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Changing Exchange Alias when changing account name?

Posted on 2009-05-12
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Hi

We are running 2003 DC's and Exchange 2003.

I have a user, domain\JSmith, that is changing her name so we need to change her username to, domain\JWatts.

Under ADUC > Exchange General

There is a field for Exchange Alias. It's currently JSmith, do I need to change this to Jwatts too - what does the Alias do exactly? I have never managed to figure out what the point of it is and how importatny it is? :)
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Question by:Joe_Budden
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Chris Dent earned 1200 total points
ID: 24366310

> There is a field for Exchange Alias. It's currently JSmith, do I need to change this
> to Jwatts too - what does the Alias do exactly?

If you don't have something more specific it's used to generate the e-mail address (e.g. alias@domain.com). And it will probably match the container value in the legacyExchangeDN.

Really though... not much... feel free to change it. I advise you just preserve e-mail addresses for the old name (as secondary addresses / e-mail aliases). You probably already did though.

Chris
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by:Joe_Budden
ID: 24366560
Hi

> If you don't have something more specific it's used to generate the e-mail address (e.g. alias@domain.com). And it will probably match the container value in the legacyExchangeDN.

Interestingly, the alias is JSmith, but the email address is jane.smith@domain.com - as per our RUS rule. So, I assume RUS takes precedence here? The Alias effectively doesn't do much?

Iw will definattely keep the 'old' address as a secondary :)
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by:tigermatt
tigermatt earned 800 total points
ID: 24366763

The Exchange Alias is really one of a few internal identifiers used by Exchange to address a user account and its associated mailbox. For a default Recipient Policy configuration, the alias is used to generate the email address; this default can be changed, as in your case.

If you change the user's current alias, users will lose the ability to reply to emails this person has sent prior to the change. If the name is cached in Outlook AutoComplete files (you can be 99% sure it is), those references will no longer work either.

To reduce confusion for users, you have two options:

a) Don't change the alias. This will mean all internal references will continue to work and users can reply to previously sent email. It can create an administrative nightmare, since the alias no longer matches with the username.

b) Create a new user account with the new username & alias, and migrate the user across to that account. Configure a forward on the old account so email is delivered to the new mailbox.

Option b is my preferred approach.

-Matt
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