Tip: Create Forwarding Mailboxes for Custom Recipients

Custom recipients, such as mail-enabled users and contacts, don’t normally receive mail from users outside the organization because a custom recipient doesn’t have an e-mail address that resolves to a specific mailbox in your organization. At times, though, you might want external users, applications, or mail systems to be able to send mail to an address within your organization and then have Exchange forward this mail to an external mailbox.

In my organization, I’ve created forwarding mailboxes for pager alerts. This simple solution lets managers (and monitoring systems) within the organization quickly and easily send text pages to IT personnel. Here, I’ve set up mail-enabled contacts for each pager e-mail address, such as 8085551212@adatum.com, and then created a mailbox that forwards e-mail to the custom recipient. Generally, the display name of the mail-enabled contact is in the form Alert User Name, such as Alert William Stanek. The display name and e-mail address for the mailbox are in the form Z LastName and AE-MailAddress@myorg.com, such as Z Stanek and AWilliamS@adatum.com, respectively. Afterward, I hide the mailbox so that it isn’t displayed in the global address list or in other address lists, so users can see only the Alert William Stanek mailbox.

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To create a user account to receive mail and forward it offsite, follow these steps:
1. Using Exchange Management Console, create a mail-enabled contact for the user. Name the contact X – User Name, such as X – William Stanek. Be sure to establish an external e-mail address for the contact that refers to the user’s Internet address.
2. Using Exchange Management Console, create a mailbox-enabled user account in the domain. Name the account with the appropriate display name, such as William Stanek. Be sure to create an Exchange mailbox for the account, but don’t grant any special permission to the account. You might want to restrict the account so that the user can’t log on to any servers in the domain.
3. Using Exchange Management Console, access the Properties dialog box for the user’s mailbox.
4. On the Mail Flow Settings tab, select Delivery Options, and then click Properties.
5. In the Delivery Options dialog box, select the Forward To check box, and then click Browse.
6. In the Select Recipient dialog box, select the mail-enabled contact you created earlier, and then click OK three times. You can now use the user account to forward mail to the external mailbox.

From the Microsoft Press book Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Administrator’s Pocket Consultant, Second Edition by William R. Stanek.

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