ILM and Exchange Labs

Customers ask me about this all of the time, so I wanted to share here what I have been telling them.  There is often confusion over what it can and cannot do, what the alternatives are.  Thanks to Richard Wakeman from our MS Services group and Erik DesBois from our Exchange team for consulting with me in preparing this post!

So here we go…note that some of my recommendations are my opinions, yours may of course vary as I do not pretend that I can guess what will work best for any given institution 🙂

Microsoft Identity Lifecycle Manager (ILM) 2007 provides an integrated solution for managing the entire lifecycle of user identities and their associated credentials. It provides identity synchronization from schools directory, and user provisioning into Live@edu.  It is a product that a lot of education institutions have had great success with in synchronizing their Active Directory user accounts with Live@Edu Hotmail LiveIDs, and it is a solution that Microsoft is introducing to our Live@Edu Exchange Labs customers with an early adopter version of our Exchange Labs Management Agent (ELMA) for ILM over the next 2 months or so.

This is not to say you cannot use ILM today, one of our partners, the Oxford Computer Group has rolled out ILM in a way that provides a csv file to, and then drives, the CSV Import tool, it just cannot do password synchronization.  This actually may or may not be an issue for colleges depending on what their approach is for SSO…remember we offer support there too.

The ELMA provides synchronization of a number of mailbox attributes including Display Name, contact details and extended attributes such as department which is useful for identifying school affinity.  ILM is an advanced solution for provisioning Exchange Labs accounts.  We typically only suggest adoption of ILM by our most technologically savvy customers.  Of those, most are initially deployed by one of our capable partners.  Our partners do have programs in place for quick starts onto ILM.  These usually last about three days onsite.

Besides ELMA, we are delighted to be able to provide a number of other, powerful yet simple to set up alternatives to support Exchange Labs mailbox provisioning:

  • A comprehensive Web UI that allows an administrator to manage their Mailboxes and Distribution Groups on an individual basis.
  • A Remote PowerShell interface, an extensible command-line shell and scripting language which supports granular interaction with the Exchange Labs service on a bulk mailbox basis if required.
  • A dedicated CSV Import tool that can be used for the bulk creation, updating and deleting of mailboxes.

There are pros and cons to all of these approaches, and with some effort, they can be interchangeable, happy to discuss any of them with you in some more detail.

I hope that makes sense and helps in your planning



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6 Responses to ILM and Exchange Labs

  1. Unknown says:

    Johnny, How do we get ELMA.

  2. US LiveAtedu says:

    It will be available for download from once it ships.

  3. Mike says:

    Has ELMA shipped yet?

  4. US LiveAtedu says:

    We are now in the final stages of the MA pilot for ILM. We hope to finally get this out the door by summer time.

  5. Yuri says:

    Hi there, do you have a step-by-step guide explaining synchronization between Active Directory and Live@Edu using ILM? I have a Live@Edu customer with 15K accounts in Active Directory and want to upload them to Live@Edu. Thanks in advance

  6. US LiveAtedu says:

    @YuriHere you go: Contact me at, and I can also hook you up with a Microsoft solution specialist in your region.

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