Exchange & Outlook UPDATE, Exchange Edition, August 7, 2003

Exchange & Outlook UPDATE, Exchange Edition--August 7, 2003

This Issue Sponsored By


HP & Microsoft Network Storage Solutions Road Show


1. Commentary

- The Public Folder Migration Tool

2. Announcements

- Need Help Managing Your Storage Investment?

- Learn More About the Security Risks in Exchange 2003

3. Instant Poll

- Results of Previous Poll: RTC Server

- New Instant Poll: Spam Control

4. Resources

- Overview of the Public Folder Migration Tool

- Featured Thread: Exchange Server Routing Problem

- Outlook Tip: Deleting Cached Messages in IMAP Accounts

5. Events

- New--Mobile & Wireless Road Show!

6. New and Improved

- Filter Out Spam

- Submit Top Product Ideas

7. Contact Us

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


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==== 1. Commentary: The Public Folder Migration Tool ==== by Paul Robichaux, News Editor, [email protected]

Most Exchange administrators don't think much about public folders. In most sites, public folders are an afterthought: They tend to be used for low-priority tasks, if they're used at all. However, the sites that do use public folders tend to use them heavily. I know of several sites with public folder trees that contain more than 200GB of data, with tens or hundreds of thousands of posted items. For these sites, public-folder management is vital.

The administrative tools available for public-folder management might seem limited at first glance, especially for such large sites. However, the Exchange Server development team has been trying for a while to ship tools that ease the burden. The "Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server Resource Kit" includes the Pfadmin command-line tool, which is useful for setting or querying permissions. Exchange System Manager (ESM) lets us inspect the properties of folders and replicas. However, the one big piece that's been missing has been an automated way to create and move folder replicas. Why are these abilities necessary? Consider a company that's migrating to Exchange Server 2003. Because Exchange 2003 offers such great potential for consolidation (as I discuss in past Commentaries), this company wants to consolidate some public folders onto one server while simultaneously adding more replicas of the most crucial folders. For large public-folder deployments, this task would be unpalatable (read: mind-numbingly tedious).

Exchange 2003 includes a new tool to ease the pain: the Public Folder Migration Tool (pfMigrate.wsf) in Exchange 2003's Support Tools directory. Interestingly, pfMigrate is a Windows Script Host (WSH) script, not a standalone executable. The tool can handle a few simple functions: It can add or remove replicas of folders on specified servers, and it can produce reports that illustrate which servers have replicas of which folders. You must run pfMigrate against an Exchange 2003 server, although the tool can add or remove replicas from any Exchange Server 5.5 Service Pack 3 (SP3) or later server, and it works only on servers in the same routing group. And pfMigrate can modify only the Messaging API (MAPI) top-level hierarchy; if you've created separate top-level hierarchies for your applications, you'll need to manage those hierarchies' replicas manually.

Under the stated conditions, you can use pfMigrate to add or remove replicas. The first step is to use the tool's /s and /t parameters to specify the source and target servers, respectively. Savvy readers might wonder why the first step isn't to specify the list of folders to migrate. The answer is that pfMigrate doesn't let you specify individual folders. The /s and /t parameters work together following two simple rules. First, if you also run pfMigrate with the /a switch, which adds replicas, any folder that has a replica on the source but not on the target will be added to the target's replica list. Second, if you run pfMigrate with the /d switch, which removes replicas, any folder that has replicas on both the source and target will be removed from the source server's replica list.

You can use the /n switch to limit the number of replicas that pfMigrate examines, and by default the tool won't try to migrate system folders. Other than that, the tool efficiently clones folder replicas from the source to the target. Of course, just modifying the replica list isn't enough to actually replicate the folder data; for that you must let the normal public-folder replication process take place. As you might expect, this process can take a while for large sets of folders.

The tool also offers online Help: Run pfMigrate with the /? switch to get a complete list of options. If you want to move a lot of folders from your existing Exchange servers to new ones, this tool is for you.


