Knowledge Base

CodeTwo Exchange Rules Converter

Overview

The CodeTwo Exchange Rules Converter allows you to make a successful transition between CodeTwo's email signature solutions for on-premises Exchange and Microsoft 365 (Office 365). The application can convert email signatures, signature adding rules and custom (conditional) placeholders from CodeTwo Exchange Rules (including the Pro version) to CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365.

The CodeTwo Exchange Rules Converter can also save you a great deal of time e.g. if you plan to use CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365 alongside CodeTwo Exchange Rules in a hybrid environment and keep consistent, branded email signatures.

Requirements

The CodeTwo Exchange Rules Converter is a ClickOnce application that needs to be installed on a local computer in a domain where the CodeTwo Exchange Rules Service is installed (and running). Additionally, if you want to convert your custom signature templates, you need to install the application on the same machine where you used the signature template library to store your templates (this is usually the machine where the Administration Panel of CodeTwo Exchange Rules is installed). Learn more about how to convert signature templates

Important

The CodeTwo Exchange Rules Service needs to be installed on a machine running Exchange Server. The Administration Panel can be installed on both server and client machines. Keep in mind that the CodeTwo Exchange Rules Converter can be installed on a client machine as well, as long as it is located in the same domain as the server machine where the CodeTwo Exchange Rules Service is installed.

The account used to run the CodeTwo Exchange Rules Converter needs to have access to the rules created in the Administration Panel (with at least View rights). If this account’s access is restricted to specific rules, only these rules will be converted. Learn more about access rights management in CodeTwo Exchange Rules

The account that is used to connect to CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365 needs to have a mailbox (needs to have a Microsoft 365 license assigned that includes the Exchange Online plan) and be allowed to manage email signatures in your organization. Learn how to check or assign the necessary access permissions

Other system requirements:

  • 64-bit Windows, at least Windows 7 SP1 or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1,
  • .NET Framework 4.7.1,
  • Internet Explorer 9 or later.

Warning

The CodeTwo Exchange Rules Converter will fail to run if you have multiple tenants configured in CodeTwo Exchange Rules Pro. This configuration is currently not supported.

Installation

To download and install the CodeTwo Exchange Rules Converter, click Convert to cloud on the toolbar of the CodeTwo Exchange Rules Administration Panel (Fig. 1.).

Downloading the CodeTwo Exchange Rules Converter.
Fig. 1. Downloading the CodeTwo Exchange Rules Converter.

Once installed, the application runs automatically. You can also run it again later by clicking the Convert to cloud button again in the Administration Panel, or directly from the Start menu in Windows (go to CodeTwo > CodeTwo Exchange Rules Converter). Make sure to run the application in the same domain where the CodeTwo Exchange Rules Service is installed. Learn more

You can also download the CodeTwo Exchange Rules Converter by using this link. Once downloaded, launch the CodeTwoExchangeRulesConverter.exe file.

How to uninstall the application

If you want to uninstall the application, perform these steps:

  1. Open Control Panel in Windows.
  2. Go to Programs and Features (or Programs > Programs and Features).
  3. Double-click CodeTwo Exchange Rules Converter on the list.
  4. In the window that opens, select Remove the application from this computer and click OK.

Performing the conversion

The application converts:

Rules, signature templates and conditional placeholders are converted concurrently but independently from one another.

The CodeTwo Exchange Rules Converter works in three steps. First, you need to log in to CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365 with a user account that fulfills these requirements. To do so, click Log in with Office 365 account and provide the account credentials on the Microsoft 365 sign-in page (Fig. 2.).

897-2 Log in to Esig
Fig. 2. Logging in to CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365.

If you have already performed a conversion using the same instance of CodeTwo Exchange Rules, a link to the conversion report will be provided in this step as well (Fig. 3.).

A link to the report of the previously performed conversion process.
Fig. 3. A link to the report of the previously performed conversion process.

In the second step, you can confirm that you are logged in to the correct Microsoft 365 tenant. You also will be notified in case the application cannot find any signature templates. This will happen if:

  • you never used the signature template library in the Administration Panel of CodeTwo Exchange Rules on the machine where you run the CodeTwo Exchange Rules Converter, or
  • the signature template library contains only the default signature templates, which are not converted. Learn more

If you have any custom signature templates that you keep in the signature template library on another machine and you want to convert them to CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365, you can either run the CodeTwo Exchange Rules Converter on that machine or move the template data manually to your current machine, as described in this article. Keep in mind that the application converts rules and conditional placeholders independently, so you can simply ignore this notification and continue with the conversion.

If you are ready to begin the conversion, click Convert and confirm with Yes (Fig. 4.).

Starting the conversion.
Fig. 4. Starting the conversion.

Warning

The application will notify you if you have already performed the conversion between the same instances of CodeTwo Exchange Rules and CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365. If you proceed, the previously converted rules, signature templates and conditional placeholders will be overwritten.

