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Set Outlook/Exchange to display inbound to: addresses instead of mailbox name

Posted on 2009-07-10
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
The situation:
  > Outlook 2003, Exchange 2003.
  > Shared departmental group mailbox with additional SMTP addresses set, ex: ar@company.com, ap@company.com.
  > Each additional SMTP address is a "generic" address for department roles - all users have their own individual mailboxes.
  > Distribution groups would not apply to this situation - these emails need to have one instance, not multiple instances.
  > Emails inbound to secondary SMTP addresses are delivered to Outlook inbox as expected, BUT:
  > When viewing the email, the TO: address line has the actual inbound address changed to the shared mailbox name.  
  > Viewing the properties of the email shows the SMTP header with the actual TO: addresses.

The question:
How do you get Exchange/Outlook to pass the inbound address to the view instead of converting it to the mailbox name?  

Unless you dig for the SMTP TO: line, there is no way of knowing what the actual to: address was, because expanding the mailbox name in the TO: line that IS displayed in Outlook shows the default email address of the mailbox, not the actual TO: address in the SMTP header.

I want to make it easy for the end users to see to whom an email was actually addressed.

Thanks,

ShineOn
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Question by:ShineOn
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Expert Comment

by:Subsun
ID: 24824640
This is default outlook behavior.. You can do one thing to identify the mails. Create a rule for reading the TO address from header and move them to different folders (check the screen shot). Please let me know if you need detailed steps.


rule.JPG
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Author Comment

by:ShineOn
ID: 24828319
Would that be client-specific or would it be global for the mailbox?  In other words, would the rule run on the server side or only when it lands in the inbox on a computer whose logged in Outlook profile happened to have the rule defined and active?    I know it would affect all that have access to the mailbox because the folders would be in the mailbox regardless, and the emails would move regardless - I just hate using rules if I can't make them global, if you know what I mean.  I'm busy enough chasing real problems to have to troubleshoot problems caused by inconsistent rule maintenance across a set of clients.
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Assisted Solution

by:Subsun
Subsun earned 150 total points
ID: 24829630

I am afraid it is doing to be a client side rule..
For details :
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook/HP010524761033.aspx
http://www.slipstick.com/rules/serverbased.htm

If you want to be hassle free solution then split the mailbox it to two, Means create a new mailbox and remove any one SMTP address from resource mailbox and assign to new one (Change the display name of the mailboxes to classify the mailboxes). Assign full permission and send as permission for users on new mailbox and add this new mailbox to the common mailbox outlook profile. Please let me know if you need detailed steps.
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Author Comment

by:ShineOn
ID: 24836033
And there's no way to change the default behavior of Outlook, I take it...
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Assisted Solution

by:IvaSoft
IvaSoft earned 150 total points
ID: 24861826
Have a look at http://www.ivasoft.biz/whichaddress.shtml

Regards.
Victor
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Accepted Solution

by:
ShineOn earned 200 total points
ID: 24874544
Well, that looks like it would work, but here's a way to do it without additional products, that I figured out myself.

Create a Universal Group, of type Distribution Group, for each inbound email address, named the user portion of the SMTP address (the part before the @).

In each distribution group:
>Assign the single SMTP address to the Distribution Group, format: <group name>@mycompany.com.
>Set the address list visibility off.
>Set it not to respond to return request.
>Make the departmental group mailbox the only member of each of those distribution groups.

Now, any mail sent to the smtp address assigned to the distribution group will land in the shared mailbox, and when you look at it, Outlook will display the distribution group name and not the mailbox name.  Since it's going to the shared mailbox, you have the single point of control for "generically addressed" emails you lose by giving each member of the department membership to those distribution groups, but you still give them an easy way to see which of those shared-mailbox messages applies to their job function.

Essentially, this works around the default (flawed, IMHO) behavior of Outlook/Exchange by using the default behavior of Outlook/Exchange of always displaying the "friendly name" (display name) of the recipient object.  Since the recipient object is actually a distribution group, it doesn't burn another mailbox seat but it still assigns the distribution group's "display name" to the message, which is what ends up displaying as the To: in Outlook.  Kinda kludgy, but what can you expect when you're working with Microsoft products ;)

Since the whichaddress product is something which also could be an answer to this issue (just not for me) I will do a split between the other useful comments and this one.
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Author Closing Comment

by:ShineOn
ID: 31602124
Thanks for your input, both of you.

Subsun, we both came up with kludges - I just like my kludge better.
IvaSoft, your product might do exactly what I asked for, but I didn't want a product, I wanted a setting (which apparently doesn't exist.  Thanks, Microsoft.  So glad you know what I want to see, even when it's not what I want to see.)  
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