Vacation Messages and E-Mail Forwarding

Vacation Messages

In Outlook, setting up a Vacation or "Out of Office" message is pretty straightforward. In the Tools menu, select the "Out of Office Assistant".

In the Out of Office Assistant, you will have to select "Send Out of Office auto-replies" to enable your Vacation message. It is also possible to specify a date/time range during which Exchange will sent your vacation message. In the text box below you can type your message.

Note that Exchange keeps different messages for inside and outside the organization. By default, only a message is sent to e-mail messages from within the organization (that means sent from the same Exchange server). If you also want to have vacation messages sent to addresses from outside the EUR, you will also have to specify that on the tab "Outside My Organization"!

In this screen, please type your vacation message for outside the organization (or simply copy-paste the same message if you want to), and enable it by selecting "Auto-reply to people outside my organization".

Please click "OK" if you are finished configuring your vacation message(s). These settings will be applied to the Exchange server now.

In Outlook Web App, vacation messages are called "Automatic Replies". For instructions on how to configure automatic replies in OWA, click here (PDF).

E-Mail Forwarding

Enabling E-Mail forwarding in Exchange server is a little bit more laborious: you will have to create a so-called "Rule" to specify the action(s) Exchange will have to take upon incoming e-mail messages. To accomplish this, please choose "Rules and Alerts" from the Tools menu in Outlook.

In the "Rules and Alerts" window, you will have to click the button "New Rule" to create a new (forwarding) rule. If you had already an active forwarding enabled on the ESE mailserver, this forwarding will already be migrated as the rule "Migrated ESE forward addresses".

When creating a new (forwarding) rule, in the rules wizard you will have to select "Check messages when they arrive" under "Start from a blank rule", and click next.

Probably you will want e-mail forwarding to be applied to all incoming messages. To accomplish this, you need to click next without selecting any conditions. Now, a message will popup to confirm if you want this rule to be applied to every message. Click Yes.

In the next window, you will have to specify an action (or more) you want Exchange server to apply to incoming messages. Normally you probably will want to have Exchange "REDIRECT" messages, that means the messages will be forwarded without being changed, so the message will arrive at the destination address with original sender name and subject. If you would select "forward", your ESE address will be the sender and the subject of the message will be changed like "FW: subject" (just like when you manually forward a message to another address).

If you select for instance "redirect ...", you will have to specify the destination address in "Step 2", by clicking "people or distribution list" in the text box below. Now a window will popup where you can select an address from the Address Book, or you can type an e-mail address by hand in the text line next to the button "To". After clicking "OK" and subsequently "next" in the rules wizard, you now may eventually specify exceptions. Just click next to skip this step.

In the last window, you need to type a name for the rule, for example "Redirect to Gmail", and click "Finish".

Now, your rule will be applied to Exchange server.

For instructions on how to configure E-mail forwarding in Outlook Web App, click here (PDF).