Use Inbound and Outbound Connectors to Configure Custom Mail Flow
Applies to: Exchange Online Protection, Exchange Online
Topic Last Modified: 2013-09-20
You can configure custom email-flow scenarios using Inbound and Outbound connectors. For example, you can configure a connector to redirect outbound mail to an on-premises server that applies additional processing before delivering mail to its final destination. The configuration steps vary for each scenario.
The terms Outbound and Inbound connectors refer to the direction mail is traveling to and from Exchange Online Protection (EOP). An Outbound connector sends email to a partner or to your on-premises environment. An Inbound connector receives mail from a partner or from your on-premises environment. You can create and edit connectors in the Exchange admin center (EAC) under Mail flow > Connectors.
|For answers to common questions about connectors, including details about general connector settings in the EAC, we recommend that you read our Inbound and Outbound Connector FAQ.|
Each of these scenarios links to more information, illustrations, and setup steps.
Outbound mail is redirected to an on-premises server that applies additional processing before delivering mail to its final destination.
Forced inbound and outbound transport layer security (TLS) is used to secure communication with a partner.
A connector associated with a transport rule routes mail to a specific site.
Connectors are a key part of configuring a hybrid deployment, which is where you host a portion of your mailboxes on premises and a portion hosted in the cloud (Exchange Online). Hybrid deployments enable customers who have business requirements to keep some mailboxes on-premises while also taking advantage of Exchange Online.
Not too long ago, hybrid deployments required manual connector configuration. Now we don’t recommend performing manual steps when you configure a hybrid deployment. The Office 365 team has created tools to automate the setup process and make it much easier.
Exchange Server 2013 Hybrid Deployments explains hybrid configuration and links to resources that show you how to set up a hybrid deployment.