Friday, March 09, 2018

EWS-FAI Module for browsing and updating Exchange Folder Associated Items from PowerShell

Folder Associated Items are hidden Items in Exchange Mailbox folders that are commonly used to hold configuration settings for various Mailbox Clients and services that use Mailboxes. Some common examples of FAI's are Categories,OWA Signatures and WorkHours there is some more detailed documentation in the protocol document. In EWS these configuration items can be accessed via the UserConfiguration operation which will give you access to either the RoamingDictionary, XMLStream or BinaryStream data properties that holds the configuration depending on what type of FAI data is being stored.

I've written a number of scripts over the years that target particular FAI's (eg this one that reads the workhours is a good example ) but I didn't have a generic script that could allow you to browse and read the data from any FAI in a Mailbox which would be useful when you are trying to peer into FAI's when debugging or reporting on different clients and services that use these FAI's.

So what I've done for this post in publish a really basic Powershell Module to the PowerShell Gallery that can do this. The script requires that you have the EWS Managed API installed and then it has two Cmdlets. The source for the module can be found on GitHub here


The cmdlet will browse and display a list of any configuration FAI Items in a Folder eg to show the Items in the Non_IPM_SubTree use

Invoke-ListFAIItems -MailboxName -Folder Root 

it will produce an output such as

Other folders such as the Inbox and Calendar contain some of the more useful FAI's eg

A quick rundown on these

AvailiablityOptions is a newie
Calendar Contains the calendar processing information more of intrest when looking at a room mailbox
CategoryList Is the Master Cateogry List of a Mailbox (XML)
WorkHours Is the workhours setting for a Mailbox (XML)


If you see an FAI that you want to view the contents of for example the OWA.UserOptions this the cmdlet you can use to do this

Get-FAIItem -MailboxName -Folder Root -ConfigItemName OWA.UserOptions

Because this FAI is a Roaming Directory this is what is returned to the pipeline.

If you have an FAI the contains XML like the Category list the cmdlet will return XML back to you which you may or may not be able to work with depending on your skill level in PowerShell. But if you just want to look at the Content in plain text at the cmdlet line you can do the following

Get-FAIItem -MailboxName -Folder Calendar -ConfigItemName CategoryList | Select-Object InnerXML | FL

The other optional parameter for this cmdlet is the -ReturnConfigObject switch which will return the actual UserConfiguration Typed object from the EWS Managed API which is useful if you want to update the FAI in question or your dealing with the BinaryStream which this module doesn't handle. Eg you can use the following script to turn off the FocusedInbox in OWA for a user

$OwaOptions = Get-FAIItem -MailboxName -Folder Root -ConfigItemName OWA.UserOptions -ReturnConfigObject
if($OwaOptions.Dictionary.ContainsKey("IsFocusedInboxEnabled")){  $OwaOptions.Dictionary["IsFocusedInboxEnabled"] = $false  $OwaOptions.Update() }
One last one because it was the topic of a recent conversation is if you want to look to see the user configuration status for the  Focused Inbox in Outlook you can use the following to read the FAI that stores this information.

Get-FAIItem -MailboxName -Folder Inbox -ConfigItemName AccountPrefs
eg this will return something like


Unknown said...

Glen, is there a way to access and modify the views of a folder with EWS? Specifically I'd like modify the default view of the inbox folder to add a conditional formatting rule. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

You will be able to access the FAI where the information is stored but I don't know of any documentation on how the view formats works so that would be hard to do but possible