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Can I create exchange mailboxes without creating a domain user account?

Posted on 2007-11-29
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Last Modified: 2011-04-18
I run a small business network of 12 users on a single SBS 2003\Exchange 2003 server.  We're in the process of bringing on 60-70 home based independant contractors who DO NOT need access to any files\applications\printers on our server but DO need an exchange email account within our domain.  

Can I create exchange email accounts for each of the contractors without assigning them a domain account?  If I add all the contractors as users I'll blow past my SBS user limit and force a migration to Windows Server simply to hand out email accounts for people who work out of their home.  

Is there any way around this within Exchange?  I have my current mobile users setup with RPC over HTTP (Outlook Anywhere) as well as access to OWA if needed.  I feel I'm missing something simple.

Thanks in advance....

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Question by:srohe
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7 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:KCTS
ID: 20375470
You can't - by definition a mailbox can only be assigned to a user.
If the contracters have their own email accounts you can set them up as contacts - that way they can have external email addresses - but they will still apear in your address list.
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Expert Comment

by:cmorffew
ID: 20375872
Its all down to the SBS CAL's.
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/sbs/evaluation/faq/licensing.mspx

"Q.      I want to provide remote access to several individuals who are not employees. Do I need a CAL for them to use Outlook Web Access or Remote Web Workplace?
      
A.      Yes. When a user authenticates against the network, such as reading e-mail or using Remote Web Workplace, they are required to have either a user or device CAL."

No matter what you do with access - if they are trying to open exchange email then you will need a CAL for them to access the email.  KCTS is right - your only option is to set them up as contacts in the system and forward them to an external email address.

Open ADUC
create a new OU called contractors
create a new contact
when asked if you want to create an exchange email leave the chck mark in "Create an Exchange Email"
Click Modify button and choose SMTP address
Enter the personal address of the contractor - then click OK

This will create an email address for your domain but will not save any emails in Exchange so you will notice that no mailbox is created.  
When you send an email to their domain account e.g. contractor@yourdomain.com it will automatically forward to the contractors personal account.

Hope that is what you are looking for.
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Expert Comment

by:Haxus
ID: 20375979
I might also suggest setting up a security group that does not have access to anything except e-mail.  You can even setup a template for these users to make creating future accounts easier.  I believe RPC over HTTP uses a seat license when connected though, so be careful.
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Expert Comment

by:cmorffew
ID: 20376084
Haxus,
you are right - any connection to the email server for reading of email will require a Client Access License(CAL).
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Author Comment

by:srohe
ID: 20376235
So let me get this straight cmorffew, I create contacts in AD, give them a domain email account that exchange forwards to their personal account.  So I can send email to contractor@ourdomain.com, he'll get it at his personal email account?

I'd imagine any reply's the contractor sends to our customers will come from (and show) as his personal account.  Any clever ways around that?

Do contacts go against my CAL's?  

Thanks for the quick responses!






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Accepted Solution

by:
cmorffew earned 125 total points
ID: 20376621
Yes - by setting up a contact with an internal email address but no mailbox the email will not actually be stored on your server - it will be forwarded directly to their email account.

Contacts will not count against your CALS as they are not physically accessing your system.  As soon as someone or something connects to your servers - then it needs a CAL.  As you are not actually setting them up on the server - they wont have a physical mailbox on the exchange server - they is no need for a CAL.

As for the contractor's reply - have them setup their email(Outlook or whatever they use) to have a reply address of contractor@yourdomain.com - you can also have them set it up so that the only address that a receiver of the email sees is the contractor@yourdomain.com

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Author Closing Comment

by:srohe
ID: 31411728
I tested the setup, works perfectly!  You just saved me a ton of time & money.  Thanks!
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