exporting Outlook e-mail message rules

When I dived into the world of e-mail filtering many years ago, I thought it should be done using sieve, but sieve wasn’t available, where I needed it.

I started using procmail, because it was available, where I most needed e-mail filtering.

I also started a project writing rules in Python accessing IMAP servers. That approach works, but the software runs on the client side — whereas you rather want e-mail filtering to run on the server side, triggered by incoming messages.

In the Windows world and rather in the Microsoft Outlook/Exchange universe none of them is suitable. To be honest with you: my Python software also copes with Exchange servers offering IMAP access, but you usually want to avoid persuading your Exchange admin into activating Exchange’s IMAP interface — you look suspicious or even criminal, if you ask for that.

Now how to properly organise your Outlook rules?

Once in a while I search the web for “outlook rules export dump” …

Today I came across some thread on Superuser.com, and it led me to Sperry Software’s “Power Rules Manager“. I rather seems to be a nice tool. It is not free software, but it is not expensive, and it seems worth the USD 40 they want.

  • You are able to export the rules to some XML format — the XML looks a little fat, but that’s not too bad. I am going to indent and tidy my current export file, then I will add some comments shedding some light on my rules organisation.
  • You can also pretty-print the rules into various document formats. For the time being I don’t really want to do that.


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