Latest posts by Michael Pietroforte (see all)
- Author and member of the year 2019 – Why DevOps still doesn't rule the IT world - Wed, Jan 1 2020
- Results of the 4sysops member and author competition in 2018 - Tue, Jan 8 2019
- Why Microsoft is using Windows customers as guinea pigs - Reply to Tim Warner - Tue, Dec 18 2018
Active Directory Search – Server Admin has quite a few features that go beyond the Active Directory search functions in Active Directory User and Computer (ADUC). Active Directory Search is especially interesting for experienced admins and scripting guys.
Active Directory Search is only free for private use, though. The question is, what counts as private use? I mean, who needs such an Active Directory tool at home? It appears to me that more and more small software vendors of management tools have this "private use restriction." Perhaps they mean you can only use the tool for free on your lunch break? Anyway, Active Directory Search – Server Admin only costs 25 € if you want to use the tool in commercial mode.
What makes Active Directory Search an interesting tool is not so much the way you can search Active Directory with it but the way the search results are displayed. If you search in ADUC, you will just get a list of objects that match your search term; you can then browse through object attributes by clicking the different tabs.
In contrast, Active Directory Search presents the search results in a list where each object is displayed with its most important attributes. You can then click one of the objects and retrieve the complete list of attributes. It is also possible to change the default setting and let Active Directory Search show all attributes in the search result list.
Another difference with ADUC is that you see the real names of the attributes and not just the display names. This can be quite useful for writing scripts. The downside is that if you only know the display names, it can be difficult to find the right attributes.
Useful is that you can copy a selected value, a selected property, or selected lines to the Windows Clipboard. Scripting guys will appreciate this feature. Modifying attributes is supported as well.
Active Directory Search also allows you to browse the Active Directory. You can set the search base to domain, configuration, or schema context. Thus Active Directory Search is an AD tool that enables you to manage all Active Directory aspects.
Other features of the tool are LDAP queries, WMI queries, and the ability to launch Windows management tools such as Computer Management or the RDP client to administer remote machines.