Exchange Messaging Outlook Volume 9, Number 22


Information on this page is several years old and may be out-of-date; some links may not work.

Greetings! Welcome to Vol. 9, No. 22, 3 Feb 2005, of Exchange Messaging Outlook, a biweekly newsletter about Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Outlook.

Today's highlights:

Regular features:

 

THE FUTURE OF EMAIL

Yesterday Microsoft released an update to their Intelligent Message Filter, about the same time as news reports suggested the email infrastructure is in for a hard time in the coming year, with spam accounting for as much as 95% of the messages sent or received by the end of 2005, thanks in part to the newly released worms that use the ISPs SMTP server to send messages instead of a SMTP server installed by the worm. This means port 25 blocking and RBLs will have less of an effect in the fight against spam.

While I'm not convinced we're in for a melt-down as some reports suggest, it's long past time for the ISPs to take control and block the delivery of some types of messages. Every e-mail system on the Internet needs to implement better filtering for viruses and spam, stopping both at the server instead of relying on end users and client side scanners to handle it.

The majority of viruses sent by email are not embedded into documents the recipient needs or attached to legitimate email. These messages can be safely dropped at the server without risking the loss of legitimate email. Obvious spam, such as those selling drugs, stocks, music downloads and other unmentionable content (which would get this newsletter flagged as spam), should be dropped by the mail server, not tagged as "possible spam" and delivered.

With port 25 blocking losing its effectiveness, businesses and ISPs will need to do more to prevent the spread of spam, beginning with anti-spam and anti-virus filtering on all inbound and outbound messages. Many have avoided it for a number of reasons, from the cost to the fear of losing legitimate mail or being accused of censoring their customers, but many won't have a choice in the coming months - if they don't filter out the spam, their ability to process legitimate mail will be affected and they risk being added to RBLs. They'll also need to remove infected users from the network or severely curtail their access until they have their systems cleaned and secured.

Where does IMF fit into the anti-spam filtering plan? Only as a poor man's spam filter for businesses that aren't inundated with spam yet or as a backup anti-spam scanner to a commercial product. My preliminary tests of the IMF update, when compared with Outlook 2003's filtering, show that while IMF is good at getting removing large quantities of spam, it misses too much obvious spam.

When looking at my Junk Email folder in Outlook, with the Spam Confidence Level (SCL) exposed, its clear Outlook 2003, using the High setting, does a much better job at identifying spam than IMF. But I don't want Outlook handling it; I don't want spam delivered to my Inbox at all.

These three messages are a very small sample from my Junk email folder but illustrate the problem with IMF's system. The top one was received after the IMF update was installed yesterday; the other two arrived after installing the new Outlook Junk email update last week. The first number is the SCL assigned by Exchange. You know from looking at the subject all three are spam (and may know exactly what is in the message body) and two of the addresses are dead giveaways that its spam, yet IMF can't find enough wrong with them to go over an SCL of 1. Fortunately, Outlook 2003's filter had no problems classifying them as junk and most commercial anti-spam programs would also correctly identify them as spam.

1 vriadijn@cgocable.com Janna Ham Evreythnig your looikng 4
1 Harley.Burrell@backwards.com Adrian Stafford Re: Account # 25733S
0 qmvcytjpdu@proxad.net Glen Hatcher Direct from Canada Phamracy

The false positive rate is about the same for both - many newsletters and solicited commercial email have an SCL of 5 while Outlook occasionally mislabels legitimate (non-newsletter) mail as spam.

This underscores the need for third party anti-spam scanners who use a variety of methods to better identify spam and remove it from your message stream. Two excellent anti-spam programs are advertised in today's issue, other programs are listed at https://www.slipstick.com/addins/content_control.htm#tools.

