Non-upper case SMTP address in recipient policy causes public folder issues on new servers

Recently I ran into an issue with Exchange 2003 where a recently installed server was not able to see public folder objects in ESM, and a test mailbox was also unable to view public folders through outlook.  I tried everything to get this working correctly; I researched the Microsoft Knowledgebase, posted questions in forums, but finally had to call Microsoft professional support for assistance in getting this issue worked out.  None of the troubleshooting steps laid out in the KB articles hit my issue exactly, nor did I find anything else relating to the cause of this issue online. 

To make a long story short, a mis-configuration of a recipient policy was causing the public folder store to NOT get stamped with a PRIMARY SMTP address.  This broke public folder replication, folder hierarchy view from ESM…etc.  Apparently we had a recipient policy which had a lower case (non-primary) SMTP address specified for mail enabled objects.  This policy was stamping the store with a proxy address, but not with the mail attribute.  Apparently the RUS will only stamp public folders with a Primary SMTP address.  This is mis-leading because most or all of the online documentation references the proxy address as the missing attribute, but what was missing is the mail attribute.  So when you run BPA the resulting KB article references the proxy address, and when you check in ADSIEdit, you see that the proxy is clearly there.  This is what initially threw me off and made troubleshooting the issue more complicated.

To resolve the issue, highlight the non-primary SMTP address in the recipient policy, then click the button “Set as primary” to make the SMTP address a primary address.  Save the changes, then wait for replication or force it if you are impatient.  Once we did this, the RUS updated the public folder object and stamped a mail attribute and then we could see the public folder tree in ESM, replication began working, and my issue was resolved. 

It seems I have a habit of running into issues that have symptoms which are usually associated with something else, so most of the online info I find when researching these problems deal with similar issues, but the causes are normally different than the root cause of my troubles.  It seems that it always takes a call to Microsoft support services to identify the issue and resolve it.  So the lesson to be learned here, is to always make sure you have a primary SMTP Address in your recipient policy.  In this case we had two recipient policies, one was

About Joe

I am the author of this blog, IT engineer, husband, father, and somewhat of a nerd.

Posted on July 18, 2008, in Products I use, Professional/Tech, Software, Technology. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Non-upper case SMTP address in recipient policy causes public folder issues on new servers.

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