Using Active Directory Administrative Tools

Command-Line Tools

Windows Server 2003 includes a number of tools that weren't available for administration of Active Directory in Windows 2000. These tools run from the command prompt, and can perform tasks that could previously only be performed using the GUI consoles. Using these tools, you can connect to remote servers and make modifications to the directory without the added overhead of a GUI interface. Because many tasks can be performed through the MMC (which we'll discuss next) or text-based commands, this provides a greater freedom of choice for administrators on how these tasks are performed.

Command-line tools are particularly beneficial for administrators who were experienced with DOS or other network operating systems that used command-line tools (such as Novell NetWare and UNIX). While using these tools requires the user to switch from one tool to another and manually type each command, users might find that they can perform common tasks faster through this interface rather than with the GUI.

Command-line tools are also useful for administrators who want to schedule tasks at a certain time, or automate tasks in other ways. By running the commands through scripts or batch files, or invoking them through other applications developed in-house, you can automate certain tasks and make administration easier. Allowing these commands to be invoked in these ways can also be useful for allowing users to perform management tasks with which they aren't familiar.

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