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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book for learning to manage Exchange 2010 with PowerShell, 23 Aug 2011
Mike Pfeiffer is well known for his contributions to Microsoft Exchange community which has also earned him Microsoft MVP award.

Keeping him in check are the reviewers like Shey Levy, which only means one thing: it is going to be tough for Mike to make a mistake and have it go unnoticed into the book for publication.

Microsoft Exchange 2010 PowerShell Cookbook promises to show you how to automate routine tasks and solve common problems. The book is organized in logical sections walking the reader through key concepts and tasks to manage their Microsoft Exchange 2010 environment with ease.

While the book focuses on on-premise deployment of Microsoft Exchange 2010, the concepts covered should make reader comfortable in managing their Office 365 tenant.

The book dives into Exchange 2010 management tasks by starting on the right foot. While most of Exchange administrators would be familiar with PowerShell in some capacity, authors don't just assume and start off with PowerShell key concepts. This is really helpful to novice readers just as much as experienced PowerShell users who may learn a thing or two they didn't know before.

The book covers every aspect of Exchange 2010 management including recipient management, Database and Server roles management, High availability, Compliance and RBAC.

The book also covers scripting Exchange Web Services which was a pleasant surprise as writing scripts for EWS is difficult only due to lack of understanding on the subject. EWS API and scripting details in this book tries to address just that.

Each section is organized into different tasks reader may want to perform. The tasks have a good flow of precondition, how to perform given task and details explaining what the given cmdlet is doing or information on actual process being followed. There are also very useful tidbits in "There's More..." sections at end of each task being performed. This will help reader not only understand the task at hand but to leverage the information to carry out other tasks that may be related but not explicitly written about in the book.

Overall Microsoft Exchange 2010 PowerShell Cookbook is a welcome addition to what's already been written about Exchange 2010 or PowerShell. While the book doesn't teach you Exchange 2010, it does a great job of educating the reader about PowerShell and how to get the most out of Exchange 2010 using PowerShell to manage it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Microsoft Exchange 2010 Powershell Cookbook, 16 Sep 2011
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This review is from: Microsoft Exchange 2010 PowerShell Cookbook (Kindle Edition)
As a long time server and Microsoft Exchange Server administrator, I fully believed and bought into the belief that "command-line" was the old way of doing things and graphical the only way to go. It certainly made my life easier and things easy to grasp and understand. So it was with deep trepidation that I met the news back in 2007 that Microsoft was turning its back on that line of thinking and going into command line interface with something called PowerShell.

At first glance and use, my feelings went from anxiety to despair. I could not make sense of it and worst of all, there was next to zero useful information about it. So much so that I seriously wondered how they were going to make it work in the real world if the only people who knew it were inside Microsoft itself. Ironically, I found myself working at Microsoft last year and I went into full panic mode. I needed to learn Powershell quickly or at least how to use it and be productive and while I paid for a few classes, bought a number of books and even videos, it remained a black art for me to this day. A big reason for it being that PowerShell FOR Exchange was even harder to understand for someone like me, coming from so many years of graphical interface. Still keen to understand it, I can say one does not *need* to know PowerShell to use Exchange 2010.... But it does make your life a whole lot easier!

After completing a migration to Exchange 2010 I needed to transfer knowledge quickly to the administrator and more importantly, spare her my anxiety over understanding PowerShell and embracing how it simplifies administration of Exchange 2010. So I can truly and without fear of exaggeration say that Mike Pfeiffer's book "Microsoft Exchange 2010 PowerShell Cookbook" may be the most important book on the matter for the hundreds of thousands of IT professionals out there simply trying to make things work and keep them running on a day-to-day basis. I shared it with one person and her reaction was as gratifying to me as it was enlightening for her (and productive to the company). Dollar for dollar, probably their best investment the whole year!

Nowadays, I consider PowerShell THE most important skill than an Exchange administrator can learn. One can do a lot in Exchange 2010 using the graphical console, but sooner or later one will have to face the shell to perform higher level administration or simply to save time on the more tedious tasks. I can think of no better way to do it than being prepared with what may be my favorite feature in a technical book: the format of "How to Do It" followed by the explanation of "How It Works" and the "There's More" to let one dig deeper or (truly) learn more about a task, command or subject.

Given that background and all the money I spent on other resources that really were not Exchange-focused I have been looking for something like this for the longest time. As someone who thought he hated PowerShell I can truly appreciate the value of Mr. Pfeiffer's book and recommend it to anyone who may have thought he was at wit's end when it comes to understanding PowerShell for Exchange. I can go no further than admitting it is the only technical book I have read cover to cover in the last two years and enjoyed it for the way it explained things without assuming I already knew the black art of PowerShell like so many others or not explaining how things were happening so that I could anticipate unexpected outcomes. That alone makes it worth the price.

PowerShell Key Concepts
The first chapter of the book deals with the fundamentals of PowerShell and how they apply to Exchange Server 2010 in an elegant, simple manner. Like I mentioned before, I spent a lot of time and money trying to learn PowerShell on books that were about the topic in general, rather than being specifically about Exchange. That is one huge reason I was immediately turned off about PowerShell, because I wasn't learning anything that I could use immediately to make MY life easier and only marginally getting a foggy notion of it having anything to do with my work.

Mr. Pfeiffer introduces PowerShell for the reader in an interesting way and keeps it focused on Exchange through the entire first chapter, which personally, I really liked.

PowerShell Common Tasks and Day-to-Day Administration
Chapters 2 - 8 of Microsoft Exchange 2010 PowerShell Cookbook go through the use of PowerShell to perform what I would consider the everyday tasks of running and maintaining an Exchange Server 2010 environment, regardless of size: mailboxes, distribution groups, public folders, transport servers, client access, public folders, etc.

