Exchange & Outlook UPDATE, Exchange Edition, June 17, 2004


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1. Commentary
- PFDavAdmin: Using WebDAV to Modify Public Folders

2. Resources
- Featured Thread: Tracking Outlook for Macintosh Clients
- Outlook Tip: Sending a Message to Many Recipients Individually

3. New and Improved
- Compress Email Attachments
- Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!


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==== 1. Commentary: PFDavAdmin: Using WebDAV to Modify Public Folders ==== by Paul Robichaux, News Editor, [email protected]

My dad is a long-time woodworker, and he and I recently built a new bed for my 9-year-old son. This process was greatly simplified by the fact that my dad's woodshop has more equipment than the local Home Depot. For every step of the bedmaking process, he had just the right tool (being able to find the tool was another matter, alas). The same thing is true of Exchange Server: Having the right tools can make complex tasks much easier. So, for the next few weeks, I'm going to examine some lesser-known tools that are well suited for particular Exchange administration tasks. This week, I want to discuss PFDavAdmin, an ubertool for accessing and modifying various public folder properties by using the Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) protocol instead of Messaging API (MAPI). Like my dad's table saw, PFDavAdmin is extremely useful, but you must use it carefully to avoid cutting off something important.

PFDavAdmin works by using WebDAV to view and set properties of the public folder trees in your Exchange organization. The tool supports multiple public folder top-level hierarchies (TLHs); MAPI tools support only the primary MAPI-based TLH because that's the only TLH that MAPI can access. (PFDavAdmin's primary use, though, is against the primary TLH because that's all most people use.)

Once you've installed PFDavAdmin (and the Microsoft .NET Framework, which the tool requires), you can start using it to work magic. One common use for the tool is fixing the Windows permissions error described in the Microsoft article "XADM: Error Message When You Set Permissions on Public Folders: Invalid Windows Handle ID No: 80040102 Exchange System Manager" ( This infamous error happens when you use Windows Explorer instead of Exchange System Manager (ESM) to set folder permissions; Explorer mangles the discretionary ACL (DACL) so that Exchange can't read it. (Fortunately, most admins know by now not to use the M drive, so you might never need to use PFDavAdmin for this task.)

Apart from cleaning up DACLs, PFDavAdmin lets you selectively propagate individual ACL entries on a folder, the folder's hierarchy, or items within the folder--without overwriting the existing ACL. You can use this feature to add or remove access for a group or user without having to manually reset permissions on all the target's parent and child folders.

A more prosaic (but still valuable) use for the tool is documenting the contents of your public folder hierarchy. I'm always amazed when I see sites that have thousands of public folders--how do they keep up with which folders still exist and who has rights to them? PFDavAdmin can export the public folder hierarchy as a text file and can emit replica lists that show which folders are replicated where. This type of information is invaluable when troubleshooting replication problems and is also useful during disaster recovery, especially because you can use the data in conjunction with the trick described in the Microsoft article "XADM: How to Send Replication Status Request Messages in Exchange 2000 Server" ( ) to force a server to update its local copy of the hierarchy.

PFDavAdmin can also spit out a list of public folder permissions. You can use this list to keep track of public folder configuration or (by feeding it to the PFAdmin tool) to set permissions in bulk, replacing existing ACLs on selected parts of the hierarchy. Better still, PFDavAdmin can work the same magic on mailboxes, making it easy to find and fix many common mailbox delegation and permissions problems that would otherwise be tedious.

Of course, with great power comes great responsibility. PFDavAdmin can't evaluate the appropriateness of the ACLs you supply it, so if you come up with an overly restrictive ACL, the tool will happily smear it all over the target folders. Therefore, I suggest you thoroughly review the tool's documentation, as well as the excellent white paper "Public Folder Permissions in a Mixed Mode Microsoft Exchange Organization" ( ), before you start using the tool. PFDavAdmin is available from the Microsoft Product Support Services (PSS) FTP site ( ). I encourage you to download the tool, get to know it, and add it to your toolbox.


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==== 2. Resources ====

Featured Thread: Tracking Outlook for Macintosh Clients
A forum reader is looking for a way to distinguish and track Outlook for Macintosh clients. If you can help (or just want to join the discussion), go to the following URL:

Outlook Tip: Sending a Message to Many Recipients Individually by Sue Mosher, [email protected]

Q: I want to send a message to many recipients, one recipient at a time. The message will have the same subject line and the same two attachments, but I'd like to customize parts of the message body. How do I copy one message into a new message and make just the necessary changes in the body before sending it?

A: Microsoft Office doesn't support attachments in messages that you create with a Microsoft Word mail merge, but I've discovered other ways to send a similar message to many people. Use any of the techniques I describe if you ever need to send individual messages with attachments to multiple recipients.
One method is to go to the Sent Items folder after you send the first message, open the sent message, then choose Actions, Resend This Message. Change the recipient, edit the body, then click Send.
If you need to send the same message to someone else a week later, finding it in the Sent Items folder might not be convenient. Instead, you can save the message in your Drafts folder for later use. Create the message, but don't send it quite yet. Close the message, then click Yes when Outlook asks whether you want to save changes. The message is now available in your Drafts folder. If you don't use WordMail as your editor, you can create a copy of the message that's ready to send by opening the message from the Drafts folder and clicking Forward. Alter the recipient list and the body of the message, then press Send. If you use WordMail as your editor, press the Ctrl key as you drag the message to the Drafts folder to create a copy of your original message. Open the copy, make your changes, and send the message.
The main problem with the Drafts folder method is that sooner or later, you're likely to lose track of what you're doing and send the draft rather than forwarding it or making a copy. But you can always create a new draft by going to the Sent Items folder, choosing Resend, and saving that resent copy as a draft, as I just described.
One final technique uses Outlook's ability to save canned messages as Outlook forms. If you use WordMail, you must first disable it by clicking Tools, Options, Mail Format. Next, create a new message with the text and attachments you want to send. To save the message as a template in the file system, choose File, Save As, then choose Outlook Template (*.oft) as the type. You might want to save this template to your desktop or your My Documents folder for easy access. To use the template to send a message, simply open the .oft file. As an alternative, you can publish the message as a form in your Inbox by clicking Tools, Forms, Publish Form. This step places a command to launch the form on the Actions menu in the Inbox.
See the Windows & .NET Magazine Exchange & Outlook Web page for more great tips.

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==== 3. New and Improved ==== by Angie Brew, [email protected]

Compress Email Attachments
Red Earth Software released Policy Patrol Zip, software that automatically compresses outgoing and incoming email attachments at the server level. You can compress attachments into one archive or separate archives and create user-based rules that apply to specific senders, recipients, attachment types, or attachment sizes. The product can also decompress attachments so that users don't have to unzip attachments they receive. Policy Patrol Zip works with Exchange Server 2003, Exchange 2000 Server, Exchange Server 5.5, and Lotus Notes/Domino. You can download a 30-day evaluation version from Red Earth Software's Web site. Pricing starts at $95 for 10 users. Contact Red Earth Software at 603-436 1319.

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