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SBS2003, Exchange Server 2003 & Pop3 eMail (vpop3). I need to "leave messages on server". Help please.

Hi

I'm an IT consultant who is looking to add a Windows 2003 Small Business Server / Exchange 2003 feather to my cap.
I have a client who is now using this sytem, and I need to familiarise myself with it so that I can provide ongoing support to his small business (11 seats).

I have my own peer to peer XP Pro based network of 4 pc's in my offices, and I've purchased SBS 2003 with it in mind to setup a server and domain etc to replace my workgroup based network.  I like the idea of Outlook Web Access, contacts, central email message store and an online diary.

My server is up and running, but I'm struggling a little with my email.  I currently pay a provider to host my domain and provide a catchall pop3 email box.  I use VPOP3 on my existing network to download and route email from the catchall mailbox appropriately.  I configure vpop3 to leave copies on the mail server & remove messages after 5 days.  I need this because I also have a Blackberry mobile phone which receives my email.  It is essential that I have access to this email throughout the day on  my mobile device, as I am always on clients sites, not usually sat in my offices.

There doesn't appear (from my admittedly limited knowledge) anyway to configure the pop3 connector in sbs2003 to leave messages on the server, so that my Blackberry gets a chance to download them also.  I have been playing with setting up vpop3 on the exchange server so that it can download my pop3 email and then LAN forward to exchange.  vpop3 recommends editing etc/services to change smtp from port 25 to port 1025 (because both services cannot bind to the same port), but i can't get the smtp service on sbs2003 to start if i do this. Maybe i am just doing it wrong ... not sure.

I'm familiar with vpop3 and have a 10 user license which is why I have been dabbling with it.  I'm open to suggestions to use any other product somebody may recommend, just so long as it works :)

I have considered ditching my pop3 email, getting a fixed ip address for my server and registering mail.mycompany.co.uk with nominet and accepting a direct smtp feed.  I'm assuming this is how you go about it.  Problem is, I still need the email to go to my blackberry.  Perhaps i can set up some kind of forwarding of the smtp mail to a pop3 box which my blackberry monitors?  Maybe exchange server has a built-in method for throwing the mail out to my blackberry?

I'm just looking for any suggestions you experts might be able to make as to a viable solution for handling my email.  The only criteria is that exchange must be able to pickup the mail, and so must my blackberry.

Suggestions please.  Would love discussions with experts who have faced a similar problem and found a solution :)

Jase
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eMicros
Asked:
eMicros
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1 Solution
 
xqsCommented:
Hi Jase,

I'm not sure what blackberry service you are using, but the smaller companies I have seen doing this, had their blackberry users setup on a provider mailbox that connected to Exchange (IMAP) and took care of delivering to the blackberry. So you download the messages and this (in this case T-Mobile) service read the messages as well. I guess that would be similar to what you already suggest, by having it forwarded to a pop3 mailbox that would work with your Blackberry. I'm not sure that would be an ideal solution for you in this case. Personally I didn't like this because of the lack of security. But if you're ok with it, it might be working.

Other suggestions:
- get rid of the blackberry and get yourself a mobile 5 device that has the Messaging Security Feature Pack (MSFP) installed to allow for similar functionallity as the Blackberry (make sure that the device you're getting has this, not all of the providers have released them yet).
- buy a Blackberry Enterprise server ;)

I would get rid of the BB...
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eMicrosAuthor Commented:
Hi, thanks for your quick reply.

I'm happy to replace my BB with another mobile email device if that makes things easier, but I'm not sure I understand the rest of your suggestion.

Using the inbuilt sbs2003 pop3 connector, my exhange server is picking up emails and working just fine.  But my BB doesn't get a chance to pick them up because they get deleted once received.  I just need mobile mail, as well as my exchange server (so i can pick up emails and view my diary across the web from any other pc using OWA).

Can you recommend something specifically?

