Best Practices for Using Exchange

This document contains best practices for using Exchange in the Clemson University environment and covers the following areas of usage:

Throughout this document, we refer you to additional help available in Microsoft Outlook. You can access this help by typing key words in the “Ask a Question” box in the top right corner of your Outlook application window and clicking Enter.

If you require training on Outlook, please visit our Outlook Training Web page or contact your technical support provider for assistance.

Addressing Messages

The following message addressing best practices are covered in this section:

Using Outlook’s AutoComplete feature

The AutoComplete feature in Outlook allows you to reference previously used email addresses when specifying email recipients. As you start typing an address in the TO:, CC: or BCC: fields, a drop down box will appear allowing you to select a previously used address. This feature is similar to the Internet Explorer browser feature for specifying URLs.

If you have incorrect addresses or addresses you no longer require in your AutoComplete list, you can delete them by selecting the unwanted name using the up or down arrow on the list and clicking the DELETE key.

We recommend that you leave the AutoComplete feature turned on.

Using the Global Address List

The Global Address List in Outlook is essentially the Exchange Account Directory. You reference accounts on the Exchange server when addressing email messages, assigning tasks and inviting people to meetings. Current CU Listserv addresses are not included in the Global Address list but as you use them, will be included in your AutoComplete list (see above). Resources (such as rooms) that were converted from MeetingMaker (or new ones created) are listed in the Global Address List.

You don’t need to know everyone’s address to send messages. You can simply type names and click the Check Names button to have Outlook/Exchange retrieve the addresses. If a name is not completely specified or not found, you will be prompted with a list of suggested addresses to use. Or you can look up addresses by clicking the TO:, CC:, or BCC: buttons in the message to open a window for the Global Address List.

Using your Contacts Address Book

Your local address book, “Contacts” acts very similarly to the Global Address List. When you are addressing messages and meeting invitations, you can specify your Contacts (or a subfolder within Contacts) to search for addresses.

Within your Contacts, you can also build Distribution Lists. This is a personal list for sending messages to a group of people.

How to setup Personalities (ref. Eudora)

Within Outlook, you can send messages on behalf of another user if you have delegation rights to their mailbox. 

In addition to using “on behalf of” functionality, you can setup multiple accounts within Outlook. If the account is simply an email account (not an Exchange account), then you can set it up in Outlook (not Exchange) and check mail and send mail from that account using a locally stored .pst file and configuring the connection with the SendMail server as POP or IMAP.

For more information about account setup and delegation rights, please contact your technical support provider for assistance (http://www.clemson.edu/client/solutions/report/report.php).

Using Listservs

All CU listserv email lists will recognize your Exchange account as an alias for your username@clemson.edu account. Thus, you can send email to a CU Listserv from your Exchange account if you have permission to send from your regular Clemson account.

For non-CU lists, your Exchange account will not be recognized as an alias. Thus, you should send messages to these non-CU lists from your username@clemson.edu. In order to use this alternate account seamlessly in Outlook, setup your username@clemson.edu as another account in your Outlook profile. You can then select the account from which you wish to send after creating a message.

For more information about account setup, please contact your technical support provider for assistance (http://www.clemson.edu/client/solutions/report/report.php).

Redirecting Messages

There are 2 ways to setup the ability to redirect messages.

First, within Outlook, you can set the options of your outbound message. Click on the Forward button for the message which you wish to redirect. (You can remove the FW: on the subject line if you like.) Then click the Options tab and on the Options ribbon, click the Direct Replies To (last one on the right) button. put the address that you want the reply to go to (i.e. the original sender’s address) in the field labeled Have Replies Sent To.

Second, you can purchase a set of tools from MAPILABS. This set of tools includes an option for redirecting messages. The Email Redirect component gives you the possibility to redirect messages rather than forward them. A new recipient will see the message exactly like you see it and will be able to answer this message using standard "Reply" without changing the recipient's email.

Shared Contact Lists

If you are currently sharing Eudora address books with others in your department (stored on network drives), you can accomplish this sharing in a similar manner by creating a subfolder within your contacts folder and then sharing that folder with those who need it.

To create a new Contacts folder, follow these steps:

  1. Display the folder list in the navigation pane
  2. Right-click the Contacts folder and select New Folder
  3. Give your folder an appropriate name and click OK
  4. Right-click on the new folder and select "Share [foldername]"
  5. Specify (or lookup) the people with whom you wish to share this folder
  6. If desired, check the box indicating that the recipient can add, edit and delete items in this folder.
  7. Click Send (make sure you send this message from your Exchange account)

When the recipient receives the message on Exchange, they should see a button at the top of the message to open that contact folder. The folder will then appear in their list of contacts until they close it.

We recommend that the recipient save the message so that they can open the folder later if it gets closed accidentally.

Mail Format

There are several mail formats available for composing messages in Outlook. Some mail clients (e.g. Eudora) have issues with receiving mail in formats other than Plain Text. If you know you are sending mail to someone using Eudora or if you receive feedback from a recipient about problems with the mail format, you should send messages in Plain Text.

If you want to send a message in a format other than your default mail format, you can click the Options ribbon and select Plain Text, HTML or Rich Text.

Storage/Archiving

There are many methodologies for storing and archiving your mail. Within Outlook, archiving includes off-loading your calendar entries, tasks and notes along with archiving your mail. To understand the possibilities, let’s explore the structure of the Outlook files within the Exchange framework.

Your Mailbox is stored on the Exchange Server. We recommend you turn on Cached Exchange Mode. This setting means that you have a copy of this folder stored locally and a copy stored on the Exchange server. The 2 copies are kept synchronized whenever you are connected to the Exchange server. If you take action on items in folders while off-line, those changes are reflected on the Exchange server as soon as you reconnect.

You can also have locally stored .pst files (Personal Store). These files can be archive files or active files depending on what you put in them and how often you open them.

Your IT Support Person can assist you with setting up the file structure you need to efficiently store your mail.

Delegation (Proxy)

Your calendar is part of the set of data that is stored on the Exchange Server. This configuration allows other users to see your busy and free times. It also enables those to whom you delegate proxy rights to take action on your calendar based on the delegation rights you gave them. If you need someone else to take action on your tasks, notes or email, then you can delegate access permission for those items in your account.

Initially, those users who had proxy access to your calendar in MeetingMaker will have delegation access to your calendar in Exchange. And you will have delegation access to those calendars to which you had proxy access in MeetingMaker.

We recommend you verify this delegation configuration shortly after conversion. Click on your Calendar in the navigation pane and click the link “Share My Calendar” to review or share with others. Verify that those calendars to which you should have access are listed in the section titled “People’s Calendars”.

Filters/Rules/Search Folders

If you used Filters in Eudora, you might want to use Rules in Outlook. A rule is an action that Microsoft Office Outlook takes automatically on an arriving or sent message that meets the conditions that you specify in the rule. You can choose many conditions and actions by using the Rules and Alerts Wizard. Rules do not operate on message that have been read, only on those that are unread.

For more information, see Microsoft's tutorial, "Manage Messages by using rules".

Please note that there is a limitation of how many rules can be stored on the Exchange Server.

If you are storing messages in different folders, you might want to consider using Search folders to supplement your folder structure. A Search Folder is a virtual folder that provides a view of all e-mail items that match specific search criteria. For example, the Unread Mail Search Folder allows you to view all unread messages from one location even though the messages may be located in different Mail folders. Another example would be finding all messages from or to a particular person. You might store your messages by project and then need to find all messages from your boss (messages regarding several projects).

For more information about Search Folders, see Microsoft's tutorial, "Create a Search Folder".

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