What's new in Windows Server 2003 - GPMC

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Managing Group Policies in Active Directory can be a daunting task.

Microsoft has provided administrators with many different tools for

managing all of the different components of Group Policy that it almost

seems impossible to know where to turn for a particular policy update.

With the introduction of the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC),

this problem is no longer an issue.

GPMC is Microsoft's new user interface for managing enterprise-wide

group policies. It combines the features of the Active Directory Users

and Computers snap-in, the Active Directory Sites and Services snap-in,

the Resultant Set of Policy (RSoP) snap-in, the

ACL Editor, and the Delegation Wizard into one complete interface for

group policy management.

Additionally, GPMC adds some new functionality not readily available in

previous tool sets. Some of these new features include the ability to

backup and restore group policy objects (GPOs), import and export GPOs,

copy and paste GPOs, script GPO operations that are exposed within GPMC

(however, you cannot script the settings within a GPO), manage Group

Policy-related security in a simplified manner, and create HTML reports.

To take advantage of the GPMC, you must install the tool on either a

Windows 2003 machine, or a Windows XP SP1 machine with a Post-SP1 hotfix

(Q 326469). Last, and most important, the GPMC can manage both Windows

2000 and Windows 2003 Active Directory domains.

The GPMC is available as a free download and can be found at

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads

Next week I continue my discussion on the new features in Windows Server

2003.

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