In my last post, I gave a general introduction to ManageEngine AD Manager Plus. Note that you can win a license worth 2,695 US dollars (see info at end of the article). Today, I will focus on the tool's Active Directory management features.

Latest posts by Michael Pietroforte (see all)

ADManager Plus allows you to manage the most important Active Directory objects. You can create and modify user objects, computers, contacts, and groups. The tool also supports bulk creation and bulk modification of AD objects.

User Management ^

AD Manager Plus Single User Creation AD Manager Plus's most important functions are its user management features. The tool distinguishes between single user and bulk user management tasks. Creating a single user is different than in the Active Directory User and Computer interface (ADUC). You don't have to navigate through a wizard and modify the attributes after the creation of the user object. Instead ADManager Plus presents all important attribute fields on a page with five tabs for the different attribute groups (see screenshot).

AD Manager Plus Templates Most interesting is the template feature. It allows you to pre-configure attributes which speeds up user creation significantly. You can work with templates in ADUC if you create a dummy user for every possible configuration, and then just copy the user object whenever you have to create a new user account. However, ADManager Plus template function is certainly more powerful. For instance, you can pre-set the user's display name with First Name + Last Name, or ten other pre-defined settings. Also useful is the possibility to set the user password automatically. I recommend using the random password function. ADManager Plus will display the password after you create the user. Another nice feature is that you can assign them to help desk technicians. Thus, if you have different support personnel for every department, each one automatically works with a specific template whenever a new user object has to be created.

Bulk creation and modification ^

AD Manager Plus User ManagementBulk user creation is important for large organizations where the data of new employees has to be imported regularly from a flat file. ADManager Plus allows you to import CSV files for this purpose. The text file can contain all user object attributes, but only the givenName attribute is required. All other attributes can be set automatically through a template.

What I like most about ADManager Plus are the bulk user modification functions. ADUC has some bulk modifications features too, but they are quite limited. You can modify attributes of multiple users by right clicking on selected users. However, this works only for a few attributes and if the user objects are in the same container. ADManager Plus enables you to modify the attributes of multiple users independent of their Organizational Unit.

AD Manager Plus Reset Password For example, you could modify the display name format for all users in a domain from Last Name + First Name to First Name + Last Name with a few mouse clicks. It is also possible to reset the password of multiple users in one step. ADManager Plus can set an individual random password for each user. This function can be quite useful if there was a security breach in your network. All in all, ADManager Plus knows 27 different bulk user modification functions including those for Exchange and Terminal Services attributes.

These functions all work in a similar way. You can either import the user names from a CSV file or search for user names. You can then select those user objects to which you want to apply the modifications. Some of the bulk modifications have specific functions. For example, the reset password function also allows you to configure it so that the users have to change the password after the first login.

The bulk modification features for computer objects, contact objects, and group objects work in a similar way. These functions are quite comprehensive, and I can hardly imagine a bulk modification that you can't do with AD Manager Plus. Who said that you have to script to automate AD management tasks?

In the next article of this series I will discuss AD Manager Plus's reporting and delegation capabilities.

If you want to take part in this raffle, just send an email to:

contests-at-4sysops-com

with the subject line

AD Manager Plus.

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.

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