Exchange Updates – December 2019

Exchange2019Logo

The Exchange Team released the quarterly Cumulative Updates for Exchange Server 2019 as well as Exchange 2016. One significant change with these updates is the requirement for .NET Framework 4.8, as announced earlier. Also, Exchange 2019 CU4 comes with an updated Exchange calculator. Links to the updates as well as a description of changes and fixes are described below.

VersionBuildKBDownloadUMLPSchema
Exchange 2019 CU415.2.529.5 KB4522149VLSC N
Exchange 2016 CU1515.1.1913.5 KB4522150DownloadUMLPN

Exchange 2019 CU4 fixes:

  • 4528696 Exchange PowerShell cmdlets take longer time to run in Exchange Server 2019
  • 4528695 Event ID 4009 when using SubjectOrBodyMatchesPatterns on Edge server in Exchange Server 2019
  • 4528694 Can’t open .ics file in Outlook on the web in Exchange Server 2019
  • 4528692 “A parameter was specified that isn’t valid” error when creating transport rule in Exchange Server 2019
  • 4523519 Set-SendConnector doesn’t work for Exchange Server in hybrid scenarios with Edge Server installed
  • 4528688 Only one recipient shows when saving draft by using Exchange ActiveSync version 16.0 in Exchange Server 2019
  • 4528693 Get-CalendarDiagnosticLog is proxied for queries within the same forest in Exchange Server 2019
  • 4528687 NotificationClient logs aren’t purged and consume lots of disk in Exchange Server 2019
  • 4528689 Outlook on the web shows MailTip when recipients equal the large audience size in Exchange Server 2019
  • 4528690 Can’t move or delete folder in Outlook online mode if the destination has a folder with the same name in Exchange Server 2019
  • 4532744 System.ArgumentNullException when you use Set-user to assign block legacy auth policy in Exchange Server 2019
  • 4532747 Address list separation not working for a user without a mailbox in Exchange Server 2019
  • 4523171 Description of the security update for Microsoft Exchange Server 2019, 2016, and 2013: November 12, 2019

Exchange 2016 CU15 fixes:

  • 4515256 “The function cannot be performed…” error when you send a message that’s open for a long time in Exchange Server 2016
  • 4528693 Get-CalendarDiagnosticLog is proxied for queries within the same forest in Exchange Server 2016
  • 4523519 Set-SendConnector doesn’t work for Exchange Server in hybrid scenarios with Edge Server installed
  • 4528690 Can’t move or delete folder in Outlook online mode if the destination has a folder with the same name in Exchange Server 2016
  • 4528687 NotificationClient logs aren’t purged and consume lots of disk in Exchange Server 2016
  • 4528689 Outlook on the web shows MailTip when recipients equal the large audience size in Exchange Server 2016
  • 4528688 Only one recipient shows when saving draft by using Exchange ActiveSync version 16.0 in Exchange Server 2016
  • 4528695 Event ID 4009 when using SubjectOrBodyMatchesPatterns on Edge server in Exchange Server 2016
  • 4528694 Can’t open .ics file in Outlook on the web in Exchange Server 2016
  • 4528692 “A parameter was specified that isn’t valid” error when creating transport rule in Exchange Server 2016
  • 4515257 Hash mismatch is reported for Exchange DLLs in the bin directory of Exchange Server 2016
  • 4528696 Exchange PowerShell cmdlets take longer time to run in Exchange Server 2016
  • 4532747 Address list separation not working for a user without a mailbox in Exchange Server 2016
  • 4523171 Description of the security update for Microsoft Exchange Server 2019, 2016, and 2013: November 12, 2019

Notes:

  • These Cumulative Updates do not contain schema changes compared to their previous Cumulative Update.
  • When upgrading from an n-2 or earlier version of Exchange, or an early version of the .NET Framework, consult Upgrade Paths for CU’s & .NET.
  • Don’t forget to put the Exchange server in maintenance mode prior to updating. Regardless, setup will put the server in server-wide offline mode post-analysis, before making actual changes.
  • When using Exchange hybrid deployments or Exchange Online Archiving (EOA), you are required to delay installing at most one version (n-1).
  • If you want to speed up the update process for systems without internet access, you can follow the procedure described here to disable publisher’s certificate revocation checking.
  • Cumulative Updates can be installed directly; no need to install RTM prior to installing Cumulative Updates.
  • Once installed, you can’t uninstall a Cumulative Update nor any of the installed Exchange server roles.
  • The order of installation shouldn’t matter with the “every server is an island” concept, yet recommended is to upgrade internet-facing, non-internet-facing servers first, followed by Edge Transports.

