Migrating from Domino to Exchange 2007 (Part 1)

If you would like to read the other articles in this series please go to:

Exchange 2003 comes with several separate tools to allow you to coexist with, and migrate from, Lotus Domino. These are the Microsoft Connector for Lotus Notes, the Microsoft Exchange Calendar Connector and the Exchange Migration Wizard. The connector itself has two main purposes, namely to transfer messages between the two systems as well as to provide directory synchronization in both directions. The calendar connector, as its name suggests, allows users to see calendar free/busy information no matter whether they are located on Exchange or Domino, whilst the migration wizard extracts data from the Domino mail databases and imports it into an Exchange mailbox. These tools have served consultants and administrators well over the years as systems have been migrated from Domino to Exchange.

Now with Exchange 2007 we have the new Microsoft Transporter Suite for Lotus Domino which offers new and updated tools in one convenient suite. In the same way that Exchange 2007 comes equipped with the Exchange Management Console, the transporter suite comes equipped with the Transporter Management Console. This ensures that administrators are presented with a familiar interface that they can quickly adapt to using. Furthermore, in the same way that Exchange 2007 comes equipped with the Exchange Management Shell, the transporter suite offers its own Transporter Command Shell meaning that administrators can take full advantage of the powerful shell commands to perform tasks such as the scripted migration of mailboxes from Domino to Exchange 2007.

The transporter suite consists of five components. These are:

  • Directory Connector. This synchronizes objects between the Domino Directory and Active Directory in much the same way the Microsoft Connector for Lotus Notes does in Exchange 2003.
  • Free/Busy Connector. Like its Exchange 2003 counterpart, this gives users running the Outlook and Lotus Notes clients the ability to perform calendar free/busy queries across the two systems.
  • Directory Migration. The directory migration component allows you to create new Active Directory user accounts for the Domino Directory users.
  • Mailbox Migration. This performs the actual migration of user data from Domino mail databases to Exchange 2007 mailboxes.
  • Application Migration. The application migration component allows for the migration of Domino applications to Microsoft SharePoint.

One thing you may notice from the above list is the lack of anything that actually allows bi-directional message transfer between Domino and Exchange 2007. This is because message routing between Domino and Exchange 2007 now uses SMTP rather than the more traditional method of routing messages across the Microsoft Connector for Lotus Notes. I will not cover this area any further within this article as there is not much more to say about SMTP routing that has not been covered as yet in many other articles.

I would also like to point out at this stage, that the focus of this article will be on the first four components listed above, which means that we will not be looking at how to migrate Domino applications to SharePoint. Additionally, I shall not be focusing on the specific steps on how to configure the Domino environment with regards to processes such as creating new person documents or setting up Domino for SMTP mail, for example. These processes are fully detailed in the online Domino documentation.  What I will cover, though, is configuring the Domino foreign domain document required for the Free/Busy Connector in part three of this article. There is quite a lot of material to cover, so this article will be spread over six parts.

Prerequisites and Version Support

In most coexistence and migration scenarios, the particular version of the source messaging system that is supported by the migration tools is always of concern. The first thing to determine is that on the build of the transporter suite that I tested, Microsoft states that it is a requirement that the Lotus Notes 6.x or 7.x client is installed on the server that will run the Directory Connector; the Directory Connector is something we will create later on.

There are also things to note around Microsoft’s support for the versions of Lotus Domino. Only Lotus Domino 6.x and 7.x are supported for interoperability. In other words, you cannot use Lotus Domino 5 for directory synchronization, free/busy lookups or message routing using SMTP. However, Lotus Domino 5 is supported for the user and email migration that we will perform later on in this article. 

Finally, the transporter suite is not supported on Windows Vista at the time of writing this article. For this article, I am using Exchange 2007 and Lotus Domino 7.0.2.

