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Configuring Incoming Email on SharePoint 2010 – Part 1

 

There are certain benefits you can get from configuring your SharePoint system for incoming and outgoing emails.

For instance, with Incoming Email enabled in SharePoint, your teams members can automatically store the messages and attachments they send to other team members into lists and libraries without having to open your SharePoint site and doing a manual upload. This will help your organization move away from Public Folders.

On the other hand, with Outgoing Email enabled, users can set alerts and use them to track various items such as lists, library items, and documents and be notified whenever changes to these items occur. It will also allow email administrators to receive messages regarding important system issues.

Important Reminders Before Configuring Email

Before you set out to configure your SharePoint for incoming and outgoing email, there are some things you need to know.

  • SharePoint 2010, which is the version we’ll be referring to throughout this tutorial, relies on the SMTP service in Windows 2008 or Windows 2008 R2 for incoming email. Thus, that service will have to be enabled in SharePoint before anything else.
  • SharePoint 2010 supports configurations from any SMTP service for sending outgoing email. However, for this tutorial, we’ll be using Exchange 2010 and we’ll be assuming it has already been set up as its own member server in your organization and ready for use.
  • Finally, to work with Exchange 2010, you will have to configure send and receive connectors.

Enabling SMTP in SharePoint

Go to your SharePoint server and open the Server Manager. Next, click the Features node and then click the Add Features link.

Server Manager

This will launch the Add Features Wizard. In the Features list, scroll down until you find the item named SMTP Server. Click that.

Sharepoint add features

A dialog box will then pop-up, asking you whether you want to add role services and features required for the installation of the SMTP Server. Click the Add Required Role Services button.

add role services and features required for smtp server

In the succeeding screens, just click the Next buttons until you reach the one that says Confirm Installation Selections, at which you’re supposed to click Install.

Select Features

Web Server IIS

Select Role Services

confirm installation instructions

Barring any unforeseen hitches, you should reach the Installation Results screen with all items marked as Installation succeeded. If you did, click the Close button.

installation results

Configuring SMTP using the IIS 6.0 Manager

For you to be able to configure that SMTP service, the Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0 Management Tools (a.k.a. IIS 6.0 Manager) should be installed on your Windows 2008 R2 Server. To see if they’re already there, navigate to Start > All Programs > Administrative Tools.

IIS 6 Manager

If it hasn’t been installed yet, then just go to the Server Manager, click the Roles node, scroll down that large Roles pane on the right until you see the link called Add Role Services, and click that link.

server manager add role services

In the Add Role Services window, scroll down the list of Role services until you reach the IIS 6 Management Compatibility items. Check the relevant items as shown on the screenshot below and proceed with the installation. Notice that the items are grayed. That’s because, in our system, the IIS 6.0 Management tools have already been installed. We just wanted to show you where to go should you discover that those tools haven’t been installed yet.

select role services

With the IIS 6.0 Manager already installed, you can already configure the SMTP service. Launch the IIS 6.0 Manager (we showed you where to find it earlier) and navigate to SMTP Virtual Server #1.

IIS 6 Manager SMTP

Right-click on SMPT Virtual Server #1 and, in the context menu that appears, select Properties. This should bring up the SMTP Virtual Server #1 Properties window.

Most of the settings here may be left to their default values. However, you may click those tabs and change the property settings you find there to suit the needs of your organization. For instance, in the General tab, you may want to check Enable logging if you want to perform some troubleshooting.

IIS 6 Manager SMTP General tab

After closing the SMTP Virtual Server #1 Properties window, select the Domains item that you see under SMTP Virtual Server #1. Next, right-click on the domain name of the SMTP virtual server found in the right panel and select Properties.

IIS 6 Manager SMTP Domains

Select your desired location for the Drop directory. Of course, you may accept the default location if you want. Click OK when done.

IIS 6 Manager SMTP drop directory

You’re done with configuring the SMTP service. The next part is to ensure that the service will start automatically. To do that, go to Start > All Programs > Administrative Tools > Services.

Services

Once the Services window is up, scroll down until you see the item named Simple Male Transfer Protocol (SMTP). Normally, its Startup Type will be set to Manual.

smtp startup type manual

To change that to Automatic, double-click on the item in question to bring up its corresponding Properties window.  Expand the drop-down list box beside the Startup type property and select Automatic. Click Apply, then OK.

setting smtp startup type automatic

That practically covers what you have to do as with regards to SMTP configurations on your SharePoint server. The next step is to configure SMTP settings on the Exchange Server side.

Configuring SMTP on Exchange Server

Go to your Exchange Server and open up your Exchange Management Console. In the screenshot below, you’ll notice that, in our set up, we already created mailboxes for all our users. We’re going to assume you’ve also done that at your end.

Exchange Management Console mailboxes

The first thing to do here is to create a Send Connector. Navigate to the Organization Configuration on the left panel, select Hub Transport, and click the Send Connectors tab. Next, go to the Actions panel on the right and click New Send Connector.

exchange management console - new send connector

This will bring up the New Send Connector Introduction screen. Give the send connector a name, e.g. SharePoint 2010 Incoming, and specify its intended use, e.g. Internal. When done, click Next.

new send connector - introduction

In the Address Space window, you’ll then be asked to specify the address space to which the connector will route mail. First, click the Add button.

add address space

Next, enter the address of the server that’s handling your SMTP service into the Address field. In this case, that server is your SharePoint server, so enter its address there. Click OK.

address of server handling smtp service

That will add the address space to the list in the Address Space window. Click Next.

added address space

When you’re in the Network Settings window, you’ll notice the “Use domain name system…” option is grayed out. That’s because we’ve set the email to be sent “internally”. Hence, mail will be routed through a set of smart hosts. If instead we had set the emails to be sent out over the Internet, then the first option would not have been grayed out.

To add a smart host, click the Add button.

 New Send Connector - Network Settings

When you start adding a smart host, you’ll be required to enter the IP address of the server that’s hosting your SMTP service. Again, this server is no other than your SharePoint server. But instead of entering the FQDN like you did earlier, which is given as the second option, it’s recommended that you enter the numeric IP address. This will give you a better chance of connecting in case certain connectivity problems occur in the future.

smart host ip address

After clicking OK, you’ll see the IP address added to the list of smart hosts. Click Next.

new send connector - network settings smart host

In the succeeding window named Configure smart host authentication settings, just leave the option to None and click Next.

configure smart host authentication settings

When you’re in the Source Server window, make sure your Hub Transport server is on that list. In a typical Exchange installation, which is what we have, a single Exchange server is set to handle all three roles (i.e., Mailbox, Client Access, and Hub Transport). So if you find your Exchange server there, chances are, you’re good to go. Click Next.

new send connector source server

Finally, you’ll be shown a summary of your new Send Connector configurations. Click New.

summary of new send connector configurations

This will create the new send connector. Once creation is complete, click Finish.

new send connector complete

new send connector

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