How to work with the Exchange Recipient Update Service

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SUMMARY

This step-by-step article describes how to work with the Recipient Update Service in Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server and in Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. You can use the Recipient Update Service to update recipient objects in a domain with specific information, such as address list membership and e-mail addresses. For most single-domain installations, you do not have to configure the Recipient Update Service; however, if you have multiple domains or very specific e-mail generation requirements, you need to know how to configure this service.

Requirements

The following list outlines the recommended hardware, software, network infrastructure, and service packs that you need:
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server with Service Pack 3 (SP3) or later installed or Microsoft Windows Server 2003
  • Active Directory directory service
  • Exchange 2000 Server with Service Pack 3 (SP3) installed or Exchange Server 2003
This article assumes that you are familiar with the following topics:
  • The Exchange System Manager console
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server or Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Active Directory issues

Description of the Recipient Update Service

The Recipient Update Service is a component in the Exchange System Attendant service. The Recipient Update Service creates and maintains Exchange-specific attribute values in Active Directory.

If you create a mailbox for a user, the Recipient Update Service is responsible for the automatic generation of their Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) address and any other proxy addresses that you have defined for your recipients. However, in Active Directory Users and Computers, the proxy addresses are not displayed immediately because of a short latency period that occurs before the Recipient Update Service produces the new e-mail addresses, even if the service has been set to run continuously.

After you install Exchange, two instances of the Recipient Update Service are created:
  • The Enterprise Configuration Recipient Update Service. There is only one instance of this service in the organization.
  • The domain Recipient Update Service. You must have a Recipient Update Service for each domain that contains mailbox-enabled users.
Each instance of the Recipient Update Service associates one Exchange server (where the Recipient Update Service runs) with one Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003 domain controller (on which the Active Directory objects are updated). Only one Recipient Update Service object can be associated with one Active Directory domain controller.

If you have multiple sites, you can also add multiple instances of the Recipient Update Service for each domain. In this scenario, an instance of the Recipient Update Service is hosted on a domain controller in each site and mailbox creation is not dependent on the inter-site replication schedule of Active Directory.

If you create a new mailbox-enabled user, that user cannot log on to their mailbox until the Recipient Update Service has generated the new proxy e-mail addresses. If you set the Recipient Update Service to run on a schedule, that user may have to wait a short period before they can use Exchange.

To update addresses immediately, you can force the Recipient Update Service to run manually. To do this, see the "How to Manually Update the Recipient Update Service" section.

How to Configure the Default Recipient Update Service Instances

If you install Exchange in the first domain in your forest, two default Recipient Update Service objects created. To view these objects:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Microsoft Exchange, and then click System Manager.
  2. Expand the Recipients container, and then click the Recipient Update Services container.

    The following objects are displayed:
    • Recipient Update Service (Enterprise Configuration)
    • Recipient Update Service (Domain_name)


  3. Right-click one of these objects, and then click Properties.

    The domain, the Exchange server, and the Windows domain controller that are involved in running this instance of the Recipient Update Service are displayed. The Update interval setting is also displayed. This is set to Always Run by default.
  4. To change the Exchange computer on which an instance of the Recipient Update Service runs, click Browse next to Exchange computer, locate the Exchange server that you want the Recipient Update Service to run on, and then click OK.
  5. To change the Windows domain controller that this instance of the Recipient Update Service connects to when it updates objects in Active Directory, click Browse next to Windows Domain Controller, locate the domain controller that you want the Recipient Update Service to connect to, and then click OK.
  6. To configure the Update interval setting, either click a value in the Update interval list or click Customize.
  7. If you click Customize, either click a day in the left column, and then click a time on the top row, or click and hold the mouse button to select the time slots that you want the update to run.

    Note To configure the schedule to be displayed in 1-hour increments or in 15-minute increments, click the appropriate option under Detail view.
  8. Click OK to accept the changes.

How to Add a New Recipient Update Service

Each domain requires a Recipient Update Service and some domains may require several instances of the Recipient Update Service. Therefore, you may have to create additional Recipient Update Service objects.