Caution:

As for any update, I recommend to thoroughly test updates in a test environment prior to implementing them in production. When you lack such facilities, hold out a few days and monitor the comments on the original publication or forums for any issues.

Blocking Self-Service Purchases

o365logo

On October 23rd, Microsoft announced – a little out of the blue – they were going to introduce self-service purchase options for users on November 19th. The details of this change were put forward in a post in the message center, article MC193609 to be exact. In short, this option would introduce the following changes for commercial tenants:

  • Allow end users to purchase Power Platform related subscriptions using their own payment method, e.g. Power Apps, Automate (formerly Flow) or PowerBI Pro.
  • These subscriptions could be made in their employee’s tenant, with the exception of government, non-profit and education.
  • It would not end with Power Platform subscriptions.
  • To make purchases, end users would be able to open a restricted view of the Microsoft 365 Admin Center.

While a handful individuals cheered ‘Power to the end user’, the vast majority of organizations were very unhappy with this development to say the least. This adoption booster would not only be opposing Microsoft’s own ‘Cloud on your terms’ and ‘Your tenant, your data’ principles they have been telling customers for years, it could also severely impact enterprise security and governance policies (or absence thereof), let alone lead to discussions when people expense their PowerBI Pro purchase. And I’m not even talking about the absence of admin controls.

So, swiftly after the massive backlash on social media, UserVoice as well as other channels, the announcement was altered, and a FAQ was published, which you can read here. The change itself was postponed until January 14th, 2020, and organizations would be handed controls to turn self-service purchases off before roll out.

Rather quietly, details on how to disable self-service purchase have been added to the FAQ. To read on how to accomplish this, continue reading my original blog post over at ENow by clicking here.

Security Updates Exchange 2013-2019

Exchange2019LogoA quick blog on recently published security updates for Exchange Server 2013 up to Exchange Server 2019. These fixes address the following vulnerabilities:

  • CVE-2019-1373: Microsoft Exchange Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

The CVE documents contain more details on the vulnerabilities. The exploits can be fixed by single security update, which you can find in the table below per current Exchange version.

ExchangeDownloadBuildKBSupersedes
Exchange 2019 CU3Download15.2.464.7 KB4523171KB4515832
Exchange 2019 CU2Download15.2.397.9 KB4523171 KB4515832
Exchange 2016 CU14Download15.1.1847.5 KB4523171 KB4515832
Exchange 2016 CU13Download15.1.1779.7 KB4523171 KB4515832
Exchange 2013 CU23Download15.0.1497.4 KB4523171 KB4509409

Be advised that the Security Updates for Exchange 2013-2019 are Cumulative Update level specific. Unfortunately, the security update carries the same name for different CUs, and you cannot apply the update for Exchange 2016 CU14 to Exchange 2016 CU13. I would suggest tagging the Cumulative Update in the file name when you store it, e.g. Exchange2016-CU14-KB4523171-x64-en.msp.

As with any patch or update, I’d recommend to apply this in a acceptance environment first, prior to implementing it in production.

Ignite 2019: Exchange & Related Sessions

ignite2019Note: If you are looking for the script to download Ignite contents, you can find it at the TechNet Gallery or Github.

It shouldn’t be a surprise to you, but this is the week of Ignite 2019 in Orlando, where Microsoft and other speakers will not only tell you about the latest and greatest, and how to implement recent products and use their technologies, but also draw more of the roadmap of things to come. Unfortunately, I won’t be attending Ignite (again), but similar to last year Microsoft will be live streaming keynotes, breakouts as well as theater sessions. So, you can watch stuff as it happens in the comfort of your own home or on-demand at a later time.