Intelligent Message Filter update

ZDNet story: http://news.zdnet.co.uk/0,39020330,39186364,00.htm

Viewing the SCL: http://blogs.msdn.com/exchange/archive/2004/05/26/142607.aspx

PROBLEMS USING EXCHANGE FOR INTERNAL EMAIL ONLY

A number of small businesses have a problem with their topology -- they use an Exchange server that is not connected to the Internet and a separate connection to an ISP for external mail. They use the Exchange server for internal mail and calendaring, while all external email is sent via a POP3 account in Outlook to the ISP. The POP3 account is configured as the default, the Exchange account is secondary.

Each version of Outlook handles this scenario a bit differently, but when it worked, it worked fine. When it fails, as it often does, it causes headaches all around.

In Outlook 2003 when the SMTP transport is presented with an Exchange address it opens the address book entry for that recipient and uses their default SMTP address. So now, in the above topology, sending a message to mixed internal/external recipients sends it to all recipients via the ISP. Since Exchange is not on the Internet, the SMTP addresses for internal recipients are not deliverable and all internal recipients bounce. If you reverse the order of the accounts, Exchange handles all recipients but bounces all external recipients because it doesn't have an Internet connection for SMTP.

The obvious solution to this is to put Exchange on the Internet, but there are a number of legitimate reasons why small businesses can't or won't set up Exchange to collect their Internet email. However, they can still use Exchange for all of their email, without opening it for inbound SMTP. This requires very little additional configuration and the Exchange server is not exposed to spammers as an open relay. It also doesn't require a full time Internet connection.

The simplest solution is to add the user's external SMTP address to their Exchange account as the default SMTP. The messages will be deliverable this way, although you may not want internal messages going out the Internet. Not only does it increase bandwidth, sending confidential documents to an Internet account may be a security issue.

A better solution goes one step farther. Not only do you add each users external SMTP address as their default SMTP, you also configure Exchange to send mail to the Internet, either directly or by forwarding it to your ISP or external mail server using Exchange Server's smart host feature. (Keep in mind that if you don't have a commercial IP address, messages sent directly from your server may be blocked by Real time block lists.)

By using this method, all internal mail stays internal and all replies from outsiders will go to your user's external mailboxes. Your users can continue to collect their POP3 mail using Outlook, or you can configure a POP3 connector to collect everyone's mail and drop it in their Exchange mailbox.

While POP3 connectors are discouraged by most Exchange administrators, if you are going to use external mailboxes it's much better to use a connector and collect everyone's email from a central point on a regular schedule, passing it through virus and anti-spam scanners before depositing it in the Exchange mailboxes, rather than each employee collecting their own email as often as they want.

See https://www.slipstick.com/exs/popconnect.htm for the pros and cons of using a POP3 connector and a list of connectors to choose from.

CREATING A MAIL-ENABLED CONTACT

A reader writes:

"I need a user to have an email address with my domain name on his business card, but forward all mail sent to him to his AOL account.

Currently we have to create a user account and set delivery to a contact, meaning we have two objects to do one thing, and one of the objects has a login. I've tried Contact, I've tried Universal Distribution group - neither will allow me to choose a Contact as an outside recipient or member.

I've had to create a user and forward the message to the contact (with the outside address). But I don't like the user having an account."

In order for Exchange server to receive mail for a user and forward it to an outside address automatically, you need to create an account for that user. In this instance, since he doesn't actually ever use his Exchange account and doesn't need to log on your domain, you only need to create a mail-enabled contact in the Active Directory. Add his AOL address to his contact and set it as the default SMTP address. Exchange will forward all mail received at his domain address to the default SMTP address.

When a user needs to log on to your network but wants his messages forwarded to another mailbox, create a user account and add his outside address as the default SMTP address. If he needs the Exchange mailbox and wants his messages forwarded, add his outside SMTP address to the forwarding field found on the Exchange General tab, Delivery Options button in his Active Directory account properties.

Remember to uncheck 'Automatically update email addresses based on the recipient policy' to insure the default SMTP isn't changed back to a domain address.