You can have multiple instances of the Recipient Update Service on an Exchange server, but each domain controller in a domain can only participate in one Recipient Update Service. If you want multiple Recipient Update Services for a domain, that domain must have more than one domain controller.

To add a new Recipient Update Service:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Microsoft Exchange, and then click System Manager.
  2. Expand the Recipients object, and then click the Recipient Update Services container.
  3. Right-click Recipient Update Services, point to New, and then click Recipient Update Service.
  4. Click Browse next to "Domain" to display a list of domains in your forest.
  5. Click the domain that you want this Recipient Update Service to update, and then click OK.
  6. Confirm that the domain that you selected is displayed in the New Object - Recipient Update Service dialog box, and then click Next.
  7. Click Browse, click the Exchange server on which you want this instance of the Recipient Update Service to run, and then click OK.
  8. Click Next.

    The following message is displayed in the last page of the wizard.
    Recipient Update Service Name: Recipient Update Service (TESTDOMAIN)
    Windows 2000 Domain: testdomain.local
    Domain Controller: testserver1.testdomain.local
    Exchange Server: TESTSERVER1
    The Exchange server is granted rights to modify Exchange Server attributes on recipients that are in the domain.
  9. Click Finish.
  10. Right-click the new Recipient Update Service object that you created, click Properties, configure the Update interval setting, and then click OK.
Note The Exchange server and the Windows domain controller that are associated with a particular instance of the Recipient Update Service are displayed in the right pane of Exchange System Manager. Click the Recipient Update Services container in the left pane to display this information in table form.

Note When you are creating a Recipient Update Service, you cannot select the domain controller. You can only select the domain that you want the new Recipient Update Service to be associated with. After you have finished creating the Recipient Update Service, you can edit the properties of the Recipient Update Service and select the domain controller that you want.

How to Manually Update the Recipient Update Service

To update the Recipient Update Service manually, you can perform either an update or a rebuild operation:
  • If you perform an update operation, proxy e-mail addresses are generated immediately for all new users. This operation forces address book membership to be recalculated for recently modified Exchange recipients. Perform an update operation if you are running the Recipient Update Service on a schedule and you want to complete mailbox creation before the next duty cycle runs.
  • If you perform a rebuild operation, all proxy e-mail addresses are recalculated and all address list memberships are verified. Perform a rebuild operation if you make a change to organizational policy on SMTP addressing (for example, if you change the DNS domain suffix from .com to .net or if you change the DNS domain name). A rebuild operation may take several hours. We recommend that you perform this operation during a period of low network activity.
To run an update or a rebuild operation:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Microsoft Exchange, and then click System Manager.
  2. Expand the Recipients container, and then click the Recipient Update Services container.
  3. Right-click the Recipient Update Service instance that you want to configure, and then click either Update Now or Rebuild.

    If you click Rebuild, you receive a message that states that this operation may take some time.
To confirm that the Recipient Update Service is working:
  1. Confirm that the Recipient Update Service update interval is set to Always Run, and then create a new user object.

    At the end of the user creation process, you are prompted to create a new Exchange mailbox.
  2. After you create the new user account and mailbox, log on and configure an Exchange profile.

    If you can configure a profile, the Recipient Update Service is working correctly.
For additional information about how to confirm that the Recipient Update Service is working, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
246127 How to check the progress of the Exchange Recipient Update Service

Troubleshooting

  • You may not know when you need to create additional Recipient Update Services manually.
  • Each domain controller can only participate in one Recipient Update Service association.
  • After you add a new mailbox-enabled user in Active Directory Users and Computers, the new user object may not be processed by the Recipient Update Service even after you force an update. This issue may occur if you do not have the appropriate permissions. For additional information about permissions that are required by the Recipient Update Service, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    254030 Missing permissions cause Exchange Recipient Update Service to not process accounts


REFERENCES

For more information about how to configure the Exchange Recipient Update Service, see the Exchange Server Help.

Properties

Article ID: 319065 - Last Review: October 25, 2007 - Revision: 2.5
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbhowtomaster KB319065

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