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Is it OK for Outlook to send message to Groupwise SMTP server?

Hello, I am a SQL Server DBA working with SQL Server 7 and 2000 on NT4 and Win2000. We would like to use the SQL agent mail component of SQL server to notify us if a SQL agent job fails. To do this, we must install a client like Outlook Express on our database servers. There has been some concern that MAP on the SQL boxes would create some huge risk from our employees. We don't have Exchange servers, so the Outlook client would be sending the message to a Groupwise SMTP server. Does any of this cause an unacceptable risk?
You're going to have to examine the risk and determine for yourself if it is acceptable. Every component that you add introduces risk, but every component can be added with additional security hardening. One thing you can do is limit the permissions on the extended procedures that manage and send SQL agent mail -- one of the risks in using SQL mail or SQL agent mail is that it works both ways. By default, you can configure alerts to have the process e-mail you, but a response can also be generated by issuing a SQL query -- in this way, you might allow the execution of SQL statements that could expose information or perhaps somehow change it or damage the server. If permissions on the extended procedures are set to limit who can use the procedures, you can mitigate that threat.
This was last published in August 2003

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