In addition to the management of user accounts and distribution lists, administrators have to deal with functional mailboxes, which are also named resource mailboxes. In many cases, these mailboxes are not associated with a person, but rather with a particular purpose or facility, such as a meeting room, a project or a storage folder. Although a functional mailbox may seem to comprise of reasonably simple functionality, in actual practice their management can turn out to be quite complex.
In Microsoft Exchange, mailboxes are always linked to an Active Directory account. This creates a unique situation, since a functional mailbox is not necessarily associated with a person. In Active Directory, this results in accounts with names like "MeetingHallRoom211" and "Suggestion box". These are accounts that one would rather not allow login rights to the network. However, these accounts should not be disabled, as this would render the mailbox inaccessible. A possible solution is to specify a non-existing computer in the Active Directory settings for these accounts to which users must log in. This ensures that the user account remains a ‘regular’ and active account. However, there will not be any possibilities to log in to a workstation or server.
Besides the user account management that is required for a functional mailbox, user access to the mailbox and the privileges of these users must be managed. Security settings for the mailbox’s Active Directory account must be managed to provide users with access. A common setting, for instance, is "send-as". You can assign a user privileges to send mail on behalf of the mailbox. For IT administrators, however, this is not such a simple modification. You have to look up the security settings for the account and tick the ‘send-as’ option for another user. If a single functional mailbox is used by more than 10 users, this list will also become very long, which is not very practical.
The UMRA solution by Tools4ever makes it possible to delegate management tasks for functional mailboxes to members of the organization. For instance, you can appoint various users who are allowed to create functional mailboxes and manage privileges. They will be offered a user interface with electronic forms, which simplify matters to a point where they only have to specify a name to create a mailbox. UMRA’s engine will check whether the name is still available and apply the relevant format so that it can be converted into a correct mailbox including all relevant Active Directory settings. They can subsequently use the same interface to generate an overview of all the existing functional mailboxes and to manage privileges. Users can be added or removed for each functional mailbox and individual settings such as ‘send-as’ can be assigned with consummate ease. Administrative tasks are directly carried out in Active Directory without the need for intervention by an IT administrator. However, the users who perform these tasks do not have privileges that allow direct access to Active Directory. They will only have the privileges that are necessary to perform the task at hand. The actual implementation is performed by UMRA via a secured delegation layer.
For more information about how UMRA can simplify tasks visit our website: www.tools4ever.com