Until recently, users of Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) had to open a support ticket to enable server side email forwarding. However, Microsoft released a set of PowerShell scripts in February 2011 which allows administrators who are comfortable with the command line to set this up on their own. Using the command line can be intimidating, but it isn’t that difficult if proper instructions are provided. Microsoft provides instructions and even a short screencast on how to do this but both leave out important steps. I’ll try to fill in the gaps in this post.
Note: Only BPOS administrators can perform this process. End users will not be able to set up forwarding using this method even on their own account.
1. If you are an administrator for your BPOS account then the first thing to do is download and install the Microsoft Online Services Migration Tools. Even though you won’t be migrating any data, these tools install the BPOS scripts needed. There is a 32 bit and a 64 bit version of the tool available.
2. In order to have emails forwarded to an email address outside of your domain you must create a contact record using the destination email address. This can be done using the BPOS Administration Center by clicking “New contact” on the “Service Settings” tab.
If you are trying to forward emails to firstname.lastname@example.org, that email address that must be specified in the contact form.
3. Open the Migration Command Shell from the Microsoft Online Services\Migration folder on your Start menu.
4. Execute the Set-MSOnlineAlternateRecipient command. You can use the syntax shown below or refer to this article for further detail.
Set-MSOnlineAlternateRecipient –DeliverToBoth $True –Identity <user> –AlternateRecipient <destination email> –Credential (Get-Credential)
If you open a generic PowerShell session instead of using the MOS Command Shell as shown in Step 3, you will get an error saying “The term ‘Set-MSOnlineAlternateRecipient’ is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet….”
5. Upon successful completion, you will see a message stating that you “Successfully set alternate recipient for mailbox…”