Zoho Corp. has a generous offer for 4sysops readers. You have the chance to win a license for ManageEngine ADManager Plus Professional Edition, a powerful web-based Active Directory management and reporting tool. The raffled license is valid for one Active Directory domain with an unlimited number of AD objects and five help desk technicians. The regular price of this license would be 2,695 US dollars!
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ADManager Plus has three main functions: Active Directory management, reporting and delegation. Today I will make some general remarks about the tool and in the next two posts I will explain its features in more detail.
For help desk technicians ^
The main purpose of ADManager Plus is to allow help desk technicians to perform common Active Directory tasks. Microsoft's Active Directory User and Computer interface (ADUC) is a great tool for experienced system administrators, but help desk staff is sometimes overwhelmed by all the functionality that they don't really need for their work.
ADManager Plus has an easy-to-use web interface. I skimmed over the documentation, but I didn't really need it to explore the tool. This makes it very valuable for non-technicians, for example colleagues from the personnel department who have to create or remove user accounts from Active Directory. The web-interface has the advantage that there is no need to install ADUC on their computers or allow them to RDP to a server. Since ADManager Plus supports SSL it is secure to use the tool through unsafe Internet connections without requiring VPN or special settings at the corporate firewall.
For Admins ^
For many of the daily tasks ADUC is a bit clumsy even for administrators. ADManager Plus focuses on the most common tasks which often allows you to accomplish these often quicker than with ADUC. Its bulk modification features help AD admins to do their work faster and make scripting superfluous in many cases. This powerful reporting module gives you an overview of your Active Directory database's state.
ADManager Plus's requirements are quite modest. It only needs 200MB disk space, 512MB RAM, and 1GHz CPU. The tool runs on any Windows version greater than Windows 2000. You can install it on your desktop, but it probably makes more sense to run it on a server if multiple people are supposed to work with it. If you install ADManager Plus under Vista, you have to disable UAC. The installation is easy and takes only a couple of minutes.
In my next post, I will describe ADManager Plus' Active Directory management features.
If you want to take part in this raffle, just send an email to:
with the subject line
Please, add your name and the name of your organization for which you want to use the license. The deadline of this contest is November 12, 2009.