Wednesday, December 31, 2014

How to send more than one out of office reply

In the Microsoft Exchange environment, there is a feature called Out Of Office message. Called OOF for short it's an automatic reply with the information that the recipient is currently absent. It usually contains the information when the user would be back in the office, who to contact in the case of urgent matters and sometimes the reason of the absence. It is a common practice and in a good tone to let the sender know that the message was, in fact, received but the response would be delayed.

This feature however contains a limitation - the OOF message is sent only once to the specific email address. On one hand, it prevents the server from engaging in the "auto replies war" or "auto reply storm" when automatic responses are sent back and forth indefinitely. On the other hand, if the sender's email address is utilized by multiple users (e.g. team mailboxes) the OOF message might not reach all of them causing confusion.

The official solution proposed by Microsoft in their KB article ( is to use the transport rules features instead. Unfortunately, it poses the already mention threat of the "auto replies war".

Another solution is to reset the OOF state by disabling and then enabling it again on the e.g. daily basis. You can check the OOF status of the given mailbox with the following PowerShell cmdlet:

Get-MailboxAutoReplyConfiguration -Identity Luke

To disable the autoreply on the selected mailbox use the "set" cmdlet:

Set-MailboxAutoReplyConfiguration -Identity Luke -AutoReplyState Disabled

To enable it again use the same command but with a different parameter:

Set-MailboxAutoReplyConfiguration -Identity Luke -AutoReplyState Enabled

A full script that resets the OOF state for all users that are currently using it goes as follows:

$OOFActive = get-mailbox -resultsize unlimited |get-mailboxautoreplyconfiguration | where {$_.autoreplystate -eq "enabled"} | select identity,autoreplystate 

$enabled | foreach-object { set-mailboxautoreplyconfiguration $_.identity -autoreplystate "Disabled" set-mailboxautoreplyconfiguration $_.identity -autoreplystate $_.autoreplystate }

Unfortunately, you need to remember to run the above script on a daily basis.

To overcome all of the above limitations you can use a third party app, such as MSH Exchange Autoresponder from MSH Software. Among other features it contains a configurable loop protection that prevents the "auto reply storm" and allows to send more than just one OOF message to the same recipient. Moreover, you can set up recurring timeframes for the Out Of Office reply, and use a WYSIWYG editor to create the message itself which is quite useful as both of these features are not present in the native OOF assistant on the Exchange server. The program works automatically and you do not need to use any scripts. 

Download the fully functional trial of the MSH Exchange Autoresponder app from the following location: 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Holiday autoreplies for Exchange

It’s August and we are in the middle of a holiday season. Some employees might be too excited about an upcoming leisure time and forget to set up an out of office autoresponse during their leave. It is wise to implement a company-wide autoresponder that will take care of such incidents. MSH Exchange Autoresponder provides the solution. 

If you are an Exchange administrator, you have found a tool to create global, standardized, great looking HTML autoresponders that will easily tackle the problem of out-of-office notifications across the company. MSH Exchange Autoresponder installs directly to Microsoft Exchange and in a few simple clicks taps into users’ mail and Outlook without client-end installations. 

Have you ever seen an outdated notification containing old company data and contact information? Surely yes. No more such headaches for your employees with this tool. With a cooperation of HR and administrators it will be a matter of a few minutes before you set up a standardized, unified template for whole departments. It is incredibly easy to create policies with templates that will apply for selected users, groups or organizational units across the company. So don't wait, and take the hassle of creating Out of office autoreplies off the shoulders of the individual employees in your company.

Exchange auto reply software.

Your holidays season might be free from nightmares if you are an Exchange administrator who chooses to use a tool that will take care of out of office notifications in your company. Otherwise, be prepared for complaints about an ailing mailing system that teases external customers with false information.

Find out more about auto reply software for Exchange...

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Need Exchange autoresponder?

