Active Directory management & automation

What's New in Softerra Adaxes 2013.1

Version: 3.5.12221.0
Release Date: April 29, 2013

Adaxes 2013.1 brings many long-awaited features aimed at simplifying and automating Active Directory management and administration. The new version comes with new features for Exchange management and automation, provides improved usability and customization options for the Active Directory Web Interface, introduces support for Microsoft Lync, Exchange 2013, Windows Server 2012, Windows 8, and much more!


Automation Enhancements

Exchange Management

The new Exchange management and Exchange automation features of Adaxes are so immense that the What's New document just cannot cover all the details. Watch the Exchange Management Demo that presents a detailed overview.

Automated Mailbox Configuration

In the new version of Adaxes, you can automatically configure Exchange mailbox settings. With the help of the new Modify Exchange properties action, you can adjust various options of Exchange mailboxes, define storage quotas, enable or disable mailbox features, configure e-mail addresses, assign mailbox rights, apply mailbox policies, etc. This can be used, for example, to automatically configure new Exchange mailboxes once they are created.

For more details and examples, see tutorial: Automate Exchange Mailbox Configuration.

Automated Mailbox Provisioning

Apart from automatic mailbox configuration, you can also automate the configuration of mail-enabled contacts and distribution lists.

Adaxes provides Exchange management API that you can use in your Business Rules, Custom Commands, and Scheduled Tasks. For more details, see Performing Exchange Tasks.

Automated Mailbox Move

Whenever you need to move users' mailboxes automatically, you can use the new Move the Exchange Mailbox action to perform the task. For example, you can move a user's mailbox to a different storage database when a user is transferred to another office.

Automated Mailbox Move

Automated Mail-Enabling of Contacts and Groups

Starting from the new version, you can automate mail-enabling of contacts and distribution lists. For example, you can create a Business Rule that will establish email addresses for distribution lists to be able to send emails to all group members upon group creation.

Establish Email Address Action

Enabling and Disabling Users for Lync

From now on, Adaxes allows you to automatically enable or disable users for Lync Server with the help of the new Enable or disable for Lync action. For example, you can enable users for Lync as a part of the user provisioning process.

Adaxes supports Lync 2010 and 2013.

Enable for Lync Action

Account Locked Condition

Now, if your Business Rule, Scheduled Task or Custom Command needs to check whether an account is locked out, you can use the new If account is/is not locked out condition. For example, you can create a Scheduled Task that will automatically unlock locked accounts in your Active Directory based on a certain criterion.

Account Locked Condition

Minute Interval for Scheduled Tasks

From now on, you can schedule a task to run every N minutes.

Minutely Interval for Scheduled Tasks


Custom Description for Run Script Action

The Run Script action lets you greatly extend the out-of-the-box functionality, but sometimes the default description generated by Adaxes hardly describes the operation that the script performs. Now, to make the purpose and the function of the script clearer to your users, you have an option to specify a custom description that will replace the default description in operation details and in your Business Rule.

Custom Description for Run Script Action

Passing Credentials in PowerShell Scripts

From now on, the new $Context.RunAs property allows you to get the credentials of the user account under which a PowerShell script is launched. The credentials returned can be used in PowerShell scripts that make remote calls to authenticate on remote computers.

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Exchange Management

Mailbox Management via Web Interface

In the new version, Adaxes Web Interface has been extended with a set of features that let you manage Exchange mailboxes, distribution lists, and mail-enabled contacts using a convenient and easy-to-use Exchange Properties section.

Mailbox Management via the Web Interface

If you want to simplify and streamline Exchange management via the Web Interface, you can hide all the unnecessary items and configure the Web Interface to show only the options your users need to see. This allows creating a simple and clear Exchange mailbox management interface, which may be especially helpful if you are planning to delegate Exchange management tasks to users who have little or no experience in Exchange management.

