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Configuring the Microsoft SMTP Service for use with SharePoint installations in small businesses or a development environment

Posted at: 10:52 AM on 17 March 2009 by Muhimbi

This article explains how to configure the Microsoft SMTP Service to authenticate with a public / ISP hosted SMTP server and relay messages through it.

When deploying SharePoint in a small sized company or in a local branch office (or at home for testing purposes) - you know those companies that don’t have their own fancy SMTP server because under the covers they use Gmail or some other externally hosted mail system - then making sure that SharePoint alerts are delivered can be challenging.

The main reason for this is that this company may connect via a consumer grade connection with an IP-range that is blacklisted by most mail servers as they use a list from Sorbs (http://www.sorbs.net/) to identify common sources of spam.

An easy way to detect this is to make sure you log all SMTP fields and check for the following in the SMTP log files:

2008-12-17 08:48:56 212.227.15.150 OutboundConnectionResponse <some server name> - - - 550+RBL+rejection:+Dynamic+IP+Addresses+See:+http://www.sorbs.net/lookup.shtml?<some ip> 0 0 - - - -


Fortunately you can configure the SMTP Service in such a way that it relays all outgoing email via a ‘smart host’ and ‘authenticate’ on this smart host. This can be configured as follows:

  1. Open the IIS Service Manager and navigate to the relevant SMTP Virtual server (There is usually only one).
     
  2. Open the Properties and navigate to Delivery / Advanced.
     
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  3. In the ‘Smart host’ field enter the name of an SMTP server that you have access to, e.g. because you use Outlook to send emails using that server. Click OK to close the window.
     
  4. Now, for the real trick, click the ‘Outbound Security’ button. This will allow you to specify an account that is used to authenticate with the smart host / outgoing SMTP Server.

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  5. Select Basic authentication and enter the username and password that you use to connect to the SMTP server.

That is it. Test it by configuring an alert in SharePoint and making a change to a document. Look in your SMTP log file for clues if things are not working.






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New Product announcement - PDF Converter for SharePoint

Posted at: 3:30 PM on 02 March 2009 by Muhimbi

PDFConverterBox

Wow, we are really having a busy day. First the launch of our new website and now the release of our first product, the PDF Converter for SharePoint.

In summary the PDF Converter is a light weight solution (2.5MB download) that allows end-users to convert common document types, such as doc, docx, rtf, txt etc, to PDF format from within SharePoint. It integrates at a deep level with SharePoint and leverages facilities such as the Audit log, localisation, security and tracing. It runs on both WSS 3 as well as MOSS. For detailed information check out the product page.

The product announced today is a beta version. We have put it through an enormous amount of testing on different platforms including Windows Server 2003, Windows server 2008, 32 and 64 bit versions of MOSS as well as WSS and with various language packs. We are very pleased with the results, however nothing beats testing it in the real world so we would appreciated your help before releasing the official version.

We are particularly interested in feedback on:

  1. Deployment on non English versions of the various Operating Systems and SharePoint. We have tested with German, Dutch, English, French and Japanese language packs, but it is not feasible for us to maintain a copy of every conceivable Operating System and SharePoint combination.
  2. Verification of the various user interface translations. Between all our employees and contractors we speak a fair number of languages, but unfortunately we cannot verify the translations provided by some of our translators, particularly the Japanese one.
  3. Use of the PDF converter on heavily customised document libraries and with complex content types.
  4. Additional translations. If you feel very strongly about support for a certain language and wish to see it included sooner rather than later then please contact us and we’ll send you a template that makes it very easy to translate the user interface.

If you think you have found a bug then please report it in the relevant forum. When reporting a bug please be as specific as possible and include screenshots, event log entries, the version of SharePoint used, the version of our software used and steps to reproduce the problem. If the bug is specific to a particular document then please send the document as well. Naturally we will treat each document as confidential.

Before reporting a bug please check if is not already listed in the release notes. We will give away a couple of vouchers to those people that report the ‘best’ bugs.

PDFConverterScreen4

For more information check out the:

As always, feel free to contact us using Twitter, our Blog or regular email.

Download your free trial here (2.5MB). You don’t even have to register, but we would appreciate it if you did.

The Muhimbi Team.

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3...2...1...Lift-off!!! - Muhimbi Company launch

Posted at: 3:30 PM on by Muhimbi

CompanyLaunch It has taken a good year to go from the initial idea to the full blown company launch, complete with a rich e-commerce website, full time employees, multiple products under development and a beta version of the first product available for download. But here we are and we are pretty pleased with what our hard work, dedication and countless sleepless nights have achieved.

Starting a real and proper company is not easy and we would like to thank our web developers, product developers, translators, accountants, solicitors, design agency, bank manager, merchant account provider, payment processor and all other staff for their hard work. In no particular order: Loretta, Hammad, Simon, Nishit, Lewis, Pradeep, Marianna, Milind, Mark, Fodina, David, Rajeev, Rachel, Prachi, John, Bibin, Mike, Shimmena, Supriya and Marco.

So, what does Muhimbi do? According to our home page “Muhimbi Ltd is a provider of shrink wrapped solutions for the SharePoint market. All our products, including PDF Converters and Audit Log Management Tools, are designed for both MOSS and WSS 3 and are available in a number of different languages.”. That pretty much sums it up, we are not a consultancy company, we focus 100% on the development and support of quality products for the Global SharePoint market.

Our first product, a PDF Converter for SharePoint, will be released as a downloadable beta version in the next day or so. We will announce the availability on our Blog as well as our Twitter stream, so make sure you subscribe to our feeds.

We have a healthy product pipeline with over a dozen products on the way and we intend to release our second commercial product in the next month. All product announcements, as well as general purpose articles and news items, will be posted to this Blog. We intend to keep our postings interesting and will avoid spamming you with commercial messages. Naturally we may want to plug our products to you from time to time.

Feel free to contact us using any of the means on the Contact Us section, including Blog comments, Twitter, our support forums or even old fashioned email.

Thanks for visiting our site, we hope you will find our products useful.

The Muhimbi Team.

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