To access the catalog, including live streams, you can of course dive in the 1981 sessions located on the Ignite portal. Details on sessions, speakers etc. as well as filtering options are already present to help you pick what to watch, and recorded media will be added as it becomes available, including slidedecks.

For your convenience, I made a short list of sessions on Exchange Server, related technologies such as Outlook Mobile but also Teams and Groups, as well as some potentially interesting IT Pros sessions on Graph:

Session When Title Speakers
BRK2296 11/4/2019 2:15 PM Communication in Microsoft 365: Outlook and Teams integration opportunities Brandon Haist
THR2269 11/4/2019 3:00 PM Using Microsoft Teams: What’s new and how to get started Aya Tange, Jeremy Chapman
THR3039 11/4/2019 3:25 PM What’s new in the Office Customization Tool Chris Hopkins
BRK3095 11/4/2019 4:30 PM Understanding the importance of collaboration in modern work and the role O365 plays to unlock your team?s productivity Ronald Pessner, Patrick Gan, Dan Costenaro, Megan Dohnal
BRK2056 11/4/2019 4:30 PM Embrace Office 365 Groups: What’s new and what’s next Mike McLean, Venkat Ayyadevara
BRK2001 11/4/2019 4:30 PM What’s amazing and new in calendaring in Outlook Julia Foran
THR3084 11/4/2019 5:45 PM Microsoft 365 admin: Ask us anything Aaron Woo, Ben Appleby, Alice Appleton, Tim Heeney, Karissa Larson, Yeonsoo Kim
THR1131 11/4/2019 6:20 PM The solution to intranet adoption…Microsoft Teams Daniel Diefendorf
BRK3013 11/5/2019 9:00 AM Modern Exchange IT admin experiences Rahul Gupta, Eddie Savage
BRK1079 11/5/2019 10:15 AM Five hybrid cloud backup and disaster recovery mistakes to avoid Douglas Ko, Shawn Gifford, Carl Holzhauer, Julian Simpson
BRK3140 11/5/2019 10:15 AM Notes from the field: Successfully steering the government to Office 365 Michael Van Horenbeeck
BRK3012 11/5/2019 10:15 AM Exchange hybrid: Advanced scenarios, roadmap, and real-world stories! Andy Ryan, William Holmes
THR2016 11/5/2019 10:20 AM Outlook for Windows: What’s new and what’s next David Gorelik
THR3082 11/5/2019 10:55 AM Protect against phishing and other cyberthreats with Microsoft 365 Business David Bjurman-Birr
THR3083 11/5/2019 12:40 PM Office 365 Groups: Ask us anything Mike McLean, Venkat Ayyadevara, Kolvekar Loveleen Ramachandra, Nivedita Rajani, Salil Kakkar, Arunkumaran Varadharajan
THR2252 11/5/2019 1:50 PM How Microsoft manages its own employee Office 365 tenancy David Haam, David Johnson, Darren Moffatt
ADM50 11/5/2019 2:00 PM Managing across tenant boundaries in Office 365 Steve Silverberg, Robert Lowe
BRK2003 11/6/2019 9:00 AM Get ahead with Outlook mobile: Intelligent technology that helps you stay on top of your day Tali Roth, Michael Palermiti
MLS1035 11/6/2019 9:15 AM Microsoft Graph 101 for developers and IT professionals Yina Arenas, Jeremy Thake
THR3003 11/6/2019 10:55 AM New, fast, and reliable Exchange Online PowerShell cmdlets Tony Redmond
BRK3311 11/6/2019 11:30 AM Outlook mobile: The gold standard for secure communications in the enterprise Ross Smith, Lexi Torres
BRK2005 11/6/2019 12:45 PM Outlook for Mac – re-invented! Vivek Kumar, Alessio Roic
THR2270 11/6/2019 1:50 PM Microsoft Teams for IT admins: What’s new and what you need to know with Anne Michels Anne Michels, Jeremy Chapman
THR2007 11/7/2019 9:00 AM Stop organizing your own meetings ? Let Scheduler do it for you Warren Johnson
BRK3264 11/7/2019 10:15 AM Transform collaboration and fight shadow IT with Office 365 groups Arunkumaran Varadharajan, Sahil Arora
THR3033 11/7/2019 11:30 AM Reading SMTP headers like a boss Jeff Guillet
BRK2059 11/7/2019 11:30 AM Data residency with Office 365 datacenters Brian Day, Adriana Wood
THR2217 11/7/2019 12:05 PM Email is the easy part: Five pitfalls to avoid in tenant-to-tenant migrations Paul Robichaux
BRK3144 11/7/2019 1:00 PM The MVP guide to Office 365 security, Exchange Online edition Theresa Miller
BRK3142 11/7/2019 2:15 PM Things you never knew about Microsoft Teams that might be important some day Tony Redmond
BRK3312 11/7/2019 3:15 PM Office 365 email enhancements that makes your organization smart, safe, and secure Leena Sheth, Kevin Shaughnessy
BRK2104 11/7/2019 3:15 PM Your users are under attack! Strengthen your anti-phishing defense with these O365 ATP best practices Girish Chander
BRK2058 11/8/2019 9:00 AM Deploy Office 365 groups at scale to power Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Yammer, and SharePoint Salil Kakkar, Martina Grom
BRK2002 11/8/2019 9:00 AM There is a new Outlook on the web: See what’s new, fresh, and exciting David Meyers
BRK2090 11/8/2019 9:15 AM Will Microsoft Teams take over from email? Tony Redmond
BRK3248 11/8/2019 10:15 AM Securing Exchange Online from modern threats Brandon Koeller
BRK3257 11/8/2019 10:30 AM Leverage the cloud to strengthen your on-premises Active Directory security Charity Shelbourne, Mark Morowczynski
THR3034 11/8/2019 12:05 PM Twenty minutes to a secure environment Jeff Guillet

