Popular Exchange Intelligent Message Filter tool gets a tune up

Version 3 of the popular add-on tool, IMF Tune, offers even more antispam features to help administrators improve the functionality of Exchange Server's Intelligent Message Filter.

WinDeveloper.com's IMF Tune has long commanded a good reputation amongst Exchange Server administrators for its ability to address configuration shortcomings native to the Exchange Intelligent Message Filter (IMF).

The third-party add-on allows for fine-grained adjustments to the behavior of Exchange IMF. Among its biggest past features were the ability to integrate most any antispam filter into Exchange Server, easy whitelisting and blacklisting, and detailed activity logging.

WinDeveloper.com recently released a public beta of IMF version 3, which has been running internally as a development product for several months. After extensive user feedback on the previous version, many new features have been added:

  • The way the program deals with archived emails and logs has been totally reworked. The size of log files is now configurable (it used to top out automatically at 10 MB per log), and it's now possible to have the program generate daily logs instead of logs that are segmented at some arbitrary size interval. Older logs can also be purged automatically as needed.

  • A new "Keyword Reporting" feature makes it possible to create reports that describe how much (or little) email is matching the whitelists, blacklists and Spam Confidence Level (SCL) rules. This way, if you find a given rule is not useful, it can be refined or discarded entirely.

  • More advanced SCL rules are now possible, with a broad range of conditions and exceptions that can be applied to each email message, including many new criteria that only exist in IMF Tune version 3. The rules are patterned loosely after the rules system in Microsoft Outlook, so multiple conditions or exceptions can be stacked or chained together through a wizard interface, and the resulting rule is described in plain English.

  • Better sender-based filtering, so that a wider range of sender fields can be processed (including Resent-From and Resent-Sender). This way, legitimately forwarded messages don't get spam-trapped.

  • Processing for MIME body-part headers, so that MIME-encoded bodies of email messages have their contents processed by IMF Tune as well (where before it was only the header block).

More antispam resources for Exchange Server:

Tip: Be careful when editing the Exchange IMF custom configuration file

Crash Course: Exchange Intelligent Message Filter

Learning Guide: How to fight spam on Exchange Server

Reference Center: Antispam software and spam-filtering tips

Right now, the beta of IMF Tune version 3.0 doesn't ship with updated documentation (it still uses the docs from 2.8). But updates to the documentation and the supplementary utilities should be included by the time the product is formally released.

IMF Tune pricing varies. For enterprise licenses, it costs U.S. $315 for one to three servers, $265 for four to nine servers, and $210 for 10 or more servers.

About the author: Serdar Yegulalp is editor of Windows Insight, a newsletter devoted to hints, tips, tricks, news and goodies for all flavors of Windows users.

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This was first published in July 2007
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