Microsoft Exchange 2007, 2010 and 2013 by default doesn't come with built-in server side auto reply mechanism. You're left on your own and it's your job to build something which will behave like autoresponder. On variety of sites there could be found scripts, applications or some other clever workarounds to achieve this vacation/out of office/name-it functionality.

But if you want to:
  • limit sending auto replies based on time range
  • skip some recipients, which will not receive autoreply
  • send auto reply based on message subject
  • and so on...

The best way is to use 3rd party tool dedicated to this job.

Exchange auto reply software.

MSH Exchange Autoresponder it's a transport agent extension that allows you to create server side auto responses on the basis of configurable criteria. Application integrate with Exchange through official and standardized transport agent API.

Find out more about auto reply software for Exchange...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Auto Reply Exchange - common autoreplies

MSH Exchange Autoresponder is a transport agent extension that allows you to create server side auto responses on the basis of configurable criteria. Application integrate with Exchange through official and standardized transport agent API. With admin panel you will create and manage auto response rules, like common auto reply messages, marketing and support replies or vacation e-mails.

Auto replies based on rules

Create new rule and define simple auto reply message with rule configurator.

Common auto reply from Exchange.

Address from From field will appear in the From field of the autoreply for the recipient. Here ${original recipient} variable could be used or custom email address. Subject of the autoreply, ${original subject} could be used to keep original subject.

More features

  • advanced time scheduling,
  • compose auto reply message,
  • protect against loop between servers,
  • do not reply again,
  • and many more...

Find out more about auto replies for Exchange without Outlook...

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Time scheduler for autoreplies in Exchange Server

Are you confused trying to configure an autoreply message in your Exchange? Read about a quick solution that will help you easily built mailbox policies and extend your Exchange Server with additional features.

MSH Exchange Autoresponder provides a simple answer to your needs. This tool is built to create Exchange autoreplies in Exchange Server 2007, 2010 and 2013 in a couple of minutes.

The application uses the technology of Exchange Server Transport Rules although it is a separate program sitting in your Exchange. 

One of the most important benefits of MSH Exchange Autoresponder is the message loop protector described in the previous post. But the Time Scheduler deserves equal attention. 

Time scheduler will help you define the autoresponder rule precisely to a selected date range, days of the week, workdays, opening times of your business. All messages that match the Conditions of the rule will be replied only during a define time. 

Let’s say you want the autoresponder to act only from 5PM till 9AM on selected email addresses to ensure prompt information for your customers that the business is now closed. Use the following configuration set for your workdays. 

Go to the Time Scheduler tab. Click Customer and Add. You will need a 3 step schedule. 

 This covers the weekdays after work until midnight. Add another schedule item: 

If you want to send the information on Saturdays and Sundays you will need the third schedule item: 

Notice that All day is selected for Weekend days instead of specific hours. 

Time Scheduler gives you a very good grasp on the timeframes for your autoreply transport rules. With a vast range of custom options in the Time Scheduler of MSH Exchange Autoresponder, there is hardly any demand it cannot meet.

Learn more about MSH Exchange Autoresponder and try it for free.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Prevent message server war with Exchange auto responder

When you're using exchange autoresponder for creating vacation email responses, support notifications or disabled/removed mailboxes you'll probably need to use Loop Protection.

When your server sends autoreplies to other servers, they may also respond with automatic messages. This loop may continue and create an email war, because servers will send email on and on.

MSH Exchange Autoresponder for server side auto replies has built-in loop protection functionality. Thanks to it you can avoid a situation when two addresses exchange multiple autoresponders in an infinite loop.

Loop Protection in Exchange Autoresponder

By default Loop Protection is enabled and it's set to no more than 1 auto reply message per 1 day to the same recipient. You can change time and count limit threshold you want.

The Loop Protector counts autoreplies separately for each email address and each rule. It will not accumulate autoreplies from all rules in the program.

Learn more about autoresponder for Exchange 2007, 2010, 2013 and test it for free.