Sending out of office messages multiple times
By default, Exchange servers store the out of office (OOF) records, so that a sender receives just one auto-reply in a particular absence period of the recipient. With CodeTwo Out of Office Manager, you can overcome this limitation and send auto-replies multiple times during a single absence period.
A dedicated mechanism implemented in the program clears the out of office history. This makes the Exchange server treat the out of office rules as if they were created from scratch and resend the auto-reply.
Resetting the history of out of office records works only for auto-replies set in CodeTwo Out of Office Manager. Auto-replies set in Outlook will not be affected.
To set up this feature, click the Settings button in the program's toolbar (Fig. 1.). In the Auto reply settings window that opens, there are two options available:
Fig. 1. Choosing how many times the auto-reply will be sent in a single absence period.
The first option enables the default Exchange server behavior. If you choose this option, the sender will receive one auto-reply in a given absence period (Fig. 2.).
|Fig. 2. Each auto-reply will be sent only once.|
The second option works with the records set by CodeTwo Out of Office Manager and allows you to send the auto-reply to the same sender multiple times (Fig. 3.). The CodeTwo mechanism clears the out of office records after a specified period of time. This resets the out of office records for all users in your organization. You cannot apply this feature to selected users only.
|Fig. 3. Setting the records to clear ever 1 hour.|
You can choose to clear the records:
If you choose to clear the OOF records every X hour(s), the program will trigger the clearing mechanism every X full clock hour(s). The following example describes how this works:
- You create and submit an out of office message with no definite end date for User A (Fig. 4.).
|Fig. 4. Creating new auto-reply.|
- In the Auto reply settings window, you schedule to clear the OOF records every 1 hour (Fig. 5.).
|Fig. 5. Scheduling the OOF record reset mechanism to be triggered every 1 hour.|
- At 7.59 a.m., User A receives an email from User B. User B is sent the auto-reply for the first time.
- At 8.01 a.m., User A receives another email from User B. As the OOF records were cleared on the Exchange server at 8.00 a.m. (the full clock hour), another auto-reply is sent from User A to User B.
- Then, at 8.05 a.m., User A receives one more email from User B. This time no auto-reply is sent. The clearing mechanism will be triggered, and the OOF records removed, at the next full clock hour (9:00 a.m.). Until then, no auto-replies will be sent.
If you choose to clear the OOF records every X day(s), the program will trigger the clearing mechanism every 24 hours counting from midnight.
Please note that the reference time point for this option is the time on the machine where CodeTwo Out of Office Manager is installed. This means that if the program is installed on a machine located in London and you decide to reset the sender list every X day(s), the OOF records will be cleared on midnight, London time. If your users are located in different time zones, for them this change may take effect during their working hours.
The following example describes how this works:
- You create and submit an out of office message with no definite end date for User B (Fig. 4. above). User B is located in the same time zone as the instance of CodeTwo Out of Office Manager.
- On Wednesday, 8 November, you schedule to reset the OOF records every 7 days (Fig. 6.).
|Fig. 6. Scheduling OOF record reset mechanism to be triggered every 7 days.|
- On 8 November at 12.30 a.m., User B receives an email from User A. An auto-reply is sent to User A.
- On the same day at 6.00 p.m., User B receives another email from User A. As the auto-reply has already been sent in this time frame (24 hours counting from midnight), it is not sent again.
- On Thursday, 9 November, at midnight, the clearing mechanism is triggered.
- On 9 November at 10.15 a.m., User B receives an email from User A. The auto-reply is sent. The clearing mechanism will be triggered again after 7 days, on Thursday midnight, 16 October. Until then, no auto-replies will be sent.
Setting the time range and recurrence to out of office messages – read more about defining the time range for the auto-reply and learn how to configure auto-replies for users that are absent on a regular basis