Manage Learn to apply best practices and optimize your operations.

Part 2: How to create message classifications for Exchange Server 2007 email

Learn how to create an Exchange Server 2007 transport rule that classifies email -- as confidential, for example -- based on message content or keywords specified by the administrator.

In Part 1, we created a generic confidentiality disclaimer that could be automatically added to any email message sent by Exchange Server 2007 users. In some companies, a confidentiality disclaimer might even be the exception rather than the rule. So what do you do when some, but not all, email messages need to be flagged as confidential?

One solution to this problem is to mark messages with specific message classifications. You can then apply Exchange 2007 transport rules to messages with certain classifications.

For example, suppose that your company was working on a top-secret project that was known internally as "Project Delta." If this were the case, you could create a message classification in which any message containing the word "Delta" would be flagged as confidential. You could then automatically associate a confidentiality disclaimer with the email messages that were classified as confidential.

To configure an Exchange 2007 message classification transport rule in Exchange Server 2007:

  1. Open the Exchange Management Console and navigating to Organization Configuration -> Hub Transport.

  2. Go to the Transport Rules tab and then click the New Transport Rule link found in the Actions pane to launch the New Transport Rule.

  3. Assign a name to the new rule. For the purpose of this article, I'll call the rule "Delta."

  4. After entering Delta as the rule name, click Next to continue to the Conditions screen.

  5. Because we are basing this Exchange 2007 transport rule on the message content, select the "When Subject field or the Body of the Message Contains Specific Words" checkbox.

  6. The lower half of the screen will now display the text "When Subject Field or the Body of the Message Contains Specific Words." The phrase Specific Words is hyperlinked. Click on this hyperlink, and you will be given the opportunity to enter the words to which the rule should apply. Enter the words "Project Delta." The hyperlink will be changed to reflect these words, as shown in Figure E.

    Figure E: This rule will apply to email containing the words "Project Delta."
    Figure E

  7. Click Next and you'll be taken to the Actions screen. Select the "Apply Message Classification" checkbox to add those words to the bottom of the screen.

  8. Now we must assign an actual classification. To do so, click the Message Classification link and you will be taken to the Select Message Classification dialog box shown in Figure F.

    Figure F: Assign a classification to messages to which the rule applies.
    Figure F

  9. Since our goal is to classify any messages containing the words "Project Delta" as confidential, select the ExCompanyConfidential option from the list, and click OK.

  10. Click Next and you will be taken to the Exceptions screen. For this particular example, let's not worry about any exceptions. Just click Next one more time, and then click the New button to create the new Exchange Server 2007 transport rule.

  11. Once the rule has been created, click Finish. Notice that we never created any sort of confidentiality disclaimer. All we did was to classify certain messages as being confidential. In spite of this, when email messages containing the words "Project Delta" are viewed, Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Web Access will display a banner at the top of the screen saying:

    Company Confidential – This message contains proprietary information and should be handled confidentially.


 Home: Introduction
 Part 1: How to add a disclaimer to Exchange Server 2007 email
 Part 2: How to create message classifications for Exchange Server 2007 email

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

Dig Deeper on Exchange Server setup and troubleshooting

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.