Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Ratings of Anti-Spam programs


Spam is a huge problem, I can't believe how many spam messages I get. I know that when I was a JDP lead (which stands for Joint Development Parnter), I essentially did the VAR work for a company running beta SBS 2003 software in order to put the product into product before we shipped it. Their biggest complaint prior, and biggest win with SBS, was the amount of spam they reduced.

I found it cool today that Microsoft Outlook 2003 is the Best Spam filtering program available... at least according to this study.

Knowning that Outlook uses the same filtering as Exchange, you can totally use this to sell more copies of SBS! (is my agenda that obvious?)

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

ALT+CLICK in Word 2003


This is pretty cool, I miss clicked and found a new feature in Word 2003. Hold down ALT and click on a word. The Research bar comes up with the definition, thesaurus, and a translation for the word you clicked on.

This is even cooler! If you click on translate, it takes you to WorldLingo.com and shows you a translated version of your document in the language of your choice.

I do have my gripes with Office, but this is pretty darn cool!

Don't install ISA Server Service Pack 1 on SBS SP1, it's not needed!


So it occured to me this morning, while I was reviewing some documentation that SBS customers might be tempted to install ISA SP1 onto their SBS box.

Let's just say that this doesn't work.

Why you ask? Well, ISA SP1 is already included with SBS SP1 for premium customers. The SBS SP1 ISA sku is slipstreamed with ISA SP1, so you, as an SBS customers should feel special as this is the only place you can get ISA with slipstream SP1. However, if you try to install the ISA SP1, you'll receive the error that ISA isn't installed. This is expected, as the sku guids are the different(basically, some mumbo-jumbo to help us differentiate what's what).

So, bottome line: don't install ISA SP1 on your SBS SP1 premium boxes.

Monday, August 29, 2005

An Extension to Delgate Access


Well, I'm back from vacation, and before I dive back into the world of building a Vista version of SBS for you guys, I thought I'd give the long over due credit for some hard work to Justin Kruger. I had posted a while back about How to host multiple domains on SBS, and a lot of discussion was generated. There was also a follow up about Delgate Access. However, neither of these posts satisfied Jusin's unique need. Justin had the specific requirement to give users different default email addresses based on a simple LDAP query.

I didn't have an answer for Justin, so he took the initiative and figured it out for those who share in his frustration! Well Done Justin! The steps that Justin followed are outlined below.

Keep in mind that I have not tested this and I provide it AS IS from Justin. Use at your own risk.



To kick off the process, Justin creates two seperate user templates inside the server management, the first template has a description, and the second one doesn't (ie left blank)

Next, Justin opens the Exchange System Manager (ESM) and edits the default recipient policy to change it to an irrelavant SMTP address (which will be modified if you run CEICW at a later date). Justin uses %g@not-used.com, as the %g uses the given name variable when creating the account.


Also, as shown above, Justin created two more recipient policies for the two domain names the server will host. The first query is modified to search for the particulars in the description field as shown:

As you can see, if the description does not match, then this policy will apply. Then you set the SMTP address you wish to create, taking note of which way the %g.%s are

Now back to the second recipient policy, we make the description match exactly in the LDAP query.

And we add the SMTP policy for this as %s.%g (which is backwards to the above policy).

The reason for the swapping of the %g & %s is based on how you create the user using the SBS add user wizard. When creating the user with FLastName or LFirstName.
The image below will get the @whatever.com address

And this image will result in the @otheraddress.com since the first and last names are switched

Then Justin gave the two accounts that belong to each others mailbox send on behalf permissions and loaded the default mailbox to the outlook profile with the other as the additional mailbox. (See my previous post on how to grant delgate access)
Finally, Justin amended the Address space in teh SMTP connector properties to relay for both domains



That's all Justin suggests to do! Happy emailing! Feel free to have a discussion with Justin right here on this blog post if you are having problems.

An Extension to Delegate Access


Well, I'm back from vacation, and before I dive back into the world of building a Vista version of SBS for you guys, I thought I'd give the long over due credit for some hard work to Justin Kruger. I had posted a while back about How to host multiple domains on SBS, and a lot of discussion was generated. A follow up post on Delgate Access was posted, but this still didn't satisfy Justin's unique need. Justin had the specific requirement to give users different default email addresses based on a simple LDAP query.

I didn't have an answer for Justin, so he took the initiative and figured it out for those who share in his frustration! Well Done Justin!

