vrijdag 9 maart 2012

Windows server 2012 Active Directory Administrative Center

Some of you may already know the Active Directory Administrative center from Windows 7 or Windows 2008 R2.
AD Administrative center can be used my administrators in addition to AD users and computers.
Administrative center has an enhanced experience for admins and a rich GUI.

You can use Active Directory Administrative Center to perform the following Active Directory administrative tasks:
  • Create new user accounts or manage existing user accounts
  • Create new groups or manage existing groups
  • Create new computer accounts or manage existing computer accounts
  • Create new organizational units (OUs) and containers or manage existing OUs
  • Connect to one or several domains or domain controllers in the same instance of Active Directory Administrative Center, and view or manage the directory information for those domains or domain controllers
  • Filter Active Directory data by using query-building search
In Windows server 2012, the home screen looks like this.
In the home screen you can instantly change a password for a user by entering his / her username and the new password. You can also search for objects from the global search in the right column.
In the left column, you can browse through your ou's. You can either choose a tree view or a menu view.

If you search for a user and you found the user, the basic tasks show up in the right column.
It is easy to perform administrative tasks for the user, or simply add new users.

If the properties of the user are opened, all the user data is shown in one screen. Here you can manage account information, as wel als organization and member of information. ( first image )
Information that cannot be shown in this screen can still be managed at the bottom of the screen in a tab like view. ( second image )

In the top right of the sceen it is still possible to choose manage administrative tasks such as moving, disabling, deleting or resetting password.

It also allows you to choose the different section you want to show.
If admins only change account and organization information for example, you can easily hide the other sections.

Above is pretty much the same as the 2008 R2 version.
But, now comes the improvement.
Powershell history....

I think this is a really nice feature.
This actually shows exactly what powershell cmdlet is used to make the changes to a user.
You also see the history of all changes.
In the above example I have changed my home Phone number two times.
The history shows the exact cmdlet, and the timestamp when the data has been changed.

Very handy tool for first line support desks that only change passwords, memberships and user / organization data.
Especially because of the change history and timestamp. This means you don't get blamed for mistakes you did not make, and have the ability to prove it! :-D

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