Choosing an Email Provider

Problem statement

This article explains the differences between a tenant’s built-in email provider and a custom email provider.

  • Every tenant comes with access to a built-in email provider. Describe the limitations of this provider and the situations in which it may be appropriate to use it.
  • Discuss why the use of a custom email provider is recommended for Production environments.


About the built-in email provider

Every new tenant has access to a basic email delivery service called the built-in email provider. There is nothing to install or configure.

The built-in email provider has the following limitations:

  • Only suitable for basic testing of email functionality. It is limited to delivering a maximum of 10 emails per minute. If this limit is exceeded, then the excess messages are silently discarded.
  • No guarantees are offered with regard to reliability, so it should not be used in a Production environment.
  • It cannot be used if customized emails are required. To customize email delivery templates, a 3rd party email provider must be provisioned. For more details, refer to Customize Email Templates.

These constraints mean that it should not be used in a Production environment.

The built-in provider is only suitable for scenarios where there is a low volume of messages to process and where reliability is not of major importance. For example, a Development tenant.

About custom email providers

A tenant can be configured with a range of custom email providers. For the current list of supported providers, refer to Configure External SMTP Email Providers

Compared to the built-in provider, these commercial services offer superior performance, reliability, and message traceability. The use of a custom email provider is strongly recommended for use in a Production environment.

It is usually necessary to take out a paid subscription with the business that provides the chosen service, though some may offer a Free tier.