Recently I got asked (again) about running the Exchange System Manager (ESM) on Windows XP. It works, but what if you use Outlook on the same machine? It is officially unsupported. Or to state it another way, if you have a problem with Outlook or the ESM and don’t have the problem on a machine that doesn’t have the other product installed, then we won’t fix it. After all, Outlook and Exchange aren’t supported on the same machine:
266418 Microsoft does not support installing Exchange Server components and Outlook on the same computer
So, what can you do? Large companies often have helpdesk people that need to make changes to the mail attributes of users and they can’t do that unless they have the ESM installed otherwise the tabs don’t show up in the Active Directory Users and Computers (ADU&C), right? Yeah, pretty much. So what are the options?
I asked around and here are the replies:
· Microsoft’s official recommendation is that your administrators connect to a Terminal server that has the tools you need installed.
· Another option is to run a Virtual PC on the Windows side that has the tools installed.
· The Enterprise solution for most companies however seems to be using third-party solutions (like web applications) to make the changes.
· Others look at the potential issues and have decided to just got ahead and do the unsupported. It works for them.
The thing is that even in Exchange 5.5, the Admin.exe wasn’t officially supported on the desktop with Outlook as well, but most people did it. Where Microsoft doesn’t excel, the best solution often is an opportunity for our partners.
What is your solution? What are you doing to work around this? I’m interested in what the majority of you are doing. Email me or post below. I’ll post the results later.