Thanks
Jase
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xqsCommented:
Any Windows Mobile5 with the msfp installed can be configured to receive messages from Exchange 2003 (SP2) at no additional cost (except the data that is transferred from the server to your device). You do however need to configure your SBS to support the service, but that would be a great learning experience for you as well ;)

Here are some devices:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/business/5/default.mspx

Other links about the direct push technology:
http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Exchange-2003-Mobile-Messaging-Part1-Microsoft-DirectPush-technology.html
http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/evaluation/features/mobility/e2k3sp2.mspx
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icky2000Commented:
The other option is to continue using your Blackberry device and purchase the Blackberry Enterprise Server from RIM. It would allow your Blackberry devices to get the data directly from the Exchange server. Given the number of Blackberry devices in question here, however, I don't think you want to do that (Blackberry Enterprise Server costs something like $3,000).
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SembeeCommented:
If you want to learn Exchange, then the first thing you should do is dump the POP3 connector.
Get yourself a real domain name and get it delivered to the Exchange server directly. You can then see Exchange work in the way that it was designed.

As you already have the Blackberry, get your mobile phone provider to change the device to Enterprise (this is a toggle they make at their end) and then get the BES Express Edition from RIM. This is free for one Blackberry.
Put one of the virtual server technologies on to the server and then install BES in to that.

Simon.
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eMicrosAuthor Commented:
Hi all

I haven't replied for a while because i'm trying to sort out my fixed ip and new smtp email domain.
I have a pop3 email account, which the service provider has named mail.xxx.xx.xx
I already have registered xxx.  I will need to cancel this pop3 email, and then I'm guessing that i need to register the name my mail with nominet at the same fixed ip address as my sbs2003 server?

Is this what I need to do?

I'm a little reticent to do it because of potential downtime between me cancelling my pop3 mailbox and getting the other part of it set up.  When i'm sure i'm have the right plan, i'll get onto it.

Thanks
Jase
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SembeeCommented:
Nothing to register.

First setup Exchange to accept email for your domain.
Then as you already have mail.xxx simply ask the service provider to change the IP address for that host to your fixed IP address.
Email will start coming in directory to Exchange.
Leave whatever solution is collecting email from the POP3 account in place for at least 48 hours to ensure that everything has been collected. Only then cancel the POP3 account.

Simon.
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eMicrosAuthor Commented:
I havent had a chance to put the suggestion in place for using SMTP instead of POP3, which is why I have yet to reply.

Jason
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redseatechnologiesCommented:
Hi eMicros,

While that may be true, it doesnt mean that Sembee's answer isnt correct - and does not stop you from coming back to ask follow up questions

thanks

-red
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eMicrosAuthor Commented:
Hi.

You're right of course.  But how can i comment on whether the solution provided is appropriate  when I haven't had an opportunity to try it?

I am currently waiting to change broadband provider so that i can get a fixed IP address for my server.  Until that happens, I can't update the mail record with the new address.  Only then will I be able to use the Blackberry enterprise server software recommended and see if the suggestion is a viable solution.  

Nobody put forward a suggestion on how I can continue to use POP3 with exchange and a blackberry, which was my question.

I'll thank the appropriate contributors when I've got it working, or ask more questions if I need assistance.

Many thanks
Jase
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redseatechnologiesCommented:
No worries,

I am only here to provide recommendations, you have made some very good points, and I dare say that Moderators will keep this question open for a little while longer.

However, if there is no activity in this question for more than 21 days again, it will be due for cleanup again

Thanks

-red
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eMicrosAuthor Commented:
Hello again.

I now have my new 8mb broadband service with fixed IP.
I have configured Exchange server 2003 to the best of my ability and am using an smtp test tool to send email to my servers IP.
I keep getting the following error :

501 5.5.4 Invalid Address

I am assuming this is because there is no mx record in dns for my smtp server?
My exchange server is also configured to send using dns.

