I’ve spent quite a bit of time going through the new browser-based Exchange Administration Center (EAC), the replacement for the now aged Exchange Management Console (EMC) in Exchange 2013 to create content for Microsoft Exchange 2013 Inside Out. As I’ve gone through the various sections of EAC, I’ve noted where bits of functionality appear to be missing when compared to EMC. At the time of writing, the list of missing features is as follows:
- You can’t send a message to a user from the console. This feature depended on an email client being available on the same workstation where EMC ran.
- The ability to join the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) is removed. You can run some EMS cmdlets instead. Most people won’t realize that CEIP signup is gone.
- The script that counted and reported the number of Client Access Licenses that need to properly license Exchange is no more. However, the script had some numeric challenges so its absence is probably not a huge loss.
- There is no equivalent of the Organizational Health option to provide a useful counts of objects such as servers and databases within the organization.
- Right click to expose context-sensitive options for selected objects is unsupported.
- The option to move the path for a database (and its transaction logs) is not available. If you want to move a database’s path, you have to do it through EMS.
- There is no method to set logging level for a server. This option allowed an administrator to increase the amount of events logged for a particular Exchange subsystem in the application event log and was an excellent tool to use when chasing details of a problem.
- There is no way to remove mailbox move requests through EAC. These requests have to be removed with EMS.
- Viewing a dynamic distribution groups no longer supports a preview option to resolve the query for the group to check that the query generates the desired results.
- EAC doesn’t have a new Sharing Policy wizard. You have to create sharing policies through EMS.
- EAC doesn’t display details of discovery search mailboxes
- Some of the extended calendar processing properties for room mailboxes are not exposed by EAC
- You cannot use EAC to manipulate some of the extended mailbox properties that were accessible through EMC.
- EAC doesn’t provide any options to manage OAB generation.
- EAC does not capture the PowerShell commands that it executes in a log that can be later reviewed by an administrator both to learn PowerShell syntax and to understand what is actually done behind the scenes.
- The equivalent of the EMC wizards that guide administrators through tasks in EAC do not display the PowerShell code that will be executed. This is also a loss because many administrators used the feature to copy code created by a wizard and reuse it in their own scripts.
- Finally, many of the screens that accessed an object or a set of objects in the Exchange 2010 EMC displayed a small PowerShell icon at the bottom left-hand corner. Clicking on the icon would reveal the code that EMC would execute if the OK button was click. Again, this is a loss because it removes another opportunity for administrators to acquaint themselves with PowerShell.
It’s very difficult to replace a management console with a brand-new interface, even accepting that EAC builds on the principles established with the Exchange Control Panel (ECP) in Exchange 2010. I’m sure that Microsoft will update EAC over time to close some of the gap identified. It’s also fair to say that EAC is more functional in parts than EMC is. For example, EAC includes options to export and import mailbox data to and from PSTs.
And whatever happens, we always have EMS – anything can be done through the shell if you really try!
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