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  Test Exchange Connectivity Tool
      Sunday, May 18, 2008

Well, I've been sucking up lots of data during the last couple of months, working a lot with SBS 2008 and Exchange 2007. In April I attended Interact08, a conference covering Office Communication Server 2007 and Exchange 2007 down in San Diego.

There was a lot of good content for the future there, but one of the best things I walked away with was knowledge of this tool, and I'm excited to share it with you:


It's a web application hosted by Microsoft and built by a couple of guys on the Exchange team, Shawn McGrath and Brad Hughes. It was built to assist troubleshooting Autodiscover, ActiveSync and Outlook Anywhere (that's RPC-over-HTTP for running on Exchange 2003 vernacular still). What the tool does is it methodically tests each step that's required for each of the services to work and tells you where the breakdown is. Trust me, for these technologies, that's huge. Using the "outlook /rpcdiag" method has been very limited in its usefulness to me, and the new tool is tremendous. I've probably used it almost twice a day for different clients to sort situations out that range from DNS records to certificate misconfiguration to permissions on the RPC virtual directory.

What I plan to do next here is to revisit the tool and tell you how to resolve some of the issues that the tool will alert you to. Not all of them are straightforward. For example, when you see that the "RPC Referral failed" or that the RPC ping didn't work, what's probably the issue? You do well to wonder, and I'll cover that for you soon.
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