Proxy Addresses and Changing the Primary SMTP address

Quite often, a mailbox may have multiple aliases associated with it.  A student on Outlook Live, for example, will have their regular email address, but they might also be the president of the Chess Club and so want an email alias for use with that also.

Further than that, I have spoken to some customers that would like to provide their students with the ability to specify their own email alias through a simple web application that they might have developed…and…make that new address their primary email address.

I have prepared a short demo where I show how proxy addresses can be created, and the Primary SMTP address manipulated in PowerShell… below that, I have outlined at a high level the type of application that could be built to give students some choice over their email address.

Double click for full screen

http://silverlight.services.live.com/invoke/71782/ProxyAddresses/iframe.html

Download

If you are thinking about developing a web application that allows a user to select their own email address, you may want to develop something like this:

Essentially:

  • User authenticates onto an institution-controlled web-page – this could be AD integrated.  Page is ‘aware’ of who is logged in.
  • Various email options are presented based on information on the user that is pulled from a Student Information System (or it could be AD as well if this info is in there).
  • User chooses their desired email address.
  • Option is presented to the user to make the new address the Primary SMTP address.  User makes their choice.
  • Form is submitted to a secure service that pushes parameters into a PowerShell process.
  • PowerShell Process pushes the new Email Address information into Outlook Live
  • User can now send email ‘from’ the new address.
  • LiveID stays the same.

In this example, I have reflected the conversations I have had with IT Administrators.  It would of course be completely possible to allow students to specify whatever they want… but with that comes some risk of ‘unusual’ names 🙂

Jonny

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