Setting Up Office 365 Using DigitalOcean’s DNS Management

Some people get confused when it comes to adding certain DNS records. Let’s see how it works with Office 365.

If you’re not familiar with how to set up certain things in regards to DNS, you might get a little stumped using Microsoft’s instructions. They do provide specific how-to’s with a lot of popular DNS hosting providers, but there’s no way to add one-size-fits-all instructions (well, there is, but only if you know what you’re doing). For those on DigitalOcean (ref), here’s how you can set up your DNS records to get your email services working.

Confirm your domain name using a TXT record

First off, go ahead and follow through with step 1, which is used to confirm that you own the domain name you’re setting up. I chose to use the TXT record, which was a matter of going into DigitalOcean’s DNS manager, clicking the domain name we wanted to edit, and then clicking “Add Record” at the top-right of the screen. This will give you a drop-down of the available options. Select TXT and inside of the Enter Name field, type Take note of the trailing dot at the end there. Then, in the Enter Text field, paste the value they want you to add. It looks something like ms=4382944, if I recall correctly. Don’t use that one, as I just made up those numbers. Wait anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours for this to process. We can’t edit TTL (time to live) at the time of this writing, on DigitalOcean, so expect to wait about an hour, as the default TTL is set to 1800. Go through steps 2 and 3, following the instructions given.

Step four of four

Now we’re at the good part. All of the DNS records. Most of these will be easy, so I’ll give a general outline of what you need to enter for each record.

CNAME records

When told to enter a CNAME record, use the values they give you. So if they say to add , enter that into the name field, but don’t forget the trailing period. So it’ll be . For the hostname, paste the value they give, and again, add the trailing period.

TXT records

When told to enter TXT records, you’ll use in the name field, or @ if you have an A record pointing to your droplet’s IP address. Either will work. For the value (Enter Text) field:

"v=spf1 -all"

— use that exactly, with the quotes. When entering TXT values with white space, you’ll want to wrap it with quotes, otherwise the text could be read as one string (without the spaces). Which would be wrong. Take note that this can be your only SPF record and it must look exactly like this. Office 365 won’t detect it at all if you’ve modified the value, so be sure to use this and double check that what I’m showing here hasn’t changed and is current. You can change this SPF record after it has been verified during the initial set up. So if you want to include your droplet and other sources, edit the record later.

SRV records

Here’s the hardest part to do. You’ll be given a bunch of values and a protocol to use, but there won’t be specific fields as to where to add these. So make sure the formatting is as such,
Priority: 100
Port: 443
Weight: 1

And the next one,
Priority: 100
Port: 5061
Weight: 1

Good job, you’re all done!

Keep hitting that retry button or go off and get yourself a “job well-done” snack. Once your DNS has been refreshed and detected by Microsoft, you’ll be good to go. Now you can move on to more important things. If you’ve ran into any trouble or if I wasn’t clear enough on what to do, feel free to leave a comment with your issue and we’ll work through it. Together. *Tear*