The way Mr. Pfeiffer drills into the Exchange 2010 server roles is very informative, especially from the perspective of PowerShell. Each section of these chapters delivers a useful command or sample script, such as detecting and fixing corrupt mailboxes, dealing with ActiveSync devices and reports, managing and reporting on OWA and RPC connections and clients, managing transport rules and reporting on tracking or anti-spam agent logs. A favorite of mine became the section on "Implementing a Header Firewall".

Once again, for someone with limited time to "play with it" the simple but effective "What we want to do", "How to do it" and "How it works" style of delivery is PERFECT for these chapters.

Advanced Exchange Server Administration
Chapters 9 - 13 of Microsoft Exchange 2010 PowerShell Cookbook go into what I consider more advanced territory. Mr. Pfeiffer delves in-depth advice on topics such as:
' Scripting the deployment of Exchange Server 2010 high availability.
' Exchange Security and RBAC (in my opinion, one of the more complex features of Exchange 2010).
' Monitoring and troubleshooting (by Exchange server role and a very useful section on "Verifying Certificate Health").

The closing chapter on "Scripting With the Exchange Web Services API" will be of great help to those seeking to do serious development work with the EWS API although it is not something that an administrator would have to do on an everyday basis in most environments.

Summary
As mentioned before, I have looked for a long time for a solid resource to really use (in the sense of it helping me accomplish what I need to do) but ALSO to understand PowerShell with Exchange Server 2010. After reading Microsoft Exchange 2010 PowerShell Cookbook I believe that book has arrived and I am grateful for it. If, like me, you are an Exchange Server administrator looking to be more efficient/productive in everyday situations but also to truly learn the skills to either consult on or move up to a job in a bigger or more sophisticated Exchange Server environment, then I absolutely recommend Microsoft Exchange 2010 PowerShell Cookbook.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must have reference book for the Exchange Admin, 12 Oct 2011
I begun working with Powershell with Exchange 2007. By that time, the GUI didn't have all the options we have now. Powershell was the only way. I whish a had a book as complete as this one, with real life scripting guidance and so well explained. All you need to learn is here! 5 stars to it!
Writer is an expert in this matter and reviewers are also very skilled people.

This book covers from simple tasks to complex tasks using powershell and is a 'mind opener' for complex scripting. It even explains how to use Web Services, really nice.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A definitive Guide for any Exchange 2010 Administrator, 10 Oct 2011
I would like to firstly mention that this book is obviously esoteric in that it deals with Exchange and Powershell. What it does very well is explain how to use those powershell cmdlets/scriping effectively without the reader having vast amounts of knowledge of Powershell itself. I am no budding Powershell expert, but i found the explanations of this book, clear, concise and to the point. As the book progresses the information becomes more involved and subject matter more extensive, but if you stick with it, you will be pleasantly surprised how much you skill sets start to evolve.
Some books are huge in content and therefore make you think about how you are going to approach certain subjects/or content (fo you dip into chapter 4, 5 etc). With this i would advise anyone to start at the beginning and not to skip, if they can. I have purchased books from PACKT PUBLISHING prior to this and i haven't been let down once in terms of how subject matters are put across to the reader. Hats off to the publisher and of course the Authors!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book Worth Buying, 8 Sep 2011
This review is from: Microsoft Exchange 2010 PowerShell Cookbook (Kindle Edition)
"Quick Answers to common problems" - I have to agree.

A number of PowerShell books have graced my shelves, however very few of them allow an Exchange focused professional to learn in an incremental way, focused purely on Exchange. Mike accomplishes this by introducing a concept and then building on it, gradually cranking up the complexity as the book progresses.

Chapter 1 covers PowerShell Concepts - bearing in mind that this book is focused towards an IT Pro and not a developer, Mike does a superb job of explaining PowerShell to a non developer, without going into the complexities of coding methodologies.

Chapter 13 ends the book with coding for Exchange Web Services, a daunting subject which Mike breaks down and makes accessible, with loads of value in between, including managing High Availability, Monitoring, Mailboxes, Recipients, etc, etc.

This is the first Exchange 2010 PowerShell cookbook which I have come across, which lives up to it's promise, is full of real life experience and lives up to it's promise.
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4.0 out of 5 stars no GUI here ! try your hand at text based scripting, 28 Aug 2011
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PowerShell is all about a more productive use of the system administrator's time. The book's size is an acknowledgement that Microsoft Exchange in its latest [greatest?] 2010 version, has grown into a monster. The complexity and variety of the topics that the sysadmin has to deal with in a large corporate or academic environment has led to this.

Readers who come from a unix background might recognise an overarching meta-pattern in the book. PowerShell is somewhat akin to the shell scripts that arose in the various unixes. Just like those decades of unix scripting, PowerShell lets you code intricate scripts that can get at the mailboxes and do innumerable things to them. One striking similarity with unix is that there are precious few screen captures of nice graphic user interfaces in this book. Instead, it is essentially all text based. The flavour of this book is not unlike a unix shell scripting text of 20 years ago or even of the Microsoft DOS shell scripts of that era. Because to solve some problems, any user interface is ultimately too confining. An unintentional irony that has perhaps escaped other reviewers, who have focused more on the details of PowerShell.

And what of these details? The PowerShell language, or at least the text's examples written in it, seem somewhat verbose. But the merit at least is that the names chosen have semantic self documenting value. A non-trivial consideration when many computer programs lack much explicit inline documentation. This is a very common trait amongst programmers, who just deprecate inline notes. The book does not address this explicitly. But if you are indeed going to code in PowerShell, you should adopt a style of coding similar to the book's.
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