Yesterday we gave an overview of the new Exchange 2007 Console, and today I want to cover just the recipient management aspect of the console in a little more detail.
Exchange 2007 Recipient console workcenters
Exchange 2007 incorporates the management of recipient objects and their Exchange-related properties into both the Exchange Management Console and the Exchange Management Shell built on Windows PowerShell techonology. Exchange 2007 introduces a number of new (explicit) Recipient Types that are used to control which set of objects will be shown in GUI pickers, what icon will be displayed for a particular object, etc. This change to explicit recipient types (from implied recipient types in Exchange 2003) allows a lot more certainty in handling objects, as you can always know what "recipient type" it is.
In Exchange 2007, all of our recipient management actions in the GUI are built on top of the Exchange Management Shell. This means that all actions that you can do in the GUI can also be done with a cmdlet in the shell.
In the Exchange Management Console you will see a Recipient Workcenter node, underneath which you will see various recipient type nodes:
- Distribution Group
- Mail Contact
- Disconnected Mailbox
Each of these sub-nodes provides a "built-in filter" on the Recipients node to help you more easily scope down the objects to which you will apply some action.
Mailbox node is where all mailbox user objects are displayed. Only objects that have been mailbox enabled will be visible in this recipient sub-node. This includes the various "recipient types" that correspond to mailboxes.
We now provide explicitly "typed" mailbox recipient types:
- User mailbox
- Conference room mailbox
- Equipment mailbox
- Linked mailbox
- Shared mailbox. Note that Shared mailbox is visible from the shell, but is not shown in the GUI.
- Legacy mailbox.
Since these mailbox recipient recipient types are now explicit, it is possible to filter or sort on this characteristic of a mailbox.
Legacy mailboxes are those mailboxes that are homed on Exchange version prior to Exchange 2007 (i.e. - Exchange 2003 or Exchange 2000). These mailboxes are exposed to Exchange 2007 recipient management, but not all Exchange 2007 features will apply to these mailboxes.
From this location in the GUI you can access property pages for mailbox, create new user accounts with a mailbox associated, enable existing users as mailboxes, disable existing mailboxes, and remove mailbox users from the AD. You can use the GUI to move the mailbox to a different database. Additionally you can do some Unified-Messaging actions, such as enabling UM Mailbox or resetting the Unified Messaging PIN for a UM Mailbox.
Here's what the Mailbox sub-node looks like:
Distribution Group node is where all of the distribution group and dynamic distribution group objects are displayed. Only group objects that have been mail enabled will be visible in this recipient sub-node. This includes all of the various distribution group recipient types that correspond to mail-enabled groups.
Here again, we now use explicitly "typed" group recipient types:
- Mail-enabled universal security group
- Mail-enabled universal distribution group
- Mail-enabled non-universal group
- Dynamic distribution group
Note that although preexisting mail-enabled non-universal groups (i.e. - global or domain local groups) will be shown in this GUI, administration of these groups will be limited. Using mail-enabled non-universal groups can lead to unpredictable membership expansion, and is not recommended. Exchange 2007 administration tools will guide you in all cases to provisioning only universal-scope distribution groups.
From this location in the GUI you can access property pages for distribution groups and dynamic distribution groups, create new distribution groups and dynamic distribution groups, enable existing universal groups as mail-enabled, disable existing mail-enabled groups, and remove distribution groups and dynamic distribution groups from the AD.
Here's what the Distribution Group sub-node looks like:
Mail Contact node is where all of the mail-enabled contacts are displayed. Only contact objects that have been mail enabled will be visible in this recipient sub-node.
From this location in the GUI you can access property pages for mail-enabled contacts, create new mail-enabled contacts, enable existing contacts as mail-enabled contacts, disable existing mail-enabled contacts, and remove mail-enabled contacts from the AD.
Note that although not present in Exchange 2007 Beta 2 GUI, Mail-enabled user objects will also be visible at this location when Exchange 2007 releases.
Here's what the Mail Contact sub-node looks like:
Disconnected Mailbox node is where mailboxes that exist in the mailbox database but have been disabled/disconnected can be found. This functionality is used to connect "StoreMailbox" objects inside the mailbox database to an AD user so that this AD user is transformed into a "Mailbox". Two common scenarios for reconnecting mailboxes are: 1) recovering a user's data after the mailbox had been disabled and 2) disaster-recovery of a mailbox database to a different server.
Mailbox objects shown in this node are retrieved from the mailbox table inside the mailbox database rather than from the AD. Therefore you must specify a particular (single) server to which this action will be scoped. Similarly, these disconnected mailboxes will not be shown in the Recipients node roll-up as they are not found in the AD.
Here's what the Disconnected Mailbox sub-node looks like:
The top-level Recipients node is effectively the "roll-up" node where all AD recipient objects can be found. This is a central location for doing any all-recipients filtering or sorting and many of the same per-recipient recipient-management actions listed for the sub-nodes above will apply equally at this level.
Here's what the Recipients node looks like:
What else is new in Exchange 2007 Recipient Management
We're planning a bunch of additional posts on Exchange 2007 Recipient Management (and Exchange 2007 Administration overall) over the next few months. In the meantime, here's a quick "teaser" list of some of the cool, new things in Exchange 2007 Recipient Management we'll be blogging on soon:
- Recipient Types - Explicit recipient types replace the implicit recipient types used in Exchange 2003 ("is that a resource mailbox?"). Usable by the rich filtering functionality and Outlook 2007
- Filtering - Very fast and powerful filtering control in Exchange Management Console. Up to 10 simultaneous expressions with support for implied AND/OR filtering. In the shell, using powershell OPATH filters, the sky's the limit to meet your filtering needs!
- Scoping - Restrict or expand your scope of actions in Exchange Management Console or the shell all the way from a view of the entire forest down to a single sub-OU deep within your domain. Yes, that's right, you can filter or take other action on recipient objects with a scope of the ENTIRE FOREST! Try doing that in ADUC!
- Simplified Precanned Filters - The most common "precanned" filters for EAP/AL/GAL/DDG are predefined and available with only a couple of clicks! If you've ever wrestled with the Exchange 2003 precanned filter GUI (nested lists with hundreds of properties listed) to create a simple filter, this new precanned filter control will save you lots of time and effort! And, of course, you can define custom filters on just about anything using the OPATH filter syntax in the shell.