Questions

Turn an out of office reply on/off automatically

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0 Votes
Locked

Turn an out of office reply on/off automatically

fingerlickingood_
Hey Folks,

I'm new here looking to find out if my recent brainstorming is feasible and if so, how hard it would be.

What i'm looking to do is have an out of office reply that is automatically turned on at a specific time of day on Friday, and then turned off at a specific time of day on Monday.

I understand that outlook has command line switches including: "/autorun macroname" which run's a specific macro. In turn obviously, outlook gives the ability to create macro's.

It's my assumption that a person could write a batch file to run at a specific time that in turn runs the macro that turns on the out of office reply. Then similarly, at a later point the batch file would prompt the macro that turns off the out of office message.

My issues/questions are I don't know anything about VB scripting nor VB scripting in outlook. Is such a task feasible? Would it require a large amount of work to write the macro? I think the batch file would be simple enough to write.
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    0 Votes
    OldER Mycroft

    Returning on the following Monday morning.

    So, who would this magical macro be aimed at?

    I think 52 Out-of-Office replies per year would soon **** folk off! And also paint you as a bit of an idiot!

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    0 Votes
    fingerlickingood_

    Macro would be used by the service desk of a large company. As you mentioned much of the working world goes home on a friday evening, however, there are a bunch that work through the weekend and still require support.

    This macro would turn on an out of office reply to the service desk's email address and the folks working through the weekend that emails the service desk would get a reply letting them know there's no one there to look at their email as we're only open on these days between these hours. If their issue is urgent, contact the oncall folks via phone.

    People would only get an out of office reply if they emailed us, if they don't, then they'll never know anything even changed.

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    0 Votes
    OldER Mycroft

    That sounds like the kind of Service Desk that would feature in a Foghorn Leghorn cartoon!

    "folks working through the weekend that emails the service desk would get a reply letting them know there's no one there to look at their email as we're only open on these days between these hours. If their issue is urgent, contact the oncall folks via phone.

    So, let me get this right now: You are SO SERVICE ORIENTED that you're gonna set up a system whereby anyone in distress will get what amounts to a 'BOUNCE' that tells them there's no-one there! Then lists a telephone number to call in case of emergency!

    If you consider yourself so service oriented you should organise a BLANKET EMAIL that is sent out to every service client BEFORE they find themselves in difficulty.

    That way they won't be wasting their time emailing someone who's not available and suffering downtime waiting for an out-of-office-reply that might not arrive instantly - some of them arrive hours later!

    By the way, while you are available during the week, what percentage of your emails do you consider to be not urgent?

    Now I remember why I went SOLO. Thanks for that!

    <Typesetting>

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    0 Votes
    fingerlickingood_

    IT including the service desk provide services to meet the business' requirements. I'm not here to question the business's requirements, but thanks anyways for your input.

    If anyone has some input to the actual technical question at hand and not the process's surround it, I'd appreciate that.

    Thanks

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    0 Votes
    L-Mo

    To much stink for nothing, i think. We should focus on the question at hand.

    This type of automation does come in handing for some. I work in a law firm with multiple locations in and out of the US. They have over 100 employees working at anytime on the road and you never know when they'll need support. We have 24 hour support but ,obviously, we rotate staff. All support staff are required to set an out of office reply when they're not working; just in case someone e-mails you directly and not the HelpDesk.

    It would be interesting to see if any does have a solution. I agree, get off his case and look at the question at hand.

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    0 Votes
    OldER Mycroft

    That is an end to the problem.

    Afterthought:
    When MY phone rings - I answer it!

    I don't check which day of the week it is first!

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    0 Votes
    sean

    So rather than actually doing this through Outlook, maybe what you could do is enable the OOO and see what regkey it changes, export that and then just set a scheduled task to run that key every Friday afternoon, with the undo regkey run every Monday morning. I havent looked to see what key it changes specifically but I am sure it will probably just be a DWORD.

    Just a thought.... hope you find an answer that works for you rather than having to deal with the unhelpful and judgemental comments.

    Sean

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    0 Votes
    IC-IT

    Or try this freeware(?)

    http://www.sharewareconnection.com/desktopresponder.htm

    To create a rule use these parameters.
    Set the rule to kick in on a ----
    message to you
    within a specified date/time
    send a template

    You can create a "user template" with the message you desire.

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    0 Votes
    rkapl

    Hi!

