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How to configure Exchange Server 2007 mailboxes

Now that you can create a new mailbox in Exchange Server 2007 and associate a user with it, learn how to properly configure your Exchange 2007 mailbox.

This is part 2 from "Creating and managing recipients in Exchange Server 2007," excerpted from Chapter 3 of the book Microsoft Exchange Server 2007: A Beginner's Guide, written by Nick Cavalancia and published by The McGraw-Hill Companies, copyright 2008.

Now that you know how to create a new mailbox and associate a user with it, it's time to configure the mailbox. To start the configuration process, navigate within the Exchange Management Console to the Mailbox node under Recipient Configuration in the console tree. Select the desired mailbox from the results pane, and click the Properties link in the action pane, as shown in Figure 3-9.

Figure 3-9. Display the properties of a mailbox. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

Of the ten tabs that are available by default, there are five tabs of interest for our discussions: General, Email Addresses, Mailbox Settings, Mail Flow Settings, and Mailbox Features. On the General tab (Figure 3-10), you can learn where the user's mailbox is presently stored, the mailbox size, the associated user account, the user's location in Active Directory, and what alias the mailbox is using, The Custom Attributes button displays the 15 custom attributes supported by Exchange 2007.

Figure 3-10. The general properties of a mailbox. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

Moving to the Email Addresses tab (Figure 3-11), we find the various addresses that have been created for this user account and mailbox. You'll notice that there is only a Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) address. X.400 addresses are only needed if you plan on connecting to a foreign messaging system via X.400. You should also note that by leaving the Automatically Update Email Addresses Based On Recipient Policy check box selected, you can have these email addresses updated without ever having to physically visit each user account.

Figure 3-11. The View the email addresses associated with the mailbox. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

Custom attribute display names

You can modify the custom attribute display names by modifying the Active Directory schema with a tool like ADSIEdit. By editing the lDAPDisplayName attribute of the ms-Exch-Extension-Attribute-x object (where x is the number of the attribute) within the Schema container, shown in Figure 3-12, you will modify the appearance of your custom attributes, shown in Figure 3-13 from within the Active Directory Users And Computers MMC snap-in.

The attribute names don't change within the Exchange Management Console, because the field names are hard-coded into the interface rather than being pulled from the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) display name within Active Directory, as is the case with Active Directory Users And Computers.

Figure 3-12. Modifying the lDAPDisplayName attribute. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

Figure 3-13. The result of modifying the lDAPDisplayName attribute. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

Each user account can have multiple SMTP addresses, which comes in handy if you want mail addressed to more than one recipient to appear in the same mailbox. For example, if you are the administrator for your Web site, you'll have one internal SMTP address that coworkers will use to send you mail. But you could also have the postmaster and Webmaster email addresses assigned to your mailbox so that visitors on the Internet who send mail to the Webmaster will have their messages routed to your inbox.

This feature can also be used if some of your users have names that are difficult to spell. For example, a female user named "Gale" could have her first name misspelled as "Gayle" or "Gail." Adding SMTP addresses to Gale's account that include the various misspellings of her name will reduce the number of non-delivery reports (NDRs) returned to the message originators and will increase her chances that she will receive messages sent to her, even if her name is misspelled.

Tip: Remember that even though you can type just about anything as an alternative SMTP address, even with a different domain name, only those domain names that are supported by your Exchange organization will be routed to the recipient.

Managing your recipient policies

If you need to see what default addresses are being generated for mailbox recipients in your forest, navigate to the Hub Transport node under Organization Configuration within the console tree in the Exchange Management Console. Click the Email Addresses Policy tab, and select the default policy (Figure 3-14).

Select Edit from the action pane to launch the Edit Email Address Policy Wizard. Since there are no editable values on the Introduction page (because you are editing the default policy -- if you create a new policy, the grayed-out options will be available for selection), press Next to see the Conditions page, where you can review the recipients this policy will affect. Again, because this is the default policy, you cannot modify these values. Clicking the Preview button will show all the recipients (regardless of their type) affected by this policy. Clicking Next takes you to the Email Address page (Figure 3-15) which is the very reason we came here in the first place.

You should first notice that with a new installation of Exchange 2007, the default SMTP address matches that of the Active Directory domain name. Depending on your organization, this may not be a viable public address. If this is your case, you need to first add the domain to be supported, which I discussed in Chapter 2, and then modify the SMTP address value by selecting it and clicking the Edit button. You'll want to select the appropriate domain (.com, .net, etc.), like I've done in Figure 3-16, and click OK.

If your company supports more than one email domain and you want the additional email domain to apply to everyone within the organization, you'll need to add it to the list of supported domains (I discussed this in Chapter 2), and then you can add the extra SMTP address by clicking the Add button (there is also a drop-down list where you can select a custom email address) and selecting the to-be-added domain from the Email Address Domain drop-down list.

The Email Address Local Part value facilitates the customization of the individual user's alias before the domain name. The default is to have the email alias match the user's alias in Active Directory. If your company has a standard when it comes to naming user accounts that will not match the standard when naming email addresses, you should consider using one of the possible alias-naming values. Once you have the appropriate email addresses listed, click Next to see the Schedule page (Figure 3-17). Here, you can choose when to have the addressing changes applied.

