Performing Administrative Tasks Using Central Administration (part 15) - E-Mail And Text Messages

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2.2. E-Mail And Text Messages (SMS)

The E-Mail And Text Messages (SMS) section of SharePoint Central Administration provides the communication between SharePoint components and Microsoft Outlook using outgoing e-mail settings. Settings made in this section also allow e-mail messages to be received by SharePoint lists and libraries after you configure incoming e-mail settings. New to SharePoint 2010 is the ability to utilize SMS (Short Messaging Service) to deliver alerts and notifications to users, including health and monitoring information to your administrators.

2.2.1. Configure Outgoing E-mail Settings

For any messages to be sent from SharePoint 2010, such as alerts, notifications, and site invitations, you need to configure an SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) server that will be responsible for routing the messages. This server can be any SMTP-compliant server that you can connect to using port 25 from the SharePoint 2010 server. The identification of this server can be specified as either the IP address, NetBIOS name, or a Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) of the SMTP server. However, if you are using a NetBIOS name or an FQDN, a method of name resolution has to be available to locate the SMTP server.


Best Practices Firewalls between the SharePoint 2010 server and the outgoing e-mail server can cause outgoing mail to fail, so be sure to configure the firewall to allow SMTP traffic.

When you configure the outgoing e-mail server settings, you can specify different From and Reply-to addresses for your e-mail messages. For instance, you could configure the From address that will display to mail recipients as, but then specify that users respond using the Reply-to address These settings are configured at the farm level and will be used by all Web applications unless they are overridden at the Web application level by specifying alternative values.

2.2.2. Configure Incoming E-mail Settings

SharePoint 2010 has the ability to allow e-mail messages to be routed directly to a list or library in a site so that the actual e-mail messages, along with any attachments, appear in the list or library. The principle behind this is very simple—you create a new list or library in a Team Site and enable it for e-mail. This creates a new contact in Active Directory using the SharePoint Directory Service, and people can send e-mail messages to the contact’s mail address. When an e-mail message is sent to this address, it is routed to the configured drop folder on the SharePoint 2010 server. When it arrives in the drop folder, it will wait until the SPTimer service checks the folder and then routes the e-mail message to the list configured with that e-mail address.

Before configuring the incoming mail settings, you need an SMTP server available on the local SharePoint 2010 server to do mail routing. You add the SMTP service using the server manager to install the SMTP Server feature. For added security, you can add only the allowed mail servers in your organization to relay through this local SMTP server. This is accomplished using the properties of the SMTP service in IIS.

Generally speaking, you must complete the following tasks to configure the server side of incoming e-mail messages in SharePoint 2010.

  1. Install the SMTP service using IIS.

  2. In Active Directory, create an organizational unit (OU) in which the new distribution groups or contacts will be created.

  3. In Central Administration, click Configure Incoming E-Mail Settings and specify the OU you just created in Active Directory settings for e-mail Web services.


The name of the OU you create must be in the format of the full distinguished name, for example, OU=sharepointgroups,DC=contoso,DC=com.

Configuring Server Side Incoming E-Mail To configure server side incoming e-mail, first click the Configure Incoming E-Mail Settings link and then complete the following steps.

  1. Select the Yes option to enable sites on this server to receive e-mail messages.

  2. Leave the default option of Automatic.


    Use the Advanced setting if you need to specify a drop box other than that of the default SMTP service.

  3. Select the Yes option for the SharePoint Directory Management Service.


    If you select the Use Remote option, you can specify another SharePoint server that is configured to manage the SharePoint Directory Management Service.

  4. Enter the full distinguished name of the OU where you want distributions lists to be created.

  5. Enter the name of the SMTP mail server.

  6. Select the permission options for the tasks that the users can perform.

  7. Specify the Incoming E-Mail Server Display Address.

  8. Specify the Safe E-Mail Server Settings.

Configuring List or Library Side E-Mail Settings Now that you have configured the server side e-mail settings, you can now go to lists and libraries in SharePoint 2010 sites and configure them to receive e-mail as well as specify which e-mail address each list will used to receive e-mails. Use the following steps to configure these options.

  1. Navigate to a document library and select Library Settings on the Ribbon.

  2. In the Communications section, select E-Mail Settings to open the Change E-Mail Settings page.

  3. Configure any of the following options for incoming e-mail for that library.

    • Incoming E-Mail Select Yes to enable e-mail on the library and specify the e-mail address.

    • E-Mail Attachments Choose how you want to group the e-mail attachments that will be stored in the library. The default is for all attachments to be stored in the root folder.

    • E-Mail Message Choose Yes to have the original e-mail message (.eml file) in the document library as an attachment.

    • E-Mail Invitations Choose Yes if you want this library to receive and display meeting request e-mails.

    • E-Mail Security Select the level of security on the document library to specify who can add items. By default, only those senders who have write access to the library will be able to send e-mail items to the library; however, you can change this to allow all senders of mail to populate the library.

After completing the e-mail settings process, a contact is created in the specified OU in Active Directory using the directory service manager. If you want to add additional e-mail addresses to that contact to support external mail addresses, you can use the Active Directory Users And Computers tool to specify additional e-mail SMTP addresses.

2.2.3. Configure Mobile Account

A new feature in SharePoint 2010 allows administrators to configure a corporate SMS service that can deliver alerts and notifications to the users. This would allow administrators to receive system notification or health and monitoring alerts directly to their Windows Mobile device. SMS services can also be provided by third-party companies that may require user credentials when accessing the SMS provider. You can specify a user name and password if the service requires them.

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