While I am delivering BPOS courses for Microsoft partners, there’s always a lot of interest in using commands to control directory synchronization, the migration tools, provisioning users and so on. Microsoft actually provides several PowerShell cmdlets with the two main tools that come with BPOS:
- Directory synchronization cmdlets become available when you install the directory synchronization software
- Migration and configuration cmdlets become available when you install the migration tools
There is one directory synchronization cmdlet of interest and that is the Start-OnlineCoexistenceSync cmdlet. That cmdlet starts a synchronization run from the on-premises Active Directory to the customer’s BPOS environment. When you start c:\program files\microsoft online directory sync\dirsyncconfigshell.psc1, a PowerShell session is started that allows you to run the cmdlet. If you just want to run the command from an existing PowerShell session, first load the Directory Synchronization snapin with the following command:
After the snapin is loaded, you can use the Start-OnlineCoexistenceSync cmdlet to start a synchronization run. Although I have not yet seen the next version of DirSync for use with Office 365, I presume that the above cmdlet will still be available since the DirSync tools will be very similar.
The cmdlets that come with the migration tools are much more interesting because they can be used to provision users, enable users, enable POP3 access for users, grant Send As or Full Mailbox Access and so forth. When the migration tools are installed, you will have a shortcut in the Start Menu in Microsoft Online Services > Migration > Migration Command Shell. When you click that shortcut, a PowerShell session is started with the Microsoft Exchange Transporter snapin loaded. You can ask for the list of cmdlets loaded by this snapin using the following command:
get-command -PSSnapin Microsoft.Exchange.Transporter
Some interesting cmdlets:
- Add-MSOnlineUser: can be used to add users to BPOS from a script; note that the users are added as synchronized disabled users; you will have to use Enable-MSOnlineUser to enable the user in a separate step
- Add-MSOnlineMailPermission: can be used to grant Send As, Full Mailbox access or Send On Behalf Of rights on a mailbox
- Enable-MSOnlinePOPAccess: can be used to enable POP3 access on a mailbox
- Set-MSOnlineAlternateRecipient: can be used to set an alternate recipient on an Exchange Online mailbox; you can configure the mailbox to deliver e-mails to both the Exchange Online inbox and the alternate recipient
- Set-MSOnlineUserPassword: can be used to set a password on an online user
Note that there are no cmdlets to create contacts and distribution lists in the Exchange Online global address lists. You can also see that these cmdlets are specifically created for use with Exchange Online in BPOS and that they have no relation at all with Exchange Server 2007 or Exchange Server 2010 cmdlets in an on-premise solution. To fix those issues and provide many more options, Exchange Online in Office 365 will actually allow full use of Exchange Server 2010 SP1 cmdlets over the Internet. Naturally, not all cmdlets will be available and some cmdlets will not support all parameters.
By the way, if you don’t like to work with PowerShell commands, a company called MessageOps has a free tool called BPOS PowerShell GUI. You need to install that tool on a system that has the Microsoft migration tools installed. The tool looks like this:
The tool provides easy access to allmost all the available PowerShell cmdlets using the above GUI. Highly recommended!