Message Tracking as part of OWA/Outlook

by Bharat Suneja

Message Tracking is one thing I’ve since long wanted to see built into the client – either as an OWA-only feature or perhaps in OWA and Outlook.

Problem: Users want to find out where a message they sent ended up – was it delivered? At what time? To which server? Same thing for inbound messages.

Solution: This is now an admin task, but perhaps just as easily implemented on the client side to let users do it themselves if they wish. Users can be allowed to track only those messages they sent or inbound messaages sent to them. The easiest implementation is perhaps to build the necessary web pages that query the tracking logs into the OWA interface (just like deleted message recovery is right now).

I threw the idea out there to the Exchange product team during TechEd. Let’s see if Microsoft finds this feature useful enough to include it in Exchange.

Message Tracking in Exchange System Manager is great, but when you save the tracking info it is saved as XML only. There are no other options. Users find that info hard to comprehend when they come across it (with all XML tags, et al).

Another neat addition to that would be to include a little form with email fields that an admin can type in, to send that info to the concerned persons in a presentable format. It could have the internal recipient’s email address already populated, and optionally one could enter addresses of more internal or external recipients.

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