MICRO-MANAGING READ RECEIPTS

The perfect feature request for Outlook 12: the ability to selectively enable/disable the read receipts option by recipient. This would allow you to always request receipts when sending messages to certain people, without enabling receipts on every message you send, which annoys everyone else you correspond with.

Fortunately, we don't have to wait for Outlook 12 to have this option. You can have it now, in all versions of Outlook, controlling it either by recipient or by keywords in the subject or message body. All you need to do is create a "Check messages after sending" rule.

  1. Open the Rules wizard
  2. Select the option to create a blank rule, then choose 'Check messages after sending' from the rules dialog.
  3. Select the conditions you want to check for and enter the criteria.
  4. Choose 'notify me when it is read' as the action.
  5. Enter exceptions, if needed, and save the rule.

Now every message you send that meets the conditions you chose will include a read receipt request.

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New Utilities

EFS (EMAIL FORWARDING SERVER)
http://www.chimera.co.nz/
EFS is a FREE POP3 gateway for any SMTP server such as Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes or SLMail. It pulls mail from a Pop3 mailbox at your ISP and distributes the messages to users on a local SMTP mail server. EFS requires you to have a registered Internet domain name (to accept and forward mail for), use as a replacement for the somewhat limited Microsoft SBS Pop3 Connector.

EMAIL XRAY
http://www.swidgets.com/
Email Xray is and anti-phishing & Email Inspection add-in for Outlook which lets even tech-naive users easily view an Outlook email as safe text (no HTML, script, images, or live links), see the source (HTML or RTF), see the SMTP headers, see & save attachments (even if blocked by Outlook), & send a report with email info to Help Desk, ISP, FTC, etc. It has features for network admins to allow feature configuration & control.

EMAIL2DB
http://www.email-2-db.com/
Email2DB is an email parser and auto-responder you can use to parse and extract data from form-based emails and convert into real data. Use it to extract data from form based data you receive by email, including orders, invoices, support enquiries, web site feedback forms. Email2DB works with emails from POP3, IMAP and Exchange Servers - plus directly from Microsoft Outlook 2003 folders. Version 1.

EXCHANGE CONNECTOR
http://www.quantumsoftware.com.au/ProductsServices/ExchangeConnector/
Exchange Connector allows you to integrate your existing POP3 mailboxes with Microsoft Exchange Server 2000 or 2003 by downloading mail from POP3 mailboxes and delivering the messages to your Exchange Server accounts. Exchange connector runs in the background as a Windows Service and can be configured to download only during specified hours, such as between 9AM-5PM Monday-Friday and includes a "Download Mail Now" button for immediate downloads. It provides support for APOP (enhanced POP3 security), archiving, and SQL Server logging. Version 3.03

EZOUTLOOKSYNC
http://www.ezoutlooksync.com/
EZOutlookSync will keep 2 or more copies of MS Outlook always up-to-date. EZOutlookSync will transfer only changed data, making synchronizations real quick and unobtrusive. Works on Outlook 2000/2002/2003.

INLOOX
http://www.inloox.de/
InLoox is a project management application for Outlook and Exchange. It streamlines project management and is seamlessly integrated within Microsoft Outlook. It combines project administration, document management and controlling features with a stylish interface. (Site in German)

LOOK2SKYPE
http://www.look2skype.com
Look2Skype is a free Outlook to Skype plug-in that allows you to start Skype IP calls, begin Skype IM chats, and make Skype calls directly from your contact list in Outlook.

MAPILAB TOOLBOX FOR OUTLOOK
http://www.mapilab.com/outlook/toolbox/
A set of 10 Microsoft Outlook 2000/2003 add-ins for high-performance and convenient activity with your Microsoft Outlook. It will help you to schedule the message sending; get files from your computer through email; autofill the message's fields when it is created; control the quantity of messages must be sent in specified time; and many others. Version 1.0 - released January 11, 2005

MASSEXTRACTOR
http://www.silmarilsoftware.com/massextractor/
MassExtractor plug-in is simple freeware plug-in for Microsoft Outlook 2000/XP/2003 that allows you to extract all attachments form multiple e-mail messages in one mouse click. Version 1.