Coexistence & Migration Scenario

In this article, I am going to use the scenario of two organizations called neilhobson.com and nghcloud.co.uk. You may have heard of these organizations before. neilhobson.com is already using Exchange 2007 and has recently purchased nghcloud.co.uk who is using Domino 7. neilhobson.com has an SMTP domain name of neilhobson.com, whilst nghcloud.co.uk has an SMTP domain name of nghcloud.co.uk. neilhobson.com decides to enter an initial coexistence phase with nghcloud.co.uk as it cannot migrate all users from Domino to Exchange immediately. There are four major steps required to complete the process of coexistence and migration from Domino to Exchange. They are:

  • Directory synchronization. This is where neilhobson.com and nghcloud.co.uk share address books across the two systems.
  • Free/Busy lookups. Configuration of the free/busy connector allows users on either system to check the availability of users on the opposing system.
  • Migrate users to Active Directory. This process ensures that the Domino users’ email addresses are represented in the Exchange Global Address List (GAL).
  • Migrate mail to Exchange. When nghcloud.co.uk is ready to move users from Domino to Exchange, this process moves the users’ mailbox items from one system to the other.

To simulate this environment in my lab I have used just a single domain controller running Exchange 2007 and another server running Domino 7.0.2. Of course, in real-world environments it is likely that the various components, such as the transporter suite itself, will be spread across different servers. Also, I am going to use the initial Domino administrator account that was first set up as the account that I will be using to run the transporter suite – this will have all required Domino permissions. In a live environment, a dedicated account would likely be used and so where appropriate I will detail the Domino permissions required for this account.

Installing the Transporter Suite

Before we get on with directory synchronization and then the actual migration, we need to install the transporter suite on the Exchange 2007 server. Before we do that, do not forget that you will need the Notes client installed onto the Exchange 2007 server as well. As this is an article focused on Exchange, I will not give full details of that here – there is plenty of online help in this area. The process of installing the transporter suite is a simple process which is achieved as follows: 

  1. Download the transporter suite from this location. Note that there are two versions of the file, namely transporter.msi for 64-bit systems and transporter32.msi for 32-bit systems.
  2. On the Exchange 2007 server, run the relevant MSI installer and go through the opening welcome screen followed by the license agreement screen.
  3. At the Select Components and Install Location screen, ensure that the Microsoft Transporter Tools option is selected for installation but that the Free Busy Connector Add-In Task for Lotus Domino is not. Do not forget on this screen to make sure that the installation location is set to your desired location. The default location is C:\Program Files\Microsoft Transporter Tools. This screen is shown in Figure 1.
  4. Finally at the Ready to Install screen, click Install.

Figure 1:
Transporter Suite Component Selection

Once installed, you will notice a new program folder called Microsoft Transporter Suite for Domino that contains the management console and shell.

Directory Synchronization

In our sample scenario, the first step for neilhobson.com having acquired nghcloud.co.uk is for the two organizations to have a consistent GAL across the two systems. In other words, all users should be able to see every other user from within the Exchange and Domino systems.

Domino users will be synchronized into neilhobson.com’s Active Directory as mail-enabled contacts, so it makes sense to create a specific Organizational Unit (OU) for this purpose. There can only be a single target OU defined as the import container and within this article this OU will be called Domino Users. Similarly, Exchange-related Active Directory objects such as users, groups and contacts will be synchronized into the nghcloud.co.uk Domino system, specifically into the default NAMES.NSF directory. You will see later on that there are check boxes for configuring whether or not Active Directory mail-enabled groups and contacts are synchronized into Domino, so these choices are optional.

Let us run through the process of creating the Directory Connector to allow this synchronization process to occur. To successfully complete the process from the Exchange side, the account used must be delegated the Exchange Server Administrator role.

Actually creating the Directory Connector is a very straightforward affair as there aren’t any options to configure. You can either create the connector with the Transporter Command Shell or via the Transporter Management Console. Let us look at using the console first:

  1. With the management console open, select the Connect option from the console tree.
  2. Either right-click the Connect option and choose Create Directory Connector… from the context menu, or choose the same named option from the Action pane.
  3. You will now be at the Create Directory Connector wizard introduction screen. Click Next here and then click Create at the Progress screen. Job done! You can then click Finish to exit the wizard.

To do the same via the shell, just run the New-DominoDirectoryConnector cmdlet. It is as easy as that, although you can create the connector and configure it with the various settings at the same time. The result is a newly created Directory Connector as seen in Figure 2. It is not configured though, which is something we will be looking at in part two of this article.

Figure 2:
Newly Created Directory Connector


The first part of this six part article has introduced the new Transporter Suite for Lotus Domino and discussed pre-requisites and installation. We have also looked at the initial steps required to implement directory synchronization between Exchange and Domino. In the next part of this article we will look at completing the directory synchronization process.

If you would like to read the other articles in this series please go to:

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