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How to create filtered mailbox views in Exchange Server 2007

The consolidated mailbox view in Exchange Server 2007's management console can be overwhelming, especially for administrators in larger organizations. Learn how to create filtered mailbox views to simplify the process of finding and managing Exchange 2007 mailboxes.

The consolidated mailbox view in Exchange Server 2007's management console can be overwhelming, especially for administrators in larger organizations. Creating filtered mailbox views can simplify the process of finding and managing Exchange 2007 mailboxes.

Filtered mailbox views allow you to view mailboxes based on Active Directory attributes that you specify.

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For example, you can create a filtered view based so that the Exchange Management Console only displays mailboxes for employees in the marketing department.

It's important to note that many of the new Microsoft products (Exchange Server 2007, Longhorn Server, Windows Vista, and even Office 2007 to some extent) make much greater use of Active Directory attributes than their predecessors. The only way that you will be able to utilize these new features to their full potential is to have good (and complete) data in your Active Directory.

How to create a filtered mailbox view in Exchange Server 2007

  1. Open the Exchange Management Console and navigating through the console tree to Recipient Configuration -> Mailbox. When you select the Mailbox container, the details pane will display all of the mailboxes found in the entire Exchange organization, as shown in Figure A.
Figure A: Click the Create Filter button to filter the mailbox view.
Figure A
  1. Click the Create Filter button to view a series of dropdown lists at the top of the screen.
  2. Select an Active Directory attribute from the first dropdown list and then select a condition from the second dropdown list. For example, if you wanted to create a filter of all of the users who are in the marketing department, you would select the Department attribute from the first dropdown and the Equals option from the second dropdown list.
  3. Now just enter "Marketing" into the last field to complete the expression, as shown in Figure B.

Figure B: Creating expressions allows you to filter the view of the mailboxes.
Figure B
  1. Related Exchange resources:

    Tutorial: How to set up Exchange Server 2007 transport rules

    15 tips in 15 minutes: Managing Exchange 2003 recipients and distribution lists

    Tutorial: Managing Exchange 2003 recipient objects

    Exchange 2007 Reference Center

    Click the Add Expression button.
  2. You may now either create another expression to further narrow down the results, or click the Apply Filter button to see your results.
  3. When you are done, just click the Remove Filter button to return to a normal view of the mailboxes.

About the author: Brien M. Posey, MCSE, is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for his work with Exchange Server, and has previously received Microsoft's MVP award for Windows Server and Internet Information Server (IIS). Brien has served as CIO for a nationwide chain of hospitals and was once responsible for the Department of Information Management at Fort Knox. As a freelance technical writer, Brien has written for Microsoft, TechTarget, CNET, ZDNet, MSD2D, Relevant Technologies and other technology companies. You can visit Brien's personal Web site at www.brienposey.com.

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Do you think Microsoft will ever allow you to save these filters -- like Active Directory saved queries -- so you don't have to recreate the filter each time you want to search that way?
—Michael C.

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I actually asked the same question the first time I saw the feature demonstrated in Redmond. The answer that I was given was that saved queries would be the next logical step, but there just wasn't sufficient time to include that feature in this version of Microsoft Exchange. I think that we will probably see a stored query feature in the next version.
—Brien Posey, tip author

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