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Identify the mail response programatically

Posted on 2007-10-16
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Last Modified: 2010-04-08
In Outlook 2003, how can a mailitem be reliably identified as a response (reply or forward) to another mailitem?  In other words, how can I know if a mailitem gets its response and when?  Thanks,
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Question by:mn10191b
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David Lee earned 2000 total points
ID: 20115975
Hi, mn10191b.

You should be able to use the ConversationIndex property of an item.  Each time a new item is created it gets a unique ConversationIndex value.  Each reply to that message (i.e. each message in that conversation thread) appends an 8-byte time stamp to the ConversationIndex value of the message being replied to.  Therefore, all messages with the same root ConversationIndex are part of the same thread.  Any message with a single timestamp appended to tbe base index would be a reply to the initial message.  Any message with two timestamps would be a reply to the first reply, and so on.  The problem comes in when someone doesn't reply but creates a new message that is a reply.  Logically, that message is part of the conversation.  But, it'll have a different ConversationIndex and therefore won't be part of the original thread.  
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by:mn10191b
ID: 20127179
Thanks much for your response, BlueDevilFan.  That is great.

Search a bit in MSDN.  I still have some questions.

1) Is the ConversationIndex property of the mailitem still accessible after it is forwarded to another mailbox?  We plan to forward all inbound and outbound mails for mulitiple mailibox to a service mailbox, against which a program runs to extract meta data of messages.  
2) I have login credentials to the service mailbox.  Do I need other special security privledges to access the property?

Thanks,
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by:David Lee
David Lee earned 2000 total points
ID: 20128176
You're welcome.

1.  Yes, it should be intact although it will probably be incremented by the act of forwarding.  I'm not certain of that though.

2.  No additional privileges required.  If you have access to the mailbox, then you have access to the properties of items in the mailbox.
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Author Comment

by:mn10191b
ID: 20130808
Thanks much, expert.
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:David Lee
ID: 20134735
You're welcome.
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Author Comment

by:mn10191b
ID: 20141424
I installed an evaluation copy of OutlookSpy and checked out the conversationIndex value for the same messages.  The first values is for the message in my mailbox and the second for the forwarded copy in other mailbox.

01C816673C97A9E07984872F46DB82CAD4E872D310F0
01C816673C97A9E07984872F46DB82CAD4E872D310F00000016DD8

You are right BlueDevilFan, the conversationIndex survives the forward activitiy.
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