Directory Update Directory Update Directory Update
  • Support
  • Common Problems
  • Tech Notes
  • FAQs

We have tried hard to make sure most common questions are answered on our Web site or somewhere in our documentation. Please check our FAQ and TechNotes section as well as verifying that the prerquisites (on the product’s Requirements page) have been met.

However you are always welcome to contact support if you cannot resolve an issue.

We find that 95% of all issues are quickly resolved via one or two e-mails. We try to respond to all issues on the same day that they are submitted to use via e-mail but sometimes next-day response is necessary due to time-zone differences and our own schedules. Please keep in mind that we are a small company.

In exchange for your patience, we can keep our prices low and your tech support questions will be handled by a real systems engineer or programmer rather than a receptionist or script reader.

Feedback and Suggestions

Our software is customer driven; many of our current features started as an idea from a customer or potential customer. We would love to hear from you. If you have an idea or suggestion for a feature, please let us know. support (at)

Contact Us

Our main number is (415) 683-6158 and that rings to multiple desks and phone, but we can’t always get to the phone. E-mail is our number one line of support. Please contact us at support (at)

When you contact us, here is some helpful information to provide to us:

  1. The product you are using and the version (such as Directory Manager v1.5)
  2. Did the software ever work? If so, what has changed?
  3. Have you applied the most recent Windows/Microsoft critical and recommended updates to your IIS server?
  4. What other web applications are running on the same IIS server?
  5. From the IIS server console, open a web browser to http://localhost/directoryupdate (for example). Are you seeing any errors?
  6. Send us your XML files

We typically see the same problem frequently and we have strived to make sure we document steps to prevent them from happening.

  • First and foremost, visit the home page for the product you are installing and look at the Requirements. Make sure that you have met these requirements. Frequent problems include:

    • ASP.NET is not enabled
    • .NET Framework v3.5 is not installed or enabled
    • Windows 2008 Application Server and Application Server Web Support components not enabled
    • IIS 6 compatibility components of IIS 7 are not enabled (for W2K8 or W2K8 R2)
  • Service / proxy account password has expired

  • The domain controller that the software is using is offline (run the Configuration wizard and change.)

  • The service / proxy account does not have sufficient permissions

  • The application is not running in a dedicated IIS application pool that uses the Network Service Identity and configured to use the NET Framework 2.0.

We have tried hard to make sure most common questions are answered on our Web site or somewhere in our documentation. Sometimes, though, things warrant a bit more explanation that our documentation or product pages allows. Being a techie-owned and managed company, we like to provide as much details as possible to help you make the right decisions.

Our TechNotes section allows us to provide more detailed explanations and background on topics that we are asked about frequently.

Current TechNotes

101. Enabling Photo Support

102. Moving photos from jpegPhoto to thumbnailPhoto

103. Installing Directory Update and other Web applications on SharePoint

104. Converting from Evaluation to a Licensed Copy

105. Special character support in XML files: &, <, >, etc...

106. Reminding users to use Directory Update

107. Using Regular Expressions for field format valiation such as phone numbers

108. Enabling "wide screen" support for Directory Search or Directory Manager

109. Using Integrated Windows Authentication

110. Creating dedicated IIS Application Pools

111. Moving Fields/Attributes on Forms

112. The Service / Proxy Account and Common Problems

113. Directory Update and Directory Manager with multi-value attributes

114. Using a URL Query String with Directory Search

115. Multi-domain organizations

116. Troubleshooting Windows Server 2008 Common Problems

117. Logging and Auditing Capabilities

118. E-mail notifications

119. Upgrading from previous versions

120. Validating phone numbers based on country

121. Recommendations, Best Practices, Scalability, and Monitoring

We typically see some of the same quesetions very frequently. We have strived to answer your questions before you have to ask. Also see our TechNote section for more detailed technical explanations for some common questions.

