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Windows Thread, Exchange Server - group mailboxes - best practice in Technical; I am in the final stages of testing a migration of a primary schools Office suite from Navaho to Window ...
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    Exchange Server - group mailboxes - best practice

    I am in the final stages of testing a migration of a primary schools Office suite from Navaho to Window Server 2008R2, Exchange 2010, Outlook 2007.

    At the moment, there is very little reliance on IT Security/auditing so there is significant use of shared role based accounts rather than individual logins - I am planning that this will change!

    As a result, a number of critical external email accounts are role based. For some, bursar, headmaster etc, there is a 1:1 mapping with a person, so its not too much of an issue to use the alias, but for for others, office, sports etc, are roles shared by a number of individuals.

    Even for individual roles, there will be some sharing of mailbox whilst individuals are for instance absent.

    I am looking for best practice on how to organise this. Ideally I would like each individual to have their own personal email address, and, based on roles (I have security groups set up for this), access to a role based email address. This would also apply to bursar and headmaster etc where the individual will have both a personal email address and their role.

    This is my first experience of exchange server. Got a big thick book and internet but nothing specific.

    Whilst I realise that mailboxes can be shared within Outlook, this is not an ideal solution since they need to be set-up within Outlook rather than managed centrally within exchange.

    I have done some reading and it has been suggested that room or resource based mailboxes may be suitable. I have set a test one of these up to cover office but have found a few issues: Only able to send email from users account, not room account; room shows up as a room in calendar - would like to disable this. In addition, being unable to test receipt of emails on my test network, I am not 100% sure whether a room or resource mailbox able to receive external emails or not.

    Many thanks

    Ian

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    Public foldes would be the way to go I think. You can add these as favourites and it is the most simplest way or you could create a seperate account for each, logon and share the mailbox to said users.

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    leco's Avatar
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    What about dynamic distribution groups? Have a role based DDG and add individual accounts to that. Mail is sent to the distribution name and can be accessed, read and replied to by any of the group members. As far as I understand it room/resource mailboxes are mainly for making reservations - hence the appearance in the calendar.

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    Thanks for the answers.

    Will take a look at personal folders.

    I looked at distribution groups - infact I am using one for group mailings. But, if I am not mistaken, distribution lists will only 'fan out' an email into different mailboxes which is not what we need. We need to have a single mailbox so that the sharing users can see if an email has been answered.

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    I'd go for a separate mailbox for sports@, office@ etc and then in Outlook just add this as a shared mailbox. Users can then open that mailbox and send from it if need be.

    'Joe Bloggs sent on Behalf Of Sports' is what it'll display. Any replies will then go back to that address too.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Outlook 2010 handles up to 10 exchange accounts on a single profile so you could have them joining up their outlook client possibly by script to each needed mailbox and handling it that way, that also allows you to send from without the send as rights games from earlier versions.

    This would be quite simmilar to the resource mailbox method but with a more unified frontend for the users.

  7. Thanks to SYNACK from:

    MatthewL (22nd June 2010)

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    tarquel's Avatar
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    To be honest, if they are just using those "group" ones on a one to one basis, a shared mailbox is a bit overkill.

    You may as well just mail enable the security groups you have setup for the purpose and mail enable them - turning them into distribution groups. A shared mailbox for just one user would be a little pointless really, unless you have multiple people needing access to the email from a certain "group" email address and that they need to send externally.

    The only real advantage I've found with shared mailboxes is:

    - useful should it be likely peoples roles change alot and that the new person needs to see the emails that have already been sent to that address (otherwise a distribution list is fine)
    - with a bit of cleverness (i can help with this) a shared mailbox can be set so when people send from it, it places the sent items into the shared mailbox sent items and then useful to keep track of who responds to what, in a situations like public queries, etc.

    And i wouldnt use Public Folders at all if its a new setup. No real need for them (exchange 2010 wise) and MS always seem to tout that they are gonna remove them etc in each version so shows what they think of them

    Right, back to work for me...
    Last edited by tarquel; 22nd June 2010 at 10:24 AM.

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    SpuffMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewL View Post
    Public foldes would be the way to go I think. You can add these as favourites and it is the most simplest way or you could create a seperate account for each, logon and share the mailbox to said users.
    I'd agree with public folders. I didn't use them to start with (in 2004) because they were going to be "got rid of" - but they are still around - and it makes managing them a whole lot easier - specially if you're going to use OWA in any way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    Outlook 2010 handles up to 10 exchange accounts on a single profile so you could have them joining up their outlook client possibly by script to each needed mailbox and handling it that way, that also allows you to send from without the send as rights games from earlier versions.

    This would be quite simmilar to the resource mailbox method but with a more unified frontend for the users.
    Thanks for that, something I didnt know and can put into play here.

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