Exchange and Outlook UPDATE, Outlook Edition—brought to you by Exchange & Outlook Administrator, a print newsletter from Windows & .NET Magazine that contains practical advice, how-to articles, tips, and techniques to help you do your job today.
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January 10, 2003 — In this issue:
- Getting Ready for Titanium
- The Microsoft Mobility Tour Is Coming Soon to a City Near You!
- Get the New Windows & .NET Magazine Network Super CD/VIP!
- HOW TO: Restore an Information Store Database in a Clustered Exchange Environment
- Featured Thread: Using Outlook 2000 to Delegate Permissions to Groups in Exchange 2000
- Results of Last Month's Instant Poll: Native-Mode Exchange 2000 Organization
- New Instant Poll: Wireless Messaging
4. HOT RELEASE (ADVERTISEMENT)
- Improve Your Exchange Performance & Lower TCO
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Edit Mobile Phonebook Information
- Submit Top Product Ideas
6. CONTACT US
See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
(contributed by Paul Robichaux, News Editor, [email protected])
Microsoft just released the first public beta of Exchange Server 2003, better known by its code name, Titanium. Exchange 2003 has major improvements in several areas; to learn about the new product, go to http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/evaluation/ti/beta.asp. This week, however, I want to talk about the extensive suite of deployment tools included in the Exchange 2003 kit. These tools make planning and executing your migration to Exchange 2003 easier, particularly if you're still using Exchange 5.5 Server (with or without Active Directory—AD).
The goal of the Exchange 2003 Deployment Tools package is to give you a comprehensive set of tools that you can use to inspect your existing Exchange 2000 Server or Exchange 5.5 environment; these tools concentrate on things that might trip up your migration, such as errors in the Active Directory Connector (ADC) configuration or corrupt Exchange 5.5 directory objects that might choke replication. The Exchange 2003 Deployment Tools guide, which is included on the Exchange 2003 product CD-ROM, summarizes the tools. A quick scan of the document reveals several interesting tools, grouped into four main categories:
- The DSScopeScan toolset helps you figure out the scope of your deployment. These tools tell you what servers exist; what kinds of stores they host; which outbound and inbound connectors exist; how many users, public folders, distribution lists (DLs), and contacts exist; and so on.
- The OrgPrepCheck toolset is designed to run before you perform the new organizational preparation step (OrgPrep), which comes after the ForestPrep and DomainPrep operations but before you actually install Exchange 2003. These tools check to ensure that domain controllers (DCs) and servers have correct security policy rights and that the preceding preparation steps did what they were supposed to.
- The SetupPrep tools double-check network connectivity (including DNS), what version of Exchange 5.5 is installed (you need Service Pack 3—SP3—or later), and whether public folder replication is properly set up.
- The "everything else" tools check a variety of settings and objects. My current favorite is ADCUserCheck, which scans your Exchange 5.5 directory to locate accounts and mailboxes, then recommends a set of ADC connection agreements (CAs). You run this tool twice: once to get its recommendations, and again after you've set up the CAs to ensure that the setup is correct.
The Exchange 2003 Deployment Tools guide explains what each tool does and when you should run it. This information is a welcome addition to the tools; veterans of early Exchange 2000 deployments probably remember the skimpy documentation of the tools that Microsoft shipped on that product's CD-ROM. Microsoft appears to be determined to make migrations from Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2003 simple and robust—a good idea, considering the number of sites facing the hard fact that Exchange 5.5's support lifetime is nearing an end.
The best way to prepare for migration is to prepare for it. This might sound a little too Zen-like to be useful, but it simply means that the easiest and best way to assess your messaging system's readiness for a migration is to use the assessment tools to see where things stand. Of course, as part of this process, be sure you do the standard housekeeping tasks we're all familiar with, such as looking for replication errors (and fixing any that you find); consolidating your connectors; cleaning mailboxes of unneeded mail; and removing unnecessary mailboxes, public folders, and public folder replicas.
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Each week, Microsoft posts several Exchange Server how-to articles to its Knowledge Base. This week, learn how to restore an Exchange Information Store (IS) on a cluster server.
Since jobrien 283 upgraded to Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server, users haven't been able to use Outlook 2000 to give distribution lists (DLs) permissions to users' mailbox folders. If you can help, go to the following URL:
The voting has closed in the Exchange & Outlook Administrator Web site's nonscientific Exchange Instant Poll for the question "If you use Exchange 2000 Server, have you moved to a native-mode organization yet?" Here are the results from the 376 votes:
- 43% We run a native-mode Exchange 2000 organization. - 19% We aren't in native mode yet but will be within the next year. - 7% We aren't in native mode yet and don't plan to be any time soon. - 31% We haven't even begun to deploy Exchange 2000. (Deviations from 100 percent are due to rounding.)
The next Exchange Instant Poll question is, "Do you provide wireless messaging to users?" Go to the Exchange & Outlook Administrator home page and submit your vote for a) Yes, b) Not yet, but we plan to do so within the next 12 months, or c) No, and we have no plans to do so.
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5. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Carolyn Mader, [email protected])
FutureDial announced SnapSync, software that lets mobile-phone users edit phonebook information and Outlook contact information directly on a PC so that they can transfer the data to a mobile phone. SnapSync saves a backup copy of your phonebook information in case you lose your phone or it becomes damaged. You can create a contact list and email it to your colleagues so that they can import the information into their mobile phones. SnapSync works on Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Me, and Windows 98 systems and supports Outlook 2002, Outlook 2000, and Outlook 98. For pricing, contact FutureDial at 408-541-9162.
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