Configuring SMTP to Send Outgoing Email for SharePoint

One of our SharePoint Consultants was working on a development environment and realized he needed to test some notifications and send mail functions for SharePoint.  Email settings from SharePoint Central Administration must be setup with a Mail Server, similar to Exchange or another Mail Server.  Unfortunately for our consultant, he did not have the resources to build an Exchange server for testing and this particular development environment was isolated from the rest of the network.

After some brainstorming with this issue, he overheard a co-worker talking about SMTP and the light bulb went off. The answer was simple: setup SMTP on the environment which was Windows Server 2012, and leverage an available POP service. Below we’ll detail step-by-step instructions on how to leverage this from beginning to end.

Before you begin, you will need an existing POP service and account.  For this purpose, we’ll be using Gmail as the POP service.  Gmail has a guide if you need some assistance in setting this up.  We’ll also be using Windows Server 2012 and SharePoint 2013 for this development environment.

Once you have your account created and POP service activated, it’s time to get started.

1. Install SMTP Service in the features section of Server Manager.

    • Open “Add Roles and Features” from the Manage drop-down inside of Server Manager.

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    • Go through the wizard until you get to Features.

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    • Make sure the box next to SMTP Server is checked.

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    • If you are asked to install additional features, go ahead and do so and then complete the install wizard.

2. Now that the SMTP Server service is installed, we have some configuration to do.

    • Open Internet Services (IIS) 6.0 Manager.
    • In IIS 6, expand your local computer and right-click on the default SMTP virtual server and go to properties.  The default virtual server should be named “[SMTP Virtual Server #1]”.

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    • Navigate to the Access tab and open the Relay restrictions.

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    • Select “All except the list below” and ensure that “Allow all computers…” is checked.

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    • Next, go to the Messages tab and fill it out as shown below.

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    • Click the Delivery tab and open the outbound connections.  Under TCP port, fill in the port # of the POP service you are configuring.  For our Gmail configuration, we will set this to 587.

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    • Now open Outbound Security and configure the POP account we prepared earlier.  We will want to use Basic Authentication.  Add your Gmail login info here.  Also, ensure that TLS encryption is checked.

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    • Now for the Advanced Delivery settings.  Click on advance back on the Delivery tab and fill in the details.  Enter the fully-qualified domain name for your current environment & the host you will use for SMTP.

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3. We are done with the configuration for SMTP.  We can finally configure our outbound email settings for SharePoint.

    • Navigate to Outgoing E-Mail Settings under System Settings in Central Administration.  Re-enter your SMTP host as the outbound SMTP server and add the email address you are sending from.

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Your SharePoint development environment can now send emails, and you can finish testing notifications and send mail functions. Let us know how this process works for you, or if you have an alternate method that you wish to share, please do so in the comments section below.  We’d love to get your input.


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