Clicking Next takes you to the Edit Email Address Policy page (which is just a summary of changes to take place). Click Edit to complete the wizard.

If you have more than one address of a given type, such as multiple SMTP addresses, you'll need to select one to be the primary address, which will act as the reply-to address when email is originated using this account. To select such an address, highlight the desired address in the user's properties, and then click the Set As Reply button, as shown in Figure 3-18.

Figure 3-14. Navigating to the default email address policy. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

Figure 3-15. View the email addresses in the default policy. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

Figure 3-16. Editing the email addresses in the default policy. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

Figure 3-17. Establish the schedule to apply the policy. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

Figure 3-18. Set the reply-to address. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

Getting back to the email addresses properties of the mailbox, you can clear the Automatically Update Email Addresses Based On Recipient Policy check box to keep the email addresses from being affected by a recipient policy. You may want to do this, for example, if a user's email alias before the domain name does not conform to the corporate standard (e.g. JohnS versus the corporate standard of JSmith). Like the recipient policy, if you have multiple addresses of the same type, you can choose one to be the reply-to address by choosing one of the addresses and clicking the Set As Reply button. Keep in mind that if the Automatically Update Email Addresses Based On Recipient Policy check box is selected, your choice of reply-to addresses may be overridden by the settings in a recipient policy.

Moving on to the Mailbox Settings tab (Figure 3-19), you can manage messaging records management (MRM), where you can specify retention hold times and managed content settings (more on this topic in Chapter 17), as well as storage limits and deleted item retention times. These latter two settings, shown in Figure 3-20, default to utilizing values from the mailbox database where the mailbox resides.

Figure 3-19. The properties associated with a mailbox. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

Figure 3-20. Setting the storage quotas. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

Should you need to have values specific to a single mailbox, you can clear the Use Mailbox Database Defaults check box for either set of parameters and establish either storage quota values or define how long to retain "deleted" items before permanently removing them from the mailbox database. Storage quota values can, when storage limits are exceeded, warn the user, limit the user to only receive mail but not send, or even restrict both sending and receiving of messages.

Tip: If you are going to establish storage quota values at either an individual mailbox or mailbox database level, I highly recommend establishing settings that warn the user of excessive storage and even settings that restrict the user's ability to send messages. However, I typically do not recommend restricting the user's ability to receive. The reason is that while it does motivate the user to clean his or her mailbox more quickly, the only loser is the sender of a message, who receives an NDR. This may affect your company's ability to interact with customers, vendors, or even other internal users.

The Mail Flow Settings tab (Figure 3-21) establishes restrictions related to whether messages can come in to the mailbox, go out, and who messages should be delivered to.

Figure 3-21. Viewing the mail flow settings for a mailbox. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

To see the Delivery Options dialog box, shown in Figure 3-22, select Delivery Options and click the Properties button. The Send On Behalf area displays relevant permissions (which allow other users to send messages marked as being from them, but send on your behalf), forwarding settings (which can be used to make a copy of all received messages in another mailbox or to forward messages to an outside account), and recipient limits (which specify the number of recipients an individual message can have from a given mailbox.)

Figure 3-22. Modifying the delivery options. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

To see the message size restrictions, select the same named property from the Mail Flow Settings tab, and click Properties (Figure 3-23). Here, you can restrict the size of incoming and outgoing messages.

Figure 3-23. Modifying the message size restrictions. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

The Message Delivery Restrictions dialog box, shown in Figure 3-24, restricts who can send messages to a given mailbox.

Figure 3-24. Modifying the message delivery restrictions. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

The last tab we will look at is the Mailbox Features tab, shown in Figure 3-25. It lists the various Exchange features available to users of mailboxes. For most settings on this tab, the most you can do is disable or enable a given feature, which you may want to do for various reasons. For example, you may want to restrict usage of Outlook Web Access by certain users whom you do not want accessing email from outside the organization. Or you may have a licensing issue with your phone system provider that integrates with Exchange's unified messaging, so you need to limit the number of mailboxes with this feature turned on. This list may be potentially extended by third-party products.

Figure 3-25. Viewing the mailbox features. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

Tutorial: Creating and managing recipients in Exchange Server 2007

 Home: Introduction to Exchange 2007 recipients
 Part 1: Creating and configuring Exchange Server 2007 mailboxes
 Part 2: How to configure Exchange Server 2007 mailboxes
 Part 3: Deleting and reconnecting Exchange Server 2007 mailboxes
 Part 4: Setting up Exchange Server 2007 contacts
 Part 5: Creating mail users in Exchange Server 2007
 Part 6: How to create and configure Exchange 2007 distribution groups
 Part 7: Managing Exchange Server 2007 address lists

Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Beginner's Guide This chapter excerpt from Microsoft Exchange Server 2007: A Beginner's Guide, by Nick Cavalancia, is printed with permission from The McGraw-Hill Companies, copyright 2008.

Click here for the chapter download or purchase the book here.

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