    Try this (executable): http://officegoodies.wiki.sourceforge.net/OOFautomation

    or this (script): http://www.codeproject.com/KB/exchange/OOF_Automation.aspx

    Both should run on a server as they should be activated regularly (to check whether there are people "out of the office".

    The "out of the office" status is set by entering an "away" status appointment in your exchange/outlook calendar. If the recurringly running script/exe detects such an appointment for a user, it sets the predefined OOF template message to reflect the date(s) and/or time(s) to the away appointments date/time.

    -hope that helps,
    Roland

  • +
    0 Votes
    OldER Mycroft

    Returning on the following Monday morning.

    So, who would this magical macro be aimed at?

    I think 52 Out-of-Office replies per year would soon **** folk off! And also paint you as a bit of an idiot!

    +
    0 Votes
    fingerlickingood_

    Macro would be used by the service desk of a large company. As you mentioned much of the working world goes home on a friday evening, however, there are a bunch that work through the weekend and still require support.

    This macro would turn on an out of office reply to the service desk's email address and the folks working through the weekend that emails the service desk would get a reply letting them know there's no one there to look at their email as we're only open on these days between these hours. If their issue is urgent, contact the oncall folks via phone.

    People would only get an out of office reply if they emailed us, if they don't, then they'll never know anything even changed.

    +
    0 Votes
    OldER Mycroft

    That sounds like the kind of Service Desk that would feature in a Foghorn Leghorn cartoon!

    "folks working through the weekend that emails the service desk would get a reply letting them know there's no one there to look at their email as we're only open on these days between these hours. If their issue is urgent, contact the oncall folks via phone.

    So, let me get this right now: You are SO SERVICE ORIENTED that you're gonna set up a system whereby anyone in distress will get what amounts to a 'BOUNCE' that tells them there's no-one there! Then lists a telephone number to call in case of emergency!

    If you consider yourself so service oriented you should organise a BLANKET EMAIL that is sent out to every service client BEFORE they find themselves in difficulty.

    That way they won't be wasting their time emailing someone who's not available and suffering downtime waiting for an out-of-office-reply that might not arrive instantly - some of them arrive hours later!

    By the way, while you are available during the week, what percentage of your emails do you consider to be not urgent?

    Now I remember why I went SOLO. Thanks for that!

    <Typesetting>

    +
    0 Votes
    fingerlickingood_

    IT including the service desk provide services to meet the business' requirements. I'm not here to question the business's requirements, but thanks anyways for your input.

    If anyone has some input to the actual technical question at hand and not the process's surround it, I'd appreciate that.

    Thanks

    +
    0 Votes
    L-Mo

    To much stink for nothing, i think. We should focus on the question at hand.

    This type of automation does come in handing for some. I work in a law firm with multiple locations in and out of the US. They have over 100 employees working at anytime on the road and you never know when they'll need support. We have 24 hour support but ,obviously, we rotate staff. All support staff are required to set an out of office reply when they're not working; just in case someone e-mails you directly and not the HelpDesk.

    It would be interesting to see if any does have a solution. I agree, get off his case and look at the question at hand.

    +
    0 Votes
    OldER Mycroft

    That is an end to the problem.

    Afterthought:
    When MY phone rings - I answer it!

    I don't check which day of the week it is first!

    +
    0 Votes
    sean

    So rather than actually doing this through Outlook, maybe what you could do is enable the OOO and see what regkey it changes, export that and then just set a scheduled task to run that key every Friday afternoon, with the undo regkey run every Monday morning. I havent looked to see what key it changes specifically but I am sure it will probably just be a DWORD.

    Just a thought.... hope you find an answer that works for you rather than having to deal with the unhelpful and judgemental comments.

    Sean

    +
    0 Votes
    IC-IT

    Or try this freeware(?)

    http://www.sharewareconnection.com/desktopresponder.htm

    To create a rule use these parameters.
    Set the rule to kick in on a ----
    message to you
    within a specified date/time
    send a template

    You can create a "user template" with the message you desire.

    +
    0 Votes
    rkapl

    Hi!

    Try this (executable): http://officegoodies.wiki.sourceforge.net/OOFautomation

    or this (script): http://www.codeproject.com/KB/exchange/OOF_Automation.aspx

    Both should run on a server as they should be activated regularly (to check whether there are people "out of the office".

    The "out of the office" status is set by entering an "away" status appointment in your exchange/outlook calendar. If the recurringly running script/exe detects such an appointment for a user, it sets the predefined OOF template message to reflect the date(s) and/or time(s) to the away appointments date/time.

    -hope that helps,
    Roland