Configure Forms for Mailbox Management

Mailbox Management from Home Page

To simplify the most typical and often used Exchange management operations, you can configure the Web Interface to launch them directly from the home page. For example, if your Help Desk often needs to grant the Send As permission, you can define a Home Page Action for this purpose and allow modification of the Send As section only.

Home Page Actions for Mailbox Management

Moving Mailboxes via the Web Interface

Now, Adaxes allows you to move mailboxes between different mailbox databases or even between different Exchange servers.

Move Mailbox Action

If you want to simplify moving of Exchange mailboxes, you can predefine default values for the operation or even remove some unnecessary options that may distract or confuse users. For example, if you want the archive mailbox to be always moved together with the primary mailbox, you can configure the operation to always move the primary and the archive mailboxes together and remove the possibility to change the option from the Web Interface.

Configure Move Mailbox Operation

Delegating Exchange Tasks

The same as any other operation in Adaxes, access to Exchange management tasks is controlled by Security Roles. Now Adaxes allows you to granularly delegate permissions for Exchange operations, which means that you can define the minimum set of permissions required for your users to accomplish their job duties, without providing unnecessary access. For example, you can allow your Help Desk to only update Auto-Reply messages, enable forwarding of a user's mail, and nothing else.

Delegating Exchange Tasks

Custom Commands and Scheduled Tasks for Mailbox Management

If you have complicated multi-step Exchange management operations, you can create Custom Commands to perform all the required steps in a single click. For example, when a user goes on a sick leave, you can use a Custom Command to enable automatic replies, forwarding of the user's mail to the user's manager and perform the other required actions.

Custom Commands for Mailbox Management

Whenever you need to schedule an Exchange mailbox management operation, you can create a Scheduled Task that will perform all the necessary actions on a schedule.


Monitoring Mailbox Moves

When moving a large mailbox or in case multiple mailboxes are involved, mailbox move may take quite a long time to complete. That's why in Adaxes mailboxes are always moved asynchronously. With the help of the Administration Console, you can always check whether a mailbox move is complete.

Monitoring Mailbox Moves

Managing Exchange Mailboxes in Bulk

With Adaxes, you can configure multiple Exchange mailboxes simultaneously. If necessary, you can specify templates for mailbox properties with the help of value references. For example, you can use the %manager% template on the Delegation page to grant the Send As permission for Exchange mailboxes to user managers.

Bulk Edit Exchange Mailboxes

ActiveSync Reports

We've added two new Active Directory reports: ActiveSync Enabled and ActiveSync Disabled. You can use the new reports to find out who can automatically synchronize Outlook data in their mobile devices with Exchange, and for whom this feature is disabled.

Exchange 2013 Support

The list of Exchange Servers supported by Adaxes has been extended with Exchange 2013. Now Adaxes supports Exchange 2003, Exchange 2007, Exchange 2010, and Exchange 2013.

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Web Interface Enhancements

Reset Password Customization

The new version allows you to customize the Reset Password operation for the Web Interface. Now you can specify default values for account options as well as the password generation template, prevent changing of the default values or even completely hide certain options from the Reset Password page. For example, if you don't want to allow users to change account options during password reset, you can specify the default account options to be used and remove the Account Options section from the Reset Password page or make it read-only.

Configure Reset Password Operation

Single-Click Auto-Logon Configuration

To enable automatic logon to Adaxes Web Interface using the credentials of the currently logged on user, you no longer need to perform any manual configuration steps. Now, Single Sign-On to the Web Interface can be enabled with a single click of a button in the Web Interface Customization tool.

Enable Single Sign-On

Moving and Copying Home Page Actions between Groups

Moving and Copying Home Page Actions between Groups Now, you can easily move Home Page actions between groups on the Actions Pane. So, if you made a mistake and created a Home Page action in a wrong group, now, you can simply move it to the group you want. The new version also allows you to copy and paste Home Page actions, which enables you to, for example, create new actions using your existing actions as templates.


