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Managing Resource Mailboxes

 

Topic Last Modified: 2006-07-06

This topic contains recommendations about how to monitor your resource mailboxes and manage mail retention.

You can monitor your resource mailboxes using a mail client such as Microsoft® Office Outlook® 2003 by adding profiles to existing client e-mail accounts, or by adding delegates to the resource mailboxes. By monitoring resource mailboxes from a client, you can detect and handle mail that may not have been processed by the agent. You should avoid viewing unprocessed requests with the preview pane in Outlook 2003 or opening the meeting request until the agent has finished processing. These actions tentatively put the meeting on the resource mailbox's calendar and require additional processing by the agent.

To ensure that meetings are being correctly processed, you can monitor resource mailboxes from an e-mail client such as Outlook 2003. You can add multiple resource mailboxes to an existing e-mail account to view your mailboxes efficiently without having to create additional profiles.

To add a secondary mailbox to an Outlook 2003 e-mail profile
  1. Open your primary mailbox with Outlook 2003.

  2. On the Tools menu, click E-mail Accounts.

  3. Select View or change existing e-mail accounts.

  4. Click to select the name of the account you want to change, and then click Change.

  5. In the Exchange Server Settings dialog box, click More Settings.

  6. On the Advanced tab, click Add.

  7. Type the name of the mailbox you want to add, and then click OK.

For more information about how to add mailboxes to e-mail accounts, see the Outlook 2003 Help.

If a resource appears busy to users, but free when the calendar is viewed by using Outlook by the resource administrator, this situation could either mean that the free/busy information has not been published, or that there may be an issue with the meeting. The resource administrator can verify whether there is an issue with the meeting by looking at the calendar in Microsoft Outlook Web Access. If the calendar appears busy in Outlook Web Access where it did not appear busy from Outlook, and users are receiving decline messages for the resource, the meeting should be reset. The resource administrator should have the meeting organizer cancel the meeting, and resend a meeting request.

You can add delegates to a resource mailbox who can then access the mailbox directly to check existing appointments, check mail in the Inbox, or processed requests in the Sent Items folder. However, if you allow delegates to receive copies of meeting requests sent to a resource mailbox, it is possible that the delegate may accept a meeting request even though the agent has declined the meeting. To avoid this situation, it is recommended that you do not allow delegates to receive copies of meeting requests. You must open the resource mailbox as the primary mailbox to modify delegate settings. You cannot modify delegate settings if the resource mailbox is a secondary mailbox.

To prevent delegates from receiving copies of meeting requests
  1. In Outlook 2003, click Tools and then click Options.

  2. On the Delegates tab, select a delegate, and then click Permissions.

  3. Clear the check box for Delegate receives copies of meeting-related messages sent to me.

When you add delegates to a resource mailbox, you must ensure that meeting requests are sent to the resource mailbox and not to the delegates.

To ensure that meeting requests are not received only by delegates
  1. In Outlook 2003, click Tools, and then click Options.

  2. On the Delegates tab, ensure that the check box for Send meeting requests and responses only to my delegates, not to me is not selected.

For more information about how to set delegates, see the Outlook 2003 Help.

To control the amount of e-mail items that are stored in your resource mailbox folders, you can use the Mailbox Manager functionality provided with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. You can create a recipient policy for resource mailboxes to periodically delete items based on either age or size limits, or both. You also have the option of sending a report to the administrator when mailboxes are cleaned. To configure Exchange Mailbox Manager to clean your resource mailbox folders, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Create a recipient policy.

  2. Configure the Mailbox Manager settings for your policy.

  3. Configure the Mailbox Manager process to run.

If you have previously configured your Mailbox Manager process to run for other mailboxes on this server, you can omit step 3. There is only one Mailbox Manager process configuration per server, and it is applied to all storage groups and databases on the server. When Mailbox Manager runs, it uses all the recipient policies to determine which mailboxes should be processed.

When you create a recipient policy, you must define the membership of the policy and select the mailbox folders that the policy will monitor, as well as the age and size limits for messages in those folders.

To create a recipient policy
  1. Open Exchange System Manager.

  2. In the console tree, click Recipients.

  3. In the details pane, right-click Recipient Policies, point to New, and then click Recipient Policy.

  4. In New Policy, select the Mailbox Manager Settings check box, and then click OK.

  5. On the General tab, type a name for your recipient policy in the Name box, and then click Modify.

  6. In Find Exchange Recipients, in the Find list, select Exchange Recipients. On the Advanced tab, define search filters to specify the membership of the recipient policy.

    noteNote:
    For more information about the Field and Condition fields, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 319188, "How to use recipient policies to control mailboxes in Exchange 2000 and Exchange 2003" (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkId=3052&kbid=319188).
  7. Click OK, and then click OK again on the warning message.

