Sending Out of Office messages multiple times

By default, Exchange Servers store a history of Out of Office (OOF) records what limits sending more than one auto reply message to the same sender in a particular absence period. However, CodeTwo Out of Office Manager lets you overcome this limitation and enables sending auto replies multiple times.

To achieve that, the dedicated mechanism implemented in the program, clears the history of Out of Office records. In such way, the Out of Office rules are treated by the Exchange Server as new rules what enables sending auto reply once again to the same senders although they have already been sent.

Warning

Resetting the history of Out of Office records works only in the case of rules set in CodeTwo Out Of Office Manager. Therefore, all records set in Outlook application will stay untouched.

To set up the aforementioned feature, click Settings in the program's ribbon (Fig. 1.). In the Auto reply settings window that opens, you have two options available for deciding how often the Out of Office messages should be sent:

OOOM - Entering auto reply settings.
Fig. 1. Entering auto reply settings.

The first option enables the default Exchange server behavior. If you leave it configured, then an auto reply will be sent only once to the same sender (Fig. 2.). 

OOOM - Default auto reply settings.
Fig. 2. Auto replies will be sent only once.

The second option is designed to work with records set by CodeTwo Out Of Office Manager and allows you to send multiple auto replies to the same sender (Fig. 3.). Long story short, the mechanism clears the existing Out of Office records within desired time interval. Moreover, by choosing this option, Out of Office records for all users in your organization will be reset. Therefore, you cannot use this feature for particular users only. You may choose to clear the records:

OOOM - Auto reply sent multiple times.
Fig. 3. Auto replies will be sent multiple times.

By choosing to trigger the OOF records every X hour(s), the program will trigger the clearing mechanism on every X full clock hour(s). The following example describes how this time pattern works. 

1.  You create and activate an Out of Office message with no definite end date for User A (Fig. 4.).

OOOM - OOF created for user A.
Fig. 4. New OOF item created for user A.

2.  In the Auto reply settings of the program, you schedule to reset OOF records every 1 hour (Fig. 5.).

OOOM - Schedule reset to every 1 day.
Fig. 5. Scheduling OOF record reset mechanism to be triggered every 1 hour.

3.  At 7:59 a.m., User A receives the email from User B that triggers the first auto reply.

4.  Next, at 8:01 a.m., User A receives another email from User B. As at 8:00 a.m. (the full clock hour) the mechanism was triggered and cleared the OOF records on Exchange, another auto reply message is sent from User A to User B.

5.  Next at 8:05 a.m. User A receives the next email from user B. As this is not a full clock hour, the clearing mechanism is not triggered yet the auto reply is not sent. Furthermore, the mechanism will be triggered at the next full clock hour (9:00 a.m.) and so the OOF records will be removed, and the auto reply message send. Until this time, no auto replies will be sent.

If you choose to trigger the OOF records every X day(s), the program will trigger the mechanism every X day(s).

Important: please note that the time intervals in days (full 24 hours) are counted from midnight on the day the program has been installed. The following example describes how this type of triggering the OOF records reset mechanism works.

1.  You install CodeTwo Out of Office Manager on Thursday 2nd October 2014.

2.  You create and activate an Out of Office message with no definite end date for User B (Fig. 6.).

OOF created for user B.
Fig. 4. New OOF item created for user B.

3.  On Wednesday 8th October, in the Auto reply settings of the program, you schedule to reset OOF records every 7 days (Fig. 7.).

OOOM - Schedule reset to every 7 days.
Fig. 5. Scheduling OOF record reset mechanism to be triggered every 7 days.

4.  On 8th October, User B receives the email from User A what triggers sending an auto reply message.

5.  On the same day, User B receives another email from User A. As the auto reply message has already been sent, it is not triggered again.

6.  On Thursday 9th October at midnight (transition between 8th and 9th), the clearing mechanism is triggered.

7.  On the same day, User B receives email from User A. The auto reply message is sent. Furthermore, the

mechanism will be triggered next in 7 days on Thursday 16th October enabling sending another auto reply message from User B to User A. Until this time, no auto replies will be sent.

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