Delegate Management of Distribution Groups

owner of group

Ever wanted to stop managing a distribution group because you get 90 million requests every other day to add someone or remove someone from said group?  Ok, maybe not 90 million but it has to be close to 80 million right?  Sometimes you will run across a distribution group that changes its membership frequently.  The best solution I’ve found is to find a point of contact for that group who will be able to manage the membership.  This means less requests to you in the future.

Normally, what I do is add the person as the ‘owner’ under the properties of the distribution group.  While this does nothing to give the person rights to the group, it does allow me to remember which member of the group is the point of contact.  In the example above, I added Scooby Doo as the owner of the 4th Floor NAs (nursing assistants) distribution group.  This allows me to remember the person (or cartoon dog) I am granting write permissions to manage the group to.

Next you have to do some powershell magic to grant write permissions to that very same person:

Add-ADPermission -Identity:'Group Display Name’ -User:domain\username -AccessRights ReadProperty, WriteProperty -Properties 'Member'

Now, if you wanted to grant permissions to a group of people…you might not be able to add an owner…but you can fill out the ‘notes’ section shown in the picture above and drop yourself a line to remember which Active Directory group has permissions to write membership of the group.  The command here would be:

Add-ADPermission -Identity:'Group Display Name’ -User:'Display Name of Permissions Group’ -AccessRights ReadProperty, WriteProperty -Properties 'Member'

I know this has been covered in countless other blogs and other nooks and crannies of the interwebs…I’m sure I’m not telling anyone anything new.  Please remember though that this blog is not only a tool for people to find on the internet…but also a knowledge repository for myself.  I can find the things that are most useful to me simply because I write about them.  I know where to look after I blog about them…and I can guarantee that this blog will be up indefinitely since I host it myself.  That’s more than I can claim for most blogs/resources of information out there covering these topics…most blogs dry up after a few years.

Hopefully, this information will help a few searching souls out there looking to decrease their distribution list management burden.  Thanks for reading!

Find Number of Mailboxes per Database with Powershell

I previously posted about how to count total number of what I thought was mailboxes on any given server…and today I realized that when I used the command from that post I was coming up with a number just a bit too high for what I was looking for.  I did some research and found out that this command finds any entry for any recipient on the server you’re running it and reports back.  For example, I have just over 2000 objects in Recipient Configuration in the Exchange Management Console (EMC).  This is reported back if I use that command.  What I really wanted to know though was how many users mailboxes I have per database.

Of course, powershell is the easiest way to accomplish this.  Powershell is POWERFULL…but sometimes you just need to do simple things with it and instead of having a simple powershell command, you have a complex one.  It’s not the fault of powershell of course…it’s just how things happen to work.  Just the same, here is the command that you can use to get a nice readout of how many users you have in each database:

Get-MailboxDatabase | Select Server, StorageGroupName, Name, @{Name="Number Of Mailboxes";expression={(Get-Mailbox -Database $_.Identity | Measure-Object).Count}} | Format-Table -AutoSize

Please note this command is for a single mailbox server environment…if you have clustered or multiple mailbox database servers the command will probably be different.  Breaking down the command…with Get-MailboxDatabase we’re selecting all databases in our environment.  Next we’re selecting a few columns of data…server, storage group name.  Next we’re selecting a column titled Number Of Mailboxes and we’re defining an expression.  The expression grabs the identity of the single database and then does a count of each individual mailbox…it then returns that value under the name “Number Of Mailboxes”.  The last bits format the table and autoresize it to fit on your powershell screen.

You could output this to CSV relatively easy as well and you could even incorporate this into a nightly report if you really wanted to.  I know the command isn’t very simple…which is odd considering that it should be much simpler to find out the number of people on a single database.  If there are easier ways to do this…I haven’t found them.  You can use EMC to select the column and then sort and highlight the number of people for a quick and easy way…but I prefer powershell.  I hope this helps someone out!  I know it is a command I can’t live without!

Revisiting BlackBerry Desktop Software 6

I decided to see if BlackBerry had solved their install problem with the Desktop Software version 6 that I tried to install back in September 2010.  I’m sad to say their software is full of FAIL still.

FAIL!

FAIL2!

 

As you can see from the errors above, you can’t even launch the application.  It makes me wonder if programmers at RIM even QA their software at all.  I’m not the only one having this problem either.

  1. http://supportforums.blackberry.com/t5/BlackBerry-Desktop-Software/Blackberry-Desktop-Software-Has-Stopped-Working/m-p/640375
  2. http://www.codecannon.com/?p=159
  3. http://supportforums.blackberry.com/t5/BlackBerry-Desktop-Software/Blackberry-Desktop-Manager-has-stopped-working-error-upon-launch/m-p/373082/highlight/true#M13213
  4. http://supportforums.blackberry.com/t5/BlackBerry-Desktop-Software/Can-t-open-Desktop-Software-6-0-1
  5. http://forums.pinstack.com/f8/bb_desktop_manager_6_0_does_open-121855/
  6. http://supportforums.blackberry.com/t5/BlackBerry-Desktop-Software/Blackberry-Desktop-Has-Stopped-Working/td-p/667657#M21023
  7. http://supportforums.blackberry.com/t5/BlackBerry-Tour-9630/Windows-XP-gives-message-quot-BlackBerry-Desktop-Software-has/td-p/706967#M11556
  8. http://supportforums.blackberry.com/t5/BlackBerry-Torch-9800-smartphone/Desktop-Manager-6-0-0-246-quot-Blackberry-Desktop-Software-has/td-p/669787#M6465

I could go on and on but I figured I’d need to stop somewhere.  It’s pretty bad.  It seems users have been reporting this even a few months before I tested it out in September 2010…so this problem has been around for more than 6 months and RIM hasn’t done anything to fix it…and they wonder why Android is chewing up their market?

The worst thing is that when googling around this particular error…you find it is a simple fix in .NET framework inside the application and the app just needs a reference fixed and a recompile.  Figures.  Something that could be done simply and quickly to solve pain and suffering of many goes unnoticed…but hey, let’s make sure we make big bucks on everything else!!

Bottom line is…I have to revert back to previous version.  This means I can’t update my BlackBerry and I can’t call customer service because they won’t help me unless I’m running the most recent version.  So at least they have THAT going for them…they don’t have to address any concerns about BlackBerry Desktop Manager 6 because they can just ignore people that call in that aren’t running that version of the software…and since the people CAN’T get to that version, they get lost in the void.

Hat’s of to RIM!  They’ve cooked up a good way to ignore people in this case.  I hope they fix their problem sometime in the next 6 months.