Best Practices for Migrating from Lotus Notes to an Exchange Organization

Exchange 2007

Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 will reach end of support on April 11, 2017. To stay supported, you will need to upgrade. For more information, see Resources to help you upgrade your Office 2007 servers and clients.


Applies to: Exchange Server 2007, Exchange Server 2007 SP1, Exchange Server 2007 SP2, Exchange Server 2007 SP3

Topic Last Modified: 2016-11-10

The process of moving from a Lotus Notes directory and messaging system to Active Directory directory service and Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 occurs in three distinct phases:

  • Plan and prepare

  • Interoperate

  • Migrate

The first phase, plan and prepare, involves:

  • Collecting information about the current mail environment.

  • Learning about Microsoft and third-party integration and migration tools and their capabilities.

  • Planning for Active Directory and Exchange 2007.

  • This phase collects information that is required to install and configure the interoperability and migration tools. Determine if the current network design, topology, and bandwidth are adequate for the new messaging environment, where to place the Microsoft Exchange servers, and which Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Domino servers will be connected for directory synchronization and mail routing during a coexistence period.

In this phase, you also define an overall plan and schedule. The plan should be tested in a lab environment that simulates the production environment as closely as possible.

The second phase, interoperate, is where some users have been migrated to the Microsoft platform, while other users are still using Lotus Notes. These two environments use the interoperability tools available from Microsoft to synchronize directory information and to perform free/busy lookups. Mail is routed between the Lotus Domino 6.x and 7.x servers and Exchange 2007 servers via Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP).

Issues that you should consider when planning for interoperability include:

  • Preserve message paths to maintain uninterrupted message transfer   During interoperability, users must be able to route and receive e-mail messages from other corporate users and with Internet recipients. Make sure that the messages are transferred to the correct destinations regardless of the recipient's mail platform.

  • Synchronize directory information to maintain consistent and current address book information   When users send e-mail messages, they have access to a user's current e-mail address. As a result of this requirement, user and distribution lists and groups must be maintained in both directories during coexistence.

  • Synchronize calendar information to provide all users with current free/busy information   Many companies use the calendaring component in Lotus Domino as the primary means for scheduling meetings. This functionality must be available during coexistence. This allows users to see when other users are available for meetings and route meeting requests between the mail environments.

In the third phase, migrate, users are moved from the Lotus Domino messaging platform to Exchange 2007. By migrating users in batches, you have the ability to modify and update the migration and training methodologies based on experience. This approach also limits the number of users migrated to a new platform and thus reduces the number of calls to the Help desk by new users. Users should be batched based on their workgroups and locations, so that users and their assistants are able to continue to work together with minimal interference.

While users are being migrated in batches, they require the ability to send mail and check free/busy information for users on both systems. After all users have been migrated to Exchange, the interoperate and migrate phases are complete.

For additional guidance about these phases and information about tools from Microsoft that enable interoperability and migration from Lotus Domino to Exchange, see the Microsoft TechNet Resources for Moving to the Microsoft Collaboration Platform Web site.