How to determine sender of mail sent from a shared mailbox in OWA?

Posted on 2008-11-11
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
We are migrating to Exchange 2007 Server (and Outlook 2003 for client access) from Lotus Domino.  I'm at the point of setting up shared mailboxes (ie, customer service, help desk, accounting, etc.) for various departments.  I'm investigating the possibility / feasibility of having those users that require access to such a shared mailbox, to actually answer and send emails to customers via OWA.  Such users would continue to use Outlook 2003 for their personal mailboxes, but then use OWA for the shared mailboxes.  These users have the required access and are able to log into these shared mailboxes under their own credentials as created in Active Directory by using the URL  "https://path/owa/" .

My initial testing indicates that this is promising.  However, when I log into a shared mailbox using my own credentials and successfully authenticate, any emails I send from the shared mailbox don't indicate who the true sender is.  For example, I can log into the "" shared mailbox using my credentials as "John Doe".  When I send or answer emails, the emails come from "" instead of '' which is GREAT from external standpoint.  However, internally, is there a way to trace (either from Message Tracking or some other method), that John Doe actually authored those emails?

My manager wants the ability to trace such messages to the actual authors if possible.

So what are my options?

Please note that I'm not interested at this point in connecting these shared mailboxes to Outlook 2003 along with the users' personal mailbox.  I've already looked into this and don't like the way one has to mess with moving emails from the 'Sent Items' of your personal mailbox to the shared mailbox and also having to complete the 'FROM' field.  Unfortunately, I'm having a difficult time convincing members of my user community to use shared mailboxes this way since Lotus Notes was much more user-friendly (insofar as shared mailboxes was concerned).
Question by:GeminiXII
    LVL 15

    Accepted Solution


    From experience, there is no way of auditing the user which sends the email logged in the way you specified from OWA.

    In-house we are using the mailbox like suggested in the last part of your email, however to have emails moved/copied to the required shared Sent Box can be set up with a simple Outlook rule. For example, any sent items going via account 'accountnamehere' gets copied to a folder on the shared folder profile. The only hassle the user will come across is typing the From address. However, I find this far simpler than logging into OWA to send an email on behalf of another user.
    LVL 31

    Expert Comment

    It's not trivial.  If you wanted to do it occasionally, you could examine the IIS log files for the pattern of requests generated when someone sends an email, and then look for similar patterns at the required times on future occasions, noting the client IP address.  To have to do this routinely, though, would be very tedious.
    LVL 9

    Expert Comment

    I'd recommend you to use an additional mailbox that is a part of Outlook profile. A couple of third-party utilities will allow you to populate the proper From field automatically and handle the sent items.


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