Problem i have is that i need to keep my existing pop3 mail until i know i have exchange configured correctly.
If i change my domains mx record to point at my server, i wont be able to collect my pop3 and my mail will be down until i've got the smtp working.  I need to seamlessly (as possible) switch from one to the other.

Any suggestion as to how i can test my exchange server?  

Note: the above (perceived) scenario is based on my assumptions.  I may be wrong about mx records etc etc and stand to be corrected :)

Any suggestions appreciated to move this forward - I can then start looking at BES :)

Thanks
Jason

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SembeeCommented:
Without MX records you cannot send email in. It shouldn't affect outbound email. Make sure that everything about the server is valid - DNS records, PTR record and the SMTP banner.
http://www.amset.info/exchange/dnsconfig.asp

Then ensure that the user's primary email address is also valid.
Basically anything .local in any of the above information could trigger an error message.

Simon.
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eMicrosAuthor Commented:
Thanks

I can confirm that I can send email successfully through my exchange server from an outlook 2003 client on a pc connected to the domain.  I need to update the mx records now and it should all be working.

So the final piece will be setting up BES to forward the emails to my blackberry.  Any way i can test this before i update these mx records and lose my pop3 mail?

Thanks
Jase
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SembeeCommented:
Unfortunately, with the way that the BES works, you will need to get email coming in directly to the Exchange server. The activation process uses a specially crafted email. If that email isn't received by the BES (which it will not unless the message delivery is handled by Exchange directly - not the POP3 system) then the activation will not take place.

Simon.
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eMicrosAuthor Commented:
Ok, thanks Simon.  I will get these mx records updated.

Jase
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eMicrosAuthor Commented:
Hi

I am trying to configure BES, not really sure what I am doing, but the obvious thing is to add a user.
I do so from Blackberry Manager, and it throws up the users on the server.  I select myself and go through the wizard, and the user appears in the list with status of "initializing".

Problem is, it's been that way for over 24 hours.  I try to assign my blackberry to the user by hooking it up to a usb port and assigning device to me.  It comes back with an error saying user is unknown because it is still initializing, which may take a few minutes.  And it's been over 24 hours.

I've tried deleting the user, but it sits there in the "users pending deletion" list and goes nowhere.  If i then try to add another user, it tells me i haven't enough licenses (which is fair enough, its free only for one CAL).  So, I have restored the user back into the list and it still sits there with "initializing".  I have been through the blackberry configuration and clicked every test button, to which they all pass (network, database etc).

I initially installed BES.
I then ran setup again and "upgraded to BES with MDS services", which was a guess, but seemed the right thing to do.

I'm in deep here :)  MX records in process of changing over, my pop3 no longer available, my blackberry therefore can no longer pick up my emails on the go.  And the blackberry server software won't add me as a user.

HELP!

Many thanks
Jason
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SembeeCommented:
Does the Blackberry have the enterprise options?
You need to look on the device for "Enterprise Activation". It might be on the home page or in the options. If you cannot see it, then you need to speak to your mobile phone company and get them to activate that feature.

Blackberry comes in three flavours.

Consumer - POP3 access only
Enterprise - requires a BES
Mixed - you get both.

You need to be in at least mixed.

Simon.
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eMicrosAuthor Commented:
Thanks Simon

I can see from your earlier post that you mentioned this previously, but I'd forgotten about it :)
No option on handheld, so I'll speak with Vodafone about this.

In the meantime, and I stand to be corrected, I don't think this is what is holding up the user initialization.  I havent associated any blackberry device with the user yet, as it won't let me util the user status changes. How would it know if my bb is enterpirse yet?

Thanks for your assistance, really appreciated.
Jase
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SembeeCommented:
The status of initialising means that a Blackberry hasn't connected yet.

Until it is Enterprise enabled you cannot attach it to a BES using any method.

The presence of the Enterprise Activation options means that the change has been made.
I always activate Blackberry over the air - so using the Enterprise Activation tool which sends an email that the BES picks up.

Simon.
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eMicrosAuthor Commented:
Thanks Simon, I'll get onto it.

