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Disappointed with Exchange 2007

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Disappointed with Exchange 2007 - 25.Jul.2006 3:45:20 AM   
DrShinder

 

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I'm unimpressed with the management interface in the new version of Exchange. Things that could be done very simply in Exchange 2003 now require that you not make any typos in the arcane command-line interface that you're required to use with 2007. The new console looks like it was made for a Linux distro -- very watered down functionality and horrible discoverability.

I guess they hired a BSD/Linux guy to create the new Exchange management interface

Tom

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RE: Disappointed with Exchange 2007 - 25.Jul.2006 2:09:54 PM   
BobbyGRoberts

 

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Just learn how not to make any typosee..  (See the sarcasim?).  Well according to MS this is how it was made... If you can do it in the console you can do it in the GUI.  And it's funny that you say that about the Linux guy because.. well...they did..really 

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RE: Disappointed with Exchange 2007 - 25.Jul.2006 5:42:26 PM   
DrShinder

 

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Hi Bobby,

LOL! You got it. It often takes me three or four times longer to do these "one off" configuration settings using the command line because I left off a ":" or a "." or a "," or a ">" or put a space in the wrong place.

For the reduced level of functionality compared to Exchange 2003, things I tried to do right after getting the basic configuration done on a single-server config (for the test lab):

1. Configure the POP3 service, including binding a certificate to the POP3 listener and configuring the authentication settings
2. Configure the IMPA4 service, including binding a certificate to the IMAP4 listener and configuring the authentication settings
3. Configure something that would accept incoming SMTP connections, configure the user authentication settings, and bind a certificate to the listener

There's no way to do any of these things in the UI, and there's no reason why they should have been removed.

Overall, the UI seems amaturish and almost like it was a "second thought" like "oh, I guess we need a UI because if everyone wanted to use the CLI, they would just go to Linux or BSD and not pay through the nose for Exchange"

Are you serious about the Linux guy driving the interface? That's really interesting, because it's clear that the new Exchange console has definitly not been configured using the "Microsoft Way" of easy discoverability and high functionality. Seems more like the Linux guy's approach to UI's "well, I guess we should have something for people to look at, so we can take screen shots to interest people in the application!"

Thanks for letting me cry on your shoulder -- the whole thing has made me very sad

Tom

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Protect Your Exchange Servers with ISA Firewalls!
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(in reply to BobbyGRoberts)
Post #: 3
RE: Disappointed with Exchange 2007 - 26.Jul.2006 1:20:17 PM   
Henrik Walther

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: BobbyGRoberts

Well according to MS this is how it was made... If you can do it in the console you can do it in the GUI. 


Actually it's the other way around. Everything you can do in the Exchange Management Console (EMC) can be done in the Exchange Management Shell (EMS), but when thats said you can do much more in the EMS than in EMC.

quote:

ORIGINAL: BobbyGRoberts

And it's funny that you say that about the Linux guy because.. well...they did..really 


The MS team who created the Windows PowerShell, which the Exchange team extends on with Exchange specific CMDlets, didn't hire a *NIX guy to create the this new shell. It's true there are several guys with *NIX experience on the team, but the team also includes guys with huge experience on COM, AS400, VMS etc. as the vision for the new shell was to produce something that would be as interactive and composable as KSH or BASH, as programmatic as Perl or Python, as production-oriented as AS400 CL or VMS DCL, and as embeddable as TCL or WSH.


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(in reply to BobbyGRoberts)
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RE: Disappointed with Exchange 2007 - 26.Jul.2006 1:49:57 PM   
Henrik Walther

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DrShinder

LOL! You got it. It often takes me three or four times longer to do these "one off" configuration settings using the command line because I left off a ":" or a "." or a "," or a ">" or put a space in the wrong place.


Learning takes practice. The Exchange 2007 Management shell is a completely new method/tool for administering Exchange, so of course we/you need to make ourself/yourself home.

BTW did you know there's a TAB auto-complete function for both CMDlets and parameters? 

quote:


For the reduced level of functionality compared to Exchange 2003, things I tried to do right after getting the basic configuration done on a single-server config (for the test lab):

1. Configure the POP3 service, including binding a certificate to the POP3 listener and configuring the authentication settings
2. Configure the IMPA4 service, including binding a certificate to the IMAP4 listener and configuring the authentication settings
3. Configure something that would accept incoming SMTP connections, configure the user authentication settings, and bind a certificate to the listener

There's no way to do any of these things in the UI, and there's no reason why they should have been removed.


