Microsoft Exchange Management Shell (EMS)

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: The essential admin's guide to Office 365 PowerShell
Contributor(s): Matt Gervais

Microsoft Exchange Management Shell (EMS) is a scripting platform with a command line interface that enables administrators to manage Exchange Server.

EMS is built on top of Microsoft PowerShell, a command line shell that allows administrators to perform administrative tasks with simple noun-verb commands called cmdlets. EMS processes commands as instances of .NET classes and objects.

Administrators can use EMS to perform any administrative task normally performed in the Exchange Management Console (EMC) in Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010, as well as any task typically performed in the Exchange Administration Center (EAC) in Exchange Server 2013. The EMS also allows administrators to complete many tasks not made available through the EMC or EAC.

Microsoft strongly suggests that working knowledge of the EMS is critical for Exchange administrators because it will be Microsoft's preferred administrative tool moving forward.

This was last updated in October 2012

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