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Do I need to specify any email addresses (policy) in the Recipient Policies for Exchange Server 2003?

Posted on 2008-06-26
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-05-18
I administer a small LAN w/a single Exchange Server 2003.  I'm overdue to ask this question:

Typically, when adding a new user, I don't want the LAN user ID to be the same as the email recipient name.  e.g.  I may create a user ID of "ssmith" but want an email address of "sally@mydomain.com".  The Exchange Server default recipient policies, however, would automatically create an SMTP address for this user that = ssmith@mydomain.com.

I know I can manually change email addresses for each individual user.  What I'd like to do is simply not have the system automatically assign any email addresses at the time of user ID creation.  In short, I'd like to uncheck all email addresses listed in the Recipient Policies so that email addresses aren't generated automatically for me.  Is that possible?  If so, it it unwise to do that?

Any feedback appreciated.
Question by:perfectionmachinery
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Accepted Solution

KCTS earned 1200 total points
ID: 21876466
There has to be a policy - but why not change it to create the addresses in the form you want - see http://www.computerperformance.co.uk/exchange2003/exchange2003_recipient_policy.htm

Expert Comment

ID: 21876501
when creating an email for a new user you change the "Alias" to what you want the users email to be.  Now if you want to change the @mydomain.com part to be a different domain you just add a domain that you want it to be and you make it the primary.  As far as I know you will have to change the users alias on creation (or later like you currently are doing) and there is not a policy that will do this for you.

Assisted Solution

evanmcnally earned 400 total points
ID: 21876591
Microsoft says you do not want to disable the default SMTP and X400 policy settings (see code snippet).

It does no harm to have multiple email addresses being assigned to the account.  I assume you are manually adding the sally@domain.com and then choosing to make it primary.  This is probably your least complicated route.

An alternative is to set the Windows account to "sssmith" but set the Exchange alias to "sally" (Offered during account creation, or changed later via Exchange General tab in the account properties).  The Exchange policy generates addresses from the alias rather than from the Windows account name.

This link covers some of the hazards of changing the alias of an existing account.

If you install Exchange 2000, a default recipient e-mail policy is created that generates primary Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) and X.400-compliant addresses for all Exchange 2000 recipient objects. The SMTP address is in the form "@yourdomainname.extension" and the X.400 address uses a format similar to the following format that is specified by the X.400 International Telecommunications Union (ITU) standard: 
c=us;a= ;p=Your Organization;o=Exchange 
You cannot disable these primary addresses because they are necessary for the internal functions in Exchange 2000.

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Author Comment

ID: 21876613
KCTS:  thanks for the link.  Good article.

So a recipient policy must exist.  Does that mean the policy must include checked items in the "Email Addresses (Policy)" tab?  I notice I have a multiple old (retired) items that are unchecked.  Wondering if I can simply uncheck them all.

Assisted Solution

antioed earned 400 total points
ID: 21876696
Maybe I am not understanding properly but you can create the account *without* an associated Exchange mailbox and then add the mailbox later if you like.  Sounds like the right default policy is really what you're after.  Creating a custom recipient policy is easy, so that is probably the best solution here.  In my domain the default SMTP address format is <first.last>@ourdomain.com - the syntax for a default policy in that format is pretty simple:  %g.%s@ourdomain.com

Check this link for good info on custom recipient policies:  


Author Comment

ID: 21876704
evenmcnally:  thanks, you answered the question above just as I was typing it.

Okay, so I'll keep the default SMTP and X400 addresses.

A few times in the past few years, the policies were re-applied.  (I don't recall the circumstances each time, unfortunately.)  One issue was, after being re-applied, the default primary email address was no longer the one I assigned; instead it was the system default = userid@mydomain.com.  Of course, it changed it for all users.  KCTS:  sounds like I can use the hints in the article to change the policy so this won't happen? i.e. have the primary email address set (or reset) to something like firstname@mydomain.com?

Author Comment

ID: 21876736
antioed:  yes, sounds like you answered my question above.  I think I what I need is custom recipient policy.  Specifically, one that sets the primary email address to "firstname@mydomain.com".

Seems as though I can manage that.  The question that follows is:  do I customize the default recipient policy or do I create a second recipient policy?

Expert Comment

ID: 21877019
You can do either but seems like customizing the default policy is all you need here.  Either way...only the "matching" policy with the highest priority will be applied.

Expert Comment

ID: 21877023
I hate to admit it, but KCTS has the best solution I think.  I would add this to the default policy as
%g@domain.com and set this rule as primary.  You would mainly do a second policy if you needed to apply a different rule only for some of your users (e.g. different policies for different departments).  If all users are firstname@domain.com then the default policy should work fine.

Author Comment

ID: 21877882
Very good.  I'll update/customize my default policy to reflect our preference of "firstname@mydomain.com".

Thanks to all of you for the info and for the rapid response.  Much appreciated and exactly what I needed.

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