Managing Exchange 2007 using PowerGUI (Part 2)

If you missed the first part in this article series please read Managing Exchange 2007 using PowerGUI (Part 1)

In part 1 of this article series covering the PowerGUI tool, I gave you an introduction to the feature-set in the PowerGUI tool as well as showed you how easy it is to manage Exchange Server 2007 objects in bulk. In part 2 of this article series, I will continue where we left by moving on to a couple of what could be considered advanced topics. I will show you how to create additional Exchange 2007 nodes in the PowerGUI navigation tree, as well as how to manage public folders, provision mailbox users, create reports and so forth.

Creating Additional Exchange 2007 Nodes in the Navigation Tree

Although the navigation tree only shows a few Exchange Server 2007 specific nodes by default, you can easily add additional nodes as required. As shown in Figure 2.1, this is done by right-clicking on the folder or node under which you want to create a new node.


Figure 2.1:
Creating additional Nodes in the navigation tree

This will open a New Node window, where you first need to type in the name of the new node. Next we need to specify the cmdlet used to perform the action required. When done, click OK to have the new node created.

For example, if we wanted to create a node that listed all Exchange 2007 Mailbox servers in the organization we would create a node similar to the one shown in Figure 2.2.


Figure 2.2: Specifying the name and cmdlet of the new node

Managing Public Folders

Another great thing about PowerGUI is that it allows you to manage public folders in an easy and efficient way. I bet those of you who already tried managing public folders from the Exchange Management Shell (EMS) are pretty frustrated right? Okay okay, I know you can manage public folders stored in an Exchange 2007 public folder database using the Exchange 2003 System Manager, but unfortunately not all of us have the option of keeping an old Exchange 2003 server in the organization just for the purpose of managing public folders.

As you can see in the PowerGUI console, there is a Public Folders node in the navigation tree. Let us click on this node. As you can see only the IPM_SUBTREE is listed here. Now let us click Subfolders under Links in the Action pane. This will list all subsfolders as shown in Figure 2.3. Currently two public folders exist here; Budgets and Marketing.


Figure 2.3: Listing Public Folders
Creating a new public folder is a straightforward task, you simply click New Folder in the Action pane and then specify the name for the public folder followed by clicking OK.

Using the tasks under Links in the Action pane, we can have client and administrative permissions listed as well as see statistics for the folders.


Figure 2.4:
Listing Public Folder Client Permissions

For example, what if you wanted to mail-enable a public folder? Well although no action for this specific task exists in the Action pane, we can easily create it. To do so click Add new item under the Actions, then specify a name for the task (such as Mail-Enable), then type in the cmdlet used to mail-enable a public folder (which is Enable-MailPublicFolder), then click OK.

Note:
It is not expected that you know all these cmdlets off the top of your head, you can instead search for them using the search field to the right of the command field.


Figure 2.5: Creating a Mail-Enable Public Folder item in the Action pane

Now just select the public folder(s) that should be mail-enabled, and then click the new Mail-Enable task in the Action pane, then click Ok. To verify that the public folder(s) have been mail-enabled, expand the Recipients folder in the navigation tree – select Mail-Enabled Public folders and there you have it.

Provisioning Users

PowerGUI also gives you the option of provisioning mailbox users, which means that you can, for example, create 50 new mailbox users in a matter of a few minutes.

To provision for users using PowerGUI you first have to export at least one existing mailbox user to a .CSV file. To create the .CSV file select the respective mailbox user(s), then click Report as CSV in the Action pane. In the Report as CSV windows, specify the path for the CSV file as shown in Figure 2.6 then click OK.


Figure 2.6: Specifying the path for the mailbox user CSV file

A Notepad file containing the selected users will now be opened (Figure 2.7). After having edited this file as needed, save and close it.

Note:
In order to provision for mailbox users successfully, the .CSV file created must contain at least the following columns: UserPrincipalName, Name, Database and OrganizationalUnit, Password otherwise the import will fail.


Figure 2.7: List of Mailbox users to be provisioned

Now in order to provision for the new mailbox users, click Create from CSV file in the Action pane, then specify the path to the CSV file you previously created and click OK.


Figure 2.8: Importing the CSV file

You have now provisioned the new mailbox users specified in the CSV file (Figure 2.9).


Figure 2.9: List of New Mailbox Users

Reporting

PowerGUI also gives us the option of creating reports with all kinds of information in them. For example, we could create a report that includes a list of all Mailbox users and their associated mailbox limit. We could also make a report of all the different Exchange 2007 servers in the organization etc. The cool thing about the reporting feature is that you can export it directly to an HTML file besides XML and CSV files.

To create an HTML report simply select the objects in PowerGUI, then click Report as HTML in the Action pane. Figure 2.10 below shows us a simple list of the Mailbox users in the organization.


Figure 2.10:
Basic Mailbox User Report

Conclusion

Throughout this article series, I have shown you how, with the help of PowerGUI, it is possible to manage mailbox users, public folders and other Exchange server objects in bulk. In addition, you have seen how to provision mailbox users, and create reports etc. Needless to say, we have only touched the surface of what is possible with PowerGUI, but I hope you got an understanding of how powerful this tool actually is. In addition it is worthwhile to note that PowerGUI can also be used to manage all other types of objects. Currently you can use PowerGUI to manage systems based on Windows PowerShell technology. At the time of writing, these include Windows XP/Vista, Windows Server 2003/2008, Operations Manager 2007, SQL, networking and other new systems from Microsoft, but keep an eye on http://www.powergui.org as there constantly are new PowerPacks uploaded to library.

That was all for this time, I hope you enjoyed the reading…

If you missed the first part in this article series please read Managing Exchange 2007 using PowerGUI (Part 1)

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