How can I use the Active Directory Connector (ADC) tools for Exchange Server 2003?

A. The ADC is responsible for synchronizing information between an Exchange Server 5.5 directory and Active Directory (AD). Exchange 2003 supplies a third version of ADC (Windows 2000 offered version 1 and Exchange 2000 Server supplied an enhanced version 2). With the release of the Exchange 2003 version of ADC, Microsoft addressed many of the original concerns related to the complexity of using the connector by simplifying the process of creating connection agreements and resolving known problems.

The Exchange 2003 version of ADC is included on the installation CD-ROM in the ADC\I386 folder. You can install ADC by either running setup.exe from this location or by using the Exchange Server Deployment Tools (the latter approach will help ensure that you've completed all the required tasks, such as running ForestPrep and DomainPrep first). When you install ADC, the system will ask you whether you want to install the ADC service, the management components, or both; select both.

Before you start creating connection agreements, the AD domain should be in native mode; otherwise, ADC won't properly handle some security and group aspects. Also, you'll want to apply Service Pack 3 (SP3) or later to the Exchange 5.5 server.

After you install ADC and click Start, you'll notice a new Active Directory Connector entry under the Microsoft Exchange menu group. If you run the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Active Directory Connector snap-in, you'll notice two main branches in the left-hand pane: Active Directory Connector and a new ADC Tools entry, as this figure shows. If you select ADC Tools, the tools options will appear, including a four-step ADC Wizard to help create your ADC agreements. To create these agreements, perform the following procedure:

  1. The first step is to tell the tools which Exchange server to use. Click Set under Step 1 of the wizard, enter the name of the Exchange 5.5 server and the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) port (you might have changed the port from the default value of 389 if you installed Exchange on a Win2K domain controller--DC). Click OK.
  2. Click Run under Step 2 of the wizard to check whether you have any unreplicated objects or Exchange mailboxes that link to the same Windows NT account. (Under Exchange 5.5, you could have multiple Exchange accounts linked to one NT account. In Exchange 2000 and later, linking multiple Exchange accounts to one user account isn't possible because the Exchange details are part of the user object.) Don't worry if you receive warnings at this point--you haven't created a connection agreement yet so the system might encounter a few problems to warn you about.
  3. Step 3 of the wizard runs the Resource Mailbox Wizard. The Resource Mailbox Wizard resolves multiple Exchange mailboxes to one NT account by letting you specify one mailbox as the primary and setting the other mailboxes as resource mailboxes. Click Run under Step 3 of the ADC Wizard to continue.
  4. Click Next on the Resource Mailbox Wizard start page.
  5. If the Resource Mailbox Wizard displays problem users, select the primary mailbox for the user and click "Set as Primary," as this figure shows. Repeat this step for each user displayed, then click Next.
  6. Next, the Resource Mailbox Wizard will display the credentials to use for the site. Click Set Credentials, enter the Exchange administrator account and password and optionally the Exchange 5.5 server name and LDAP port number, then click OK.
  7. Click Next to move past the Site Credentials screen.
  8. When the Resource Mailbox Wizard displays a summary of the actions to be performed, click Next.
  9. After the Resource Mailbox Wizard completes the tasks, click Finish.
  10. You can now click Verify under Step 3 of the ADC Wizard to confirm the resource mailbox changes worked. Then, you can proceed to Step 4 (the wizard will confirm whether you can move on to Step 4 in the Information window).
  11. Under Step 4, click Run to begin the Connection Agreement Wizard.
  12. Click Next to move past the introduction page.
  13. Specify the default container for new objects in AD, which is usually CN=Users. However, if you have a specific organizational unit (OU) that you want to use, click Browse to select the container, then click Next.
  14. The Connection Agreement Wizard will display the recommended connections, as this figure shows. Click Next.
  15. Enter the site credentials for the Exchange site as in Step 6 above, then click Next.
  16. When the Connection Agreement wizard asks you for domain credentials, click Set Credentials, enter a domain administrator and password, then click Next.
  17. The Connection Agreement Wizard will display a list of the agreements to be created. Click Next.
  18. The Connection Agreement Wizard will display a summary of the actions it will perform, as this figure shows. Click Next.
  19. After the Connection Agreement Wizard creates the agreements, click Finish.
  20. If you clicked Verify in Step 4 of the ADC Wizard, you will now be able to continue to the next phase of your Exchange deployment.

To view the agreements created by the Connection Agreement Wizard, as this figure shows, select Active Directory Connector in the left-hand pane of the Active Directory Connector snap-in. You can right-click each agreement, select Properties from the context menu, and modify their properties (e.g., replication interval, whether they are primary). I experienced some problems with the automatically created Users connection agreement (specifically, replication from AD to Exchange using this agreement didn't work). To try to resolve the problem, I selected the automatically created agreement and manually created one with the same information, which for some reason worked. (To manually create the agreement, I opened the Active Directory Connector snap-in Action menu and selected New, Recipient.)

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