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Part 2: Displaying message classifications in Outlook 2007

Exchange 2007 message classifications are hidden from Microsoft Outlook 2007 by default. If a message is classified by a transport rule, Outlook will display the classification. However, Outlook 2007 cannot be used to manually classify a message until you have enabled message classification.

Exchange Server 2007 message classifications are hidden from Microsoft Outlook 2007 by default. If a message is classified by a transport rule, Outlook will display the classification. However, Outlook 2007 cannot be used to manually classify a message until you have enabled message classification.

There are two steps involved in making message classifications accessible in Microsoft Outlook 2007. First, you have to export the message classification settings from Exchange Server. Second, you must physically enable message classifications in the Outlook client.

Exporting message classifications

The most important part of the export process is deciding up front which message classifications you want to make available through Microsoft Outlook 2007. If you are thinking about creating custom classifications, you should set those up before you begin the export process.

The export process involves using a script that is included with Exchange Server 2007, in conjunction with the commands that I showed you in Part 1. You will also have to specify an XML file to which the message classifications can be exported.

To perform the export process:

  1. Open the Exchange Management Shell and navigate to the \Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\Scripts folder, which contains all of the built-in scripts included with Exchange Server 2007.

  2. Run the command from this location. It is worth mentioning that DOS-style change directory commands will not work. To switch to the necessary directory, enter the following command:

    CD "c:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\Scripts\"

    The actual syntax of the command is:

    Get-MessageClassification | Export-OutlookClassification.ps1 > C:\classification.xml

    Figure 2: What it looks like when the command executes.
    Figure 2

    This command will dump all of the message classifications to a file named c:\classification.xml. You can see what this XML file looks like in Figure 3.

    Figure 3: The message classifications presented in XML format.
    Figure 2

Importing message classifications into Microsoft Outlook 2007

Now that you have exported the message classifications to an XML file, it is time to import them into Microsoft Outlook 2007. (Because the technique that I am about to show you involves editing the registry, make sure you perform a full system backup before continuing.)

  1. Copy the XML file you just created to the root directory of the workstation on which you want to enable message classifications.

  2. Close Outlook 2007 and then use the REGEDIT command to open the Registry Editor.

  3. When the Registry Editor opens, navigate through the registry tree to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Common.

  4. Look for a registry container named Policy. If the Policy container does not exist, it will be up to you to create it.

  5. You must now create three different registry keys within the Policy container. The keys and their pertinent information are listed below:

    EnableClassifications   REG_DWORD 0x00000001 (1)
    TrustClassifications REG_DWORD 0x00000001 (1)
    AdminClassificationPath String C:classification.xml

    Figure 4: What the Registry Editor screen should look like.
    Figure 4

  6. Open Microsoft Outlook 2007 and compose a new message.

  7. Before you send the message, click the Set Permissions button found in the upper right portion of the window. The Set Permissions menu should list the message classifications that were exported from the Exchange 2007 server, as shown in Figure 5.

    Figure 5: A list of the various message classifications.
    Figure 5

When you choose a message classification from the Set Permissions menu, you will see a banner appear at the top of the message that you are composing, listing the message classification level and a brief description of how the message should be treated.

Keep in mind though that just because you are seeing this banner, it does not mean that the recipient will see it. Recipients will only see message classification text if their copies of Outlook have message classifications enabled.

However, you do have the options of creating an Exchange Server 2007 transport rule that forces a message classification-related message to be displayed regardless of the recipient's email client. I talk more about this later in the tutorial.


 Home: Introduction
 Part 1: An overview of Exchange 2007 message classifications
 Part 2: Displaying message classifications in Outlook 2007
 Part 3: Creating custom message classifications in Exchange 2007
 Part 4: Applying message classifications with Exchange 2007 transport rules

Brien M. Posey, MCSE
Brien M. Posey, MCSE, is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for his work with Exchange Server, and has previously received Microsoft's MVP award for Windows Server and Internet Information Server (IIS). Brien has served as CIO for a nationwide chain of hospitals and was once responsible for the Department of Information Management at Fort Knox. As a freelance technical writer, Brien has written for Microsoft, TechTarget, CNET, ZDNet, MSD2D, Relevant Technologies and other technology companies. You can visit Brien's personal Web site at

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