Exchange 2003 Transport Rules

Written by carlos mano
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Exchange 2003 Transport Rules
The transport rules are used to route messages through the Exchange 2003. (Internet image by Attila Toro from

Exchange 2003 was released on September 28, 2003. It is a Microsoft product intended for use as the client side of a client/server interface. It is the device that Internet users connect to when they look at a company's Web interface. The Exchange 2003 manages e-mail, Internet access and data storage for the website. The Exchange 2003 can be programmed with "transport rules" that direct traffic through the system.

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Rule Structure

The Exchange 2003 comes with a Rules Wizard that helps to build the transport rules. Each transport rule has three parts: the conditions, the actions and the exceptions. The Wizard helps name the rule and then leads the user through the three parts of each transport rule, suggesting options for each step. The Rules Wizard also adds to, deletes from and modifies the collection of transport rules. The logical relationship between the three parts of a transport rule can be expressed as: IF {Conditions} THEN {Actions} UNLESS {Exceptions}.


Transport rules are rules for routing -- or reacting to -- messages. Conditions are things in messages that determine how they will be routed. Typical important items of consideration for routing messages are the "from " the "to" and the "subject." There is a list of senders and a list of recipients for whom the message may be deleted from the system or routed someplace where it will be dealt with in a special way, The "subject" entry may also control the routing of messages.


Actions can include deleting a message, but it may also include marking a message with special symbols and putting it on the top of a list. Actions can also include duplicating messages and sending them to a list of recipients. The Exchange 2003 will also attach a standard document or a message history to a message before it is delivered. It is also possible to bounce a message back to the sender -- for example, when the recipient is on vacation.


The exceptions part of a transport rule are a way to modify the IF {Conditions} THEN {Actions} part of transport rules. It would theoretically be possible to do transport rules without exceptions, but it is often simpler and clearer if the rules are written with exceptions. For example, if all the messages from Mr. A go to a distribution list except for Ms. B (who is on vacation), it is simpler and easier to put Ms. B in the exception part of the transport rule. It will also be easier to update the transport rule when Ms. B returns to work.

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