Some things in IT life are no brainers. In other words, they just make sense to do and don’t require a lot of thought. Unfortunately sometimes these easy decisions lead to complicated implementation issues. Case in point, you have a SharePoint server and you have an Exchange server. SharePoint needs to send Alerts for administrators or alerts on when new content has reached a document library and so forth and it also can be configured to have incoming emails post directly to a list or library. But all of that has to be configured for it to work. Well that is a “no brainer”. We obviously want to have that set up because it adds functionality that is useful to our organization.
And that is where the “implementation issues” begin. You see depending on your situation there are different ways to set this up. For example, if you have SharePoint and Exchange on the same box with a Small Business Server 2011 deployment you have to use Windows PowerShell with the Exchange Management Shell to create foreign connectors to integrate with Exchange. If, however, you are working with two separate servers in a larger environment that doesn’t use SBS 2011 you will have to create the send/receive connectors within the console.
The value is obvious (although keep in mind you don’t have to use Exchange for SMTP send/receive). The implementation is not so obvious.
Here are some great resources for helping you make it work.
SBS 2011 and SharePoint Foundation: Configuring Outgoing and Incoming Email Settings (with video): http://www.petri.co.il/setting-up-sharepoint-email-sbs-2011.htm
Configuring Incoming and Outgoing Email on SharePoint 2010 Parts 1 and 2 (with video):
So depending on the solution you are working with you now have the tools you need to configure your environment and avoid the implementation woes that come with getting Exchange 2010 and SharePoint 2010 to work together.