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

Need Help Managing Your Storage Investment?

Planning and managing your storage deployment can be costly and complex. Check out Windows & .NET Magazine's Storage Administration Web site for the latest advice, news, and tips to help you make the most of your storage investment. You'll find problem-solving articles, eye-opening white papers, a technical forum, and much more!

Learn More About the Security Risks in Exchange 2003

Videotaped live at Microsoft TechEd 2003, this free archived Web seminar delivers an introduction to the new security features and enhancements of Exchange Server 2003, including the new security APIs that can minimize virus risk and spam traffic. Plus, you'll discover more about the future of the messaging industry and what's on the horizon in assessing risk. Register today!

==== 3. Instant Poll ====

Results of Previous Poll: RTC Server

The voting has ended in Exchange & Outlook Administrator's nonscientific Instant Poll for the question "Do you plan to implement RTC Server when it becomes available?" Here are the results from the 125 votes:

- 23% Yes, immediately

- 31% Yes, within 1 year

- 8% Yes, within 2 years

- 38% No

New Instant Poll: Spam Control

The next Exchange Instant Poll question is "Would you support federal antispam legislation?" Go to the Exchange & Outlook Administrator home page and submit your vote for a) Yes, anything to stop spam, b) Yes, but only until better antispam technology is available, c) I'm not sure, or d) No, under no circumstances.

==== 4. Resources ====

Overview of the Public Folder Migration Tool

Each week, Microsoft posts several Exchange Server how-to articles to its Knowledge Base. This week, get details about how to use the Public Folder Migration tool (pfMigrate.wsf) in your environment.

Featured Thread: Exchange Server Routing Problem

A forum reader is having trouble with an Exchange Server that stops routing mail every 8 to 10 hours. To offer your advice or join the discussion, go to the following URL:

Outlook Tip: Deleting Cached Messages in IMAP Accounts by Sue Mosher, [email protected]

Q: How can I delete cached messages from an IMAP account in Outlook 2002? I can't find any equivalent for Outlook Express's Remove Messages command to remove message bodies but leave the downloaded headers.

A: Outlook 2002 is the first version of Outlook that lets you mix Exchange Server and IMAP accounts, making it possible to access all the folders in Exchange Server mailboxes in different organizations. However, Outlook's implementation of IMAP is different from that of Outlook Express.

Outlook 2002 creates a Personal Folders (.pst) file for each IMAP account and caches both downloaded headers and message bodies in folders in that .pst file. The tools for managing messages are the same as in regular .pst files. I haven't been able to find any equivalent of Outlook Express's Remove Messages command; apparently you can't remove cached message bodies in Outlook 2002 but keep the downloaded headers visible in the folder.

See the Exchange & Outlook Administrator Web site for more great tips from Sue Mosher.

==== 5. Events ==== (brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine)

New--Mobile & Wireless Road Show!

Learn more about the wireless and mobility solutions that are available today! Register now for this free event!

==== 6. New and Improved ==== by Carolyn Mader, [email protected]

Filter Out Spam

Axaware released Spam Bully, an email spam filter that integrates into Outlook and Outlook Express. Spam Bully's filter is based on a probability mathematical theory that takes into account the number of times an event has or hasn't occurred and the likelihood that the event will occur in the future. Spam Bully uses the theory in conjunction with email filtration to determine whether an email is spam, according to the words in the message. Spam Bully also can bounce back spam messages so that spammers think the recipient address is no longer valid. You can use the Friends list to bypass Spam Bully's filter. Single-user licenses cost $29.95.

Submit Top Product Ideas

Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Do you know of a terrific product that others should know about? Tell us! We want to write about the product in a future Windows & .NET Magazine What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions to [email protected]

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==== 7. Contact Us ====

About the newsletter -- [email protected]

About technical questions --

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.

Copyright 2003, Penton Media, Inc.

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