Note that the table above was constructed using the Get-EventSession script. I’ll be closely monitoring things this week to try to make sure it can retrieve Ignite contents as it gets published and cope with any changes in publishing as happened in recent years during the event.

Exchange Updates – Sep. 2019

Exchange2019LogoToday, the Exchange Team released the quarterly Cumulative Updates for Exchange Server 2019 as well as Exchange 2016. The fixes in each release, product downloads are described below:

VersionBuildKBDownloadUMLPSchema
Exchange 2019 CU315.2.464.5KB4514141VLSC N
Exchange 2016 CU1415.1.1847.3KB4514140DownloadUMLPN

Exchange 2019 CU3 fixes:

  • 4515257 Hash mismatch is reported for Exchange DLLs in the bin directory of Exchange Server 2019
  • 4502159 Adding or removing mailbox permission in EAC doesn’t address the msExchDelegateListLink attribute in Exchange Server 2019 and 2016
  • 4515276 Room mailbox accepts a meeting as “Free” if a booking delegate is set in Exchange Server 2019 and 2016
  • 4515275 Enable Get/Restore-RecoverableItems to work with Purges folder in Exchange Server 2019 and 2016
  • 4515274 AutodiscoverV2 request returns REST API endpoint not AutoDiscoverV1 endpoint in Exchange Server 2019 and 2016
  • 4515269 SentToMemberOf shows every recipient type not distribution groups when you create transport rule in Exchange Server 2019 and 2016
  • 4515272 Message is blocked in “SMTP Delivery to Mailbox” queue if exchange server is added in groups of a child domain in Exchange Server 2019 and 2016
  • 4515271 Can’t convert a migrated remote user mailbox to shared in Exchange Server 2019 and 2016
  • 4515270 SubmissionQueueLengthMonitor shows “System.ArgumentException: Transition timeout…” in Exchange Server 2019 and 2016
  • 4515267 NDR occurs when you resend message from alternate journaling mailbox to journaling mailbox in Exchange Server 2019 and 2016
  • 4515265 Removing In-Place Hold doesn’t work for mailboxes in different domains in Exchange Server 2019 and 2016
  • 4515264 FindPeople request from Skype for Business on Mac fails with “Invalid Shape Specification” in Exchange Server 2019 and 2016
  • 4515263 Hide the “Validate-MailFlowThroughFrontDoor” command for Exchange Server 2019 and 2016
  • 4515262 Enable Remove-MobileDevice to delete mobile devices after migrating to Office 365 from Exchange Server 2019 and 2016
  • 4515261 Can’t copy eDiscovery search results for mailboxes with Exchange online archives in Office 365 in Exchange Server 2019 and 2016
  • 4515273 Mailbox auditing fails when using SHA1Managed in Exchange Server 2019 and 2016
  • 4515266 Infinite loop in Recurrence.GetNumberOfYearsBetween() with the Japanese calendar in Exchange Server 2019 and 2016
  • 4520319 S/MIME signed reply draft behaves like the first message in conversation in Exchange Server 2019 and 2016
  • 4515832 Description of the security update for Microsoft Exchange Server 2019 and 2016: September 10, 2019

