Thursday, August 27, 2009

Synchronizing Exchange identities and more

Microsoft has a product to support synchronization of identities between Exchange environments. That product is the "Identity Integration Feature Pack for Microsoft Windows Server Active Directory with Service Pack 2 (SP2)". For those you who do not know what the IIFP is here's a snippet that gives you an overview:
Identity Integration Feature Pack for Microsoft® Windows Server™ Active Directory® with Service Pack 2 (SP2) manages identities and coordinates user details across Microsoft Active Directory, Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM), Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server, and Exchange Server 2003 implementations. Using Identity Integration Feature Pack, you can combine identity information for a given user or resource into a single, logical view. Identity Integration Feature Pack also automates the provisioning of new and updated identity data, eliminating time-consuming, repetitive administration and the need to manually add, delete, or update identity information, groups, and user accounts.
Sounds good, right? In fact, it does sound good - or maybe I should say it used to sound good. Read the description above a few times and you might notice three key things that are missing:
  1. What about support of Windows Server 2008?
  2. What about support for Exchange 2007? Exchange 2010?
  3. This is all about identities. What about synchronizing calendars "into a single, logical view"?
The first two key items are getting to be show stoppers for most organizations. The last item is, in my humble opinion, very important - it's the "and more" in my post title. I've heard from many customers that they'd one tool to synchronize contacts and free/busy information - not half a tool.

All of this came to mind when I was trying to better understand why interest in Quest's Collaboration Services product seems to be rapidly increasing. The product has been around for a long time but over the last 8-12 months it's really been taking off.

I think I figured out that the answer is in the questions above.

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5 comments:

James said...

Hi Jackson,
Nice blog site. Have you ever heard of Tools4ever's product, User Management Resource Administrator? It is a more cost effective solution that packs the same punch as ILM or Quest tools.

Check it out.

James

Peter Geelen said...

Hello Jackson,

just for your information: IIFP has been retired since 14/oct/2008, as it was included in the lifecycle of MIIS 2003.
More info here: http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/?LN=en-us&p1=1980&x=12&y=12
(+ also on the ILM 2007 FAQ link below)

Secondly, support for Exchange 2007 has been added to ILM 2007 FP1.
That still has GALSync on board.

ILM 2007 FP1 can handle Windows 2008 and Exchange 2007.
Check this link:http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver/ilm2007/faq.mspx

This link on GalSync 2010 might be of interest:
http://help.outlook.com/en-us/140/dd459134.aspx

Kind regards,
Peter Geelen
MVP ILM

ploonen said...

Hi Jackson!

This seems to me to be a bit of an unfair comment about a tool that was released more than 5 years ago and that is currently unsupported, though still available for download.

A couple of things:
- Windows Server 2008 (and R2) AD is perfectly supported, no issue at all (the only thing you can't do is run the tool on Server 2008.
- You can absolutely create your Exchange 2007 mailboxes etc. The only thing that is required is to run a little powershell script after your run profile, much the same way ILM 2007 FP1 is doing (but admitted, automatically) to cover for the absense of a RUS in Exchange 2007.
- Exchange 2010 is currently an unreleased product, therefore it would be hard for any product to somehow support it.
- Customers looking for a supported solution can always upgrade to ILM2007 FP1, which is going to be supported for some time to come. ILM2007FP1 runs on Server 2008 and supports Exchange 2007. Of course this would not be a "free" solution, but the alternative you propose isn't free either.

Regards,
Paul Loonen

Jackson Shaw said...

Thanks for the various comments - and the links which are all useful. My point was not to suggest that people purchase our software and if it came across that way then you have my apologies. I was simply emphasizing that customers - from my experience - prefer one tool and the MS tool I referenced was free.

...Jackson

ploonen said...

Jackson, no problem at all.

BTW, for Exchange 2010, have a look at Exchange 2010 Federation (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd335047(EXCHG.140).aspx). That may go a long way in supporting customer's needs while avoiding having to install any tool at all.

Paul.