Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 : Managing Mailboxes (part 6) - Using the EMC to Manage User and Mailbox Properties

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5. Managing User and Mailbox Properties

Many of the user account properties that can be managed through the Active Directory Users and Computers console can now also be managed through the EMC or the EMS. Naturally, using the EMC is a little easier than using the command line, but the EMS is much more flexible and powerful once you learn how to use it. And with the tips feature of the EMS that allows you to easily see the EMS cmdlet and syntax necessary to update an object, learning the EMS is even easier.

5.1. Using the EMC to Manage User and Mailbox Properties

Let's start with managing user and mailbox properties using the EMC. We want to take a look at a few of the things that you can do and some of the user property pages. We'll begin by taking a look at the mailbox's General properties page, shown in Figure 16. The General page has some interesting information on it, including the user ID of the last person to access the mailbox, the mailbox size, and the mailbox database name.

Figure 16. General properties page for a mailbox

On the General page you'll notice the Hide From Exchange Address Lists check box. This setting prevents the mailbox from appearing in address lists such as the GAL. The General page also includes a Custom Attributes button that allows you to access all 15 custom attributes (extension attributes).

The field that is not clearly labeled is the Display Name field; this is the field that is next to the mailbox icon in the upper-left corner of the General page. The display name is what users see in the GAL.

The next page of interest is E-Mail Addresses, shown in Figure 17. Here you can manage the SMTP addresses (and other address types) that are assigned to this particular mailbox. Notice in Figure 17 that this user has multiple SMTP addresses that can be used to send messages to this mailbox.

Figure 17. E-Mail Address properties of a mailbox

Regardless of how many email addresses are assigned to this mailbox, when an Exchange user clicks the reply button to reply to a message sent to any of these addresses, the Set As Reply address is the one that is always used as the Reply To address. In Figure 17, this is the address shown in bold. This can be changed by selecting another address and clicking the Set As Reply button.

If an email address policy that affects this mailbox is updated with new email address generation rules and then reapplied, additional email addresses will be created. If a policy that affects the default SMTP address is changed, the email address policy can change a user's primary email address. However, the user will retain the previous SMTP addresses.

If you clear the Automatically Update E-mail Addresses Based On E-mail Address Policy check box, any changes to the email address policy that affects this mailbox will not be made.

If you try to change the Reply To email address of an address that is based on an email address policy by either selecting a different Reply To address or editing the existing email address, you must first clear the Automatically Update E-mail Addresses Based On E-mail Address Policy check box. Otherwise, the Set As Reply button is not available. You will receive an error if you try to update the Reply To address, as shown in Figure 18.

Notice in Figure 17 that user Ivan Baker has multiple email addresses, including addresses from two different domains. He has an [email protected] and an [email protected] address. All inbound email for both email addresses will be directed to his mailbox; this is a useful feature for organizations that have more than one domain; however, any email to which he replies will have the [email protected] address. Exchange does not allow a user to select which address will be used in the From field of a message.

Figure 18. Changes to the Reply To address may not be allowed.

On the Mailbox Settings property page, there are four configuration items that are of interest depending on your environment and the features of Exchange Server that you are using. The first of these is Messaging Records Management, shown in Figure 19. Figure 19 shows that the user has been assigned a messaging records management (MRM) policy called Standard User Managed Folder Policy.

Figure 19. MRM features for a mailbox

On the Messaging Records Management properties page for each user you'll find an option to turn off the MRM feature for some period of time. This is called enabling a retention hold, and can be useful for times such as when the user has an extended period of absence. Enabling this option will prevent action from being taken on items that might ordinarily be deleted, archived, expired, or moved.

MRM and Client Access Licenses

If you are using MRM only for features equivalent to the Exchange 2000/2003 mailbox management features such as purging the Deleted Items folder or deleting messages older than a certain number of days, standard Exchange client access licenses (CALs) can be used. However, if you use MRM to perform tasks such as management of custom folders, you need an Exchange enterprise client access license (an eCAL) for users who use those features. ECALs are required for each mailbox that uses the personal archive mailbox, MRM, transport journaling, advanced features of ActiveSync, and Unified Messaging features.

The next Mailbox Settings property set is the Federated Sharing feature; this is, of course, only useful if you have configured the federated sharing features of Exchange 2010 to share calendars and contacts across multiple Exchange 2010 organizations. Figure 20 shows the Federated Sharing properties for the user in question and the sharing policy that has been applied.

Figure 20. Assigning a federated sharing policy

All users are automatically assigned the default sharing policy, which enables users in a remote organization to view the free and busy information for your users. Keep in mind, though, that the remote organization must be first configured to allow for sharing.

The next Mailbox Settings property set is for storage quotas. The Storage Quotas dialog is shown in Figure 21. Storage quotas allow you to override mailbox database storage quotas for individual users. This is helpful for VIPs who need more mailbox storage than a typical user or for users who should have lower mailbox quotas.

Figure 21. Applying individual storage quotas

On the bottom of the Storage Quotas dialog is the individual deleted item retention times. By default, each Exchange mailbox database will keep a user's data that has been emptied from the Deleted Items folder or "hard deleted" for 14 days. Although this does somewhat increase the size of the mailbox database, it also greatly helps reduce the necessity of restoring single items or folders that a user may have accidentally deleted. If you have a user who is frequently coming back to you after deleting something for more than two weeks past and "has to have it restored right away," you could increase their individual deleted item retention time.

