December 15, 2003, 12:00 AM — 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
Next week I continue my discussion on the new features in Windows Server