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  1. #1
    Platinum Lounger
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    Selectable Out-of-Office Assistant? (98+)

    I previously asked whether there was an Exchange mechanism which would allow an Out-of-Office reply to be sent only to internal addresses, and the answer I got from our Exchange Administrator was that we had to keep things as they were, and replies got sent to anyone from whom a message was received, if the option had been turned on by the user in Outlook.

    This being a Spam Encouragement, I wonder whether anything can be done within Outlook itself, to "program" the sending of the Out-of-Office reply, along the lines of:

    Does the "From" line of the received message contain an @ symboi?
    If not, send the OoO reply (since it will probably be an internal Exchange-type address)
    if yes, is the @ followed by "ourdomain.co.uk"?
    If yes, send the OoO reply to an internal person
    if not, don't send the OoO reply to an extermal source

    However, I suspect that all that happens now is that Exchange handles the whole thing, with Outlook simply turning the option to send the OoO message on or off...
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

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  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Selectable Out-of-Office Assistant? (98+)

    John,

    As far as I know, your suspicion is correct: you can only toggle OoO on and off, the rest is handled by the Exchange server.

    The alternative is to create your own set of rules using the Rules Wizard - test incoming messages for specific words (i.c. @) in the sender's address, and have the server reply with a specific message if the criteria are met. I must admit that I haven't actually tried this.

  3. #3
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: Selectable Out-of-Office Assistant? (98+)

    Hans

    Thanks for the comments, but the Rules aren't sufficiently flexible.

    I will just have to leave it, and suffer....
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

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  4. #4
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Selectable Out-of-Office Assistant? (98+)

    Perhaps you could use a spam filter that intercepts the message before it reaches the message store (or whatever internal thing, when touched, causes the OoO message to be sent). We've seen outsourced solutions that maintain a quarantine, by user if desired, on a web server, as well as "gateway" solutions that can tag the subject line. Not sure if OoO can read the subject line and not respond to ones that say "***SPAM***".

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Selectable Out-of-Office Assistant? (98+)

    Out of Office is not very customizable. As a user, you create a message text, and you turn it on or off. The Exchange admin determines whether OoO messages are sent to Internet addresses or not. That's it.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Selectable Out-of-Office Assistant? (98+)

    So you'd need not only to tag ***SPAM*** into the subject line, but to then intercept outgoing autoreplies with subject lines like:

    Out of Office AutoReply: ***SPAM*** Par1s H1lt0n M0v1e

    I'm sure a third party gateway product could handle this (e.g., InterScan), but if there's no budget...

  7. #7
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    Re: Selectable Out-of-Office Assistant? (98+)

    Thanks for the further suggestions!

    At work we came up with the idea of trapping the outgoing OoO reply at the Internet Mail Gateway server (MAILSweeper), which would have been the answer but for the fact that some people actually need to send these OoO replies, so it would have to be customised per person. And how would we deal with the user who needed to send an OoO reply in some circumstances, and not others?

    I'm sorry I brought the matter up in the first place, since it seems to be insoluble on a practical basis!!

    (It would be so much simpler if we didn't have spam...)
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  8. #8
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Selectable Out-of-Office Assistant? (98+)

    Does MailSweeper let you whitelist domains, so that you can permit O-o-O's to leave the gateway if they are whitelisted as a supplier or customer, etc.?

    (BTW, I heartily agree that O-o-O needs to be much more flexible in this regard; It would be just fine with me if O-o-O's were only sent to message senders who are in my active address books.)
    -John ... I float in liquid gardens
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