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Customizing the Out-Of-Office Auto-Reply Based on Sender Information

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000130501D
Publication Date: 2005-Oct-25
Document File: 1 page(s) / 8K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The Outlook Out-Of-Office Auto-Reply allows a user to set a single out-of-office auto-reply that gets sent to everyone who sends a message to that user. This message cannot be customized based on the sender of the message, however -- the same message gets sent to everyone.

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CUSTOMIZING OUT-OF-OFFICE AUTO-REPLY

Customizing the Out-Of-Office Auto-Reply Based on Sender Information

Disclosed Anonymously

The Outlook Out-Of-Office Auto-Reply allows a user to set a single out-of-office auto-reply that gets sent to everyone who sends a message to that user.  This message cannot be customized based on the sender of the message, however -- the same message gets sent to everyone.

The Microsoft Exchange administrator is able to stop out-of-office replies from being sent to external addresses, but a finer-grained level of control is desired at the user level.

The user  would be allowed to set up multiple out-of-office auto-replies, and associate 'rules' with each of the replies so that the email system could determine which reply to send when a message was received.  A 'rule' could be defined by any number of properties of the message, such as the sender, the other recipients, the subject, the message content, etc.  (The Microsoft Rules Wizard defines a framework for such rules already, but does not associate these rules with out-of-office auto-replies.)

One concrete example of a situation where such an invention would be desirable is in the case where a user wishes to provide confidential information in the out-of-office reply to internal users, but clearly that information should not be sent to external users.  In that case, it would be desirable to have two different out-of-office auto-replies.