MICROSOFT OFFICE OUTLOOK LIVE (MOOL)
http://outlooklive.msn.com/
Rent Outlook with a one year subscription to Microsoft Office Outlook Live. In addition, you'll be able use the Outlook connector which allows you to use your MSN account, including Calendar and Contacts, in Outlook. MOOL isn't restricted to MSN accounts, you can use it with any account type Outlook supports for the duration of your subscription. Until April, it's available for a promotional price of $44.95, the regular price is $59.95.

OUTLOOK HELP DESK
http://crowcanyon.com/Help_Desk/OutlookHelpDesk.html
Outlook Help Desk 3.0 leverages the power of Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Outlook, and the Web to bring you a simple, efficient and effective help desk, customer support and ticket tracking system. It is ideal for companies and organizations that are overwhelmed by user or customer requests and issues. Support requests are entered through Outlook, the Web or email, and then are assigned and tracked. The resolved tickets are kept in an Exchange public folder and can be reviewed if a similar issue arises again.

PRINT FOLDER MESSAGES
http://www.rsoutlook.com/us/prods/prod07.html
An Outlook COM Add-in which prints all messages in a folder, either as they arrive or at a later date. Demo version available, it does not support printing messages as they arrive.

REAL ESTATE ORGANIZER
http://crowcanyon.com/Real_Estate/real_estate_organizer.htm
Use Real Estate Organizer 2.0 for Microsoft Outlook to manage your clients and transactions from within Outlook. Instead of the standard Outlook contact form, you use a custom form designed specifically for real estate agents. For Buyers, track what they are looking for and offers they have made. For Sellers, enter info about their property and offers they have received. For both, you can then manage the transaction through escrow, with full information about escrow and loan contacts, inspections, and contract terms. Use Real Estate Organizer 2.0 in your default Contacts folder or in another Contact folder. With synchronizing software (such as Chapura's Pocket Mirror), the contacts can be sync'ed with your Palm, Handspring or Pocket PC. Works with Outlook 98 and up, Exchange server is not required.

SMARTPOP2EXCHANGE
http://www.jam-software.com/smartpop2exchange/index.shtml
SmartPOP2Exchange works in the background and downloads all messages from various POP3 accounts and forwards them to your SMTP/Exchange server. The configuration tool allows you to adjust common options, like download interval, timeout, log file etc. and to add, delete or configure your SMTP/Exchange and POP3 accounts. An included spam filter allows to tag or to delete mails that have been identified as spam by SpamAssassin. SmartPOP2Exchange also supports rules which allow you to define additional actions for certain messages. Version 4.3

TASKLINE
http://www.taskline.com
Taskline is an add-in for Microsoft Outlook that automatically schedules the Outlook task list to produce an achievable and predictable work schedule. Each task is assigned a start and finish date, taking into account the task's duration and priority, any deadlines, appointment items such as meetings, and on what hours you normally work during the week. Taskline can put the tasks in the Calendar, so that you can have a single view that completely details everything you have to do, when, and in what order. Taskline gives you much of the power of expensive Project Management software, but at a fraction of the cost and with none of the complexity. You also have the convenience and familiarity of using an Outlook-based solution. Version 2.1

YOU SUBSCRIBE
http://www.yousoftware.com/subscribe/
An RSS news aggregator that integrates with Outlook. It can automatically delete items after a period of time. Works with Outlook 2000/2002/2003 and Windows 2000/SP3 or Windows XP. Beta - preview release v0.8

Updated Utilitiess

MAPINOTIFY
http://www.mapinotify.com/
MAPInotify is a mail and folder checking and notification utility. The current version adds support for Outlook 2003, color coding for messages, and the ability to delete messages from the New Mail window. Version 4.3

SHAREOUTLOOK
http://shareoutlook.4team.biz/
ShareOutlook version 2.0 is a totally new version, with new independent from Outlook sharing technology. ShareOutlook has a new interface design and offers improved sharing of Mail Folders. Now shared folders with e-mail messages are visible to others the same way they are in your Outlook and include the status - when the e-mail was replied to or forwarded is visible to all users that share the folder with you. You can simply minimize it to windows tray and continue working with Outlook without any interruptions. Now support sharing labels (colors) and the contact picture in Outlook 2003.

