Exchange & Outlook Administrator
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==== 1. Commentary: Top Exchange Downloads ==== by Paul Robichaux, News Editor, [email protected]
I've always been fascinated by meta-information (i.e., information about information), and plenty of Web-oriented companies serve it up. For example, Google's Zeitgeist page ( http://www.google.com/press/zeitgeist.html ) shows the popularity of various search terms over time, and at least one search engine has a feature that lets you see a sample of current searches in real time. Microsoft maintains an interesting meta-information page for Exchange Server: http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/downloads/mostpopular.asp lists the most popular downloads from Microsoft's Exchange Web site. The top 10 downloads reveal some interesting trends in the Exchange market and might point out some resources you've missed. Let's take a look at the list as it stands at the moment I write this.
In the #10 slot is the "What's New In Exchange 2003" white paper. This is a fairly short, reasonably technical summary of new features in Exchange Server 2003. The paper will be of interest primarily to people who are evaluating whether to deploy Exchange 2003.
At #9, we find the book "Planning an Exchange 2003 Messaging System." This meaty technical document describes the planning considerations associated with building an Exchange 2003 system. The book is valuable reading for anyone planning to deploy Exchange 2003.
If you don't like downloading documents one by one, the #8 download is for you. Weighing in at about 58MB, this download file is an archive of several useful white papers, including "Working with Exchange 2000 Server Store Permissions," "Monitoring Exchange 2000 Server with MOM," and "Mailbox Recovery for Microsoft Exchange 2000." Although many of these documents apply to Exchange 2003, all of them apply first to Exchange 2000 Server.
The Exchange 2003 Deployment Tools package comes in at #7. These tools are a key feature of Exchange 2003 because they help you scan your Exchange 2000 or Exchange Server 5.5 environment and identify what you need to do to migrate to Exchange 2003. The tools are available on the Exchange 2003 CD-ROM, but their presence on this list tells me that a sizable number of Exchange 5.5 sites are testing the waters to see how their environments will fare before laying down the money to buy Exchange 2003.
The #6 item--Exchange 2000 Service Pack 3 (SP3)--surprised me a bit. So long (6 months) after the service pack's release, I assumed that everyone using Exchange 2000 would already have installed SP3, but apparently I was wrong.
The ExMerge utility, which you can use to move mailboxes from one server or organization to another, weighs in at #5. The current version works with Exchange 2003 and earlier and includes bug fixes as well as welcome performance improvements. The downloads page is the easiest way to get the utility's most up-to-date version.
Proving that administrators are a curious lot, the #4 position belongs to the "Exchange Server 2003 Administration Guide." This comprehensive how-to guide covers common Exchange 2003 administrative tasks and is well worth reading whether or not you already run Exchange 2003.
At position #3 is the Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) management pack for Exchange 2003. In a somewhat unusual move, Microsoft is releasing free MOM packs for various products instead of nickel-and-diming MOM customers by making them buy individual add-ons for each product. MOM is becoming increasingly popular because of its flexibility and power, so it makes sense that MOM users would want to add Exchange management to their tool chests.
In the #2 position, we find the 22MB+ archive of all the Exchange 2003 tools currently available from the Web site, including the Exchange 2003 versions of the Jetstress, Microsoft Exchange Load Simulator (LoadSim), and Exchange Stress and Performance (ESP) tools.
What's #1? Unsurprisingly, it's the excellent "Exchange 2003 Deployment Guide." This guide includes more than 200 pages of clear, specific information about how to prepare your Exchange 2000 or Exchange 5.5 organization to migrate to Exchange 2003. Because that topic seems to be on everyone's mind lately, this document's top position is logical. I'm interested to see how this list will change over time, particularly as Microsoft releases new tools and updates for Exchange 2003. In the meantime, take a look at the list and see whether any of the items are of use to you now--after all, sometimes following the crowd can work to your benefit!
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==== 3. Resources ====
How to Remove and Reinstall IIS and Exchange
Find out how to reinstall Microsoft IIS and Exchange Server 2003 or Exchange 2000 Server without losing the existing Exchange Information Store (IS).
Featured Thread: Working with Both Outlook and Lotus Notes
A forum reader needs some help dealing with a mixed Outlook and Lotus Notes environment. To offer your advice or join the discussion, go to the following URL:
Outlook Tip: Designating All-Day Events as Busy by Jim McBee, [email protected]
Q: How can I make all-day events default to a status of Busy instead of Free?
A: Because so many all-day events are holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries that don't affect your availability, Outlook automatically sets the status of any all-day event to Free. Outlook gives you no direct way to change this behavior, but you can create a custom all-day event form as a workaround.
Create a new appointment, then choose Tools, Forms, Design a Form to switch into form design mode. Select the (P.2) tab. From the Field Chooser, which will appear automatically, drag the All Day Event and Show Time As fields onto the blank form page. Right-click the All Day Event check box, choose Properties, then switch to the Value tab. Under Set initial value of this field to, type
into the box for the value. Click OK to return to the form. Next, right-click the Show Time As combo box, choose Properties, then switch to the Value tab. Under Set initial value of this field to, locate the box for the value, then type
This is the value that Outlook stores for appointments with a status of Busy. Click OK to return to the form. Click Tools, Forms, Publish Form to publish the form to your Calendar folder, giving the form a display name of Busy All Day Event.
The next time you need to display an all-day event with a status of Busy, simply switch to your Calendar folder, then choose Actions, New All Day Event. A disadvantage of this method is that the custom form won't know what date you're looking at in the Outlook calendar, so you'll always have to set the Start and End dates manually.
See the Windows & .NET Magazine Exchange & Outlook Web page for more great tips.
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==== 5. New and Improved ==== by Carolyn Mader, [email protected]
Remotely Manage Exchange
Sonic Mobility released sonicadmin, software that lets you remotely manage Exchange Server. You can use sonicadmin to perform complete Windows server and network management tasks from a Pocket PC or Research In Motion (RIM) BlackBerry handheld wireless device. The newest version of the software lets you securely access and manage your Exchange infrastructure from any location. You can create and modify contact email addresses, add and edit SMTP proxy addresses, and manage storage limits. Contact Sonic Mobility at 403-269-2540 or 866-602-2002.
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