We're looking for a way to create a "discussion forum" kind of setup in Zimbra, where people can post messages, read old messages, reply to messages, etc.

I've found a method that does just about everything we need ... with one very glaring issue. Here's the setup:

  • zimbra account called "math-forum" created, logins disabled except via "View Mail" from admin console
  • Inbox for math-forum is shared out to people with "viewer" role
  • people can post messages via e-mail to "math-forum"
  • people can view messages via the shared folder
  • people can reply to these messages same as any other message
  • only admin users can delete messages

The issue is that when people hit reply while reading messages in the shared folder, the message is addressed to the person who sent the message, and not to "math-forum". Which makes sense, as that is how e-mail works (you reply to the sender, not the recipient). And one can use reply-all to kind of work around that (except it puts the math-forum address into CC: instead of TO:, so people have to cut/paste, etc).

What I was wondering is if anyone knows of a way to:
  • rewrite the "Reply-To" header on messages sent to "math-forum" to put the "math-forum" address in (making replies go back to the "math-forum", but keeping the From header intact), or
  • force replies to messages in a shared folder to always go to a certain address, or
  • create "discussion forums" within Zimbra

Unfortunately, the filters interface in Zimbra doesn't have a "re-write header X to Y" or "add header X" option. That would be the simplest solution, as we could then configure the account with a filter that added/re-wrote the Reply-To header to the address of the account.

The second option would probably take a lot of re-working the zimbra internals and be a pain to administer.

The third option would be best long-term solution, as it would require using up licenses for each forum.

If distribution lists were more like mailing lists where the Reply-To header was set to the address of the list, then this would be a moot point, and could be done via mailing lists and shared folders. [hint, hint]

Suggestions? Comments? Criticisms?