How can I create Exchange 2000 Server mailboxes for testing?

—John Peltonen

The methods for creating mailboxes vary in difficulty and utility. In Exchange Server 5.5, the solution is simple: Create a Comma Separated Value (CSV) file and import it by using the Microsoft Exchange Administrator utility. In Exchange 2000, you can still use that method if you're lucky enough to have an Exchange 5.5 server in your Exchange 2000 organization—provided you have a properly configured Active Directory Connector (ADC). If you're in Exchange 2000 native mode, you have a couple of options. The easiest one is probably to use the LDAP Data Interchange Format (LDIF) support included with Windows 2000. LDIF is a fairly straightforward and structured format for importing and exporting Active Directory (AD) information. Create an LDIF import file, import it, then use the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in to mailbox-enable the new users. The Microsoft article "Using LDIFDE to Import/Export Directory Objects to the Active Directory" (http://support.Microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q237/6/77.asp) explains how the LDIF import/export tool (Ldifde) works. Be prepared for some experimentation as you learn the tool's quirks.

Another alternative is to write your own Active Directory Service Interfaces (ADSI)/Collaboration Data Objects (CDO) scripts to create users. This approach is both the most flexible and the most difficult because you must create a lot of attributes manually. The Microsoft article "XADM: Requirements for Disabling the Recipient Update Service" (http://support .microsoft.com/support/kb/articles /q296/4/79.asp) contains a list of the required attributes. The Microsoft article "HOWTO: Create a Mail-Enabled User with CDOEXM in Visual C++" (http://support.microsoft.com/ support/kb/articles/q293/3/39.asp) contains sample Visual C++ (VC++) code that uses Collaboration Data Objects for Exchange Management (CDOEXM) to create mailbox-enabled users. (Kevin Laahs, "Introducing CDO for Exchange Management Objects"—June 2001—explains how CDOEXM works.) If necessary, you can transliterate this code into Visual Basic (VB) without too much difficulty. As an alternative, you can use the CSV Directory Exchange (CSVDE) tool, which uses CSV files similar to what Exchange 5.5 used. The drawback to CSVDE is that you can't use it to modify existing objects.