Broadcast Messages to Online Users Only

Question:
Is there any way in Outlook/Exchange to send out a message to all users currently logged on (like a network broadcast)? We currently send system announcements (such as for emergency outages) to all users by e-mail, which takes extra resources and clutters mailboxes for those who aren’t even using the system.

Answer:
I’m not aware of any way to do that with Exchange 5.5 but I’ll make two related observations instead:

  • You can use a popular workaround of the “Expires After” field in your message. Create the message, click Options, set the “Expires After” to be a time shortly after the message will be irrelevant (if you’re restarting a server in an hour, nobody needs to know about it tomorrow morning, for example) and then the message will clear itself from any Inbox where it remains unread past the expiration time.
  • Exchange 2000 incorporates instant messaging tools that will allow you to check the status of logged-in users and utilize that information in messaging applications.
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