Does anybody know if it's possible to extend the functionality offered by the Exchange E-mail address policies, i.e. call out to a custom component to determine the address?

We are implementing a new system that manages AD data, and that will quite likely change existing account data, i.e. first names, middle names and last names. This would result in the Exchange policy updating the email address which is not what we want. We want addresses to remain unchanged.

My desire is that the policies could be modified somehow to only take effect on NEW accounts, not existing ones, but the policy generating wizard is not that flexible, it has no concept of dates or other AD attributes that could be used to determine the trigger.

I'd love to be able to drop in a .net component or something similar, that would allow precise definition of the policies.

Wishful thinking?


It's possible to create your own schema extensions using LDIFDE as your import tool. (LDAP data interchange format) LDIFDE will allow you to create your own custom AD attribute that you can set on new accounts then you can create recipient policies around matching that attribute.

CAVEAT: you'll need some type of PowerShell or VBScript to edit the field, or, alternatively, custom management software.

Just to be a little more specific, if your newly created AD attribute was mySpecialAttribute and you set it's value to UseNewAddress you could use a recipient policy with a user object filter similar to (&(objectClass=person)(objectType=user)(mySpecialAttribute=UseNewAddress))


Assuming you're using the Default email address policy and assuming you haven't changed the E-mail address local part of the Default email address policy (alias) then changing the users first, middle, or last name shouldn't have any effect on their email address.

An alternate way of going about this, rather than modifying the schema, would be to uncheck the "Automatically update e-mail addresses based on e-mail address policy" setting on the E-mail addresses tab of the user account properties for existing users, which could be done in bulk.

  • Glad to help... – joeqwerty Apr 1 '11 at 12:47
  • The only caveat here is that people who require an email address change, i.e. married persons, would not get one made automatically. This would have to be handled manually. – Amethi Apr 1 '11 at 14:11

There is nothing stopping Exchange from having more than one address on an account. We experienced the same thing during the normal churn of name-changes (marriage usually); we kept the old address as an alias and set the new one. In your case you may be able to set the new address as an alias, but keep the old one as the Reply-To address for visible continuity. Both will deliver, but the Reply-To address will be the one that Exchange reports as.

  • Yes, leaving the primary smtp address as it was is preferable. Adding new addresses based on the change in data wouldn't be an issue I don't think. – Amethi Apr 1 '11 at 10:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.