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Email Address Policies and the Apostrophe

On December 23, 2016
1 Comment
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Exchange Server 2007 Exchange Server 2010 Exchange Server 2013 Exchange Server 2016Exchange email adress policies are used to generate addresses since the early days of Exchange. Email address policies are used to automatically generate addresses for various protocols (SMTP, FAX, CCMAIL, MSMAIL). These overall use of address policies is well documented, but there is still some odd behaviour of the policies when it comes to language specific character handling.

The following list describes the common parameters:

  • %s = Surname (Last Name)
  • %g = Given Name (First Name)
  • %i = Middle Initial
  • %d = Display Name
  • %m = Exchange Alias
  • %rxy = Replace all subsequent characters x with character y
  • %rxx = Remove all subsequent characters x

All language specific characters and other non RFC 821/822 compliant characters are either translated or removed.

Source character Target character in SMTP address
 Space  Hypen
 A - Z | a -z  A - Z | a - z
 Ä, Ö, Ü | ä, ö, ü  Ae, Oe, Ue | ae, oe, ue
 ß  ss
 áàâ | ÁÀÂ  a | A
 éèê | ÉÈÊ  e | E
 íìî | ÍÌÎ  i | I
 óòô | ÓÒÔ  o | O
 úùû | ÚÙÛ  u | U
 §  S
 µ  M
 " ( ) ´ [ ] : . < > , ;  Omitted

 

Example 1

User without any language specific characters

Given Name: John
Last Name : Doe
Alias     : JohnDoe

Email address policy results

%g.%s@mcsmemail.de  = John.Doe@mcsmemail.de
%m@mcsmemail.de     = JohnDoe@mcsmemail.de
%1g_%s@mcsmemail.de = J_Doe@mcsmemail.de

 

Example 2

User with German language specific characters

Given Name: Michael
Last Name : Müller
Alias     : Michael Mueller

Email address policy results

%g.%s@mcsmemail.de  = Michael.Mueller@mcsmemail.de
%m@mcsmemail.de     = Michael-Mueller@mcsmemail.de
%2g%s@mcsmemail.de  = MiMueller@mcsmemail.de

 

Example 3

User with Scottish language specific characters

Given Name: Ian
Last Name : O'Connell
Alias     : IanOConnell

Email address policy results

%g.%s@mcsmemail.de  = Ian.O'Connell@mcsmemail.de
%m@mcsmemail.de     = IanOConnell@mcsmemail.de
%3g%5s@mcsmemail.de = IanO'Con@mcsmemail.de

 

Problem

As you might have noticed, the apostrophe is not handled as a special character but an RFC compliant character. The address policy is applied without any issues at all.

But a SMTP address containing an apostrophe leads to email transport errors and must be removed.

 

Solution

You can use the replacement parameter to strip all apostrophes from the surname by using the following email address policy.

%g.%r''%s@mcsmemail.de = Ian.OConnell@mcsmemail.de

This example will only remove apostrophes from the surname (%s) as the replacement parameter is placed in front of the surname parameter.

 

Links

 

 



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