Connector Enhancements in Office 365

 Jul 28, 2015

Due to overwhelming feedback, the way in which you create connectors for mail flow in Office 365 has been revamped!

The experience has been re-jigged for connectors so that they provide more assistance, a UI that is simpler and a much easier way to ensure all is as it should be.

1+1= ?

We all know the answer is 2, in the same way that we know the way mail flow should work. However, given the vast array of systems and inherent complexities, mail paths are often not as straightforward as 1+1. The image below shows some mail flow scenarios:


Depending upon your circumstances, you may not need connectors at all. It would be nice to have something that says either "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that" or "Yipee ki-yay". As well as this TechNet article , the setup wizard now includes assistance and additions to help you make the choice.

Setup Wizard improvements

To create a connector, you need to go into the O365 Admin Center, expand 'ADMIN' and click 'Exchange' as per the diagram below.


You will find connectors on the mail flow page.


When you start the process of creating your connector, you can select your scenario and that will allow you to see if a connector is required or not. In the below image, the connector is not required for mail between O365 and a partner, you can still create one.


I think I can, I think I can.

Before these changes, your mail flow and connectors was similar to "the little engine that could". You'd basically hope and pray it all worked out for you. With these changes, you can validate your connectors operation before using it.


Once validation is complete, you are told if anything needs attention. If you can't fix things right away, you can save the connector and return to it at a later date.

A more in-depth discussion of connectors can be found on TechNet.

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About the Author:

Steve Wiggins  

Steve is a highly experienced technical trainer with over 10 years of specialisation in Software Application Development, Project Management, VBA Solutions and Desktop Applications training. His practical experience in .NET programming, advanced solution development and project management enables him to train clients at all levels of seniority and experience. Steve also currently manages the IT infrastructure for New Horizons of Brisbane, providing him with daily hands-on experience with SCCM, Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8.

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