Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Creating Inbox Rules with the EWS Managed API in Exchange 2010 SP1 with Powershell

One of the new features that was added in Exchange Web Services in 2010 SP1 (and improved in the Exchange Management Shell) was the ability to add Inbox Rules. Previously the only method for doing this programatically was a variety of Mapi methods some of which where not particular easy to use. Using the Exchange Management Shell New-InboxRule, Get-InboxRule and Set-InboxRule cmdlets offers an easy one-liner approach for the Admin but if you want to run your code as a non admin or you want to take advantage of EWS Impersonation to create rules on behalf of the user then Exchange Web Services is a good option for this.

There are 3 major components to rules
  • RuleConditions
  • RuleExceptions (Optional)
  • RuleActions
Rule Conditions and Exceptions are essential the same they use the same objecttype RulePredicates the difference is that the conditions in ruleconidtions dictate what items a rule fires on and the exceptions dictates the conditions it doesn't fire on.

With both the RulePredicates and RuleActions to cater for actions such as moving items, replying with an auto response etc you will need to use other EWS operations to find the EWSID's of the particular folder or autoreply message you want to work with so this will require the use of other code. Also for conditions if you have used an email address the address's stored in rule objects are in EX type so using the EWS Resolve names operations can be useful to resolve the name back to an SMTP Address or users displayName.

The following example shows how to create a Move rule based on the Subject of a message it uses a function to find the EWS folderid of the folder to move the message to. Note this script could be easily adapted to instead of using the Subject to move the message move the message based on a X-header eg by modifying the following line

$nrNewRule.Conditions.ContainsHeaderStrings.Add("X-SpamScore: 7");

would add a condition to move a message based on a message header.

For those following along with the module code I've been writing I've written some rule cmdlets to go along with this. I haven't tried to Jam everything to be a one-liner like the EMS cmdlets but the advantage of the module is that you can make use of the other cmldets for getting folders, address etc without the need for other large functions for example the same script to create a rule using the module is

New-MessageOps.MailboxFolder -p $ewsprofile –id User@domain.com -fp "\\" -FolderName "SPAMFolder"
$nrNewRule = New-Object Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.Rule
$nrNewRule.DisplayName = "SPAMfolderRule";
$nrNewRule.Conditions.ContainsSubjectStrings.Add("Sales Reports");
$nrNewRule.Actions.MoveToFolder = (get-messageops.mailboxfolder -p $ewsprofile –id User@domain.com -FolderPath "\\SPAMFolder").Id
New-MessageOps.InboxRule -p $ewsprofile –id User@domain.com -Rule $nrNewRule

The other thing I've done with the Module is create a cmdlet that flattens out the Rule conditions and Actions into something that an admin can read. The is useful in reporting as its can be hard to spot using the native objects to use this for example

Get-MessageOps.InboxRuleReport -p $ewsprofile | export-csv -notype c:\InboxRules.csv

Will produce a human readable export of the rules and condition into a CSV file. To use any of these module cmdlets you need the following download http://www.messageops.com/downloads/MessageOps-Exchange-Module.zip

For the straight EWS Managed API powershell version I've put a download of this script here the code itself looks like

$mailbox = "user@domain.com"
$fldname = "\\Inbox\Sales"

Function FindTargetFolder($FolderPath){
$tfTargetFolder = [Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.Folder]::Bind($service,[Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.WellKnownFolderName]::MsgFolderRoot,$mailbox)
$pfArray = $FolderPath.Split("\")
for ($lint = 2; $lint -lt $pfArray.Length; $lint++) {
$fvFolderView = new-object Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.FolderView(1)
$SfSearchFilter = new-object Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.SearchFilter+IsEqualTo([Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.FolderSchema]::DisplayName,$pfArray[$lint])
$findFolderResults = $service.FindFolders($tfTargetFolder.Id,$SfSearchFilter,$fvFolderView)
if ($findFolderResults.TotalCount -gt 0){
foreach($folder in $findFolderResults.Folders){
$tfTargetFolder = $folder
"Error Folder Not Found"
$tfTargetFolder = $null
$Global:findFolder = $tfTargetFolder

$dllpath = "C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange\Web Services\1.1\Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.dll"
$service = New-Object Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.ExchangeService([Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.ExchangeVersion]::Exchange2010_SP1)
$service.TraceEnabled = $false

$windowsIdentity = [System.Security.Principal.WindowsIdentity]::GetCurrent()
$sidbind = "LDAP://<SID=" + $windowsIdentity.user.Value.ToString() + ">"
$aceuser = [ADSI]$sidbind

$irInboxRules = service.GetInboxRules

$nrNewRule = New-Object Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.Rule
$nrNewRule.DisplayName = "Move all Mails with Sales Reports in Subject"
$nrNewRule.Conditions.ContainsSubjectStrings.Add("Sales Reports");


$nrNewRule.Actions.MoveToFolder = $Global:findFolder.Id.UniqueId

$RuleOperation = New-Object Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.createRuleOperation[] 1
$RuleOperation[0] = $nrNewRule



Nashiooka said...


This is great stuff, thank you so much. I was wondering if EWS Managed API has a rule action to apply a retention tag to an incoming message? Let me know what you think. Thanks.


Jeffrey said...

Getting some errors. Im new to this EWS API thing.

The term 'service.GetInboxRules' is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet, function, script file, or operable program
Check the spelling of the name, or if a path was included, verify that the path is correct and try again.
At C:\scripts\cewsrule.ps1:36 char:38
+ $irInboxRules = service.GetInboxRules <<<<
+ CategoryInfo : ObjectNotFound: (service.GetInboxRules:String) [], CommandNotFoundException
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : CommandNotFoundException

Cannot find an overload for "Bind" and the argument count: "3".
At C:\scripts\cewsrule.ps1:5 char:70
+ $tfTargetFolder = [Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.Folder]::Bind <<<< ($service,[Microsoft.Exchange.WebServi
+ CategoryInfo : NotSpecified: (:) [], MethodException
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : MethodCountCouldNotFindBest