  • Who is Ithicos Solutions?
    Ithicos Solutions is a small Exchange and Active Directory consulting company. We were founded by Jim McBee, an Exchange consultant, MVP, and author. We are purely a technical services company; no sales people, no marketing, and no professional web site designer (as you can see.) See the About page for more information. Ithicos Solutions is a company that we have founded as a partnership between the designers and developers of our software. We are a small company and we are not pushy about sales. We don't even make you register for an evaluation or talk to a sales person for 15 minutes before you look at the product.
  • Do you answer your telephone?
    Our company phone number is (415) 683-6158. This is a VOIP line that forwards to office phones and cell phones. We don't have a receptionist, call handler, or answering service. During a normal week, we get two or three phone calls per week. Inevitably, two of those calls come in at 4AM Hawaii time. Even during the business day, we may be tied up in meetings or on the phone, though. But, if someone can get to the phone when it rings, we do answer it. For support, sales, and general questions, though, e-mail works as well or better than the phone. support (@)
  • Can Directory Update assign a manager the ability to change other user's attributes?
    Directory Update is completely a "self-service" application. It was designed to be a web-based replacement for Microsoft's GALMod tool and to be a simple to use, cost effective, and easy to deploy. It does not have any "delegation" features. Our Directory Manager product allows you to designate authorized administrators that can modify other user's information. However, Directory Manager does not have 'self service' capabilities.
  • Can Directory Update assign a manager the ability to change other user's attributes?
    Directory Update is completely a "self-service" application. It was designed to be a web-based replacement for Microsoft's GALMod tool and to be a simple to use, cost effective, and easy to deploy. It does not have any "delegation" features. Our Directory Manager product allows you to designate authorized administrators that can modify other user's information. However, Directory Manager does not have 'self service' capabilities.
  • What do you think of the Exchange 2010/2013 Exchange Control Panel (ECP)?
    Honestly, the ECP is a nice "first try" and actually provides some great functionality for experienced system administrators. But it is slow, not customizable, performs no data validation, no photo upload support, does not have drop-down lists, and does not allow for read-only or hidden fields. So, we say, "thanks Microsoft" for shining a light on why our products are better!
  • I am going to rename or consolidate my domains in the future. Do I need to buy a new license?
    No, as long as your support and maintenance is current just let us know what the new DNS domain name of your new Active Directory is and we will transfer your license to the new domain and issue you a new license key.
  • Does Directory Update or Directory Manager support resource forests?
    Directory Update has an optional (additional charge) resource domain module that allows a user to logon using their accounts domain user account and then the software matches up that user with their account/mailbox in the resource domain. The mailbox/user account in the resource domain must be configured as a linked mailbox. Directory Manager is not used by all users but rather a subset, so Directory Manager could be installed in the resource forest and then authorized users could be given an "admin" in the resource forest.
  • Do you allow the user to reset or change their password?
    Directory Update v2.1 and later includes a feature that allows the user to change their own password. Directory Password is an add-on piece of software that allows an end user to reset their password or unlock their account via a web page. Directory Manager v2.1 and later includes a "Change Password" feature that will allow an authorized user to reset other user's passwords.
  • Can you replace the drop-down list fields with text boxes?
    Yes. Almost all the fields on User Information form can be either a drop-down list or a text field. In each fields "tag" in the DirectorySettings.XML file, look for the type=" " option. This can be set to either type="text", type="dropdown", or type="combo". See the documentation for more information. We prefer dropdown lists for as much information as possible. This helps to ensure users enter only specific data in to those attributes; many organizations use these for Exchange Address List and Dynamic Distribution Group creation and they must be accurate.
  • Why do some fields apppear with yellow boxes?
    In every situation where we have seen this, it is because the Google or Yahoo toolbar is installed and the "auto fill" feature is enabled. This does not cause Directory Update problems, but your users may ask why it shows up that way for them.
  • Do you sell or support SharePoint Web parts?
    Our software was designed to run as standalone applications in a Web broswer. Some of our customers have tweaked our inteface to run within SharePoint but we do not currently support that configuration. We are evaluating the feasibility of developing SharePoint versions of our applications.
  • Do you license you source code?
    No. We considered it. Talked to the lawyers. Too costly from a legal perspective and too much potential risk.
  • I want custom feature X - Will you include that for me?
    Custom changes and extensions are available for customers at the rate of $75.00 to $175 per hour. Most simple changes requires only a few hours of development. No work is performed without a mutually agreed upon estimate and work to be performed. See our Ithicos Services page for more information. Please contact us if you are interested in customizing the interface further to suit your needs. Our standard customization agreement requires that we retain all rights to the actual code and that we retain the option to incorporate the features in the future in to the commercial product. The quickest way to reach us is via the Support alias: support (@)
  • Will you incorporate feature X in to a future release?
    If a customer asks for something, more than likely we will try include it in a future version. The product has been "customer driven" since its inception. Almost all of the features in the current version were suggested by our customers.
