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Adding Users in Small Business Server 2008

written by: Brian Nelson•edited by: Christian Cawley•updated: 6/20/2009

Small Business Server 2008 is Microsoft’s answer to the complexities presented to smaller operations trying to run a server based network architecture. The key to any useful network is the proper management of users and groups. Here is how to do it in SBS 2008.

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    Adding New Users

    Adding a new user is one of the most basic tasks required to manage a server based network environment. However, it is also one that can prove surprisingly difficult to get right. Even if the access works as intended, there are many ways that can cause it to work as “not intended” as well. For example, a user may have the access they require to the intended workstation, but if that access is granted via the wrong group or object, it is possible that the user has access to many more workstations than just the ones that were actually intended. And, this is to say nothing of getting the account linked to its email account and so on.

    The concept behind SBS 2008 is to remove this complexity from an environment where it isn’t strictly necessary. Because a small business is unlikely to have hundreds of servers across many locations, the artifices within the raw Windows Server 2008 server operating system to accommodate large scalability are rendered moot. Taking advantage of this concept allows for SBS 2008 to be largely run from a single console known as the Windows SBS Console.

    On the SBS Console, Users and Groups has its own tab, or it can be accessed quickly from the Home Tab in the Getting Started Tasks screen. Either one provides access to the Add User wizard-based interface, that allows a non-techie business owner or manager to quickly and easily add a user, and also ensure that the user has the proper access and a linked email account.

    New User 2 To add a new user, double-click the SBS Console desktop shortcut or click Start -> All Programs -> Windows Small Business Server -> Windows SBS Console. Choose Add a new user account from the Home screen, or use the Users and Groups tab and select Add a new user account from the Tasks pane.

    Fill in the first and last name of the user in the Add a New User Account window. SBS 2008 creates the user name and email address based on the entered name. The administrator can choose to use the default or choose other versions of the username and email address, however, SBS 2008 remembers the naming convention used last time and defaults to that, so assuming this is not the first user created, there is some value in accepting the default.

    Next, choose a user role. Again, the complexity of large organizations has been eliminated with a small sub-set of user types available. While this set can be expanded, it shouldn’t be necessary unless the organization size is closer to the 75 user top-limit of SBS 2008.

    Lastly, set a password for the user. SBS 2008 takes care of all the other tasks required in a standard Windows Server 2008 environment like defining the user in Active Directory, creating the user’s shared folder and setting up the email account.

    Once the user has been created, the wizard continues on to ensure that the user gets the proper machine level access by asking the administrator to choose whether to add the user to an existing computer, or adding a new computer for the user.

    That’s it! A complex but critical operation for any server platform is simplified down to its most essential steps in SBS 2008, allowing any business owner or manager to handle the task of adding new users to the network without finding a “cheat sheet”, calling the consultant, or digging through the manual.