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horseman2003 asked on

Cannot get Out of Office Assistant to work for external emails using POP3 Connectors

Hi I have recently succesfully installed MS SBS 2003 with Exchange.  The companys emails were going through a 3rd party email host and users were collecting their emails to their outlook clients via POP3.  As some of the staff required some additional features like Out of Office assistant, shared callander I have decided to use the pop3 connecter feature in Exchange 2003.  Some staff have Laptops and don't always be in the office to get their emails.  In that case I have set Exchange to be the Default account and when they are at home with an internet connection to use pop3 to the 3rd party email host.
Everything grand so far until I tested the Out of Office Assistant.  When sending emails internally the Out Of Office reply works fine.  But when I for example sent an email from outside the company, eg. my hotmail account, I do not receive the Out of office reply,... Why is this??  Also just to verify in ESM I have selected the tick box under Internet Message Formats under Default, to allow out of office responses.  Anything else I should try?

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8/22/2022 - Mon


I would like to make a comment on the statement below:
'In that case I have set Exchange to be the Default account and when they are at home with an internet connection to use pop3 to the 3rd party email host.'

If I understand correctly, are you having the SBS POP3 connector collect emails and also letting users go directly to the POP3 account held at your provider?

This would cause an issue with your emails:
- The SBS POP3 connector will be polling for emails every 15minutes by default. Any emails arriving at the POP3 account will be collected and once collected they are marked as deleted on the provider.
- Users will not know if emails have come in, if they have already been taken by the SBS server.

To get around this:
- Give users the ability to connect to Outlook Web Access on your server.
- Just make sure the user has access to the OWA front-end from within AD.

Sorry for not commenting on your Out Of Office reply.

Well what if I were to set the pop3 to be the default and the Exchange server as second choice for emails??

Well, it's always best to be collecting your emails from a single source. This would be your SBS server.

You can simply set up a port forward on your router to point to your server for Outlook Web Access. Get your users who work from home/away from the office to check there instead of using Outlook/Email client.
Your help has saved me hundreds of hours of internet surfing.

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I fully agree that you have to try to get all your emails in one place, in this case I'd suggest Exchange. POP3 connector does not leave mail in the POP3 host after retrieving. For laptop users try setting up an Exchange IMAP mailbox access as the default and the only account. Out of office replies should work with a delay - when POP3 connector gets mail from your provider's POP3 server.