Exchange System Manager Architecture


Exchange System Manager is a Microsoft Management Console (MMC)-based tool that provides administrators with a graphical user interface (GUI) to manage the configuration of Exchange 2000 Server or Exchange Server 2003 organizations. However, Exchange System Manager is more than a single snap-in. It is a system of stand-alone snap-ins and extension snap-ins, which all run in the MMC process (MMC.exe). These snap-ins are saved in a pre-configured MMC file named Exchange System Manager.msc. This file is located in the \Program Files\Exchsrvr\Bin directory. You can start it from the Microsoft Exchange program group in the Start menu, using the System Manager shortcut. You can also add the Exchange System snap-in to custom MMC-based tools. The Exchange System snap-in represents the core component of Exchange System Manager.

This section discusses the following concepts:

  • MMC Integration   Because all Exchange System Manager snap-ins are based on MMC, you must understand how these snap-ins integrate with MMC.

  • Communication with the Microsoft Active Directory directory service   Most Exchange Server 2003 configuration objects reside in Active Directory. Therefore, you must know both what these objects are and how Exchange System Manager communicates with Active Directory to access these objects.

  • Communication with the Exchange store   Storage groups, messaging databases, and individual mailboxes and public folders are Exchange store components. When you configure these components, Exchange System Manager communicates with the Exchange store through MAPI or the Distributed Authoring and Versioning (DAV) protocol. To determine which servers in a computer network you can manage from a single console, you must understand these communication mechanisms.

  • Integration with Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)   Exchange System Manager communicates with WMI providers to display dynamic information, such as a list of messages currently waiting for delivery in a message queue. To understand how monitoring tools work, such as the message queue viewer or the message tracking center, you must know when and how Exchange System Manager communicates with WMI providers and related services

  • **Configuration of Exchange Server 2003 services   **Exchange System Manager is also a service configuration program, which you can use to set service-specific parameters in the registry on an Exchange server. For example, when specifying diagnostics-logging levels, Exchange System Manager must access an Exchange server's registry database.

  • This section assumes that you are familiar with Active Directory and the basic concepts of managing an Exchange Server 2003 organization. It also assumes that you know how to install Exchange System Manager on a dedicated workstation.

For more information about how to install Exchange System Manager and how to manage an Exchange Server 2003 organization efficiently, see the Exchange Server 2003 Administration Guide.