How to setup AWS SES SMTP Relay on Windows Server

SMTP is used in CRM Applications, websites, scanners, databses, and many systems for the purpose of sending the email notification.

Some CRM supports basic authenticatoin as well as TLS. However, some only supports basic authentication but doesn’t support TLS. In this scenario, we can utilise AWS SMTP SES.

If you have CRM that only supports basic authentication for SMTP, and you don’t have on premise SMTP server, you can utilise AWS SMTP SES SMTP Relay.

In this note, i will explain how i successfully setup AWS SES SMTP Relay in windows server 2012 so that CRM could use it to send the email notification.

Please note that, I will not explain how to setup AWS SMTP SES in this blog.

Set up AWS SES SMTP

You must first setup AWS SES SMTP and have following credential/information on hand

  • SMTP Smart Host or server address for AWS
  • Username
  • Password

Add SMTP Windows feature on Windows Server

Go to Server Manager > Click on Tools > Click on Add Roles and Features

Click Next on “Before you begin” page > Click “Next” on “Server Selection” page > Click “Next” on “Server Roles” page. When you reach “Features” page, click on “SMTP Server”

When you click on “SMTP” feature, it will display the additional required features that will need to be added. As we can see following features will be installed with SMTP feature

  • Remote Server Administration Tools
  • Web Server (IIS)

Next, you click on “Add Feature” buton, and keep moving next, and the windows server will need to install the SMTP feature

Next, verify the installation is complete.

Setup SMTP Relay in Windows Server

Now, we have added the SMTP feature in the Windows server, we can start setting up SMTP Relay.

  1. Go to Server Manager
  2. Click on “Tools”
  3. Click on “Internet Service (IIS) 6.0 Manager to open the SMTP relay server manager wizard
  1. Once IIS Manager is open expand “Internet Information Services”
  2. Expand local computer
  3. Expand SMTP Virtual Server #1
  4. Right click on “SMTP Virtual Server #1” click on “Properties”
  5. Once Properties box is open, you will see following tabs.
    • General
    • Access
    • Messages
    • Delivery
    • LDAP Routing
    • Security

We will only need to touch “Access” and “Delivery” tabls

  1. Go to “Access” tabls
  2. Go to “Connection”
  3. Click on “Only the list below” radio button, and add the IP address
  4. If you want to only allow the local host to use SMTP relay, put 127.0.0.1 on Single Computer. OR
  5. If you want to let other hosts in your local network use this relay, put your local ip address ip range with subnet mask. In my case its 192.168.16.1 255.255.255.0
  6. Do the same thing for Relay
  7. Now, go to “Delivery” tab, click on “Outbound Security” and tick “Basic Authentication” and “TLS encryption” and put the AWS SES SMTP username and password
  8. Go to outbound connection and make sure TCP port 25 is there
  9. Now, go to “Advanced” and put the smart host for example for example, email-smtp.us-west-2.amazonaws.com

Setup Connection and Relay in Access tab

Put the local ip range

Put AWS SES SMTP credential
Put AWS SES SMTP smart host

After you have followed the above steps currectly, the SMTP relay server should be using.

How to use SMTP relay

We have setup SMTP relay on the windows server. In order to use SMTP relay in CRM, you will just need to put the IP address of that windows server (where you have setup SMTP relay) in smtp server field of CRM. Please note, you won’t need to put username and password there, not will you have to tick or specify basic authentication. The only thing you will need to do is put the ip address of that windows server.

Once you update the smtp connection, test and check if it works.

Reference and Sources

https://docs.aws.amazon.com/ses/latest/dg/send-email-windows-server.html

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