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June 20, 2005

"Exchange Server Cookbook": Step-by-Step Procedures and Scripts for Windows Network Administrators

Sebastopol, CA--Ask anyone at any company with more than fifty employees what their most critical computer application is, and most will say "email" without hesitation. Among the messaging systems critical to businesses today, Microsoft's popular Exchange software has come a long way since its introduction in 1996. Yet, according to the company, sixty percent of the seats or workstations that use the software still depend on Exchange 5.5, the version released in 1997, despite the availability of Exchange 2000 and, more recently, Exchange Server 2003.

"The release of Windows Server 2003 addresses the majority of the underlying issues with Active Directory that kept many companies from upgrading sooner," comments author Paul Robichaux, a longtime Exchange consultant and author of columns and books on the subject, including Exchange Server Cookbook (O'Reilly, US $44.95). "Exchange Server 2003 is making huge inroads in the Exchange 5.5 installed base, and much of what's in this book is stuff that experienced 5.5 administrators need to know."

Coauthored by Devin Ganger and Missy Koslosky, this cookbook offers Windows network administrators a comprehensive how-to guide to the most common tasks for both Exchange 2000 Server and Exchange Server 2003--everything from installation and maintenance to configuration and optimization--along with details on the most useful tools and utilities, and solutions to uncommon tasks and advanced procedures. As with other O'Reilly cookbooks, the recipes in Exchange Server Cookbook are immediate and practical solutions to specific problems and tasks, organized by subject so that administrators can quickly find what they need.

"Exchange is a rich messaging system, but there are lots of hidden tricks and features that not everyone knows," Robichaux explains. Microsoft has gone to great lengths to hide much of Exchange's complexity by providing a set of GUI tools and wizards, he says, but for those who want to make better use of features and capabilities that lie beneath the GUI veneer, the cookbook's recipes also provide command line options and working script examples for automating management and deployment tasks.

"Our book is designed to give readers more than one way to complete a task," Koslosky explains. "Scripting for Exchange isn't widespread, and most books on Exchange don't cover scripting at all. We hope the book will help administrators get used to it, so, as they become more comfortable, they will enhance the scripts we provide in the book."

Topics covered in the Exchange Server Cookbook include:

  • The relationship between Exchange and Active Directory
  • When to use the GUI, the command line, or scripting
  • How to prepare forests, domains, and servers
  • How to use Group Policy to control Exchange
  • Diagnostic logging, measure performance, and administrative privileges
  • Recipient management: user accounts, mailboxes, mail-enabled groups
  • Mailbox and public folder database management
  • Message routing and transport functions
  • Security, backup, restore, and recovery operations
  • "The cookbook format provides a unique opportunity for learning new ways to do familiar tasks," Ganger remarks. "Most Exchange administrators don't have the luxury of time to research new approaches and they can benefit from a thorough set of task-oriented recipes that show them how. This is the book I could have used when I first started learning Exchange."

    Additional Resources:

    Exchange Server Cookbook
    Paul Robichaux, Missy Koslosky, and Devin L. Ganger
    ISBN: 0-596-00717-5, 437 pages, $44.95 US, $62.95 CA
    order@oreilly.com
    1-800-998-9938;1-707-827-7000

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