Value References in Home Page URLs

Value References in Home Page URLs

Now, the Link to Specific URL Home Page action supports value references in the link URL. For example, if you want to provide links to resources customized for each user, you can use the %username% value reference that will be replaced with the logon name of the user who launches the Home Page action.


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Administration Console Enhancements

Approval Request View

In the new version, we have removed the limitation of showing only 1000 Approval Requests. Now, the Approval Requests section shows all the Approval Requests that match the search filter.

We have also added the possibility to filter and group Approval Requests by a certain property, such as Request Initiator or Operation Type. If necessary, you can display Approval Requests only for a certain period of time. This makes searching for the necessary Approval Requests much easier. For example, if you want to track the activities of a Scheduled Task that sends its actions for approval, you can apply a filter to view only the actions performed by the task, and then limit Approval Requests to only the date range you need.

Approval Request Filtering and Grouping

If your managers often forget to process their Approval Requests, now you have the option to view all approvers authorized to approve a specific Approval Request and resend them email notifications, if necessary.

View All Approvers and Resend Notifications

The overall performance of the Approval Requests section has also been improved.

Displaying Empty Properties

Show Empty Properties in Administration Console From now on, Adaxes Administration Console can be configured to display empty attributes in the Result Pane. This will allow you to quickly add a property to an Active Directory object.


PowerShell Script Editor Enhancements

The new version of Adaxes allows you to use Bookmarks to mark lines in the PowerShell Script Editor, so that you can quickly navigate to a specific location in a script and jump back and forth between locations. The bookmarks are bound to each script, which means that you can use them any time you open the script in the Script Editor.

Bookmarks in PowerShell Script Editor

Now, the PowerShell Script Editor also stores the outlining, undo/redo history as well as scroll and cursor positions in PowerShell scripts. It means next time you open a script in the PowerShell Script Editor, the cursor position, scroll position and outlining will be the same, as they were last time, and you will be able to undo/redo actions that were done previously.


New Navigation Bar

The new version introduces a new Navigation Bar that resembles the address bar of Windows 8 Explorer. It allows you to view and navigate the history of browsed objects and search objects using the Quick Search tool. The new breadcrumb style navigation control embedded in the Navigation Bar combines an easy-to-use horizontal navigation structure that leads from the root-level element, such as a directory object or Adaxes service node, to the current entry, with the possibility to expand any of the breadcrumbs vertically to navigate through its children. Clicking any of the breadcrumbs to the left of the current position provides backward navigation through the directory.

New Navigation Bar

New Place for the Favorites Button

New Place for the Favorites Button The Favorites button now appears on the Navigation Bar, right where you expect to see it.


Persistent Dialogs

Now Adaxes stores the position and size of all the panes, such as the Find Pane, Console Tree, Basket, etc. If you close a pane, next time it will reopen at the same position where you closed it and will have the same size.

Persistent Find Pane

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Miscellaneous

Password Self-Service Enhancements

Now, Adaxes allows sending Verification Codes by email during Password Reset. So, for example, if the users in your organization have external emails that they can log in to without accessing the domain, they can reset password for themselves using the external mailbox.

Password Self-Service Email Verification Code

New Virtual Properties

adm-ParentName

From now on, you can use the new adm-ParentName calculated (virtual) property. It can be used to retrieve the name of the OU/Container, in which the object is located. For example, you can use the %adm-ParentName% template to include the name of the OU, in which the user is located, into the home folder path:
\\Server\Share\%adm-ParentName%

Custom Properties

As custom properties find more and more applications among our customers, we have added 10 new custom properties that can store text (string) data: CustomAttributeText11 - CustomAttributeText20.

Also, if you need to store multiple values in a single property, you can use new custom multi-valued properties: CustomAttributeTextMultiValue1 - CustomAttributeTextMultiValue5.

Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 Compatibility

If you have updated to the latest versions of Windows, you will be pleased to know that new version of Adaxes is fully compatible with Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012. Now, you can install and use Adaxes on computers running these versions of Windows.

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