Keep in mind that I have not tested this and I provide it AS IS from Justin. Use at your own risk.



To kick off the process, Justin creates two seperate user templates inside the server management, the first template has a description, and the second one doesn't (ie left blank)

Next, Justin opens the Exchange System Manager (ESM) and edits the default recipient policy to change it to an irrelavant SMTP address (which will be modified if you run CEICW at a later date). Justin uses %g@not-used.com, as the %g uses the given name variable when creating the account.


Also, as shown above, Justin created two more recipient policies for the two domain names the server will host. The first query is modified to search for the particulars in the description field as shown:

As you can see, if the description does not match, then this policy will apply. Then you set the SMTP address you wish to create, taking note of which way the %g.%s are

Now back to the second recipient policy, we make the description match exactly in the LDAP query.

And we add the SMTP policy for this as %s.%g (which is backwards to the above policy).

The reason for the swapping of the %g & %s is based on how you create the user using the SBS add user wizard. When creating the user with FLastName or LFirstName.
The image below will get the @whatever.com address

And this image will result in the @otheraddress.com since the first and last names are switched

Then Justin gave teh two accounts that belong to each others mailbox send on behalf permissions and loaded the default mailbox to the outlook profile with the other as the additional mailbox. (See my previous post on how to grant delgate access)
Finally, Justin amended the Address space in teh SMTP connector properties to relay for both domains



That's all Justin suggests to do! Happy emailing! Feel free to have a discussion with Justin right here on this blog post if you are having problems.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Official WSUS on SBS steps have been posted!

Hey all,

If you're tired of reading my "RC" version of the steps, the real versions are posted On the Microsoft Website.

I'll be posting more next week when I return from holiday's.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Blog from Word!

Google has released a new tool to enable you to blog from within Word! Check it out!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Is it really only at Microsoft?

Today I brought in 3 lbs of M&M Candies. I put them on my desk, then sent email to the SBS product team. There are about 80 of us. That was six hours ago, there are 42 M&M's left in this big bowl on my desk.

The M&M's were a hit.

Moral of the story? Microsoft employees seem to really like M&M's. I wonder what they would do if they discovered Smarties!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Work-around steps for installing WSUS on OEM Pre-installed SBS machines


As promised, I've been keeping my eye on the work around for the problem installing Windows Software Update Services on SBS OEM Pre-installed computers. I've received a ton of emails on this based on my previous post on How to configure WSUS on SBS.

The steps below are a release candidate version of the steps that Microsoft will publish to the web in the next few days. So feel free to use them, but know that they may still change slightly.

Download the WSUS installer to your computer

  1. On the SBS server, create a folder called C:\WSUSFiles

  2. Download Windows Software Update Services: You'll have to answer questions in order to obtain the download

  3. Save the file to the C:\WSUSFiles directory you created in step 1

Prepare the WSUS database separately

  1. Extract the WSUS setup files using the command WSUSSetup.exe /X

  2. Change to the newly existing directory at C:\WSUSFiles\wmsde.

  3. Now the tricky part: Type the following command line:

    Sqlrun03.msi INSTANCENAME=WSUS BLANKSAPWD=1 REBOOT=ReallySuppress DISABLENETWORKPROTOCOLS=1 DISABLEAGENTSTARTUP=1 DISABLETHROTTLE=1

    • This setups up a blank password for the msde database, but when WSUS is installed a randomly generated password is set

  4. Open the services.msc snap-in and right-click the MSSQL$WSUS and choose Start. If the service isn't there, try running the command line again.

Install WSUS

  1. In the command prompt, launch c:\WSUSFiles\WSUSSetup.exe and follow the onscreen instructions


When the setup is complete, you can delete the C:\WSUSSetup folder as it is no longer needed. Be careful not to delete the C:\WSUS folder :o)

I know it's a pain, and we'll definitely fix this in future releases, but for now, you've got the work around steps! So WSUS your network!

Cheers,

Thursday, August 11, 2005

RE-Indexing the Company Web for Premium Customers


Against the popular believe that Microsoft builds what they want and people just conform, we're actually spending time going through research (most of it in PDF format) and we're sharing amongst each other (which you should just read as SharePoint). Only one problem. SharePoint doesn't have that PDF icon in it, and it doesn't index PDF files for search with the SQL 2000 backend.