  8. Click Apply to apply the policy.

After you have created a recipient policy for the mailbox folders that you want the Mailbox Manager to affect, you need to configure the Mailbox Manager for that policy.

noteNote:
Mailbox Manager can only process local mailboxes. It cannot be used to process mailboxes located on other servers.
To configure Mailbox Manager for a recipient policy
  1. In the Properties dialog box for the Recipient Policy That You created by using the previous procedure, click the Mailbox Manager Settings (Policy) tab.

  2. In the When processing a mailbox list, click Delete Immediately.

    noteNote:
    Use caution when you use the Delete Immediately option on folders. You may want to use the Generate Report Only option when testing your policy. For more information about how to configure a mailbox management recipient policy, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 319188, "How to use recipient policies to control mailboxes in Exchange 2000 and Exchange 2003" at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=3052&kbid=319188.
  3. Select a folder by ensuring that the check box for it is selected, click the name of the folder, and then click Edit.

  4. Set the Age Limit (Days) and Message Size (KB) for the folder, and then click OK.

    importantImportant:
    Age and size limits are based on an "and" statement. For example, the default setting for an Inbox is 30 days and 1,024 KB. This means that only items that are older than 30 days and larger than 1,024 KB will be deleted. To delete messages based only on age, you must set the size limit to "any".
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each folder that you want Mailbox Manager to process.

The following table shows possible combinations of age and message size settings for mailbox folders.

Possible age limit and message size settings for mailbox folders

Folder Age (days) Size (KB) Explanation

Inbox

7

Any

No items should be stored in the Inbox. Seven days allows time for discovery and investigation of unwanted Inbox items.

Sent Items

60

Any

Suggested time for allowing items to be stored in the Sent Items folder.

Calendar

60

Any

Suggested time for allowing single instance meeting items to be stored in the Calendar folder.

Recurring meetings are not affected by the Mailbox Manager.

Deleted Items

7

Any

No items should be stored in the Deleted Items folder. Seven days allows time for discovery and investigation of unwanted deleted items.

Mailbox Manager does not remove recurring meetings, which prevents the premature deletion of recurring meetings that are currently active. Because of this design, you need to periodically clean resource mailboxes manually.

By default, the mailbox management process is set to never run.

To configure Mailbox Manager to run
  1. Open the Exchange System Manager.

  2. In the console tree, navigate to the server object.

  3. Right-click the server object, and then click Properties.

  4. On the Mailbox Management tab, in the Start mailbox management process list, select when you want all mailbox recipient policies to run on the server.

  5. To create a custom schedule, select Use custom schedule, and then click Customize. Click to select the times of day and days of the week you want Mailbox Manager to run, and then click OK.

    tipTip:
    You can also manually start Mailbox Manager at any time by right-clicking the server object and selecting Start Mailbox Management Process. If you use this command, Mailbox Manager will still run at its next scheduled interval.
  6. For a report to be generated, in the Reporting list, select the type of report that will be created whenever mailboxes are processed, and then click Browse to select a mailbox to receive the reports.

Registered mailboxes that are moved to a server where Auto Accept Agent is not installed will no longer automatically process meeting requests. However, registered mailboxes that are moved to a server where Auto Accept Agent has been installed will continue to function. You do not have to reregister a moved mailbox on a server where the agent is installed.

noteNote:
Per-mailbox settings that are stored in the XML configuration file on the server where the mailbox was originally registered are not moved to the new server. You need to update the XML configuration file on the new server for the settings to take effect.

If you have installed Auto Accept Agent to run as Local System, it depends on the Microsoft Exchange Information Store service. Therefore, if the Exchange Store service is stopped, the Auto Accept Agent is also stopped. Because the Auto Accept Agent service automatically starts when it is called to process a message, you do not need to configure the service to start automatically.

If the rate of incoming meeting requests to registered mailboxes is high, it is possible that a meeting request will be received after the Auto Accept Agent service is stopped, but before the Exchange Store service has stopped. In this situation, the Auto Accept Agent service restarts, which prevents the service control manager from being able to stop the Exchange Store service. To avoid this situation, stop the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol service (SMTPSVC) first. This action stops all message deliveries, allowing the Auto Accept Agent service to remain stopped, which in turn allows the Exchange Store service to stop. When you restart the SMTP service, Auto Accept Agent will restart when a meeting request is received.

 
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