Microsoft Exchange 2003 – Global Settings, Internet Message

Introduction to Exchange 2003 Global Settings, Internet Message Formats

Even though the Global Settings folder is at the top of the Exchange System Manager, people rarely visit this area. Nevertheless, the settings here have far reaching consequences, so make sure you investigate and then make thoughtful decisions on your Internet settings.

Topics for Exchange 2003 Internet Message Formats


Find the Internet Message Formats:Global Settings Internet Message Formats.  Microsoft Exchange 2003 Server

  1. Launch the Exchange System Manager
  2. Expand Global Settings, Internet Message Formats is the first folder.  (See diagram.)

Permit Rich Text Format (Default Tab)

Allow out of office responses.  Exchange rich-text format. Microsoft Exchange 2003 ServerI use RTF format for my email, so I declare a bias in its favour. On reflection, I would want a good reason to deny users the ability to send rich-text and graphics. Opponents of my view would argue that plain text offers simplicity, smaller message size and fewer problems. Over to you do decide.

I put deny rich-text format in that box that says: ‘Yes I understand this feature, but NO I do not need it’.

To make your decisions on rich-text format, right-click Message Delivery, Default (tab) then Advanced (tab), see diagram opposite.

I put ‘Never use Exchange rich-text format’  in that imaginary box that says: ‘Yes I understand this feature, but NO I do not need it’.

To make your decisions on rich-text format, right-click Message Delivery, Default (tab) then Advanced (tab), see diagram opposite.

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Allow? Out-of-office responses (To Internet)

Guy’s advice is NO out-of-office responses. If you agree with me, just leave the checkbox blank as shown in the diagram opposite. Here are 3 reasons, for my viewpoint on Global Settings:

1) Spammers send spread-shots of 100s of emails trying to guess the names of your users’ mailboxes. Now, if they receive an out-of-office reply from john.smith@, then they can add him to their spam list and send poor john more and more spam.

2) It’s claimed that thieves wait until they get your out-of-office reply then go around and rob your office / house. I leave you to work out the chances for your circumstances.

3) Do outsiders really need to know if one of your staff is away? These days people can pick up their email virtually anywhere via OWA or OMA, that email will get answered as soon as the recipient can deal with it. Again I leave you to assess the merits of this argument for your scenario.

Allow non-delivery reports (NDR)

What is your attitude to non-delivery reports?  Useful or a pain?  On reflection, I would prefer to collect NDRs, after all they are valuable for troubleshooting, see here for the meaning of Microsoft’s NDR error codes.

How to disable NDR in Exchange 2007

Preserve sender’s display name on message

If you were to check: ‘Preserve sender’s display name on message’, then internet recipients would not see your user’s friendly or Full Name in the senders email address. I can give you an example of why you may wish to prevent your sender’s name displaying. The problem is with companies who format the display names as Lastname, Firstname.

Let me explain by way of an example.  One day I had an email from Leslie B. Thomas. Well I replied Dear Leslie, whereupon they wrote back in a starchy bristling tone to say that their first name was Thomas and they did not take kindly to being called Dear Leslie.

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Message Format

My advice is leave the Message encoding setting as ‘both’.  What this setting does is allow the clients, not the server, to choose their preferred format, html or plain text.  However some organizations like to enforce users to send email as plain text.  On the other hand, if you are troubleshooting winmail.dat errors, the Message format tab is the place to investigate.   Here is a possible scenario that causes Outlook to create the winmail.dat files.  The position is that internally your organization loves html messages.  However, people on the outside hate html and only accept plain text.  When your html lovers send an email to the html haters, the result is a plain text message with an extra winmail.dat file with all the html extra bits.

Global Settings Summary

When your users send email to the internet you may want them to have different settings from when they email internally, for example send emails plain text rather than rich-text format.  You also should make a decision on out-of-office replies to recipients outside of your Exchange organization.  The Global Settings folder is tucked away at the top of the Exchange System Manager.  Microsoft put the folder there so that you would investigate users settings, do not disappoint them.

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