Using Custom Consoles


Topic Last Modified: 2005-04-21

MMC provides a framework for management tools (that is, snap-ins). Although MMC is not a tool itself, snap-in tools cannot be run independent of it. Opening a snap-in at the command prompt or the Start menu automatically causes the snap-in to open in a separate MMC window.

As an alternative to opening an MMC snap-in in its own window, you can create a custom console. This custom console is a single instance of MMC that houses all the snap-in tools that you use regularly. As an Exchange administrator, you may want to create a custom console that consolidates Exchange System Manager and Active Directory Users and Computers. For example, The following figure shows a custom console that houses Exchange System Manager, Active Directory Users and Computers, and Event Viewer.

You can use a custom console regardless of where you decide to manage Exchange—by directly logging onto the server, by using Remote Desktop or Terminal Server, or by using a dedicated management workstation.

A custom console that contains Exchange System Manager, Active Directory Users and Computers, and Event Viewer


As shown in this figure, the user interface (UI) of a custom console is the same as that of the individual snap-ins. In the left pane is the console tree. The console tree shows a hierarchical view of the different containers of the various snap-ins. On the right is the details pane, where you can manage the different objects in the containers by right-clicking an object and selecting an appropriate command for that object.