server     Mailtraq proxy email server video
 Webmail Server     Mailtraq webmail email server video Mailing-list Server     Mailing list email server video
 Groupware Services     Mailtraq groupware email services video Spam and Virus control     Spam and virus control email server video


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