About Ithicos Solutions
Ithicos Solutions LLC is a registered Microsoft Partner based in Honolulu, Hawaii
but operating out of Colorado Springs, Colorado. The company was founded in 2007
as a company dedicated to the development, sales, and support of the tools that
were originally developed as part of a single consulting contract. Though the company
is based in Honolulu, Hawaii, we have customers in all corners of the globe. Our
original company's (ITCS Hawaii) business model has always been to empower customers
to do the job themselves through training, over-the-shoulder consulting, and group
Ithicos Solutions continues that tradition by enabling our customers (an organization’s
IT department) to empower their own customers (the end users) to be more efficient.
If you are wondering where the name Ithicos comes from, it was a name that we made
up (it was partially derived from “ITCS Hawaii”.) The first time we Googled the
word, we got no hits.
About our team
We are still a small company: we have no receptionist, no sales people, and no marketing
department. If you talk to someone in the company or e-mail someone in the company,
more than likely you are talking to one of the owners or developers. At any given
time, our entire staff may be on consulting projects or on site working with our
local customers. Our team includes:
Jim McBee – Jim is Ithicos Solutions's Managing Member. Chances
are you will be in touch with him either when ordering, activating your software,
or if you have an Active Directory issue. Jim's background is Exchange Server and
Active Directory consulting and has been an Exchange Server MVP since 2001. He is
best known for his writing and work in the Microsoft Exchange Server community including
speaking at events world-wide and publishing the Exchange 24Seven and Mastering
Exchange Server series of books.
He originally founded ITCS Hawaii in 1993 to provide training services and consulting
in Honolulu. In 2007, he helped found Ithicos Solutions LLC. He handles not only
provides day-to-day business administration support but often front-line technical
support for Ithicos Solutions. In his spare time, he skis, travels, hikes, and enjoys
time with his Siberian Huskies.
Matt Suriya – Matt holds a Masters Degree in Computer Science from
the University of Hawaii where he specialized in user interface design and medical
informatics as well as a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from Kasetsart University.
He is the lead architect for Ithicos Solutions overseeing development, quality assurance,
and software release management.
Matt's interests include technology, running, snowboarding, fitness, Renaissance
art, and travel. He is originally from Bangkok, Thailand but has traveled the world
extensively. In 2007, he co-founded Ithicos Solutions with Jim McBee.
A little about our roots
Necessity is the mother of invention. Our first application (Directory Update) started
out as a consulting project that Jim McBee and ITCS Hawaii was doing for a large
customer. The customer has a global web/LDAP directory used by approximately 120,000
people. The global directory was built by synchronizing from approximately one dozen
separate Active Directory forests using Microsoft Identity Lifecycle Management
The problem is that the telephone number, address, job title, and office information
in these separate Active Directory forests was not accurate. The customer did not
want to install the client version of GALMOD on all the desktops nor was the web-based
version of GALMOD flexible enough for their needs. Other third party solutions were
too expensive and cumbersome. Having each user submit a Help Desk ticket once or
twice a year would overwhelm the help desk. A custom Web application was designed
and developed for this organization's needs.
A few other customers inquired about using this application in their own environments.
From these requests, Ithicos Solutions and the Directory Update application was
born. (And, a few customers' Active Directory databases are now much more accurate.)
Frequently Ask Questions
We typically see some of the same questions very frequently. We have strived to
answer your questions before you have to ask. Also see our Tech Notes
section for more detailed technical explanations for some common questions.
Ithicos Solutions is a small Exchange and Active Directory consulting company. We
were founded by Jim McBee
an Exchange consultant, former Exchange 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.
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 four or five phone calls per week
Inevitably, two of those calls come in at 4AM Hawaii time. And, inveitably, two of those calls is someone
selling Search Engine Optimization or credit card processing servies. 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.
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.
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! Exchange 2016 and Office 365 control panels are a bit better but still lack
validation and are not particularly easy to use.
Yes and no. Our applications are intended be entirely on-premises applications that run on an IIS server within *your* domain and that
update *your* Active Directory domain. If you have configured your Active Directory to replicate with Office 365, then any changes your
users make via our applications will replicate to your Office 365 directory. We are currently working on additional feature sets that will more
tightly integrate with some Office 365 features such as larger photos.
Yes we do. We recommend regular updates to your Windows and .NET Framework components by using Windows Update (or other technology) to apply all recommended and
critical updates. We also recommend periodically applying Windows server roll-ups or convenience updates. It is critical that you keep your operating systems
up-to-date both for application stability but also security.
The only interface component that we will directly support helping you change is the logo and labels for existing fields. Many screen and text
colors can be changed via the style.css file or via the Telerik "skins" in the web.config. However, we have found that often assisting our customers
in performing significant changes ends up being projects that take many hours. As a small business, we have to be careful about what projects we undertake.
Customization services are sometimes available on a time and materials basis.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
No. We considered it. Talked to the lawyers. Too costly from a legal perspective
and too much potential risk.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
We offer limited Exchange and Active Directory consulting services as well as limited consulting for our applications. Any consulting service
we perform is typically focused as an "over-the-shoulder" engagement where we train you to do the work yourself.
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.
See the Limitations section on this page.
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.
Our applications are simple Web applications based on the Microsoft .NET Framework
v4.x running on Windows Server 2008, 2012 or 2016 as well as IIS (7,
7.5, 8, 8.5, or 10), 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 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.
Yes, for one year from date of purchase. Annual
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.
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.
Yes, many customers run our applications on a domain controller with no problems.
Yes, it has been tested with Exchange 2003, Exchange Server 2007, and Exchange Server
2010 and does not seem to interfere with Exchange.
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.
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.
Yes, we do not care if the server is physical or virtual.
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.
No. Directory Search can only query a single Active Directory forest.
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.
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.
Yes, we urge you to enable SSL (HTTPS) on your Internet Information Services (IIS)
servers. Our applications will run fine if you enable SSL.
No. We considered an ADAM / Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD-LDS)
version, but found very little market for it.
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.
Yes. Windows Server 2008 R2 / Windows Server 2012 R2 / Windows Server 2016 are our preferred server platforms now. .NET Framework
applications are compiled in real-time and can run as either 32-bit or 64-bit applications but we are no longer supporting the software on 32-bit operating systems.
Shame on us! Contact us: email@example.com
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.
No. Our applications require a minimum of IIS 6, the .NET
Framework v4, and ASP.NET. Those are only available on Windows Server including Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows
Server 2012, and Windows Server 2016.
Correct! We require that you create a "service" account, but we don't really have
a service. In truth, the account functions 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