The goal with the new Exchange Management Console (EMC) is to provide an intuitive and more organized console with less nesting that reduces the time spent on getting to know the new look and feel, as well as effectively organizing all actions while maintaining strict consistency. This means that the Exchange team, among other things, had to remove the not so often used features of Exchange from the EMC. Today I would consider POP3 and IMAP4 to be among these features, the reason being Outlook Anywhere (formerly knowns as Outlook RPC over HTTP), the worlds best web mail client OWA 2007 and EAS are more popular methods to reach your mailbox.

quote:


Overall, the UI seems amaturish and almost like it was a "second thought" like "oh, I guess we need a UI because if everyone wanted to use the CLI, they would just go to Linux or BSD and not pay through the nose for Exchange"


I can't follow you here Tom, actually I think the EMC has improved significantly (as I always express in this article). Agree there was a lot of features missing form the GUI in Beta 1, but thats pretty natural since we speak Beta 1.


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(in reply to DrShinder)
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RE: Disappointed with Exchange 2007 - 26.Jul.2006 3:12:54 PM   
DrShinder

 

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Hi Henrik,

The CLI is nothing new. Maybe new to Exchange Server, but it's not something new. I really think the Exchange team let the customer down by reducing the functionality, discoverability and efficacy of the Exchange Management console and forcing people to make it an avocation to learn arcane and hard to remember command line syntax. Heck, if I wanted to do that, I'd use a Linux or BSD based solution and get it for free

I think the Exchange Team should consult with the ISA firewall team on how to make a functional user interface. The ISA firewall team is very attuned to their customer requirements and they exposure complex configuration options in the UI and the wizards -- they don't force people to become CLI experts -- if we wanted to sweat complex CLI syntax and typos and errors, we'd all be using PIX

I hope the Exchange PG realizes the error in their ways and exposes the functionality that was available in the Exchange 2003 GUI to 2007. IMHO, they've taken a large step in the wrong direction with this and it really smells like a bad case of "Unix Envy" instead of "Customer Focused". They need to let the customer drive these decisions, not the geeks in the back room.

Tom

(in reply to Henrik Walther)
Post #: 6
RE: Disappointed with Exchange 2007 - 30.Jul.2006 8:36:57 PM   
DaveVVV

 

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Dr. no doubt you are right on the money.  IF Microsoft wants to introduce a higher level of CLI to its applications don't do it at the expense to it’s GUI interfaces.  I try to get away from UNIX and Cisco as much as possible because I could not stand having to remember tons and tons of mundane phrases and txt.  Unless you use a particular kind of CLI on an almost daily bases you are not going to be proficient in its use and it will only hamper your ability to efficiently support an application.  The backroom geeks that use the CLI on a daily bases love it because it is their own language and it makes them feel special but for those of us that have a few more responsibilities and are required to learn many different products from a slew of different vendors it is impossible for us to become experts in every vendors CLI, so we rely on the visual queue that the GUI provides.   I actually like having the CLI but only if I can use it when I choose to, not because I have too.   Microsoft, wise up!

Dave   

(in reply to DrShinder)
Post #: 7
RE: Disappointed with Exchange 2007 - 31.Jul.2006 10:20:51 AM   
Henrik Walther

 

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I agree that some stuff that really should be in the EMC are missing, and I can assure you MS isn't getting feedback on this. Although it's not the perfect answer I can assure you MS will add these missing tasks to the EMC in future service packs.

Because of the complete re-design/re-architecture as well as introduction of new features such as UM, MS simply didn't have the time nor resources to make everything "perfect" 


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(in reply to DaveVVV)
Post #: 8
RE: Disappointed with Exchange 2007 - 1.Aug.2006 1:14:33 AM   
scorpiuss

 

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I guess I'm in the minority, but I'm thrilled with the emphasis on the CLI. Once we get accustomed to it, it will make tasks quicker and make scripting and administration a single skill (not like it is right now, where you've got to learn WMI to write decent scripts). The GUI is there for noobs and helpdesk guys that need to create new users and mailboxes or maybe a connector or two. But when it comes down to serious business the CLI is robust and a great way to go.

I really dig the syntax with PowerShell. Once you get the hang of it, the names of commands are easy to guess, unlike the old system where every command was its own program and its own little world. The documentation is good, but could use a little improvement, which I'm sure will happen when the production release comes out.

Give the shell a little time, and you won't be going back to the GUI.

