Changing Security Groups to Distribution Groups

In Exchange Server 2010, you cannot create a new Distribution Group that is not a Universal group. If your Exchange 2010 installation was upgraded from a prior release of Exchange Server, you may find Distribution Groups created in those earlier versions of Exchange that are not Universal. As I’ve discussed in Exchange Server 2007 and Universal Groups, Exchange simply Works Better ™ with Universal Groups.

Just kidding on the ™ – but it does work better.

So, I’ve got customers who have a large investment in vbscript automation. Of course, I feel that PowerShell is a better solution, but ripping-and-replacing thousands of lines of vbscript takes quite a while. One of the customer’s vbscript applications created distribution lists in Exchange 2003 (as you may or may not be aware, as long as a few key attributes were set on an object, in Exchange 2003 the Recipient Update Service would process that object automatically – such is not true in Exchange 2007). But that application does not work properly in Exchange 2007 or Exchange 2010.

Instead of re-writing a thousand-line vbscript, with all the testing and debugging that that would’ve entailed, it seemed prudent to simply “fix the problem”. In this case, there were two problems:

[1] Sometimes, a global group is created instead of a universal group, and

[2] The group needs to be mail-enabled.

This can be done, in true PowerShell fashion, in a “one-liner”. But it’s a LONG one-liner, and much easier to read when split up. This is a technique that may come in handy for you.

## Fix-Security-groups.ps1
## Michael B. Smith
## September 30, 2010
## Examine each group present in the Groups OU. If the group is a security
## group, then ensure that it is a Universal group and mail-enable it to become
## a distribution group.
get-group -organizationalUnit |?  `
        {$_.RecipientType -eq 'Group'} |% { `
        if( $_.GroupType -match 'Global' ) `
        { `
                set-group $_.Identity -Universal; `
        } `
        Enable-DistributionGroup $_.Identity; `

Until next time…

If there are things you would like to see written about, please let me know.

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