Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 : Email Integration (part 3) - Configuring Incoming Email - Directory Management Service, Troubleshooting Incoming Email

2/7/2014 2:12:31 AM
2.1. Directory Management Service

Based on what we have covered already, users can send email to lists or libraries, but there is one problem: how will the users actually know or be able to find the email address for an emailed enabled list or library? Of course, you can just provide it to them, but a better solution might be to add it as a mail-enabled contact within Active Directory. This would allow it to appear in the Global Address List (GAL), which should enable users to find it much easier.

Of course, you can always manually add contacts directly through Exchange, and for a small number of lists or libraries, this is the best choice. However, if you have a large number and don't want to be burdened with having to create new contacts, an automated option is available: the Directory Management Service.

With Directory Management Service enabled, when a list or library is enabled for incoming email, SharePoint will automatically create a mail-enabled contact for you. Figure 6 shows the configuration options when you enable this service.

The first text box asks you for the organizational unit (OU) in Active Directory. This becomes the container for these newly created contacts. As shown in Figure 6, we're using an OU named SharePoint. To keep your SharePoint contacts separate, do not use a container that is used for non-SharePoint contacts or user accounts.

Figure 6. Configuring Directory Management Service

For SMTP server, just enter the fully qualified domain name for the SharePoint SMTP server.

In addition to creating contacts, Directory Management Service can also create and synchronize distribution groups in Active Directory. This would allow you to keep SharePoint group membership and distribution group membership consistent. Note that these groups in Active Directory are not automatically created and must still be individually approved by a SharePoint farm administrator.

With these settings in place, when a user specifies that a new list or library is to be email enabled, SharePoint will create the contact in Active Directory. Before this works, there is one additional configuration step that must be done. The Windows account that creates the contact is the identity account that is running the Central Administration v3 application pool. This account must be granted read, write, and create permissions to this OU in Active Directory.

To identify the proper account, start IIS Manager on the web server that is running the Central Administration website. Expand down through the server name and click Application Pools. In the list of application pools, select the one named SharePoint Central Administration v3. In the Actions pane, select Advanced Settings. You will be presented with a Settings dialog like the one shown in Figure 7.

Figure 7. Retrieving Application Pool identity

The account is the one listed next to Identity. Note that these steps are for Windows Server 2008. If you're running Windows Server 2003, the steps are similar.

With the account known, you can finally delegate (or grant) permissions to it within Active Directory. To do this, start Active Directory Users and Computers. If the OU container that you specified earlier has not been created, create it now. Then, right-click the container and select Delegate Control from the context menu. A wizard should start.

  • For Users And Groups, enter the account name.

  • For Tasks To Delegate, select Create A Custom Task To Delegate.

  • For Active Directory Object Type, accept the default setting.

For Permissions, check Read, Write, and Create All Child Objects. The screen should look like the one shown in Figure 8.

Figure 8. Delegating AD permissions for SharePoint

Concerns with Directory Management Service

There is a drawback to Directory Management Service that you should be aware of. In most cases, it will be your end-users who are probably configuring their lists and libraries to be email enabled, and they can specify any name they want. With Directory Management Service enabled, this name will automatically be published as a contact and be visible by everyone in the organization. Whether unintentional or malicious, this may be an unsuitable name. You must weigh the risks here and determine whether you want complete control over the names that are published.

2.2. Troubleshooting Incoming Email

As you can see, configuring incoming email can be complex. Here are a few troubleshooting tips that may help you solve why incoming mail is not working properly.

  • To identify whether the problem is with SharePoint or Exchange, take a look at the SMTP service's drop folder (by default, C:\Inetpub\mailroot\Drop) on the SharePoint web server. If you see files in here, Exchange routing is working properly, and the problem is most likely with SharePoint.

  • The program that picks up and processes the messages from this Drop folder is the Windows SharePoint Services Timer service. This is a regular Windows service and should be running under the same account that is the identity for the Central Administration application pool. This account will need the Modify NTFS permission to the Drop folder to ensure that it can read and then delete these files.

  • Enable logging for the SharePoint SMTP Service.

    Review the SharePoint logs. By default, these are stored here:

    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\LOGS
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