How to Configure Passive File Screens to Send Email Notifications in Windows Server 2008

Situation:


Individuals in our Marketing department would like to be notified when new files are uploaded to a FTP site that we host for vendors (each vendor has their own folder).

Solution:


Install the File Server Resource Manager (FSRM) Role on the server and configure passive file screens to send an email notification.

Open up Server Manager and select Roles.  On the right side, click on Add Roles.  Check the box for File Services and then just click next through the various prompts.

When that is completed expand out the Roles tree until you get to File Server Resource Manager, and then expand that out as well.  Note:  You may need to close and reopen the Server Manager to get this new role to show up properly.

Now there are a few things here, but the only one we are concerned with is File Screening Management.  However, first we need to configure the email server we want to use to send the email notifications within the FSRM.

Right click on File Server Resource Manager and select options.  The very first tab is Email Notifications and will look like this:

Fill in the appropriate information and then send yourself a test email to make sure that it works.  Once that is done click OK to return to the previous screen.  You may also want to check out the Notifications tab.  This is where you can set the time between notification types (the default is 60 mins).  This means that the first time a file is uploaded, you will get an email.  If another file is uploaded within 60 minutes of the first one, no notification will be sent.
Now, expand File Screening Management and select File Screens.  On the right side click on Create File Screen (you can right click anywhere in the middle as well to get the same menu).
The file screen path is the path to the folder you want to monitor.  Then select the option for Define custom file screen properties and click on Custom Properties.
Change the screening type to Passive Screening and then select the file groups you want to “block”, which in the case of passive screening means you will allow those file types, but send notifications when files of those type are uploaded (in this case).
Next, click on the email notifications tab and check the box to send an email and enter the address(es) the email should go to.  This is also where you can modify the subject and message body to say whatever you would like.
You can explore the other tabs if you wish, but they aren’t necessary for what we are trying to accomplish.  Say OK to everything, drop a file in the folder and then if everything is configured properly wait for the email notification.  If you think everything is setup properly but you aren’t receiving an email notification, go back to the Custom Properties of the file screen you created, and make sure that the file extension is part of the file group.  As an example, files of .PDF are not part of the Office Files file group by default.

Quick Thoughts on a Mobile Phone Policy Rollout

I recently rolled out (with the support of the executive team) a Mobile Phone Policy outlining how we would handle new and existing phones, personal phone numbers on our corporate phone plan, who is eligible and who was responsible for what costs.

This was a much needed plan as everything was handled on a case by case basis, and there was no uniformity to how decisions were made and since I am now making those decisions, that wasn’t going to work for me.

The plan has been received well, except for the part where I did a poor job giving all the affected employees a heads up that it was coming.

I mistakenly assumed after talking to a few department managers and a few of the affected users that word about the purpose of the plan and it’s substance would gradually make it around since we are such a small company.

Well, lesson learned on that front, because that assumption turned out to be a massive failure.  There were quite a few people (including quite a few other department heads) who were “blindsided” by this policy, even though almost nothing was changing, it was just being written down for all to see.

So note to self:  Next time, send an email or schedule a quick meeting (or in one of our morning huddles) to let everyone know that change is coming.

Lesson Learned!