  • What are the limitations of Directory Update?
    See the Limitations section on this page.
  • We have X domains in our organization; do you offer a site or enterprise license?
    We have a number of site license customers for Directory Update, Directory Manager, and Directory Password. The site license will save you money if you have more than about 6 or 7 domains in your organization. Directory Search is licensed on a per-forest basis. Site licenses are only granted to a single organization and all support requests must come through a single department.
  • What are the requirements for Directory Update, Directory Password, Directory Manager, and Directory Search?
    Our applications are simple Web applications based on the Microsoft .NET Framework v3.6 running on Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008 as well as IIS (6, 7, 7.5), and ASP.NET. See the Requirements section on each product's home page. The web server on which the software is installed must be in the same forest as the users that will use the software.
  • We extended our schema. Can you include X field on the User Information form?
    We have tried hard to get most all common attributes in the User Information form. Make sure you review the current version and the current documentation. Custom programming can be contracted at the custom rate of $75.00 per hour. Most new fields we add to the User Information form take between 1 and 2 hours.
  • Will I get free updates?
    Yes, for one year from date of purchase. Annual Support is available for each product for approximately 20% to 30% of the cost of the software if you are still under your current maintenance period. However if your support expires we will ask that you renew your support starting at the point at which your support expired.
  • Can I use the software without customizing it?
    No. Our applications are designed to be customized for each organization's needs. The XML files will need to be updated and customized for your organization. The version that ships with the product provides some generic examples and serves as a starting point. We STRONGLY recommend you get a text editor that shows XML tags in a friendly format. We recommend NotePad++. Most organizations can customize our software in under 45 minutes.
  • Will Directory Update, Directory Manager, Directory Password, and Directory Search run on a domain controller?
    Yes, many customers run our applications on a domain controller with no problems.
  • Will your software run on an Exchange Server?
    Yes, it has been tested with Exchange 2003, Exchange Server 2007, and Exchange Server 2010 and does not seem to interfere with Exchange.
  • Will your software run on a SharePoint server?
    In a word... "no". SharePoint is kinda pushy and "takes over" all web and .NET applications running on the IIS server. It is possible to exclude our appliation paths from SharePoint, but this requires a good SharePoint administrator on your side.
  • Will Directory Update, Directory Manager, Directory Password, and Directory Search run on the same Windows Server?
    Yes, all of our applications can run on the same server. Unless you plan on having hundreds of simultaneous users per hour each and every day, there is no reason to put our applications on separate servers.
  • Will Directory Update, Directory Manager, Directory Password, and Directory Search on virtualized servers?
    Yes, we do not care if the server is physical or virtual.
  • What happens if my maintenance period expires and I do not renew?
    You can keep using the software. Your license is perpetual. However, if you need support or want to upgrade, we will ask that you renew your maintnance starting at the point at which it expired.
  • Can Directory Search query more than one Active Directory forest or other LDAP directories?
    No. Directory Search can only query a Active Directory single forest.
  • Will your developers help me write some regular expressions for telephone number validation?
    We try to avoid opening a can of worms such as developing customer specific solutions. We will generally refer you to a web site such as RegEx Library if you need regular expressions. Our developers do contribute to that library.
  • Do you have any plans for a graphical editor for the XML files?
    We have tossed that idea around a few times and we have had some requests for this. We have no immediate plans for a comprehensive editor, though. This would increase the cost of the software by around 30% and that is something we have tried to avoid.
  • Do you recommend SSL?
    Yes, we urge you to enable SSL (HTTPS) on your Internet Information Services (IIS) servers. Our applications will run fine if you enable SSL.
  • Do your applications work against other LDAP directories?
    No. We considered an ADAM / Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD-LDS) version, but found very little market for it.
  • Can you install more than one instance of your appications on the same server?
    Only a single installed copy of the software can be used on a Windows server, but multiple instances can be configured in IIS each using a different source files folder and a different IIS virtual directory. All instances must share a common service account, though.
  • Do you support Windows x64?
    Yes. Windows Server 2008 R2 is our preferred server platform now. .NET Framework applications are compiled in real-time and can run as either 32-bit or 64-bit applications.
  • Your documentation is missing something I need to know, what should I do?
    Shame on us! Contact us: support (@) Try as we might, we can never anticipate every question everyone will ask. We are trying to move away from traditional printed and/or PDF documenation and towards a web-based / TechNote based approach to documentation.
  • Do your applications run on Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7?
    No. Our applications reuqire a minimum of IIS 6, the .NET Framework v3.5 / .NET Framework v4, and ASP.NET. Those are only available on Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008.
  • Why do you call it a "service account"? I can't find any services that your application installed.
    Correct! We require that you create a "service" account, but we don't really have a service. In truth, the account is more like a "proxy" account. Updates to the Active Directory are made on behalf of the end user using the service/proxy account. We call it a service account (incorrectly) because more people know what that is.