The final Mailbox Setting property set that you should note are the Archive Quota settings, shown in Figure 22. These settings allow you to specify an archive size at which a warning message will be generated; by default, the archive quota is not configured.

Note that the Archive Quota properties will only be available if the user has been configured with an archive mailbox. Each mailbox that has Exchange 2010 archiving configured for it will require an Exchange 2010 eCAL.

The Mail Flow Settings properties page for the mailbox shows mailbox settings that most experienced Exchange administrators will already be familiar with. They are now just located in slightly different places. The properties found on the Mail Flow Settings properties page are grouped into Delivery Options, Message Size Restrictions, and Message Delivery Restrictions sections. You merely need to highlight one of them and click the Properties button to see them.

Figure 22. Applying an archive size limit warning

The Delivery Options properties (shown in Figure 23) include a couple of important options. The first is the Send On Behalf permission; this allows anyone who has been assigned this permission to send a message on behalf of this user. For example, in Figure 23, users Grace Tanaka and John Rodriguez can now send a message on behalf of this mailbox.

For example, if John Rodriguez sends a message on behalf of this mailbox, when the message arrives, it will say it is from John Rodriguez on behalf of the specified mailbox. This implies, at least, a tacit authorization on the part of the mailbox owner that the message should have been sent by John Rodriguez. This is a bit different than the Send As permission, which does not indicate that the message was sent on behalf of a user.

Figure 23. A mailbox's delivery options

Also on the Delivery Options page is the option to deliver messages to an alternate recipient (known as forwarding address). The recipient that you specify must be a mailbox in your organization or a mail-enabled contact that you find within your GAL. If you select a mail-enabled contact that you have created in your global address list, this would let you forward all of this user's mail to an external mail system. That can be useful if someone has left the organization and wants to keep getting his or her mail. It could also be a disaster if that person has left your organization and gone to work for a competitor, so use this feature with caution.

If the Deliver Message To Both Forwarding Address And Mailbox check box is enabled, the message is delivered to both places. This is useful when "the boss" wants her assistant to receive all her mail but she wants to see the mail as well.

Finally, the bottom part of the Delivery Options page allows you to specify the maximum number of recipients to which this person can send a message. The global default is 5,000, but some organizations want to reduce this figure and allow only the VIPs or authorized users such as Human Resources users to send messages to large numbers of users.

The Message Size Restrictions options (shown in Figure 24) allow you to specify the maximum size of messages the user can send or receive. If they are not specified, the user is limited by the global defaults or the connector defaults.

Figure 24. Overriding the maximum inbound and outbound message sizes a user can send

The final selection of settings found on the Mail Flow Settings properties page is Message Delivery Restrictions. With these options, you can restrict who is allowed to send mail to this particular mailbox. For example, if this is a VIP, you might want to restrict who can send to this mailbox to only a subset of users within the organization. Conversely, you could configure a mailbox to reject mail from a specific set of users. Figure 25 shows the Message Delivery Restrictions settings for a VIP's mailbox; the VIP wants to receive mail only from the other members of the #Executives group, the $All Corporate Users group, and user Matthew Badeau.

If you select the Require That All Senders Are Authenticated check box, this will cut down on the spam that mailbox receives, but it also means that no anonymous Internet mail will be received. By default, all mail received from the Internet is received anonymously.

If you have spent a lot of time troubleshooting nondelivery reports and error messages that your users have received in the past, you will be happy to hear that the Exchange team has worked hard to make the error messages more descriptive and helpful. When users send a message to someone they are not allowed to send to, they receive a nondelivery report (NDR) message in return. Figure 26 shows an example of an NDR message that a user received when they tried to send to someone to which they were not authorized to send.

The next mailbox properties page of interest to email administrators is Mailbox Features (shown in Figure 27). Here you can enable or disable additional features of the mailbox, such as Outlook Web App, Exchange ActiveSync, Unified Messaging, MAPI access, POP3, IMAP4, and Archive.

Some of these features can only be enabled or disabled, whereas others (such as the POP3 and IMAP4 features) have additional properties:

  • Outlook Web App allows you to specify an Outlook Web App mailbox policy.

  • The Exchange ActiveSync selection has a Properties option that allows you to configure the Exchange ActiveSync policy for this user.

  • You can now disable MAPI clients.

  • The Unified Messaging option allows you to specify the user's Unified Messaging properties if you have Unified Messaging server roles installed.

  • The Archive option allows you to change the display name of the archive mailbox.

Figure 25. Restricting who can send mail to a mailbox

Figure 26. NDR message sent when sender is not authorized to send to the intended recipient

Figure 27. Mailbox Features properties page

Figure 8. Configuring automated calendar processing

The final mailbox properties page that is of interest to Exchange administrators is Calendar Settings. The default calendar settings for an Exchange 2010 mailbox are shown in Figure 28. Here you can configure how the server-based calendar attendant handles meeting notifications, meeting requests, meeting responses, and external requests.
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