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Gateway Messaging Connectors Architecture

 

Topic Last Modified: 2005-05-23

In Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, there are two types of messaging connectors: native connectors and gateway connectors. Native connectors include the Routing Group connector (in Exchange Server 5.5, this is Site Connector), SMTP connector, and X.400 connector. You can use these connectors to connect Exchange routing groups to each other. However, because the SMTP connector and X.400 connector use standard protocols (that is, SMTP and X.400), you can also use these native connectors as gateway connectors to non-Exchange messaging systems.

Gateway connectors generally use non-standard protocols, or proprietary APIs to connect Exchange to non-Exchange messaging systems, such as Novell GroupWise or Lotus Notes. The gateway connectors provided with Exchange Server 2003 (that is, Exchange Connector for Novell GroupWise and Exchange Connector for Lotus Notes) support directory synchronization and message conversion. However, these are not the only gateway connectors available. Non-Microsoft vendors use the Exchange Development Kit (EDK) to develop proprietary gateway connectors for other types of messaging systems. Gateway connectors based on the EDK rely on MAPI. For this reason, this section refers to gateway connectors as MAPI-based connectors.

This section discusses the following concepts:

  • General EDK connector architecture   All MAPI-based connectors have several characteristics in common. You must understand the EDK connector architecture to evaluate how both Microsoft and non-Microsoft connectors integrate with Exchange Server 2003. For detailed information about programming MAPI-based connectors, see the Exchange 2000 Sample Gateway.
  • Connector for Lotus Notes architecture   This MAPI-based connector includes components required for communication with Lotus Notes. You must understand how these components interact with each other to understand how Exchange Server 2003 accomplishes message transfer and directory synchronization with Lotus Notes.
  • Connector for Novell GroupWise architecture   This MAPI-based connector includes components required for communication with Novell GroupWise. You must know how these components interact with each other to understand how Exchange Server 2003 accomplishes message transfer and directory synchronization with Novell GroupWise.
  • Calendar Connector architecture   Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Calendar Connector does not transfer messages, as other connectors do. Instead, this connector provides Exchange Server 2003 and Lotus Notes or Novell GroupWise users with almost real-time access to each other's free/busy calendar information. If you want to synchronize Exchange and non-Exchange free/busy information, you must understand how the components of Calendar Connector integrate with Connector for Lotus Notes and Connector for Novell GroupWise.

This section explains the architecture of MAPI-based connectors available in Exchange Server 2003. MAPI-based connectors are exclusively used to connect an Exchange organization to a non-Exchange messaging system, such as Lotus Notes or Novell GroupWise. It is assumed that you are familiar with the configuration of connector components in Exchange System Manager. For more information about how to connect and migrate a non-Exchange messaging system to Exchange Server 2003, see the Exchange Server 2003 Interoperability and Migration Guide.

 
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