Lucky for us, we have a Blithering Lunatic for an MVP! Chad posts on how to add a PDF icon in Companyweb, which essential involves dropping a 16x16 icon into the specific location of c:\program files\ common files\ microsoft shared\ web server extensions\ 60\ template\ images, and dropping that icon in there. Then modifying the c:\program files\ common files\ microsoft shared\ web server extensions\ 60\ template\ xml\ docicon.xml in the "By Extension" section to add the entry.

Next you need the Adobe PDF IFilter to install on your server so the PDFs are searchable.

Now comes the inspiration for this blog post. Dean, my manager, is a smart guy, he'd already copied about 40 PDF files into our SharePoint website, but they weren't getting indexed. Dean decided to do an MSN Search for how to get the indexing to happen. A couple of responses came back involving

  1. Removing and copying all the files into the site again -- Painful

  2. Running some osql commands -- DOS, ouch!

  3. Forgetting about searching those files -- Clearly not an option


So what did Dean do?

Dean actually found the Content Database SharePoint was using by opening up SharePoint Central Administration from the Administration Tools, then going to Configure Virtual Server Settings, Company Web and then Manage Content Databases.

Write down the name of the content database, then
Expand Microsoft SQL Servers, SQL Server Group, {ServerName}\SharePoint and Databases. Pick the name you wrote down above, and then select Full-Text Catalogs. You can right-click on the catalog and choose Rebuild Catalog.

In a somewhat short period of time, all those files will be indexed and you'll be able to search your PDF files.

Applepie: Embarking on an Apple fix.

So this is pretty funny, an Ex-Microsoft employee decided to strip out Microsoft products from his life for 30 days and he's blogging about it. Only one problem, he's keeping

  • 2 Media Center PCs

  • 2 Windows XP Laptops (for his kitchen and wife)

  • MAC Office

  • Hotmail

  • MSN Messenger

  • Windows SmartPhone

It's still pretty interesting blog posting though:Applepie: Embarking on an Apple fix.

Windows Vista Beta 1: A Guided Tour

Scot Finnie gives the guided tour to Windows Vista: Beta 1

If you're curious as to the main changes in Windows Vista, now is your chance to check them out!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Exchange SP2 is Coming

For those of you who don't know, Microsoft is working on a service pack 2 for Exchange. If you didn't know, then.... SURPRISE!!

Let's talk a bit about what's going into it shall we?

Anti-Spam
Lots more work is being done to help on the front of Anti-spam with SP2 of Exchange. Specifically new and improved filters are being added to

  1. Connection Filtering

  2. SMTP Filtering

  3. Content Filtering

  4. Inbound mail processing rules

More information on how the SP2 will handle Anti-spam is already posted live over on the EHLO blog Post on Service Pack 2 Anti-Spam Framwork.

Mobility
More security around mobility is being put in place, including remote Wipe and policy infrastructure (which won't be fully realized until the 2005 version of Windows Mobile is available to the public. Again, the EHLO blog's post on Remote Wipe has the nitty gritty.

Offline Address Book
And of course, less exciting, but still neccessary is changes to the Offline Address Book. Go Go Gadget EHLO blog post on OAB version 4.

Of course there is other funtionality too, but we have to keep some surprises don't we?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Don't have a Smartphone yet?

Looks like the Smartphone is finally taking off. In one survey, the smartphone takes #1, #3, and #6 positions out of 10! Check it out on MS Mobiles: Windows Mobile Rocks!. Now there should be no more hesitation. Truely see what SBS can provide you as a back end. mmmmm Smartphone...

Monday, August 08, 2005

Ah yes, reducing all forms of spam

Let's talk about spam for a second. My home SBS server gets roughly 30-40 peices of spam email a day. That's my home server! I think I finally got my IMF (Intelligent Message Filter) settings just right. I get 2-3 of these a day into the junk email filter of Outlook, and probably 1 per week that actually lands in my inbox. Not terrible by any means and I'm quite happy with it. Of course I do have Multiple Layers of spam filtering as I mentioned earlier.

Now I only wish I could get spam filtering on my snail-mail box (that's the USPS mailbox sitting outside my house). Today a site passed through my inbox that I just had to share. Using the Opt Out Prescreen website, you can opt-out from getting those 0% credit card offers, which I get 2-3 of those a day!

Why not save the paper people, we already know you toss 98% of those in the garbage!