Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Confused by different public folder tools?

Here is a great conparison between the most likely Public Folder tools available today posted by Bill Long.

With all the various public folder tools out there, it can be difficult to remember what tool works with what version of Exchange, and what the tool can be used for. Here's a summary.

pfadmin 1.3
Available at:
ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/pss/tools/Exchange%20Support%20Tools/PFAdmin/
Used for: imports, or interactively
Works with: Exchange 5.5, 2000, 2003
Description: This is the original pfadmin from the Exchange 5.5 days. The most typical use is for running permissions imports that were generated with pfinfo 3.x, which are made up of SETACL command lines. You can also use it interactively to run SETACL and SETREPLICA commands. Pfadmin lets you view the current permissions and replicas using LISTACL and LISTREPLICAS respectively. However, these dumps can not be imported since they don't use SETACL or SETREPLICAS command format.

pfinfo 3.x
Available at:
ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/pss/tools/Exchange%20Support%20Tools/PFInfo/55/
Used for: exporting permissions in pfadmin 1.3 command syntax, also reports certain properties
Works with: Exchange 5.5
Description: This is the original pfinfo from the Exchange 5.5 days. The most typical use is for running permissions exports, which are actually just a list of SETACL commands. These can be imported using pfadmin 1.3. Pfinfo also generates a report that includes various other properties of the folder, such as item count and folder size. The property export can not be imported. You can try running this against Exchange 2000 and 2003, but you will find that in some cases subfolders will appear as root folders in the export, because pfinfo gets the folder path from the directory object, which is not always populated in 2000 and 2003.

pfadminE2K
Available at:
ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/pss/tools/Exchange%20Support%20Tools/PFAdmin/
Used for: imports
Works with: Exchange 2000 RTM only
Description: This is an updated pfadmin for Exchange 2000, but it is not widely used due to several shortcomings. First, its command and permissions syntax is completely different from pfadmin 1.3, meaning you can't import your old pfinfo exports with the new pfadminE2K. Second, with E2K Sp1 and later, most operations fail. It only works reliably with the RTM version of E2K.

pfinfoE2K
Available at:
ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/pss/tools/Exchange%20Support%20Tools/PFInfo/2000/
Used for: exporting permissions in pfadminE2K command syntax, also reports certain properties
Works with: Exchange 2000 RTM only
Description: This is the updated pfinfo for Exchange 2000, which was also not widely used for similar reasons. The new permissions export format made it incompatible with any tool except pfadminE2K, and it only works reliably with E2K RTM.

OutlookFolders
Available at:
ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/pss/tools/Exchange%20Support%20Tools/Outlook_Folders/
Used for: exports permissions in pfadmin 1.3 command syntax
Works with: Exchange 5.5, 2000, 2003
Description: This utility accesses Exchange via a MAPI profile, and thus it works with any version of Exchange. It generates permissions exports in pfadmin 1.3 SETACL command syntax.

PFDavAdmin
Available at:
ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/pss/tools/Exchange%20Support%20Tools/PFDavAdmin/
Used for: exporting and importing permissions and replica lists in pfadmin 1.3 command syntax, version 2.3 and later exports properties
Works with: Exchange 2000, 2003
Description: PFDavAdmin accesses the information store through webDAV, thus the name, and was originally written to correct non-canonical DACLs on public folders. Its features eventually expanded to include imports and exports of permissions and replicas in pfadmin 1.3 command syntax. Version 2.3 and later can also export properties such as item count (PR_CONTENT_COUNT) and folder size (PR_MESSAGE_SIZE) into a tab-delimited file similar to the old pfinfo output (which also can not be imported, just like the old pfinfo output). In addition, it can be used to propagate single permissions and replicas down a tree of subfolders, instead of overwriting as ESM does. It has other features as well, which are discussed in the included doc.

pfmigrate
Available at:
http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/downloads/2003/default.mspx, as part of the E2K3 deployment tools
Used for: adding and removing replicas for all folders on a server, site consolidation
Works with: Exchange 2000, 2003
Description: Pfmigrate is especially useful for Exchange 2003 Sp1 site consolidation, since it changes the legacy DN of a public folder, which no other utility does. Site consolidation is outside the scope of this article. However, pfmigrate can also be used to simply add replicas of all folders on one server to another server, and remove replicas of all folders from the original server.

exdeploy
Available at:
http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/downloads/2003/default.mspx, as part of the E2K3 deployment tools
Used for: besides other things that exdeploy is used for, the /pubfoldcheck switch is of interest in regards to public folders as /pubfoldcheck runs a part of the DS/IS Consistency Adjuster that removes the unknown accounts from public folder ACLs. Those unknown accounts, if unhandled, could then get replicated to Exchange 200x servers as zombie users, thus causing problems. Exdeploy /pubfoldcheck can be scripted and run against multiple servers. NOTE: earlier version of exdeploy help stated that /pubfoldcheck also synchronized the public folder store and the Exchange directory (which could possibly cause public folders to be rehomed). This is however incorrect and it has been fixed in the new version of help file available with the tool at the above link.

2 comments:

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