Exchange & Outlook UPDATE, Exchange Edition, November 20, 2003

Exchange & Outlook UPDATE, Exchange Edition--November 20, 2003

This Issue Sponsored By


EIQ Networks


1. Commentary

- Queue Viewing in Exchange 2003

2. Announcements

Order Windows & .NET Magazine and the Article Archive CD at One Low Rate!

- 2004 Date Announced: Windows & .NET Magazine Connections

3. Resources

- Solving Message-Flow Interruptions

- Featured Thread: Listing Inactive Exchange 2000 Accounts

- Outlook Tip: Incorporating HTML Tables

4. Events

Have You Checked Out Windows & .NET Magazine's Archived Web Seminars Lately?

5. New and Improved

- Recover Individual Mailboxes

- 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: Queue Viewing in Exchange 2003==== by Paul Robichaux, News Editor, [email protected]

Exchange 2000 Server introduced the concept of one tool that lets you manage messages, servers, protocol settings, and message queues (along with performing ancillary services such as recipient-address management and message tracking): the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Exchange System Manager (ESM) snap-in. Unfortunately, the Exchange 2000 ESM has a few weak spots. For example, I've never been satisfied with the ESM's interface for inspecting the contents of message queues. I've never liked that I need to enumerate the contents of a queue to see what's in it--especially if I already know that it contains messages.

In the ESM version that ships with Exchange Server 2003, the queue viewer is greatly improved. The biggest visible improvement is that the Queues object beneath each server object actually combines messages from all protocol virtual servers on that server--no more hunting for the correct queue on servers with several virtual servers. This feature is especially handy for bridgehead servers. When you select a queue, you see the messages that are in it, and you can specify the view's refresh interval, so you now have a good way to keep on top of queue contents without needing to manually refresh or enumerate the queue's contents.

The queue viewer also provides two new buttons. The first button, Disable Outbound Mail, is a lifesaver when you need to quickly stop your servers from sending outbound messages. The most likely cause of such situations: a virus outbreak that you want to prevent from spreading to your customers. This capability can also be handy when you need to stop all outbound messages to prevent a mail loop or the accidental (or purposeful) spread of confidential information. The button doesn't affect the Message Transfer Agent (MTA) or the system's internal queues, which carry items such as public folder replication messages. (You can freeze email in individual queues by right-clicking the queue in question and choosing the Freeze command; the Unfreeze command, as you might expect, resumes email flow for that queue.)

The second button, Find Messages, lets you search for messages in the queue. At long last! Now, when someone tells you, "I sent an important message to Joe Veeblefester and it never arrived," you can find the message even if the user can't remember exactly when he or she sent it or what the subject was. You can also search for messages by status so that you can quickly find messages that have been frozen or are in a retry state.

The most basic functionality of the queue viewer remains unchanged: You can determine whether messages to a particular destination are getting stuck, giving you a valuable way to identify message-flow problems. Knowing in which queue messages are accumulating can help you figure out why they're accumulating. For example, a buildup of messages in a server's local delivery queue indicates that the server isn't accepting local messages and typically means that something is wrong with the Store. With a little experience, you'll come to know what queue lengths are normal for your environment, and you'll be able to quickly identify abnormal conditions.

Exchange 2003 also provides a message queue access API that programmers can use to access more information about the queues and messages; clever developers can use this functionality to build customized queue-viewing tools. For most uses, however, you'll probably find that the functionality in the new ESM is good enough to get the job done.


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

Order Windows & .NET Magazine and the Article Archive CD at One Low Rate!

What's better than Windows & .NET Magazine? Try Windows & .NET Magazine and the Windows & .NET Magazine Article Archive CD at one super low rate. Read Windows & .NET Magazine in the office. Take the Article Archive CD with you on the road. Subscribe now!

2004 Date Announced: Windows & .NET Magazine Connections

Windows & .NET Magazine Connections will be held April 4 to 7, 2004, in Las Vegas at the new Hyatt Lake Las Vegas Resort. Be sure to save these dates on your calendar. Early registrants will receive the greatest possible discount. For more information, call 203-268-3204 or 800-505-1201 or go online at


~~~~ Hot Release: Aelita Software ~~~~

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==== 3. Resources ====

Solving Message-Flow Interruptions

The "Exchange Server 2003 Administration Guide" gives hints about figuring out where message flow is being interrupted, based on which queues are accumulating messages.

Featured Thread: Listing Inactive Exchange 2000 Accounts

A forum reader is looking for a way to get a list of all inactive Exchange 2000 Server accounts. To offer your advice or join the discussion, go to the following URL:

Outlook Tip: Incorporating HTML Tables by Sue Mosher, [email protected]

Q: In Outlook 2002, how can I create a custom Outlook form template (.oft) file that lets me display HTML tables in the body of an email message?

A: You can use Microsoft Word as an email editor (WordMail) to create complex messages with tables and other HTML elements, but the Word editor doesn't let you save such messages as .oft files. To work around this limitation, use WordMail to create the message, then save the message and close it to store it in the Drafts folder. Choose Tools, Options, Mail Format, and clear the "Use Word to edit e-mail messages" check box. Open the item you saved in Drafts, and you'll see the file in the regular Outlook editor. Choose File, Save As to save it as an .oft file.

I recommend that you consider whether you really need to use an .oft file. These templates are useful when you need to share a custom form with someone outside your Exchange organization or back up a custom form design, but publishing the form to your Inbox folder might be more convenient. Doing so lets you launch the form from the New command that Outlook places on the Actions menu.

Another possible approach is to create an HTML page with your desired table design, then use that page as the basis for a new piece of Outlook stationery.

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

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

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

Recover Individual Mailboxes

Kroll Ontrack released Ontrack PowerControls 2.0, mailbox-recovery software that can restore individual mailboxes, messages, folders, attachments, and other elements from existing backup Exchange Server database files. The software's ExtractWizard lets you restore an online backup to a location other than the Exchange server. Other new features include log file support to recover email from incremental, differential, and copy backups; support for Legato Systems and Computer Associates (CA) tape formats; a multimailbox copy feature; and the ability to view email attachments. Pricing starts at $950 for 100 mailboxes. Contact Kroll Ontrack at 800-872-2599.

Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!

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==== 6. Contact Us ====

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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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