The last step provides a short summary of how many rules, signature templates and conditional placeholders were converted (Fig. 5.). Click the provided link to open the conversion report that includes more detailed information about the conversion process.

A summary of the conversion process.
Fig. 5. A summary of the conversion process.

Once done, click Close to close the application.

Important

Even if the conversion fails or you abort the process manually, some data may still be transferred to CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365. Be sure to log in to the signature management app and check the signature rules list, the signature template library, and the Conditional placeholders manager.

After the conversion

Signature rules

All converted rules:

  • are added at the bottom of the Server-side signatures list in the signature management app,
  • have the _converted from Exchange Rules suffix added to their name,
  • include the following conversion information in the Rule description box (Fig. 6.):
    • date of conversion
    • state of the rule before conversion (enabled/disabled)
    • status of converted actions, conditions/exceptions, signature templates (converted successfully or information on what was not converted)
  • are turned off.

Rule conversion details provided in CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365.
Fig. 6. Rule conversion details provided in CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365.

Signature templates

All signature templates:

  • are added to the signature template library in CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365,
  • are grouped under the converted from Exchange Rules category (Fig. 7.),
  • have the _converted from Exchange Rules suffix added to their name.

The category in the signature template library under which all converted templates are grouped.
Fig. 7. The category in the signature template library under which all converted templates are grouped.

Conditional placeholders

All converted conditional placeholders:

  • are added to the Conditional placeholders manager in the signature template library in CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365,
  • have the converted from Exchange Rules suffix added to their name.

Conversion report

After the conversion, the CodeTwo Exchange Rules Converter generates a detailed report of the process (Fig. 8.).

An example of a conversion report.
Fig. 8. An example of a conversion report.

This report can be opened directly from the application:

  • once the conversion process is finished (see Fig. 5.),
  • when you launch the application again after the conversion (see Fig. 2.).

You can also find the report in the following location:

%localappdata%\CodeTwo\CodeTwo Exchange Rules Converter

The report is divided into four sections:

  • General conversion information – that includes the name of your Microsoft 365 tenant and the number of converted rules, signature templates and conditional placeholders.
  • Rules conversion details – that list all rules that were:
    • converted successfully – no further information is provided,
    • converted partially successfully – with additional information about what was not converted due to the limitations listed below.
  • Templates conversion details – that list all signature templates that were:
    • converted successfully – no further information is provided,
    • converted partially successfully – with additional information about what was not converted due to the limitations listed below.
  • Conditional placeholders conversion details – that list all conditional placeholders that were:
    • converted successfully – no further information is provided,
    • converted partially successfully – with additional information about what was not converted due to the limitations listed below.

Supported configurations and limitations

CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365 is an email signature management software designed for Microsoft 365 (Exchange Online). Just as there are differences between the functionalities of on-premises Exchange Server and Exchange Online, the converted rules, signature templates and conditional placeholders may differ from the original ones. For example, some options available in CodeTwo Exchange Rules were designed with on-premises environments in mind. In addition, CodeTwo Exchange Rules Pro has many additional actions that allow you to control email flow, attachments, autoresponders, and more. These actions are not yet available in CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365 and will not be converted.

Read on to learn what can be converted to CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365 and what the limitations are. Note that once a conversion is completed, the CodeTwo Exchange Rules Converter generates a report that will list all the items that could not be converted, if any.

Limitations to converting rules

Each rule in CodeTwo Exchange Rules consists of the following properties: General, Conditions, Exceptions, Actions and Options. All these properties are converted, with the limitations outlined below.

Keep in mind that CodeTwo Exchange Rules adds email signatures server-side. In addition, client-side signature rules in CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365 are missing some of the features only available for server-side signatures. This is why rules will be converted as server-side signature rules.

  • Conditions and exceptions

The table below lists all conditions/exceptions used in CodeTwo Exchange Rules that can be converted to CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365.

CodeTwo Exchange RulesCodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365
Sender > Is AD userSenders > Selected senders
Sender > Is AD groupSenders > Group members
Sender > Matches AD filterSenders > Azure AD filter1)
Sender > Is internalBy default2)
Recipient > Matches email addressRecipients > Email addresses
Recipient > Is member of AD groupRecipients > Group members
Recipient > Is internalRecipients > Internal recipients
Recipient > Is externalRecipients > External recipients
Subject > Contains keywordsKeywords > Email subject
Body > Contains keywordsKeywords > Email body
Message direction > Is internalRecipients > Internal recipients
Message direction > Is outgoingRecipients > External recipients

1) The number of supported Active Directory attributes is limited to the following: First name, Last name, Display name, Office, Phone, E-mail, Street, City, State, Postal code, Country, Mobile, Fax, Title, Department, Company, and objectGUID. This is due to differences between on-premises AD and Azure AD.

2) In CodeTwo Email Signature for Office 365, only the users of your Microsoft 365 tenant can be selected as senders.

