This PowerPack extends the PowerGUI admin console with a set of nodes, links and actions that allow you to manage Active Directory. It is included as part of the core PowerGUI product.


Quest AD cmdlets
PowerGUI or later

Supported features:
• Connect to any Active Directory deployment that you have access to from your current location.
• Use your current user credentials or alternate credentials when connecting to Active Directory.
• Customize the default properties that are returned for each Active Directory object type. This includes generic, user, group, computer, and password settings objects.
• Globally configure the page size that will be used and the maximum number of items that should be retrieved by any Active Directory queries done using the Active Directory PowerPack.
• Configure whether you want the objects returned to come only from the domain you connect to or from all domains in the forest to which that domain belongs.
• Add individual Active Directory domains that you want to manage with the account that you use to manage those domains so that you can manage those domains every time you use the PowerPack.
• Search the current Active Directory domain you are connected to or the entire forest to which it belongs for objects by type and/or name.
• Easily retrieve and manage users, groups, computers, OUs, locked users, disabled users, expired users, security groups, distribution lists, dynamic distribution lists, empty groups, domain controllers and Exchange servers for any domain that you connect to or manage.

Release notes:
• This release of the Active Directory PowerPack is not included in PowerGUI If you are using PowerGUI you can upgrade the PowerPack by using the PowerPack Management dialog and selecting Check for Updates.

How to install:
1. Download and install the Quest AD cmdlets.
2. Download the ActiveDirectory.powerpack file that is attached to this article.
3. Open the PowerGUI admin console.
4. Select File | PowerPack Management to open the PowerPack Management dialog.
5. Click on the Import button to import the PowerPack.
6. Using the dialog that just opened, browse to the location where you downloaded the ActiveDirectory.powerpack file and select that file. Click on the Open button to import the Active Directory PowerPack into PowerGUI.
7. At this point the PowerPack should be imported and you should have an Active Directory node under the root node of the tree in the Admin Console. Continue reading the Getting Started section if you want to know how to get started using this PowerPack.

How to upgrade:
1. Open the PowerGUI admin console.
2. Select File | PowerPack Management to open the PowerPack Management dialog.
3. Select the Active Directory PowerPack and click on Check for Updates. Then follow the prompts to upgrade your PowerPack.
4. At this point the PowerPack should be upgraded to the new version and you should have an Active Directory node under the root node of the tree in the Admin Console. Continue reading the Getting Started section if you want to know how to get started using this PowerPack.

Getting started:
Now that you have installed or upgraded your Active Directory PowerPack, you can use it to manage Active Directory from your local system. To get started, the first thing you will want to do is expand the Active Directory node and click on the Configuration node to review the current configuration. This will show you the domain that the PowerPack will connect to by default, the account that will be used for the connection, whether or not the connection should be made to a global catalog, as well as a few other settings related to the Quest AD cmdlets.

One important configuration setting to be aware of is the default size limit. If you want to limit the number of objects that are retrieved throughout the PowerPack, modify the default size limit (0 indicates that all objects will be retrieved; any other value indicates the number of objects to retrieve in an individual query). If you're using this PowerPack for the first time and want to get an idea what functionality it provides you, I recommend you set the default size limit to something small like 100 so that you get samples of the data that will be retrieved more quickly. Just don't forget to come back later and set it back to 0 if you want all data to be retrieved!

Another configuration setting worth taking note of is the default attributes that are retrieved for each type of object. Objects in Active Directory can have one thousand attributes, and retrieving all data for those attributes all of the time would put unnecessary strain on your network and it would take too much time. At the same time, the attributes that are important to you may be different from the attributes that are important to someone else. To deal with these challenges, you can configure the attributes that will be retrieved by default for each type of object. This includes custom attributes if you have any. To manage the attributes that are retrieved, click on the Configuration node, then click on the "Manage default attributes" item in the action pane. That will display a list of all attributes that are retrieved by any object and allow you to add, remove or customize attributes for one or many object types.

Enough about configuration though, lets move on to the data you can retrieve!

Retrieving data using the Active Directory PowerPack is as simple as clicking on the node that identifies the type of data you want to retrieve. You can retrieve all objects of a particular type using nodes like Users, Groups, or Computers, or you can retrieve more specific data sets using their child nodes like Locked Users, Security Groups or Domain Controllers. Just click on the node you want and the PowerPack will retrieve the data you are looking for. Once you have your data you will notice a few properties that are displayed by default as well as actions that are available to you for the objects that were returned. To perform an action, simply select the objects you want to take action on and then click on the action you want to take. If you don't like the columns that are displayed and would like to add or remove columns from the view, you can right-click on the column headers and select which columns you want to see. PowerGUI will remember your selection so that you get the data you want each time you come back to it.

If you prefer to browse through Active Directory, you can use the Browse Active Directory node and walk through your Active Directory containers and see the objects they contain. If you need to work with different domains that may or may not be part of the same forest fairly often you can use the Managed Domains node to configure which domains you want to manage and what accounts should be used to manage them and then you'll be able to have these domains available to you every time you use this PowerPack. And lastly, if you want to search for something in Active Directory you can use the Search... node to identify what you are searching for and where you are searching for it so that you don't have to browse if you are looking for specific objects.

It's that simple. At this point you should be well equipped to use the Active Directory PowerPack to start managing the domains you work with!

Revision history:
March 27, 2010
Miscellaneous updates:
• Fixed several minor issues with Search... node.
• Added Force Password Change action for users.
• Moved all actions to new categories

June 11, 2009
A few changes, as follows:
• Fixed issue preventing the use of ObjectAttributes from working in the Modify... actions.
• Added Dynamic Distribution Lists node as a child node of Groups.
• Added actions to allow you to work with Dynamic Distribution Lists.
• Updated Managed Domains node so that it returns a Dynamic Distribution List node in the nodes it generates as well.
• Fixed two commands where a required space was missing.

June 1, 2009
Many bug fixes for the April 28th, 2009 release. Included in PowerGUI release.

April 28, 2009
Many changes, including the following:
• Updated the PowerPack to support version 1.2 of the Quest AD cmdlets
• Moved "Managed Domains" from the Network PowerPack to this PowerPack
• Added top level Configuration node to allow you to set global settings that define what domain to connect to, what account to use, what properties to retrieve by default for each object type, what page size to use, what size limit to use and whether or not to perform searches across the entire forest or only the domain you connect to
• Added several child nodes to provide fast access to common objects that users want to retrieve, including Locked Users, Disabled Users, Expired Users, Security Groups, Distribution Lists, Domain Controllers, and Exchange Servers
• Fixed Empty Groups node such that it only returns truly empty groups (those which have no members and that aren't set as primary group for any user or computer)
• Added Unlock user action (this was overlooked in early releases)
• Added Search... node to allow users to search their current Active Directory domain or the entire forest to which it belongs for objects by type and/or name

January 5, 2009
Sync'ed up with the version included in PowerGUI.

July 8, 2008
Sync'ed up with the version included in PowerGUI.

July 25, 2007
Fixed the following issues:
• Removed 1000 items limit
• Fixed the issue of properties not displayed in the OU browsing mode
• Added warning message box on password reset action

July 12,2007
Added the following new features:
• Password reset
• OU browsing
• Remove the 100 item limits
• Add user CSV provisioning
• Add Enable User
• Add recursive member of
• New User
• New Group
• Remove User
• Remove Group

April 16, 2007
Initial release.