Implementing NNTP using Microsoft Exchange Server 2003
With Exchange Server 2003 the NNTP service is disabled by default and must be enabled to run. You should set this service to “start automatically”, then your virtual NNTP service can run properly.
The next step is creating Newsgroups and enabling your users to use them.
Figure 1: Enabling NNTP Protocol
After enabling the NNTP Protocol on your Exchange Server 2003 you will have to create the newsgroups you want to use.
Figure 2: Creating Newsgroups (1)
Figure 3: Creating Newsgroups (2)
Figure 4: Creating Newsgroups (3)
Figure 5: Newsgroup Properties
After this procedure all your users are able to use the new newsgroup(s) using a Newsreader (e.g. Outlook Express or Gravity). As you can see enabling newsgroups is quite easy using Exchange Server 2003 but means using other programs than your generic outlook client on your client computers.
If you want to provide public newsgroup access for your users with controlled access, you should configure newsfeeds. Your Exchange Server 2003 will be able to communicate with public newsgroups using the default NNTP port 119 and will provide your internal users access to them like any other public folders.
You can define detailed security configurations and are able to control whether it is only a pull or a push and pull configuration. A push configuration means that your Exchange Server is republishing the entries of your users within the public folders to the external newsgroups.
The following steps provide documentation how to create public newsfeeds on your Exchange Server 2003.
Figure 6: Creating Newsfeeds (1)
If you would like to use newsfeeds you should not forget to contact the newsgroup provider if newsfeeds are available, because in general the newsfeed command is disabled on a lot of newsgroup servers. If the provider does not permit newsfeeds you can use a tool like the “Hamster” that works like a NNTP client and provides the Exchange Server with a connection using newsfeeds. With this tool you are able to use newfeeds without any trouble with nearly every newsgroup you want.
Figure 7: Configuring the Remote Server Role
Figure 8: Configuring Inbound and Outbound Feeds
Figure 9: Creating the Newsfeed Time Windows
Figure 10: Selecting the Newsgroups for the Newsfeed
Figure 11: General Newsfeed Properties
Figure 12: Including and Excluding Newsgroups
Figure 13: Creating the Synchronization Schedule
Figure 14: Configuring Newsfeed Authentication
Now all users that have access permission to the appropriate public folders are able to access newsgroups indirectly without having to use a separate newsreader.
When you are using Exchange Server 2003 as your global messaging and collaboration system in your network environment it is quite easy to configure newsfeeds to provide users access to external public newsgroups without having their clients allow communication on the NTTP port. Only your Exchange Server has to have access to it and therefore this managed solution is the best way of implementing this feature in present network environments.
If you have still any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.