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I need to set up server side rules (auto-replies for users who have left etc), and having to login as each user and open Outlook is a serious PITA. Also any time that I have to create any rules for users that haven't left, I currently need to change their password, login as them, then somehow notify them of the new password and get them to change it again (tricky, since they cannot now login with the old password!)

I can open those users' mailboxes when running Outlook, and access the mailboxes via Outlook Web Access. I also have admin access to the Exchange 2003 server.

Is there anyother way of doing this that is more admin friendly?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Using CDO and VBScript, you can interact with a given Exchange mailbox, as long as you have permissions to do so. For example, I have a script that scans a given mailbox for messages with a certain criteria, and then performs an action (run a program, send an alert, Etc). You don't need Outlook installed, just the relevant DLLs, which seem to get installed with the Exchange System Manager.

Some useful links: and

Essentially, you create a MAPI session, logon, and then interact with the mailbox. For example, I enumerate the message objects in the inbox, examine the subject and from-address and then go from there.

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The only option I can see other than doing it for each user that has left is to try and find a third party software which may cost you...

Sorry that I cannot be of more help I hope that someone else is able to help you though

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Have you added your acct to the permissions list of the target mailbox, then opened it as an additional mailbox within outlook? I remember doing this when maintaining 2003 mailboxes, but can't recall if you can then create rules.

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Yes - done all that. But there is no interface to create rules for a specific mailbox - they all get applied to your own mailbox. One sometimes wonders whether the designers of Exchange ever did any Exchange admin... – dunxd Oct 19 '10 at 13:07
Pretty certain this would be a snap in 2007 with powershell, but that's no help whatsoever. Maybe they eventually hired some exchange admins for design? – Kara Marfia Oct 19 '10 at 14:59

Yes, using CDO (e.g.: through VBScript).

Google: "CDO MSExchange.Rule VBScript"

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Could you give a little more detail in your answer? The Google results for the search don't make me feel any more enlightened. – dunxd Oct 19 '10 at 20:04
Can't get the comment to save - see seperate answer below! – Simon Catlin Oct 20 '10 at 10:27
Thanks - I upvoted the new answer. You might want to delete this one :-) – dunxd Oct 20 '10 at 10:37

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