Active Directory Cookbook
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: September 2003
Pages: 624

Those of you who run networks on Windows 2000 know the benefits of using Active Directory for managing user information and permissions. You also know what a bear it can be. The newer version included with Windows Server 2003 has over 100 new and updated features to simplify deployment, but once it's in place many system administrators still find Active Directory challenging. If you're among those looking for practical hands-on support, help is here with our new Active Directory Cookbook for Windows Server 2003 & Windows 2000, a unique problem-solving guide that offers quick answers for both versions of the directory.

The book contains hundreds of step-by-step solutions for both common and uncommon problems that you might encounter with Active Directory on a daily basis--including recipes to deal with the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), multi-master replication, Domain Name System (DNS), Group Policy, the Active Directory Schema, and many other features. Author Robbie Allen, a Senior Systems Architect at Cisco Systems and co-author of our Active Directory tutorial, based this collection of troubleshooting recipes on his own experience, along with input from Windows administrators throughout the industry. Each recipe includes a discussion to explain how and why the solution works, so you can adapt the problem-solving techniques to similar situations.

If your company is considering an upgrade from Windows NT or 2000 to Windows Server 2003, the Active Directory Cookbook for Windows Server 2003 & Windows 2000 will help reduce the time and trouble it takes to configure and deploy Active Directory for your network.

This Cookbook is also a perfect companion to Active Directory, the tutorial that experts hail as the best source for understanding Microsoft's network directory service. While Active Directory provides the big picture, Active Directory Cookbook for Windows Server 2003 & Windows 2000 gives you the quick solutions you need to cope with day-to-day dilemmas. Together, these books supply the knowledge and tools so you can get the most out of Active Directory to manage users, groups, computers, domains, organizational units, and security policies on your network.

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Active Directory Cookbook for Windows Server 2003 & Windows 2000

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Book Review:

Active Directory Cookbook for Windows Server 2003 & Windows 2000

By Robbie Allen

O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.

ISBN 0-596-00464-8

Rating: 4 stars out of 5 ****

I've needed to learn a lot about Active Directory ("AD") in a hurry because the organization I work for is moving from the Novell NDS (eDirectory) platform to Microsoft AD on a pretty aggressive schedule, and we have virtually no in-house understanding of AD. The Active Directory Cookbook by Robbie Allen has been one of my principal resources as I've tried to learn as much as possible in as short a time as possible to effectively facilitate our move. So far, it has answered all my questions, and I expect to continue using it as we get into the migration further and further.

I don't know much about VBScript, but it looks like the scripts in this book can be pretty easily utilized without any knowledge of how they were actually written. Perl scripts are not in the book, but are available on the author's Web site (www.rallenhome.com/books/adcookbook/code.html).

The book contains hundreds of step-by-step solutions for many types of problems one might encounter with Active Directory, including areas such as LDAP, multi-master

replication, DNS, Group Policy, and the Active Directory Schema. Each "recipe" includes graphical, command line, and scripting examples so you can use the tools that suit you best.

The format of the books is similar to other O'Reilly "cookbooks" (such as Perl Cookbook, Java Cookbook, etc.). Each of the 18 chapters has 10-30 recipes for performing a specific AD task. And each recipe has four sections: the problem, a solution, discussion, and "see also" (pointers to other recipes, Microsoft's Knowledge Base, and the like).

NOTE: This is not the only book you'll want in your library for dealing with AD. The cookbook is designed to be used in conjunction with O'Reilly's Active Directory.

This book review is prepared by Al Trick and was presented at the Saint Louis Visual Basic Users Group at the September 2004 meeting.

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