Connecting to Other Messaging Systems

Working with Connectors

When connectors to other messaging systems are in place, the user experience is similar on both messaging systems. The exchange of mail and other information between Exchange and the other messaging system is transparent to the user, even if the two systems function differently. Such successful mail transfer is facilitated when the directories of the two systems are synchronized.

Directory Synchronization

Directory synchronization is the process of propagating directory information between messaging systems. Directory information for Exchange users is stored in Windows 2000 Active Directory and is exported to the directory of another messaging system. In turn, directory information for users of the other messaging system is imported to Active Directory. When directory synchronization is finished, each system has a complete copy of the directory for your entire organization, ensuring that users on one system can send mail to users on the other system.

Active Directory uses directory objects to represent Exchange users and users on other messaging systems that are synchronized with Exchange. When you configure directory synchronization using a connector, users, contacts, and groups can be added to Active Directory.

For help with specific tasks, see How To.

For general background information, see Concepts.

For problem-solving instructions, see Troubleshooting.

Answers to frequently asked questions

What messaging systems are supported by Exchange 2000 connectors?

Exchange 2000 uses the following connectors to provide messaging connectivity over LAN, asynchronous, or X.25 connections:

In addition to message transfer, these connectors support directory synchronization. Calendaring functions, such as meeting invitations, are also supported.

If an Exchange 2000 connector does not exist for another messaging system, you may be able to use a third-party gateway, or you can use an Exchange 5.5 connector in a mixed-mode Exchange organization.  More...

How do I connect to a messaging system that is not supported by Exchange 2000?

There are multiple options:

How do I upgrade my connectors?

Connector upgrading occurs as a part of an Exchange 2000 installation. First you upgrade Microsoft Windows NT to Windows 2000. Then, using Active Directory Connector, you populate Active Directory with the contents of the Exchange 5.5 directory. Finally, you install Exchange 2000. After installation, you will have to reconfigure the connectors, including selecting import and export containers, and specifying the directory synchronization schedule.  More...