Exchange PST Capture Tool released

It took a while, but today the Exchange Team released the long awaited Microsoft Exchange PST Capture Tool (initial version 14.3.16.4). The tool can be used to discover and inject PST files in an Exchange 2010 Exchange Online mailbox or archive.

The tool was originally from Red Gate and known as PST Importer. It’s architecture consists of three components: the central service, (optional) agents for PST discovery, registration and collecting PST files and an administrative console (image by Red Gate):

The online documentation can be found here.

Note that although it’s only supported for Exchange 2010 and Exchange Online, you can use it with Exchange 2007; it’s only untested (and probably unsupported) with that product.

You can read the official announcement here; you can download the tool and the agents here.

Remote PowerShell to Office 365

imageWhile trying Office 365 you might want to connect your to a remote Exchange Management Shell session instead of using the portal interface. Here’s how to proceed.

Start up a PowerShell session. The first thing we’re going to do next is store credentials in a variable for later usage:

$cred= Get-Credential

A popup will be displayed where you can enter your Office 365 admin credentials, e.g. myadminname@yourdomain.onmicrosoft.com.

Next, create a new remote PowerShell session using the following cmdlet:

$o365= New-PsSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri https://ps.outlook.com/powershell -Credential $cred -AllowRedirection -Authentication Basic

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Next, we can import the session. However, this might be confusing since you have no context; are you creating a mailbox local or in the Office 365 environment?

The cool thing is that with Import-Session you can specify a prefix. This prefix can be specified before the cmdlet noun so that PowerShell knows which session you want the cmdlet to run against. As you probably know, cmdlets are normally constructed using <verb>-<noun> syntax, but this should be <verb>-<session prefix><noun>. When the session prefix is omitted, PowerShell assumes the current session.

For example, let’s import our Office 365 session with a prefix of “o365”:

Import-PsSession $o365 –Prefix o365

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Now, we can use that “o365” prefix before the noun. For example, to get a list of our Office 365 mailboxes, you’d use something like:

Get-o365Mailbox

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Cool and simple, eh?

Don’t forget to close your online session afterwards using:

Remove-PsSession $o365

Have fun exploring Office 365 using PowerShell.

Office 365

In case you missed it, Microsoft today announced Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft’s next-gen cloud offering, successor to BPOS. It contains Microsoft Office Professional Plus, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync online. You can watch the announcement on-demand here. Office 365, which is expected early 2011, will initially run Exchange 2010 at SP1 level.

For more information consult the Office 365′s website, consult the FAQ or follow Office 365 via Facebook (office365) or Twitter (@Office365).

You can sign up for the beta here. Note that the beta is limited and available in 13 countries only.

Exchange Online Connector for Outlook 2003

Today Microsoft released the Microsoft Exchange Online Connector for Outlook 2003 version 1.0. With this connector you can connect to Exchange Online using Outlook 2003 for free/busy lookups and to download the offline address book.

Be advised that the connector is not supported on Windows 7 or on any x64 version of Windows.

You can download the connector here.