Automate Outlook Profile Creation
Outlook Profile Creation
You can automate the process of Outlook Profile creation without the user or admin having to do anything manually.
ZeroConfigExchange is used to run the entire process with minimal interaction. It is a registry setting and creates a new profile using the SMTP address from your active directory. ZCE automatically configures one or many users with Exchange Online or Exchange on-prem. But to gather the configuration data, the underlying process being used is- Autodiscover. Outlook finds a new connection point made up of the users’ mailbox GUID+@+domain SMTP.
Autodiscover. What it is and how it functions?
Autodiscover is a feature of Microsoft Exchange. It was launched in 2007 and started becoming a part of the later versions of Outlook. It helps establish automatic connections between the exchange servers and Outlook. Autodiscover is a virtual directory and it is mandatory for mailbox configurations. No need for scripts and there is minimal user intervention needed.
How does it function?
When a user logs in to Outlook through a system or the app for the first time, it connects to the domain controller (DC). The DC validates the information/credentials. Post the validation, the DC assigns a URL for the host to contact the exchange servers. After which the outlook client/app contacts the exchange server based on the information received from the DC.
A virtual IIS Directory named Autodiscover is created along with an SCP (Service Connection Point) when a Client Access Server (CAS) is installed in Exchange Servers. The Client Access Server then checks for the user mailbox information and mailbox database located in the servers. After having checked the availability of the information, the data is then passed onto the CAS and then to the outlook client.
Once the connection is established, it helps Outlook gain access to an offline address book and unified messaging.
Automate Profile Configuration based on Active Directory Primary SMTP
If this policy setting is enabled; whenever a user creates a new profile, his Active Directory’s primary SMTP address is used for the profile creation. The wizard used to configure profiles settings is not displayed to the user. No such user interface appears as the profile is created.
Whereas, if this policy setting is disabled when a user creates a new profile, the wizard would be displayed and the user can specify an SMTP address of his choice. But if the user clicks on next, the default settings would be applied to it.
Note: If you want only the first created profile to use the Active Directory Primary SMTP address and allow the other users to enter different SMTP addresses, then use the “Automatically configure profile based on Active Directory Primary SMTP address (one-time only)” policy setting instead.
Where can this be used?
During E-mail Migration
Let’s say you want to perform email migration. Ideally, when the environment is switched from on-premise to the cloud, outlook profiles have to be created manually. Once you go through the following procedures, you’ll get to automate the entire process of Outlook Profile Creation. Once all this is done, all users in the domain will have a seamless transition from on-premise to cloud.
New Outlook Profile Deployment:
A new employee joining the organization doesn’t have to configure his outlook e-mail profile. When Microsoft Outlook is installed on a system for the first time, ZCE could be configured via OCT. The user will not be prompted for anything while the process is going on.