Applies to: Exchange Server 2010 SP3, Exchange Server 2010 SP2
Topic Last Modified: 2012-02-03
The Identity parameter is a special parameter that you can use with most cmdlets. The Identity parameter gives you access to the unique identifiers that refer to a specific object in Microsoft Exchange Server 2010. This capability lets you perform actions on a specific Exchange 2010 object.
The following sections describe the Identity parameter and provide examples of how you can use it effectively:
Characteristics of the Identity Parameter
The primary unique identifier of an object in Exchange
2010 is always a GUID. A GUID is a 128-bit identifier, such as
63d64005-42c5-4f8f-b310-14f6cb125bf3. This GUID never
repeats and is therefore always unique. However, you don't want to
type such GUIDs regularly. Therefore the Identity parameter
typically also consists of the values of other parameters, or
combined set of values from multiple parameters on a single object.
These values are also guaranteed to be unique across that set of
objects. You can specify the values of these other parameters, such
as Name and DistinguishedName, or they can be
system-generated. The additional parameters that are used, if any,
and how they are populated, depend on the object you refer to.
The Identity parameter is also considered a positional parameter. The first argument on a cmdlet is assumed to be the Identity parameter when no parameter label is specified. This reduces the number of keystrokes when you type commands. For more information about positional parameters, see Parameters.
The following example shows the use of the Identity parameter by using the Receive connector's unique Name parameter value. This example also shows how you can omit the Identity parameter name because Identity is a positional parameter.
Get-ReceiveConnector -Identity "From the Internet" Get-ReceiveConnector "From the Internet"
Like all objects in Exchange 2010, this Receive
connector can also be referred to by its unique GUID. For example,
if the Receive connector named
"From the Internet" is
also assigned the GUID
63d64005-42c5-4f8f-b310-14f6cb125bf3, you can also
retrieve the Receive connector by using the following command:
Wildcard Characters in Identity
Some Get cmdlets can accept a wildcard character
*) as part of the value you submit to Identity
when you run the cmdlet. By using a wildcard with the
Identity parameter, you can specify a partial name and
retrieve a list of objects that match that partial name. You can
place a wildcard character at the beginning or the end of the
Identity value, but you can't place the character in the
middle of a string. For example, the commands
Get-Mailbox *anders* are valid, but
Get-Mailbox Reb*ca isn't a valid command.
Some Get cmdlets retrieve objects in Exchange
2010 that are organized in a hierarchical or parent and children
relationship. That is, there may be a collection of parent objects
that also contain their own child objects. Objects that have a
parent and child relationship may have an Identity with the
When an Identity parameter has a syntax of
<parent>\<child>, some cmdlets enable you
to use a wildcard character (*) to replace all or some of the
parent or child names. For example, if you want to find all of the
child objects named "Contoso" in all parent objects, you could use
"*\Contoso". Likewise, if you want to find
all of the child objects with a partial name of "Auth" that exist
"ServerA" parent object, you could use the
Some, but not all, cmdlets allow you to specify just
the child portion of the Identity parameter when you run a command.
When you do this, the cmdlets default to the current parent object
being accessed. For example, two receive connectors named "Contoso
Receive Connector" exist on both MBX1 and MBX2. If you run the
Get-ReceiveConnector "Contoso Receive
Connector" on MBX2, only the receive connector on the server
MBX2 is returned.
The specific behavior of the Identity parameter and wildcard characters is dependent on the cmdlet that's being run. For more information about the cmdlet you're running, see the feature-specific content for that cmdlet.
Examples of the Identity Parameter
The examples described in this topic illustrate how the Identity parameter can accept different unique values to refer to specific objects in the Exchange 2010 organization. These examples also illustrate how the Identity parameter label can be omitted to reduce the number of keystrokes when you type commands.
The examples in this section refer to the delivery status notification (DSN) messages that can be configured in an Exchange 2010 organization. The first example shows how to retrieve DSN 5.4.1 by using the Get-SystemMessage cmdlet. In the Get-SystemMessage cmdlet, the Identity parameter consists of several pieces of data that are configured on each DSN message object. These pieces of data include the language that the DSN is written in, whether the DSN is internal or external in scope, and the DSN message code as in the following example:
You can also retrieve this DSN message by using its GUID as in the following example, because all objects in Exchange 2010 have a GUID:
For more information about the makeup of the Identity parameter when it's used with the SystemMessage cmdlets, see DSN Message Identity.
Management Role Entries
The examples in this section refer to management role
entries that make up management roles in Exchange 2010. Management
roles are used to control the permissions that are granted to
administrators and end users. Management role entries are made up
of two parts: the management role they're associated with and a
cmdlet. The Identity parameter is likewise made up of both the
management role name and the cmdlet name. For example, the
following is the role entry for the Set-Mailbox cmdlet on
Mail Recipients role:
Mail Recipients\Set-Mailbox role entry
is one of several entries on the
Mail Recipients role.
To view all the role entries on the
role, you can use the following command:
Get-ManagementRoleEntry "Mail Recipients\*"
To view all the role entries on the
Mailbox", use the following command:
Get-ManagementRoleEntry "Mail Recipients\*Mailbox*"
To view all the management roles where Set-Mailbox is one of the role entries, use the following command:
With role entries you can use the wildcard character in a variety of ways to query Exchange 2010 for the information you're interested in.
For more information about management roles, see Understanding Permissions.