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Exchange Auto Reply and Loops

Posted on 2009-07-15
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
We have a bit of an issue. Business is asking for Auto replies for mailboxes (Thank you for your msg, etc.)

The issue we have is that our Auto Replies are getting into Loops with some mailboxes who also have auto-replies. We are using rules to do it, and I know you can do exceptions, but thats a rather reactive solution; Is there a way to do it in Exchange 2007 to limit it to one?

We are running E2007 SP1 Rollup 6 and clients are Outlook 2007.
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Question by:amedexitt
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by:David Lee
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Hi, amedexitt.  

The Out of Office function limits replies to one.  To the best of my knowledge there's no way to do that with rules.  Auto replies are always prone to this looping problem, it's one reason not to use them.
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by:amedexitt
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Ok.. so what solution do you suggest for inbound emails to send the auto reply a single time? It's being asked for by the business.
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David Lee earned 500 total points
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Any system that only replies once is going to create another problem.  Here's why.  Say I send a message to the mailbox today and get my one response.  Next month I send another message.  If the system truly only replies once per address, then I will NEVER get another response from the system.  The only solution I see is to have the response come from an address that cannot be replied to.  That way an automatic response coming from the recipient cannot cause an infinite loop, the system does not have to remember which addresses it's responded to, and a person can get subsequent responses from the system.  Outlook might be able to do this on its own via the reply using a specific template action.  The template you use would have to set the reply to address to a mailbox that does not have an autoreply rule.  Preferably a mailbox that simply deletes anything sent to it.  Something like "no-reply@company.com".  
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