TEAMCONTACTS
http://www.teamcontacts.com/
TeamContacts is an easy to install Outlook add-on which uses an Access database to hold your contact information. Users can filter by categories to select a subset of their contacts to share. Changes in the Team folder are synced with the owners folder automatically, using a system tray synchronizer. No server software is required but it works great with Exchange server public Folders. For those user who need more than Contact sharing, TeamContacts is also available as part of OutlookInside. For Outlook 2000 SR1 and above.

Other Resources

FILTER UPDATE FOR EXCHANGE INTELLIGENT MESSAGE FILTER
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=c1ea8cf1-48c9-4e43-a4eb-82d9a83fd4a7&displaylang=en
This update to the Intelligent Message Filter SmartScreen(tm) filter contains updated spam characteristics that improve the ability of Intelligent Message Filter to block unsolicited commercial e-mail messages, also known as spam. You must have Intelligent Message Filter installed to install this update.

MICROSOFT OFFICE OUTLOOK LIVE FAQ
https://www.slipstick.com/outlook/mool.htm
Learn more about Microsoft Office Outlook Live (MOOL) and find the answers to frequently asked questions and troubleshooting tips.

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New Exchange Knowledge Base Articles

The Internet Mail Connector may crash when it routes messages from one Exchange 5.5 server to another Exchange 5.5 server
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/820523

Outlook Web Access 5.5 displays the start time of meetings that are scheduled in the Israel (Jerusalem) time zone as one hour late
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/812392

You receive an 8004D002 error when you try to schedule a conference by using an authenticated client that does not have a mailbox
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/328788

The System Attendant service stops responding, and users cannot log on to an Exchange Server 2003 computer
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/887809

The Exchange Recipient Update Service creates multiple recipient proxy addresses of the same type
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/835894

IIS Web sites do not start automatically after the server or the World Wide Web Publishing service is restarted
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/889171

The System Cleanup Folder folder is not removed after you install Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server Service Pack 3
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/811367

You receive a "The specified domain either does not exist or could not be contacted" error message when you try to create a mailbox by using the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in on a Windows 2000-based workstation
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/810812

The folder path and folder ID are incorrect in the Application log when a user deletes a public folder in Exchange 2000 Server
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/884863

An SMTP virtual server does not start successfully, and no Error event is logged on a Windows Server 2003-based computer that is running Exchange Server 2003
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/840761

Public folder replication and send hierarchy replication may not be completed successfully in Exchange Server 2003
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/885468

The Microsoft Exchange Server directory service (Dsamain.exe) may unexpectedly quit in Exchange 5.5
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/841836

DAV query of the information store for message properties returns 0x80004005 error.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/886811

Recipient Update Service in Exchange Server 2003 may generate multiple incorrect X.400 proxy addresses
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/837041

Full-text indexes do not work after you rename your domain in Exchange Server 2003
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/887161

Recurring meeting requests that have been accepted and updated in Outlook 2003 cannot be viewed in Exchange Server 2003 Outlook Web Access
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/890545

You cannot recover or permanently delete soft-deleted items from Outlook Web Access (OWA)
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/838086

Users cannot update meeting requests that are scheduled by their delegates
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/810970

When you export users to an .ldf file in Exchange 2000 Server, the Mailbox Reconnect tool (Mbconn.exe) silently exits when you click Save in the Save As dialog box
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/812552

