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How to configure Exchange 2013 site mailboxes

By Steve Goodman, SearchExchange.TechTarget.com

How to configure Exchange 2013 site mailboxes

There are several new features available in Exchange Server 2013, but one that's getting plenty of early interest is site mailboxes. A site mailbox combines the messaging features of a shared mailbox with the document storage capabilities available through SharePoint 2013. This tip lays out the steps necessary to configure a site mailbox in a lab environment.

Installing and configuring Exchange 2013 site mailboxes

If you want to use Exchange 2013 site mailboxes, the first thing you must do is ensure that you have a SharePoint 2013 environment that will serve as the document library and enabler.

Assuming you don't have SharePoint 2013 installed, let's get started by building a small SharePoint farm. In our lab environment, we'll perform the following tasks:

  • Install SQL Server 2012 Standard Edition with Service Pack 1.
  • Install SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise Edition into a new farm.
  • Set up the basic configuration for SharePoint 2013 (defaults).
  • Create a new HTTPS Web application and site collection, then assign a trusted certificate to it.
  • Set up the User Profile Synchronization service.
  • Install the Exchange Web Services Managed application programming interface (API).
  • Run scripts on both the SharePoint 2013 server and Exchange 2013 server to configure and enable site mailboxes.
  • Create a new site mailbox.

This seems easy, doesn't it? It is, but there are plenty of steps required to actually get there. Let's start with prerequisites.

As with any Exchange installation, first make sure that it's in a working state. Specifically, make certain that you've configured and tested the Exchange Autodiscover service and that you're using a valid third-party certificate (or an internal certificate authority).

You'll also need a valid certificate for the SharePoint 2013 farm that will help host your site mailboxes. If you're using a Subject Alternative Name (SAN) certificate for Exchange 2013, consider adding your SharePoint 2013 HTTPS site name to the certificate.

In my own lab environment, I have Exchange 2013 up and running under the domain stevieg.org. I also have an SSL certificate with SANs mail.stevieg.org and autodiscover.stevieg.org for Exchange. "Sharepoint.stevieg.org" is ready for the SharePoint 2013 installation.

I'm using a new server named SG-SP01 running Windows Server 2012, with SQL Server 2012 Standard edition joined to the same domain as the Exchange infrastructure. Now that media is ready for SQL Server 2012 and SharePoint 2013, we're ready to proceed.

 

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