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How to use automatic mail forwarding with Exchange and Domino

Hello. I have an Exchange 2000 server as the front SMTP interface with the Internet and an internal Domino server, and I want all incoming mail received by Exchange to be forwarded to the appropriate user's inbox in Domino.

The problem I'm suffering from is Automatic Mail Forwarding, from Exchange to Domino and also vice versa.

From Exchange to Domino:

  1. I installed the Exchange Lotus Notes Connector and tried it for Directory Synchronization, but nothing happens. I get an error in the Windows Event Viewer: "Process LME-NOTES-NTSMEX terminated unexpectedly," the error's category is Notes Interface. Also nothing gets transferred to Domino when an Internet mail is received by Exchange.

  2. If I try the "Forwarding Address" option in the user's properties in AD, I can only forward to another user in AD, I can't type in a mail address to forward to.
If I chose to let Domino be the front SMTP server, I still have a problem from Domino to Exchange:
  1. When I use the "Forwarding Address" field in the user's person document in Domino and put in his Exchange mail address, it becomes his sole mail address and nothing is received in Domino if a mail is sent to his Domino mail address.

  2. Creating a mail rule in the user's mail file won't work either, because you have to chose someone from the Domino Directory to forward (much like Exchange)

I guess there are a number of ways to try to answer this question. Trying to field very use-specific tactical questions without a real in-depth probe of the environment is going to be tough. I'll start with a tactical suggestion and try to move toward more strategic thinking.

First, at the most tactical, were you aware that the MS team released an updated Exchange to Domino connector in July of 2004?

My clients like me to think outside the box, though. Here's what goes through my head when I hear a question like this. "What are you really trying to do?" It sounds to me like you have users that need to get mail from both environments. I see this a lot, where a group of people with one e-mail environment gets swallowed up by a larger group with the other.

What's interesting, though, is that both products support IMAP -- so why not do this at the client side? Your Lotus Notes client can be set up to retrieve e-mail from an IMAP server like Exchange in addition to its normal mail connection to the Domino server. So, too, the Outlook client can be set up to retrieve e-mail from an IMAP server. Domino comes complete with an IMAP interface. Unlike POP3, IMAP supports folder synchronization, trash folders and other such things. Probably 90% of the time your message format fidelity will be excellent from whichever client you use. That means users can use whichever client they're most often communicating with. This is especially true of inbound Internet mail. On the rare occasion that it's not good enough, they can just launch the native client. This has the distinct advantage of freeing you totally from a very large administrative burden. Each environment has its own delivery mechanism and schema. You can make whichever one you want the primary directory for inbound Internet mail, or you can put a front-end process in place that splits inbound Internet mail based on user preference. Even better, neither product has to run an "add-in" process or other potentially problematic tool.

There are other ways to handle this, of course. I'm sure the IBM folks would want me to push the idea that you can actually use the Outlook client as a reader for Domino mail, and thus give users the client they want even if you globally switch to Domino. Switching globally from Domino to Exchange is much harder because Domino isn't about just mail and calendaring -- so that additional "not mail" functionality (about 80% of the product) cannot be duplicated on the Exchange side without massive rework.

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