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Out of office assistant not forwarding mail when reply message is blank or empty.

Posted on 2007-03-27
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
We have exchange 2003, and outlook 2003 clients.  We are trying to forward all mail to an external email account when a user is out of the office.  This MUST be a user based solution that does not involve an administrator altering the users setting on the server every time they are out of the office.  (Otherwise I face and andministrative nightmare!!!)  In theory the out of office assitant can do this, but the user does not want an out of office rely to be sent, they just want the mail to be forwarded to their external account.  However when the message boce in the ooo assitant is left blank, no rules seem to get applied!  

The current solution is for a user based rule on out external spam filter to block out going ooo replys.  This is less than idea.  Really I was wondering if anyone had an exchange/outlook based solution that the user can turn on or off with the out of office assitant.  (please make it work!)  :-)
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Question by:kevin_todd
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backbonemd earned 250 total points
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this can be done through outlook rules.

tools>rules and alerts>start from blank rule

check when message arrives >next> check 'where name is in TO or CC box' >next> check 'forward to people or distribution list'.

click on 'people or distribution' in bottom box. set this to the forwarding address (may need to create a contact)
finish
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by:kevin_todd
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Is this not a client based rule?  Would the user not have to leave outllook running when he left the office?  

I'll test it and get back to you.
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by:kevin_todd
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Excellent, that does work...sort of! Irritatingly if the email is originally addressed to a distribution group and not the user, the mail doesn't get forwarded.  
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