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Tune up your Exchange Intelligent Message Filter with IMF Tune

IMF Tune is a third-party tool designed to allow extremely fine-grained tuning of Exchange Server 2003's Intelligent Message Filter.

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Third-party products that make use of Exchange Server 2003's antispam functionality, instead of simply providing their own from scratch, are starting to come to the fore. One of the newer ones, IMF Tune from, is designed to allow extremely fine-grained tuning of the Intelligent Message Filter (IMF), the core of Exchange 2003's spam-fighting system.

IMF Tune uses Exchange's Intelligent Message Filter to rate incoming messages on a scale of 1-9, with 1 being almost certainly legitimate e-mail and 9 being almost certainly spam.

The ratings are pre-pended to the e-mail subject in the form (SCL: X), which makes it possible to quickly sort the messages in Exchange's Junk E-Mail folder -- messages least likely to be spam show up first. (Obviously, IMF Tune will support other e-mail clients as well, since it inserts X-headers into the message, but Outlook is the most obvious choice of client here.)

The administrator can also set specific actions for ranges of SCL values. For instance, one of the actions supported by IMF Tune is exporting CSV-formatted logs about processed e-mail. The highest-rated e-mails can be logged and processed with a script to determine if the majority of the most obvious spam is coming from the same locales or IP addresses, in the event you decide to block a whole range of addresses.

Other possible actions include auto-replying to the sender, rerouting mail to another user, and automatically removing attachments (to keep e-mail archives down to size).

IMF Tune isn't free, but there is a no-cost 30-day evaluation version. The price of the full version is $298 for a 1-3 server license (you can get a discount for greater volumes).

About the author: Serdar Yegulalp is editor of the Windows Power Users Newsletter and a regular contributor to


This is a great article. It helped me a lot! Thanks.
—Stefan E.

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