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Exchange 2010 / Automatic Replies (Out of Office) on Client

Posted on 2014-09-16
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Last Modified: 2016-06-14
End users can easily set their automatic replies via OWA for both internal and/or external senders i.e., vacation, out of office, etc.
I have two generic departmental accounts for one of my customers (repairs@mydomain.com and chemicals@mydomain.com) set up that are forwarded to a user that is responsible for the particular department.
This all works fine ONCE for each unique sender but will not send out the automatic reply the second time a sender shoots out an email to "repairs" or "chemicals".
My client wants this auto reply to be sent out every time an internal or external sender shoots an email to either one of those addresses.
One of my IT colleagues suggested setting up a transport rule but I really want my clients to be able to take care of the auto replies themselves. They change it all the time.
In the OWA client interface just above the body of the reply, it states "Send a reply once to each sender inside/outside my organization with the following message:
The key word is ONCE.
How do I change that so it replies every time? Registry tweak? Exchange Shell command?
Also, this Exchange Server is running on SBS 2011, virtualized on 2008R2 Hyper-V core Enterprise ...
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Question by:Werner007
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Expert Comment

by:Brandon
ID: 40325947
I had a request for this a year or so ago. After some searches I was told the out of office won't work this way and a rule should be created instead.

It's rather easy to setup a rule for all incoming messages send a reply of XXX.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/157961
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Expert Comment

by:Brandon
ID: 40325954
Transport rule changes if you wanted to hard code it on your servers.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb124737(v=exchg.141).aspx
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Author Comment

by:Werner007
ID: 40327160
Brandon
Thank you for your quick response. Time permitting, will shoot tomorrow with your suggestion and let you know.
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by:Werner007
ID: 40328082
Brandon:

The transport rule I created works well for internal users but no action for the external senders that sent the email in the first place. It is more important to send this out of office reply to the external sender than an internal user.
Suggestions?
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Expert Comment

by:Brandon
ID: 40328332
I don't know if this is answering your question. But take a look. I've used this site for many issues when I was an exchange admin...many...many years ago.

http://www.msexchange.org/articles-tutorials/exchange-server-2010/management-administration/automatic-email-server-notifications-in-exchange-server-2010.html
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Author Comment

by:Werner007
ID: 40328568
Brandon:

I have reviewed the above link before. Markus Klein is sharp but concludes that this issue is not easy to deal with.

Internal and external replies work only once then the automatic reply and to be turned off then back on again to reset the "counter". In Action under Transports rules, there is no apparent option to simply " Reply to sender" then populate the response.
Thank you for your suggestion.
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Expert Comment

by:Brandon
ID: 40328674
sorry I couldn't help. I'll check a few more resources and get back if I find something that might help.
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Author Comment

by:Werner007
ID: 40329175
Thank you sir!
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Expert Comment

by:Rajitha Chimmani
ID: 40342753
Have you checked the properties of Remote Domains? Under Organization Management->Hub Transport->Properties of Remote domain->Message format tab. You have an option "Allow automatic replies". This option must be enabled.

You can also use Outlook rule with action as "Have server reply using a specific message". This way even the users can control the automatic reply message. But again you must allow automatic replies as said earlier
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Author Comment

by:Werner007
ID: 40342892
Rajita
"Allow automatic replies" was not checked, it is now. Let me test and will report back.

Outlook rule is NOT an option, good suggestion though.

Thank you
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Author Comment

by:Werner007
ID: 40343151
Rajita
Preliminary results look promising with a glitch.
I will perform further testing within the next 24-48 hours and report findings.
Thank you!
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Author Comment

by:Werner007
ID: 40373915
Over 12 hours with Microsoft Professional support. Still not working as I or my client would expect. Last support tech (besides 3 or 4 other engineers going through every nook and cranny of my server) applied the following fix:
http://support2.microsoft.com/kb/2535105 
Still no go ...
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Assisted Solution

by:Werner007
Werner007 earned 0 total points
ID: 40394691
My apologies for my tardiness.
Microsoft Professional Support response is that this cannot be done through the Out-of-Office methodology. One lead engineer is developing a transport rule for testing. A transport rule was created by the 2nd or 3rd engineer (lost count) but that did not work. The behavior of the issue could also be addresses with a rule in an Outlook 32bit client but in this case, only OWA is used.
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Accepted Solution

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Werner007 earned 0 total points
ID: 40415005
After 15 hours of time with MPS and no less that 5 engineers, the last engineer  (Lejo) came up with a solution that works and satisfies my client's expectations. It does involve using a rule within an Outlook (2013) client. What threw me off is that the rule can be set up in a separate Outlook profile (i.e., chemicals and repairs) on any workstation within the domain without the profile being logged into by the user.
"Apply this rule after the message arrives, have server reply using (rule name). Clicking on "rule name" brings up a message in which you populate the subject and body you want as the response to an internal or external sender.
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