Lurking beneath Entourage X’s Aqua interface is a complex database handling all your mail and contact info. And, as with any other DB, you should back up and optimize on a regular schedule. Here’s how to prevent email disaster on your Mac.
The first time I heard about an Entourage database crashing and leaving the poor user with neither mail nor contact info, I immediately dashed up to my hotel room and backed up my laptop. This wasn’t going to happen to me.
The way I see it, we have two noteworthy alternatives for handling mail on Mac OS X. Choice number one is the Mail client that comes with the operating system. Apple’s Mail is clean, stable, and pretty. It handles POP3 [Hack #81], IMAP [Hack #80], and secure mail transfer. The application is still evolving, getting stronger with each release of Mac OS X. But at the moment, it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles some users want.
The other big name option is Entourage X (http://www.microsoft.com/mac/entouragex/default.asp?navindex=s4), which is included with Microsoft’s Office for Mac OS X. This version of Entourage is familiar to those who’ve used Office 2001 on Mac OS 9. Even though the look of the client has been updated to Aqua, it’s still essentially the same concept under the hood, and that includes the database that drives the application.
Until recently, the maximum size for the Entourage database that manages all of your mail and contact info was 2GB. That should be more than enough ...