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MaxPowerSoft is raffling off a license of Active Directory Reports with one year support (value $299 USD).The deadline of this contest is July 31, 2012. If you want to take part in this contest, please send an e-mail with the subject “AD Reports” to .
MaxPowerSoft Active Directory Reports
As busy Windows systems administrators, we often need to obtain Active Directory metadata. For instance, an internal IT security audit may lead us to questions similar to the following:
- How many users have non-expiring passwords?
- Which users haven’t logged onto the domain in the past month?
- How many groups defined in AD have no members?
- Which GPOs are linked to which OUs?
- Which user, group, or computer accounts were deleted in the past year?
To assist us in this effort, the good folks at MaxPowerSoft give us Active Directory Reports Professional. This 32-bit or 64-bit Windows desktop application includes over 300 built-in reports that query just about every conceivable aspect of your Active Directory forest.
We use Active Directory Reports to generate detailed, filtered, and sorted reports with as few as five mouse clicks. We can also customize reports to suit our specific reporting needs and export the data to a variety of output file formats.
Moreover, Active Directory Reports includes an on-board scheduler with which we can run selected AD reports at intervals; these reports can be pushed to us via e-mail.
To get started, visit the MaxPowerSoft Web site and download a free 14-day trial of Active Directory Reports. The installer weighs in at only 20 MB, which means the resource footprint for this application is quite small indeed.
NOTE: Active Directory Reports requires Microsoft .NET Framework 4 and does not install the framework automatically as part of its installation routine.
Let’s now have a closer look at the software.
Generating reports ^
The general workflow for generating reports with MaxPowerSoft Active Directory Reports Professional is as follows:
Select a target domain. As you can see in the annotation A in Figure 1, Active Directory Reports lists all domains in your forest. To increase scanning performance, we can optionally deselect any domain controllers that we want to exclude from analysis (B in the screenshot below).
MaxPowerSoft Active Directory Reports - Select target domain
Select a report category. Active Directory Reports provides us with the following report classifications:
Clicking a report tab (shown as A in Figure 2) loads the predefined report list for that category.
Select a report. Annotation B in Figure 2 shows just some of the pre-defined reports in the Users category. There are a LOT of reports included in this tool—enough to satisfy the most curious Windows systems administrator. If you need to customize a report to further tailor it, then that’s no problem. In fact, we will cover report customization in the next section of this review.
MaxPowerSoft Active Directory Reports - Running a report
We can quick-sort a displayed report by clicking on the appropriate column heading (this works the same way that column sorting works in the Microsoft Office applications). The interface also includes a multi-criteria, Office-like AutoFilter capability to cut down on the rows returned by a report.
Finally, the General Info pane (C in Figure 2) enables us to obtain additional Active Directory schema attributes for selected rows in a given report.
Customizing reports ^
Although Active Directory Reports Professional provides over 300 pre-defined reports, you may want to tweak the parameters of an included report in order to satisfy your organizational needs.
To customize a report, load up a predefined report and click Customize from the main toolbar. As you can see in Figure 3, the Report Wizard contains three tabs:
- General Filter Settings: Specify an AD search starting point and create an LDAP query filter
- Grid Column Settings: Specify which metadata columns you want to see in your custom report
- Membership Settings: Specify whether you want to see group membership for users included in the report
MaxPowerSoft Active Directory Reports - Customizing a report
We can save our custom report definition as a separate object that is accessible in the Custom report category. Alternatively, we can overwrite the pre-built filter with our custom values.
Exporting and printing reports ^
What good is an Active Directory report unless we can take action on its data? To that end, MaxPowerSoft Active Directory Reports supports the following export file formats:
NOTE: The trial version of Active Directory Reports Professional allows only export to PDF.
Active Directory Reports Professional also features a Ribbon-like Print Preview interface. You can see this interface in the screenshot below.
MaxPowerSoft Active Directory Reports - Printing a report (trial version watermark visible)
Scheduling reports ^
MaxPowerSoft Active Directory Reports includes some wonderful automation features. By accessing the Scheduler, we can create report generation jobs that run on a predefined schedule. As you can see in Figure 5, we can not only specify our output report format, but we can also send the report to a target SMTP e-mail address automatically.
MaxPowerSoft Active Directory Reports - Scheduler interface
Pricing and licensing Model ^
As we mentioned earlier, you can download a free 14-day trial of Active Directory Reports Professional by visiting the MaxPowerSoft Web site.
Active Directory Reports Professional is licensed at USD $299.00 per year on a renewable subscription basis. The license allows you to install the software on as many systems as you desire.
In sum, MaxProSoft Active Directory Reports Professional gives us Windows systems administrators a flexible, lightweight, and easy-to-use platform for reporting and exporting Active Directory metadata. Please let me know what questions you have about the software in the comments portion of this post.
If you want to take part in this contest, please send an e-mail with the subject “AD Reports” to . The deadline of this contest is July 31, 2012.