Microsoft Exchange 2003 - Forward external emails to a distribution group

Hi there,

We have a group of users from a department that want all external emails coming in to their individual mailboxes to be automatically forwarded to a distribution group.  This is the process they want:

1. Externaluser1 sends an email to user1@ourdomain.com
2. Exchange server receives the email and checks to see if the email address is external
3. If the email address is external, the Exchange server checks the recipient.  
4. If the recipient is one of the specified recipients for the forward, the Exchange server sends the email to the defined distribution group
5. If the recipient is not one of the specified recipients for the forward, the email is delivered to the recipient

They want this configured so that all external emails going to this group of people, goes to a distribution group.  If anyone in this group sends an email internally to someone else in the group, then the email gets delivered to the individual's mailbox.  They only need to worry about external emails.

I was reading up on Microsoft's Intelligent Message Filter but I don't believe it does exactly what we need Exchange to do.

Any ideas?

Thank you,
Christian
Christian PalaciosSenior IT Systems AdministratorAsked:
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Glen KnightCommented:
To do this with Exchange 2003 you would need to use an event sink or possibly an outlook/inbox rule.

Exchange 2007/2010 is a lot easier because you can use Transport Rules.
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Christian PalaciosSenior IT Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
Thanks demazter!  Now how do we configure an event sink?  Is that installed on the Exchange server itself?

Christian
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Glen KnightCommented:
Take a look at the Microsoft documents here:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/894286
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/313404
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms526206(v=exchg.10).aspx

I can't help with writing one, I've never had to.
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B HCommented:
i had 2 clients in this exact situation...

one opted to create outlook rules for the affected users that basically said:
"when an email arrives, forward a copy to [the group] - except if it's sent from [select all internal users/groups]"

the other opted to install a second exchange server that receives mail from the outside world, do the distribution via active directory on that server (whole different domain), and on the internal exchange server they use mapilabs "native pop3 connector" to download mail from the front-end server into the users mailboxes.  hokey, but works great
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Steven CarnahanNetwork ManagerCommented:
Do you run some type of Spam Filter device on the outside of your Exchange server such as a Barracuda or Sophos? It would be easy to put a rule in one to redirect incoming email.
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Glen KnightCommented:
Agree with Byron, the outlook/inbox rule is probably the best option,
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Christian PalaciosSenior IT Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
Thank you everyone!

bryon44035v3: If we create a outlook rule, will the original email still arrive and stay in the recipients mailbox?  They want all external emails to be forwarded automatically and not received by the recipients personal mailbox at all.

pony10us: Our headquarters in Houston, who has a Spam filter enabled said that they couldn't set this up on their end.  I assumed so because the emails are being received by them first before being forwarded to our Exchange server.

Christian
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Glen KnightCommented:
>>>create a outlook rule, will the original email still arrive and stay in the recipients mailbox

yes, but you could probably use the same rule to delete the original message too.
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Christian PalaciosSenior IT Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
Good point!  Thank you all, I will give the Outlook rule a test.

Christian
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Steven CarnahanNetwork ManagerCommented:
I don't know what they are using however I have set up rules in both the devices I mentioned to do just what you are asking.  It was much simpler than trying to do it on the Exchange server.

As for the Outlook option, it really depends on if you can make the rule a server side rule instead of a client side. If it is a client side rule it requires the individual be signed into Outlook for the rule to trigger so basically, yes the email has to arrive at the recipients personal mailbox first. This option would also require the each member of the group have the rule created and what happens when one individual is promoted or no longer to be a member of the group? The rule has to be removed. The same goes in reverse when a new person needs to be added to the group.

I still think the best place to make this happen is as far out near the edge as possible. This ensures that only items from the outside are affected and that change membership can be handled in one location.
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B HCommented:
if you dont want the original recipient to keep a copy, you should select the rule option that says "redirect it to... the group]

the one that says redirect, will auto-delete it from the original recipient
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