You’ve seen them — the paragraphs of text at the bottom of
e-mail messages threatening legal action if an e-mail message is sent to the
wrong person or the information inappropriately shared. While their
effectiveness is somewhat debatable, many organizations prefer to err on the
side of caution and include such a paragraph on all outgoing mail.

Out of the box, Exchange doesn’t provide you with a quick
and easy way to accomplish this goal. Instead, you have to rely on either
scripting your own solution or on a third-party piece of software. The scripting
solution is fairly easy (although it has one deadly flaw I will explain), but
third party products are fairly inexpensive, and sometimes even free.

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Microsoft knowledge base articles 317680 and 317327 provide
you with VB script and Visual Basic code to accomplish this goal. The deadly
dilemma: This solutions works only for SMTP connections to your Exchange server.
Unfortunately, Outlook doesn’t use SMTP to communicate with Exchange servers. Instead,
Outlook uses MAPI, meaning that the code you write and attach to your server
won’t work for Outlook clients. Sure, you can use clients other than Outlook
with Exchange, but ditching Outlook to make this work would be somewhat

So, you’re left with looking at third party products, and
there are a few to choose from. Here’s a look at four popular tools:

  • GFI Mail Essentials freeware
    : If you need just a single, common disclaimer for all senders
    from your company, this free software is a good option. The only limit is
    that you can’t customize the footer based on different users or groups.
    For that, you need the licensed version.
  • eXclaimer
    for Microsoft Exchange
    : eXclaimer for
    Microsoft Exchange is very reasonably priced and provides a number of
    features, including the ability to add disclaimers and signatures to all
    outgoing email. All disclaimer and signature information can be customized
    based on a wide variety of factors.
  • DisclaimIt
    : Another product that provides much of the same functionality, DisclaimIt provides you with an MMC-based console that
    looks and feels a whole lot like the ESM.
  • Red Earth
    Policy Patrol Disclaimers
    : Red Earth provides a number of tools for
    managing Exchange servers, including Policy Patrol Disclaimers.