Exchange & Outlook UPDATE, Exchange Edition, January 22, 2004

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Sherpa Software

New Web Seminar: Email Is a Service--Manage It Like One


1. Commentary

- Exchange Scripting Revisited

2. Announcements

- Get 2 Sample Issues of Windows & .NET Magazine!

- Event Central--a Comprehensive Resource for the Latest Events in Your Field

3. Resources

- Scripting Resource

- Featured Thread: Outsourcing Spam Solutions

- Outlook Tip: Hiding Items from Delegates

4. Event

- Free Web Seminar--The Costs of Spam

5. New and Improved

- Manage Contact Information Across the Enterprise

- 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: Exchange Scripting Revisited ==== by Paul Robichaux, News Editor, [email protected]

A few months ago, I mentioned some cool scripting tricks for Exchange Server and Windows and promised to revisit the topic. I've been digging further into Exchange scripting in preparation for a new book, and I was a little surprised to learn how many scripting interfaces--each with its own focus and sphere of usefulness--actually exist for Exchange.

The original Collaboration Data Objects (CDO) library was written so that programs could create and manipulate calendar items, mail messages, and contacts in the Exchange store. CDO had its heyday when Windows 98 was new; since then, newer libraries have superseded the original one.

The CDO for Windows 2000 (CDOSYS) library shipped with Windows 2000 and lives on in Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP. This DLL lets you quickly and easily build properly structured MIME and HTML messages--a valuable ability when you write scripts or programs that need to send email.

The CDO for Exchange (CDOEX) libraries (in Exchange Server 5.5 and later) let systems create and modify Exchange objects in the Store. These DLLs are a bit like CDO, only newer.

The CDO for Exchange Management (CDOEXM) library is my current favorite. CDOEXM lets you manage Exchange system objects, including storage groups (SGs) and mailbox databases. Want to create a new mailbox database from a script or move transaction logs to another disk? CDOEXM can perform these tasks and a lot more besides. You can use the ADO interfaces to make databaselike queries against Exchange and Active Directory (AD) data. For example, you can use ADO to find all matching messages in a mailbox after you log on to it. Because several Microsoft interfaces and programs use ADO, most Windows programmers understand it pretty well. The Active Directory Service Interfaces (ADSI) gives you a way to perform required AD actions. You can connect to domain controllers (DCs), locate and manipulate properties of AD objects (ranging from computers and user accounts to organizational units--OUs--and domains), and trigger several system processes.

XML-HTTP scripting isn't a defined interface per se but rather refers to the process of using the WWW Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) interface to query or set properties on items in the Exchange Store directly. Not many tools use XML-HTTP, but it provides the greatest degree of control over individual properties of mailbox and public folder items.

These interfaces can be, and usually are, combined. For example, a script to create a new mailbox-enabled user will probably use ADSI and ADO and might use CDOEX to create a welcome message for the user. All these interfaces are well documented on Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN), and many of them feature prominently in Exchange-related Microsoft Knowledge Base articles.

In the coming months, I'll be writing a lot of scripts, and I'll share the most interesting ones with you here. Until then, why not check into these scripting interfaces and see how you can put them to good use? If you've already written some Exchange-related scripts, I'd love to hear about them, too.


~~~~ Sponsor: New Web Seminar: Email Is a Service--Manage It Like One ~~~~

True end-to-end management of the messaging infrastructure requires an integrated, service-oriented approach. This free Web seminar introduces service-driven management and best practices for managing and monitoring the key elements crucial to ensuring email health and performance, including Exchange Server, Active Directory, network, and storage. Sign up today!


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

Get 2 Sample Issues of Windows & .NET Magazine!

Every issue of Windows & .NET Magazine includes intelligent, impartial, and independent coverage of security, Active Directory, Exchange Server, and more. Our expert authors deliver content you simply can't find anywhere else. Try two, no-risk sample issues today, and find out why 100,000 IT professionals read Windows & .NET Magazine each month!

Event Central--a Comprehensive Resource for the Latest Events in Your Field

Looking for one place to find the latest Web seminars, roadshows, and conferences? Event Central has every topic you're looking for. Stay current on the latest developments in your field. Visit Event Central and find answers now!

==== 3. Resources ====

Scripting Resource

If you're interested in Exchange scripting, a good place to start is with some scripts. Robbie Allen (author of the excellent "Active Directory Cookbook"--O'Reilly & Associates, 2003) maintains a Web site with an extensive collection of scripts for performing various Active Directory (AD) tasks, many of which are useful for Exchange administrators. Although these scripts are in Perl, Allen's book includes scripts in VBScript as well.

Featured Thread: Outsourcing Spam Solutions

A forum reader is looking for a source for outsourcing spam and antivirus tasks. To offer your advice or join the discussion, go to the following URL:

Outlook Tip: Hiding Items from Delegates by Sue Mosher, [email protected]

Q: How can I let an assistant read an executive's mail but not see any messages marked Private or Confidential?

A: To hide an appointment from someone who has permission to view the Calendar folder in your Exchange mailbox, select the Private check box at the lower-right corner of the appointment. You can use the same technique to restrict access to your Inbox. To mark a mail message as private, either right-click the message in the list of Inbox items and choose Options or, from an open message, click Options, then use the Sensitivity drop-down list at the top of the Options dialog box to mark the item Private.

If you receive messages marked Confidential that you want to hide from delegates, you can use a Rules Wizard rule to move items marked Confidential to a separate folder that delegates don't have permission to view. Such a rule runs on Exchange even when you don't have Outlook open.

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

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

Free Web Seminar--The Costs of Spam

In this free Web seminar, learn how to identify and measure the costs and savings of spam activities by investigating the impacts that spam has on bandwidth, storage, and server-processing costs. Discover the impact of implementing antispam solutions and how other IT pros like you found rapid time-to-value solution. Bring back cost-saving information to your CEO. Register today!

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

Manage Contact Information Across the Enterprise

Leapbeyond Software released Contact Communications Logging (CCL), an Outlook add-on that helps you manage contact-related information and share it across the enterprise. The application tracks communications and events pertaining to your company's clients. The software provides a more powerful version of Outlook's Journaling feature, adding the ability to work with public contact and journal folders. The software maintains a communications history for each of your company's contacts and makes that history available across the enterprise. Pricing is $99.99 for one workstation license. Contact Leapbeyond Software at 613-565-1194.

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 ====

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