Jason
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eMicrosAuthor Commented:
I have had the handheld enterprise enabled, or at least it is in the process of doing so.
My email has started feeding into my Enterprise Server in the last half an hour, so things are progressing along nicely.

Where will i find this Enterprise Activation option?  In the settings screen on the handheld?  I've got a 7100V

Thanks
Jase
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SembeeCommented:
It will be in one of two places.
Either on the home screen or the options menu.

You may have to reboot the device to see it.

Simon.
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eMicrosAuthor Commented:
Hello Simon

I had to phone Vodafone twice to get it sorted, but then the Enterprise Activation icon appeared.
I have tried activating with the password sent to me by the appropriate option in Blackberry manager, but it just says "activating", then "retrying".  And all the while my mailbox is being hit by activation emails from BB.

I have tried to pair the bb device with the user i have added in blackberry manager, but I continue to get the same error.

"An error ocurred while assigning the device to a user.
The user is not yet known to the BlackBerry agent.
It can take several minutes for a newly added user to
be fully initialized by the server before they can be provisioned (16)."

Any clues?

Thanks
Jase

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SembeeCommented:
If you are seeing the activation emails, then the Blackberry server isn't working correctly.
The Blackberry server should see those emails, intercept them and do its thing to connect to the device.

If the BES isn't picking up the messages, then I wouldn't be surprised that any other method of activation isn't working either.

Simon.
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SembeeCommented:
As you are a Vodafone customer, see if someone there will send you the PDF version of the BES setup guide. Vodafone UK created it and it is by far and away the best setup guide I have ever seen created for any product. Corporate customers get the printed version, but I know there is a PDF version around. It isn't on their web site though, so you will need to get someone to send it over.

Simon.
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eMicrosAuthor Commented:
Ok, I have the document (I think its the one you mean).

Looking also at a document for BES4.0, the pre-requisites are not to install BES on a server which has Exchnage on it, but on the BES server, you should have exchange system manager.  The 4.1 document doesn't mention anything similar.  It also talks about having the BES physically close to the exchange server to minmise network latency.

I am installing BES on my windows 2003 sbs server with exchange 2003.  Should I be setting it up on a server without exchange?
Before i go any further through the document, if this is a requirement then i need another pc :(

Thanks
Jase
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SembeeCommented:
When I have done BES, even for a SBS customer, I have always put it in to a separate machine.
This is usually one of two...

1. An old Desktop. If it will run Windows 2003 then it will be fine.
2. A virtual machine. If the server has plenty of spare resources (ie isn't being taxed too hard) then install a virtual machine tool like VMWARE Server or Virtual PC/Server and the install a separate machine on to that.

There doesn't appear to be a clear cut answer whether you can install BES on to SBS. I have just done a Google search to see if I could find one and there seem to be lots saying don't, and more saying that it is fine.

I personally don't install BES on to SBS.

Simon.
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eMicrosAuthor Commented:
Thanks Simon

After much perseverance and reinstalling many times of BES 4.1, I finally have it working.
Permissions for the BESAdmin user appeared to be the sticking point.

You have to manually delete lots of registry entries after uninstalling BES/MDS, or else MDS will not clean re-install.
I also found that I had to subsequently change the names of each of the default databases it suggested, so that it would create new clean databases without errors in them.

When finally I had it configured as per the instructions that come with BES4.1 (or at least as best I could), I added a user, associated my bb handheld with user, generated an activation email and then activated the handheld for enterprise and it finally started activating.  All my emails are now coming through to my handheld and I'm dead pleased.

I persevered with installing BES on the exchange 2003 sbs server and can confirm that it does work just fine.
The problem I initially had with all the activation emails appearing in my mailbox was due to my selecting the end users mailbox as the blackberry mapi profile, when it should have been the BESAdmin account.

Thanks a lot for sticking with me on this - I'm well pleased with the result.  Time to make an image of my server hard drive :)

Jase
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