Configuring SMTP services on Windows 7

Following a successful implementation of SQL Server Reporting Services on Windows 7 Professional, I then set out to try and figure out how to add on SMTP services, so that I could generate scheduled emails.

SMTP services are not installed by default on Windows 7, so the relevant information seems to be in http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/vstudio/en-US/ad9e940b-fe29-49fc-9bc4-6e572d505b2f/how-to-install-and-configure-smtp-server-in-windows-7?forum=csharpgeneral

Stating that you can install the services through the Remote Server Admin Tools (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=7887) and once installed, services can be switched on using Windows Features.

I was already Service Pack 1 (included in the download) but ran the install anyway, and then found SMTP services in Windows Features. Pleased the job was so easy, restarted the computer to start configuring the service.

The service didn’t exist in the list, so I started looking at the IIS console to switch it on and IIS 6.0 had been installed, but trying to open the instance for the machine stated SMTP was not installed.

After more googling, people were suggesting that various settings on windows features should be switched on, mainly around IIS, so once these were switched on IIS7 was installed – again with no access to SMTP servers.

Further checking seems to suggest that SMTP services are only available if you installed Remote Server Admin Tools BEFORE installing Service Pack 1 (which is odd, as that seems to be the first thing installed by the RSAT download) – http://geekswithblogs.net/ferdous/archive/2011/03/15/smtp-setup-for-windows-7.aspx. I have not been able to prove or disprove this as I’m not prepared to roll back a work machine I use everyday to check.

I think (and I am no expert here) that the issue relates to what remote server admin tools are – people are incorrectly interpreting the question ‘how can I get an smtp server operational on a computer running windows 7’ and answering it with ‘is there a piece of software that contains smtp server that I can get a windows 7 install package for’. The true use of the remote server admin tools is described on the download page as: “Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows® 7 with SP1 enables IT administrators to manage roles and features that are installed on computers that are running Windows Server® 2008 R2, Windows Server® 2008, or Windows Server® 2003, from a remote computer that is running Windows 7 or Windows 7 with SP1.” The element I believe to be important is the install contains “SMTP Server Tools” – not SMTP server – which is described as “SMTP Server Tools includes the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) snap-in”.

So therefore the ability to load a snap in through a MMC which in turn allows you to control the SMTP services on a Windows Server remotely, will be installed. Again this is only an interpretation as I’ve not actually loaded the snap in on my MMC but that’s probably more my ineptitude 😉

It would appear you need to get a third party SMTP server and install that. MS don’t provide one.

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