(in reply to Henrik Walther)
Post #: 9
RE: Disappointed with Exchange 2007 - 3.Aug.2006 11:28:45 PM   
benopp54

 

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I would like to agree with the majority here.
I am a "Windows Guy" mostly because I am visual learner (photographic memory). I remember where this setting and that option are in the UI. I think this is what makes most of us Windows Admins. I am not good with syntax of command-line nonsense.
I understand the ability to "script" mass changes is very helpful but not at the sacrifice of a well-rounded UI.

The ISA Server 2004 UI is in a class of it's own. I had that UI memorized in minutes. No CLI there.
Boo...CLI that detracts from UI
Horray... beer

(in reply to scorpiuss)
Post #: 10
RE: Disappointed with Exchange 2007 - 4.Aug.2006 6:33:17 PM   
h4ppygi|more

 

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I've programmed applications in C, C++ and Java using both windows and *NIX environments.  I HATE CLIs.

CLIs are good for the development environment.  But for the production environment, CLIs are nuisance.  The  *NIX guys think they are smarter because they know arcane commands and can type it in the CLI.  Sure it looks good typing syntaxes on a command line when your boss is watching your console.  But it's not going to help you when your PIX firewall is breached because you made a typo on the CLI. 

I admit it that you need CLI to perform tasks in bulk.  But you are not going to write a script and deploy it without testing it and retesting it. 

< Message edited by h4ppygi|more -- 4.Aug.2006 6:35:51 PM >

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RE: Disappointed with Exchange 2007 - 5.Aug.2006 12:25:43 AM   
adompier

 

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I think another goal with the CLI is the ability to leverage .NET into scripts and .NET an easy interface into systems. I hate to say it but I think more CLI is to come, I may need a memory upgarde.  Heck maybe ISA is next????? I think MS is just trying to unify and improve the flow of information. The Monad book states how Bill himself would flog the idea into the PowerShell architect "our Management Technologies did not provide adequate support for .NET programs." (Foreword ix, Monad by O'Reilly press) I think it is a good thing, maybe seems like a step back but if you have a good .NET programer he could probly quickly get you a sweet GUI. 

(in reply to h4ppygi|more)
Post #: 12
RE: Disappointed with Exchange 2007 - 6.Aug.2006 11:24:11 PM   
DrShinder

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: adompier

I think another goal with the CLI is the ability to leverage .NET into scripts and .NET an easy interface into systems. I hate to say it but I think more CLI is to come, I may need a memory upgarde.  Heck maybe ISA is next????? I think MS is just trying to unify and improve the flow of information. The Monad book states how Bill himself would flog the idea into the PowerShell architect "our Management Technologies did not provide adequate support for .NET programs." (Foreword ix, Monad by O'Reilly press) I think it is a good thing, maybe seems like a step back but if you have a good .NET programer he could probly quickly get you a sweet GUI. 


Hi A,
This would be the most significant change in the Microsoft software philosophy since the inception of the company. Will MS give up on creating easy to use, fully featured, and easily discoverable User Interfaces and now leave that job up to third-party .NET developers!

Can you imagine how this would fracture the management infrastructure for MS applications? This might be something that the Unix-envy guys had in mind when they back-pedeled the UI, but it could very well be an emergent new philosophy over at MS software development.

I'm watching this area closely, as MS might lose a serious competitive advantage over Linux if they make second-rate UI's like the Exchange 2007 UI for other products. Heck, I'm close to registering www.exchangealternatives.org and www.asafirewalls.org if MS plans to break their promise of easily installable, configurable and managable systems

Tom

(in reply to adompier)
Post #: 13
RE: Disappointed with Exchange 2007 - 6.Aug.2006 11:35:12 PM   
DrShinder

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DaveVVV

Dr. no doubt you are right on the money.  IF Microsoft wants to introduce a higher level of CLI to its applications don't do it at the expense to it's GUI interfaces.  I try to get away from UNIX and Cisco as much as possible because I could not stand having to remember tons and tons of mundane phrases and txt.  Unless you use a particular kind of CLI on an almost daily bases you are not going to be proficient in its use and it will only hamper your ability to efficiently support an application.  The backroom geeks that use the CLI on a daily bases love it because it is their own language and it makes them feel special but for those of us that have a few more responsibilities and are required to learn many different products from a slew of different vendors it is impossible for us to become experts in every vendors CLI, so we rely on the visual queue that the GUI provides.   I actually like having the CLI but only if I can use it when I choose to, not because I have too.   Microsoft, wise up!