Issues that occur when the crashonauditfail registry value is set to 1 on an Exchange computer or that occur when the Security event log reaches the maximum size in Windows 2000 Server
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/888179

You receive the "An unknown error has occurred" error message when you move a mailbox from one store to another store by using Exchange Task Wizard in Exchange 2000
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/870599

Users can recover deleted items in Outlook 2003, even though you have configured Exchange 2000 Server not to keep deleted items
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/885466

You cannot save a rule with the "Forward it to" attribute set to a fax or Short Message Service address is enclosed in brackets ("[ ]") in Outlook Web Access in Exchange Server 2003
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/875269

The Mailmig.exe file fails when you try to use it in Exchange Server 2003 SP1
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/870546

You receive an "Invalid log version" error message when you use the ESEUTIL /K command on a folder where transaction logs reside in Exchange Server 2003 SP1
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/890056

A folder that contains a meeting request may be deleted after you accept the meeting request through a remotely synchronizing mobile device
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/828493

Users can recover deleted items in Outlook 2003, even though you have configured Exchange Server 2003 not to keep deleted items
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/889680

Outlook Web Access stops responding, and the IIS Admin Service unexpectedly crashes on a computer that is running Exchange 2003 Service Pack 1
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/ (888315)

A sender's e-mail address appears to a recipient as two distinct addresses if the sender's display name contains a comma and extended characters in Exchange 2000 or in Exchange 2003
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/ (886757)

The data in the public folders is several days out of date in Exchange Server 5.5
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/ (832768)

Server information store stops responding when you use an IMAP client to fetch mail from Exchange Server 5.5
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/ (820568

New Outlook Knowledge Base Articles

Description of the Outlook 2003 post-Service Pack 1 hotfix package: December 18, 2004
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/891115

Description of the Outlook 2003 post-Service Pack 1 hotfix package: January 7, 2005
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/892057

Description of the Outlook 2003 post-Service Pack 1 hotfix package: December 18, 2004
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/891519

Description of the Outlook 2003 post-Service Pack 1 hotfix package: December 16, 2004
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/891196

Description of the Outlook 2003 post-Service Pack 1 hotfix package: January 7, 2005
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/891576

The whole Hotmail or MSN e-mail message is downloaded when you use the Download headers only option in Outlook 2002 and in Outlook 2003
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/892449

When you use Outlook to delete Hotmail messages or MSN messages, the deleted messages do not appear in the Trash Can of the Hotmail account or the MSN account
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/892448

The following apply to the Outlook Connector (MSN Premium and MOOL):

You cannot copy or move a folder between an Exchange mailbox and a Hotmail mailbox in Outlook (892447)

A graphic or an object is missing from the body of a message that is sent from Outlook 2003 (892458)

The attendee list replication process when you move a meeting request from Exchange to Hotmail or MSN in Outlook 2002 and Outlook 2003 (892453)

Nothing happens when you try to propose a new time for a meeting or an appointment in your Hotmail or MSN calendar in Outlook 2002 or in Outlook 2003 (892460)

You cannot open a mail folder or access a calendar that belongs to another user account if you are using the Office Outlook Connector in Outlook 2002 (892459)

Features of the Microsoft Office Outlook Connector (892455)

The Outlook Connector for MSN is not compatible with the Franklin Covey Plan Plus program (892456)

The Outlook Connector is not compatible with Nelson Email Organizer (892457)

When you run Scanpst.exe to perform a repair of your .msnpst file in your e-mail profile, your memory usage increases in Outlook 2002 and Outlook 2003 (892454)

When you view a calendar in Outlook, the free or busy information may not appear (889698)

A meeting request is not canceled in your Hotmail or MSN calendar when you delete the meeting in Outlook 2002 or in Outlook 2003 (892452)

Reminders for items in your Hotmail or MSN calendar do not occur in Outlook 2002 or in Outlook 2003 (892461)

More Information

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