AutoReply on Distribution Group

Exchange 2003
I have an odd situation and no one in the office has any workable solution

Client A needs to have Distribution Group B send an auto reply for all incoming mail and forward received mail to the users in said group.

Currently I have the DG forwarding to two users and a dummy account with 'Out of Office' reply, however, I am not receiving the auto reply from this account.

Ideally I would like this DG to send the reply, but if this is not feasable, does anyone know of a solution for my dummy account to send this reply?

Thanks in advance
itnorthserviceAsked:
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TyBeattyCommented:
In Exchange 2007 you have some options to do things like this, but in E2K3 you are really limited.

Unfortunately the way you are doing it now with a dummy account and out of office is about the best you are going to do to the best of my knowledge.
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itnorthserviceAuthor Commented:
@TyBeatty: Not what I wanted to hear, but expected none the less :)

So, repackage the question, does anyone know why my dummy account does not want to send those Out of Office replies?
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Dave MessmanIT ConsultantCommented:
I can think of a workarounds.  It's not pretty, but it will work.  The real problem is that a distribution group is not an account - so it can't have an autoreply on its own, so we have to fake it.

Firstly, you can do an out of office, but you can also do a reply using server rule.  The difference is that an an out of office will reply only once to a user and will always say "out of office" in the subject field.

If you use a server based reply, you're not hampered by either of those things.

1) create a new user account with the name of the distribution group (let's say it's accounting)
2) create a distribution group with the required members (let's say we call it DG619 - give it a unique unidentifiable name so people don't try to use it)
3) create a forward from accounting to DG619 and make sure that emails are delivered to both the forwarder and the mailbox
4) On any computer, create an Outlook profile for accounting and log into it.
5) create a rule - tools -> rules and alerts -> when an email is received -> have the server reply using a template and then create the autoreply you want.

And then you're done.

You'll want to make sure that in Exchange System Manager that you have set it to allow automatic replies using this method:

http://www.howto-outlook.com/howto/automaticreply.htm

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Ady FootSharePoint ConsultantCommented:
dmessman I like it!! That should work a treat :-)

Regards,

Ady
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itnorthserviceAuthor Commented:
Ok, after several attempts, and a lot of lost hair, it's finally working
@dmessman: I took a bastardized approach, but this solved it

It seems I overcomplicated the issue, heres what I did, pretty much started from scratch

-created new user account 'A'
-set reply rule for all incoming mail in Outlook for account 'A' to send 'specific message' (templates make my head hurt)
-created distribution group 'B'
-set forwarding from account 'A' to group 'B' as well as account 'A' mailbox
-added users 'A' - 'D' to group 'B'
 
Thanks for the help everybody

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itnorthserviceAuthor Commented:
500 points for dmessman!
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