Exchange & Outlook UPDATE, Exchange Edition, December 18, 2003

This Issue Sponsored By

Mailwise

http://www.mailwise.com

NetIQ

http://www.netiq.com/f/form/form.asp?id=2086&origin=NS_ExchUpdte_111803

===============

1. Commentary

- Scripting Exchange

2. Announcements

- Announcing a New eBook: "Content Security in the Enterprise--Spam and Beyond"

- Take Our Print Publications Survey!

- New--Microsoft Security Strategies Roadshow 2004!

3. Resources

- Outlook 2003's Junk Email Filter Update

- Featured Thread: Corrupt PDF Files

- Outlook Tip: Saving Your Customized Outlook Forms

4. Event

- Receive a Free Identity Management White Paper!

5. New and Improved

- Search Your Email to Recover Information

- Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!

6. Contact Us

- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

==========

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==========

==== 1. Commentary: Scripting Exchange ==== by Paul Robichaux, News Editor, [email protected]

One criticism that UNIX-based mail administrators often level at Exchange Server is that it's too difficult to automate administrative Exchange tasks by using scripts. (For a fascinating look at the cultural divide between Windows and UNIX programmers and why scripting is so important in the UNIX world, see http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/biculturalism.html ). This criticism isn't entirely fair because many common Exchange tasks can be scripted--if you know how. This week, let's take a look at the scripting and automation support in Windows Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2003.

First, let's dispense with the issue of languages. Too many admins still think of .bat files as the pinnacle of scripting power. Not anymore! Now we have Windows Script Host. WSH is a script language engine that lets you plug in interpreters for multiple scripting languages. You can use VBScript, JScript, Perl, and Python, among others--I think there's even a REXX port--to write scripts that run on your servers. Besides WSH, several third-party products (e.g., ActiveState Perl, KiXstart) let you write Exchange scripts.

Second, and more important, what do you do with the scripts you write? Microsoft has built a couple of powerful scripting interfaces that you can use to automate a lot of interesting tasks. Active Directory Service Interfaces (ADSI) gives you a scriptable gateway to Active Directory's (AD's) most interesting functionality. For example, ADSI lets you bind to domain controllers (DCs), create and remove user and group accounts, query for various domain- or forest-level settings, and find servers.

Exchange itself offers the Collaboration Data Objects for Exchange Management (CDOEXM) library, which offers a surprising degree of power. For example, you can use CDOEXM calls to create, mount, and dismount mailbox stores; move mailboxes; create and remove distribution groups; and do all sorts of other cool things. Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) has tons of CDOEXM samples to help you get started; just run a query on "CDOEXM."

If you're writing applications that use the Windows .NET Framework, you might wonder whether you need to write wrappers to let you use CDOEXM from managed code. The answer, thankfully, is no. The upcoming Exchange Server Objects (XSO) framework will provide managed .NET code that gives you access to some crucial Exchange functionality. Expect more details about XSO in the future.

Of course, scriptability isn't a panacea. Unless you're a programmer, scripting won't help you much with most of your common tasks, and even if you are a programmer, some tasks are still awkward or impossible to script in Windows. Therefore, Microsoft is reengineering its scripting infrastructure through a project code-named Monad. The goal is nothing less than a revolution in how we automate and script Windows administrative tasks. The details are outside the scope of this column, but if you're interested, a Google search on "monad Windows" will turn up some mighty interesting links.

Finally, a quick update on the Blair's Death Rain potato chips I mentioned last week. Several folks wrote to ask where they could get them and whether they were any good. Mine haven't arrived yet, so I don't know exactly how hot they are, but if you want to try some for yourself, you can order them from http:// HYPERLINK "http://www.ironq.com" www.ironq.com . Be sure to have a glass of water on hand--just in case.

==========

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==========

==== 2. Announcements ==== (from Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

Announcing a New eBook: "Content Security in the Enterprise--Spam and Beyond"

This eBook explores how to reduce and eliminate the risks from Internet applications such as email, Web browsing, and Instant Messaging by limiting inappropriate use, eliminating spam, protecting corporate information assets, and ensuring that these vital resources are secure and available for authorized business purposes. Download this eBook now free!

http://www.windowsitlibrary.com/ebooks/spam/index.cfm

Take Our Print Publications Survey!

To help us improve the hardware and software product coverage in the Windows & .NET Magazine print publications, we need your opinion about what products matter most to you and your organization. The survey takes only a few minutes to finish, so share your thoughts with us at

http://websurveyor.net/wsb.dll/12237/editorsproduct.htm

New--Microsoft Security Strategies Roadshow 2004!

Join industry-guru Mark Minasi on this exciting 20-city tour and learn more about tips and best practices to secure your Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 networks. There is no charge for this event, but space is limited, so register today!

http://www.winnetmag.com/roadshows/computersecurity2004

==========

~~~~ Hot Release: Aelita Software ~~~~

In this white paper, noted Microsoft Exchange expert Kieran McCorry, from HP's Exchange consulting group, outlines the options for migrating to Exchange Server 2003. The paper discusses inter-org migrations, intra-org migrations and how to benefit from consolidation during deployment. Request this free white paper today.

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==========

==== 3. Resources ====

Outlook 2003's Junk Email Filter Update

Outlook 2003's SmartScreen spam filter is updatable. The first update is now available.

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=832333

Featured Thread: Corrupt PDF Files

A forum reader is trying to figure out why certain PDF files become corrupted during transfer through the reader's Exchange Server 5.5 mail server. To offer your advice or join the discussion, go to the following URL:

http://www.winnetmag.com/forums/rd.cfm?cid=40&tid=66145

Outlook Tip: Saving Your Customized Outlook Forms by Sue Mosher, [email protected]

Q: I want to customize several Outlook forms. How can I back up my customizations?

A: Use the File, Save As command to save each form as an .oft template file. If the forms are mail or post forms, you must turn off WordMail as the editor. To do so, choose Tools, Options, Mail Format, and clear the "Use Microsoft Word to edit e-mail messages" check box.

See the Windows & .NET Magazine Exchange & Outlook Web page for more great tips from Sue Mosher.

http://www.winnetmag.com/microsoftexchangeoutlook

==== 4. Event ==== (brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine)

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http://www.winnetmag.com/seminars/identity

==== 5. New and Improved ==== by Carolyn Mader, [email protected]

Search Your Email to Recover Information

GEO released MailNavigator 1.8, software that combines an email and news client with an email search system. You can use MailNavigator to search efficiently through email boxes or to recover information from Outlook, Outlook Express, Netscape Messenger, or Eudora mail archives. If, as a result of a computer crash, Outlook Express or another mail client can't read its message archives, you can try opening them in MailNavigator and exporting them back. The software runs on Windows XP/2000/Me/9x systems.

http://www.mailnavigator.com

Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!

Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Tell us about the product, and we'll send you a Windows & .NET Magazine T-shirt if we write about the product in a future Windows & .NET Magazine What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions with information about how the product has helped you to [email protected]

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==========

==== 6. Contact Us ====

About the newsletter -- [email protected]

About technical questions -- http://www.winnetmag.com/forums

About product news -- [email protected]

About your subscription -- [email protected]

About sponsoring UPDATE -- [email protected]

===============

This email newsletter is brought to you by Exchange & Outlook Administrator, the print newsletter with practical advice, tips, and techniques covering migration, backup and restoration, security, and much more. Subscribe today.

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Copyright 2003, Penton Media, Inc.

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