Dave   


Hi Dave,

Very well put! I spend most of my time with ISA firewalls for this reason. While ISA would benefit from a CLI, I doubt I would use it much, as the UI for ISA is superb. The change from ISA 2000 to ISA 2004 was a major one, and they spent a great deal of effort making sure the UI was top notch -- they certainly didn't say to us "hey, this is a completely new product, so we'll send it out with a half-baked UI". Sure, ISA 2004 could have used some new features that we've been asking for over the last few years, but for the features it had, you didn't have to learn an entirely new command line language and syntax.

Let's just hope that the Exchange team gives a bit more respect to their UI developers and that they can provide a world-class UI with a world-class product!

Thanks!
Tom

< Message edited by DrShinder -- 6.Aug.2006 11:36:25 PM >

(in reply to DaveVVV)
Post #: 14
RE: Disappointed with Exchange 2007 - 15.Aug.2006 6:06:04 AM   
DrShinder

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: adompier

I think another goal with the CLI is the ability to leverage .NET into scripts and .NET an easy interface into systems. I hate to say it but I think more CLI is to come, I may need a memory upgarde.  Heck maybe ISA is next????? I think MS is just trying to unify and improve the flow of information. The Monad book states how Bill himself would flog the idea into the PowerShell architect "our Management Technologies did not provide adequate support for .NET programs." (Foreword ix, Monad by O'Reilly press) I think it is a good thing, maybe seems like a step back but if you have a good .NET programer he could probly quickly get you a sweet GUI. 


Hi A,

I don't think we'll ever see the travesty that is the Exch2007 UI in any version of the ISA firewall. They take the user experience seriously and realize that the number 1 security issue is misconfiguration, and the CLI is the number 1 cause for misconfiguation. Too bad the Exchange 2007 dev team didn't think about this well known fact.

Tom

(in reply to adompier)
Post #: 15
RE: Disappointed with Exchange 2007 - 21.Aug.2006 10:55:37 AM   
korto55

 

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Totally agree with you TOM!MS playing interfesting game with MCSE people.I beliave MS is better than linux they now have GUI-LINUX,MS make s chainging my personale wrong chainging!!Hope in sp1 will back excelent GUI!Nice try from MS but there s no reason to give us a pain in our head!MY wote to back GUI in sp1.!!

(in reply to DrShinder)
Post #: 16
RE: Disappointed with Exchange 2007 - 21.Aug.2006 4:46:06 PM   
DrShinder

 

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Hi Korto,

Yes! Even Linux and other CLI based vendors are working hard to make their products more usable. That's why it's paradoxical that MS, the thought leader in user interface designs, would cough a hairball on the Exchange 2007 user interface. The whole thing is totally counterintuitive!

Thanks!
Tom

< Message edited by DrShinder -- 21.Aug.2006 4:47:07 PM >

(in reply to korto55)
Post #: 17
RE: Disappointed with Exchange 2007 - 23.Aug.2006 1:47:31 AM   
John Weber

 

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HI all,
One of the things that I find perplexing about the GUI's lack of functionality is that I have spent the last 6+ years convincing clients of the effectiveness of leveraging AD and the common interface for administration.
Now we have a GUI in Exchange 2007 that is hobbled at best.
I understand the paradigm shift to role based installs; I applaud it.  I think it will be better for the infrastructure when the organization needs to scale up.

However, the PowerShell is pretty cool.  I like it.  I can see the potential.  But, I do not have 50,000 users, 500 servers to manage.  How often I use those scripts is going to be measured on one hand per client.  Bleeeck!

Anyone else notice that the vast majority of *nix distributions have worked overtime to provide functional GUI's because one of the downsides to *nix is the use of the (*&^% command line, and the users were screaming for a GUI for configuration?

Hello!  Microsoft!  Let's try to become a tad more customer satisfaction-centric!

/rant off

(in reply to DrShinder)
Post #: 18
RE: Disappointed with Exchange 2007 - 24.Aug.2006 6:41:32 AM   
DrShinder

 

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Hi S,

You're right on in your assessment that the 2007 UI is hopelessely broken. I think Power Shell/Monad is cool tool, but I have work to do and don't want to learn Chinese just to order take out -- I don't live in Exchange, I just want to configure it now and then.

Thanks!
Tom

(in reply to John Weber)
Post #: 19
RE: Disappointed with Exchange 2007 - 24.Aug.2006 2:03:17 PM   
korto55

 

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Exactly,what will MS say when they read all of these messages will they put better console in sp1 actually in finished version of exc 2007?They should do that!!!good aplication but it s much more better to surf in GUI well that s a point am i right?mail enabled public folders in shell console what is that people,not agree with that.Change that MS!!

(in reply to DrShinder)
Post #: 20

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