Community Knowledge Base

Microsoft Exchange Functionality

This feature is only available using SmarterMail Enterprise licensed with the EAS and/or MAPI & EWS add-ons.

Microsoft Exchange is the standard for corporate email servers. Whether using an on-premise installation or a Microsoft 365 subscription, there is no doubt that Microsoft Exchange, coupled with Microsoft Outlook, offer the features and functionality that email users require for their day-to-day communication.

For years, there was very little competition with Exchange. While there were competing mail products on the market -- third-party products, Yahoo! mail, AOL, and even the rise of Gmail -- the functionality users had with Outlook coupled with Exchange were virtually untouchable. Then came SmarterMail.

Over the years, SmarterMail has grown to be one of the primary competitors to Microsoft Exchange. With the addition of EAS support, the power of mobile email was introduced. Now, SmarterMail offers MAPI & EWS, for true, native Microsoft Outlook integration on desktops that gives Exchange a run for its money. And, speaking of money, SmarterMail offers that functionality for a mere FRACTION of what it costs to run Exchange, either on premise or using Microsoft 365.


MAPI is Microsoft's "Outlook protocol". That means it is the foundation by which Outlook on Windows does things like share tasks, calendars and email folders; set up meetings; create contact groups and much more. EWS is a similar protocol, but one that was developed specifically for integration with the Apple ecosystem. While other, non-Mac email clients have adopted EWS (e.g., eM Client), it primarily works with Apple Mail on the Mac.

What makes SmarterMail's use of MAPI different than its competitors is that SmarterMail has native, server-level integration of MAPI, just like Microsoft Exchange. Other products use separate pieces of software that are installed on client machines to "emulate" Exchange functionality. These "Outlook Connectors" don't provide the full suite of Exchange features to Outlook. In addition, they're another piece of software that a client has to install, and that mail administrators or IT staff have to manage.

NOTE: MAPI is only supported in Microsoft Outlook 2016 and above for Windows. Outlook for MacOS uses EWS. Older Outlook clients will need to connect to SmarterMail using POP3 or IMAP. Other clients, such as eM Client amd Apple Mail, can use EWS.


EAS is the industry standard for synchronizing mobile devices to SmarterMail, in addition to some email clients (e.g., Microsoft Outlook for Mac). It uses direct push technology to sync email and collaboration items to variety of mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, as well as Windows Mail, which ships as part of Windows for desktops.

Enabling Exchange Functionality

Both MAPI & EWS and EAS are licensed protocols from Microsoft. As such, they're licensed add-ons for SmarterMail. So the first step is to ensure you've licensed the add-on you want and/or need.

Next, the system administrator would need to enable either, or both, for a particular domain. To do this:

  1. Log in as the system administrator.
  2. Go to the Manage area and select a domain from the list.
  3. MAPI& EWS and EAS are actually enabled separately in the domain's configuration. Therefore, find the card for the protocol you want to enable for the domain.
  4. Add in the number of Accounts you want to allow to use either protocol.
  5. Ideally, as a system administrator, you just want to enable the protocols, then allow the domain administrator to manage which accounts actually use the protocols. To achieve this, enable Allow domain administrators to manage [protocol] for users. This allows the domain administrator to assign the protocol to an actual mailbox.

That's it: you've enabled Microsoft Exchange functionality for that domain.

Enabling Exchange Functionality for More Than One Domain

It IS possible to propagate Exchange functionality to more than one domain at a time. You do this using Domain Defaults. You would manage the settings just as you do for a single domain, but then propagate the settings to all domains or even select domains. For more information on this, see the Domain Defaults and Propagation section of the Manage page.