In addition, in CodeTwo Exchange Rules, you can group conditions and exceptions using the OR and AND logical operators in virtually any way possible. In CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365, this has been simplified. Conditions/exceptions are grouped into those applicable to Senders, Recipients and Keywords. These groups are represented as tabs in the UI of our program. The AND separator is only used between those groups. Conditions/exceptions within those groups are separated by the OR separator. If the rules you are converting contain unsupported conditions/exceptions or are grouped in a way that the CodeTwo Exchange Rules Converter is not able to recreate the exact logical tree in CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365, fallback values are used instead. Learn more

  • Actions

The application will only convert the actions that are related to adding email signatures/disclaimers:

  • Insert signature
  • Insert disclaimer
  • Apply full composition

In addition, the Force email format action is supported partially – only if the Convert messages to HTML option is selected. However, the Set target font family and size option is ignored.

Other types of actions are not converted at all.

You can check the full list of actions available in the CodeTwo Exchange Rules family of products in the user’s manual:

If the converted rule consists of two or more actions that add a signature (e.g. Insert signature and Insert disclaimer), only the first one (i.e. the one that is highest on the list of actions in CodeTwo Exchange Rules) will be converted.

An email signature/disclaimer configured for these actions is also converted.

Limitations to converting signature templates

Both the email signatures and disclaimers defined in rules as well as user-defined signature templates saved in the signature template library of CodeTwo Exchange Rules are converted to CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365. However, the following limitations apply:

  • Default signature templates

The predefined signature templates that come with the signature template library are not converted.

  • Placeholders

Because of the differences between the Active Directory attributes found in on-premises Exchange servers and Exchange Online, some placeholders are only available in CodeTwo Exchange Rules family of products. These placeholders will be removed from signature templates converted to CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365. Learn more about the availability of placeholders in CodeTwo's cloud-based email signature software

In addition, some placeholders (such as CustomAttribute1-15, Initials, Home phone) are not available by default in CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365 and will also be removed during the conversion process. If you want to convert them successfully, you need to synchronize custom attributes (Directory extension attributes) with your Microsoft 365 tenant’s Azure AD. Click here to learn how to do so.

Be sure to check the conversion report to find out which placeholders were removed and from which templates, if at all.

  • Signature template names

The names of signature templates in CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365 cannot contain characters that are not allowed in URLs. If any of the converted rules contain such characters, they will be removed (double spaces will be removed as well). For example:

Signature with logo + user photo

will be renamed to:

Signature with logo user photo_converted from Exchange Rules

The _converted from Exchange Rules suffix is added to all converted signature templates, so that they can be easily identified in the signature template library of CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365.

Limitations to converting conditional placeholders

Conditional placeholders consist of one or multiple rules, and each rule consists of a condition and a placeholder value. All these properties are converted to CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365; however, some limitations apply:

  • Conditions

Conditions are build based on sender’s properties (such as email address, group membership, etc.) or Active Directory attributes (such as City, Company, Phone number, etc.).  Due to the differences between on-premises AD and Azure AD, some properties cannot be used as placeholder rule conditions in CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365, for example IP Phone or ExchAttr1-15.

If the CodeTwo Exchange Rules Converter cannot recreate the exact condition or combinations of conditions for a given conditional placeholder, fallback values are used instead. Learn more

  • Placeholder values

The same limitations apply regarding the conversions of placeholders as described here. Unsupported placeholders are removed from conditional placeholders converted to CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365.

Fallback values

Because of the differences between CodeTwo Exchange Rules and CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365, it is not possible to convert certain conditions/exceptions or recreate some logical tree structures. In such situations, to make the conversion possible, fallback values are used.

The general principle is that fallback values are applied if at least one condition/exception is not supported and cannot be recreated in CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365. This is to avoid creating rules and conditional placeholders that will not work properly.

  • Fallback values used in signature rules

The fallback values are set as follows in CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365:

Senders > Selected Senders > [Office 365/Microsoft 365 account used to perform the conversion] 

Recipients > Email addresses > [email address of the Office 365/Microsoft 365 account used to perform the conversion] 

This lets you test the converted rule and apply new conditions/exceptions as required.

  • Fallback values used in conditional placeholders

If at least one condition in any of the rules defined for a specific conditional placeholder could not be converted correctly due to these limitations, the following fallback value will be used in all conditions of this placeholder:

Sender > Is AD User > [Office 365/Microsoft 365 account used to perform the conversion]

Once the conversion is completed, be sure to check the conversion report to find out if fallback values were used for any of your rules.

Troubleshooting

If you cannot run the CodeTwo Exchange Rules Converter on your machine, add the URL below to the Trusted Sites in Windows:

https://install.codetwo.com/CodeTwoExchangeRulesConverter.exe

Follow these steps to learn how to do so.

Alternatively, you can deactivate the Internet Explorer’s feature which allows the user to disable storing (caching) SSL-encrypted pages to a local disk. Learn more

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