Exchange 2016 CU14 fixes:

  • 4515255 “X-InnerException: Microsoft.Mapi.MapiExceptionRpcServerTooBusy” error when you try to use a mailbox in Exchange Server 2016
  • 4515254 Event 1009 frequently occurs in application logs for lagged database copies in Exchange Server 2016
  • 4502159 Adding or removing mailbox permission in EAC doesn’t address the msExchDelegateListLink attribute in Exchange Server 2016
  • 4515276 Room mailbox accepts a meeting as “Free” if a booking delegate is set in Exchange Server 2016
  • 4515275 Enable Get/Restore-RecoverableItems to work with Purges folder in Exchange Server 2016
  • 4515274 AutodiscoverV2 request returns REST API endpoint not AutoDiscoverV1 endpoint in Exchange Server 2016
  • 4515269 SentToMemberOf shows every recipient type not distribution groups when creating transport rule in Exchange Server 2016
  • 4515272 Message is blocked in “SMTP Delivery to Mailbox” queue if exchange server is added in groups of a child domain in Exchange Server 2016
  • 4515271 Can’t convert a migrated remote user mailbox to shared in Exchange Server 2016
  • 4515270 SubmissionQueueLengthMonitor shows “System.ArgumentException: Transition timeout…” in Exchange Server 2016
  • 4515267 NDR occurs when you resend message from alternate journaling mailbox to journaling mailbox in Exchange Server 2016
  • 4515265 Removing In-Place Hold doesn’t work for mailboxes in different domains in Exchange Server 2016
  • 4515264 FindPeople request from Skype for Business on Mac fails with “Invalid Shape Specification” in Exchange Server 2016
  • 4515263 Hide the “Validate-MailFlowThroughFrontDoor” command for Exchange Server 2016
  • 4515262 Enable Remove-MobileDevice to delete mobile devices after migrating to Office 365 from Exchange Server 2016
  • 4515261 Can’t copy eDiscovery search results for mailboxes with Exchange online archives in Office 365 in Exchange Server 2016
  • 4515273 Mailbox auditing fails when you use SHA1Managed in Exchange Server 2016
  • 4515266 Infinite loop in Recurrence.GetNumberOfYearsBetween() with the Japanese calendar in Exchange Server 2016
  • 4520319 S/MIME signed reply draft behaves like the first message in conversation in Exchange Server 2016
  • 4515832 Description of the security update for Microsoft Exchange Server 2019 and 2016: September 10, 2019

Notes:

  • These Cumulative Updates do not contain schema changes compared to their previous Cumulative Update.
  • When upgrading from an n-2 or earlier version of Exchange, or an early version of the .NET Framework, consult Upgrade Paths for CU’s & .NET.
  • Don’t forget to put the Exchange server in maintenance mode prior to updating. Regardless, setup will put the server in server-wide offline mode post-analysis, before making actual changes.
  • When using Exchange hybrid deployments or Exchange Online Archiving (EOA), you are required to delay installing at most one version (n-1).
  • If you want to speed up the update process for systems without internet access, you can follow the procedure described here to disable publisher’s certificate revocation checking.
  • Cumulative Updates can be installed directly; no need to install RTM prior to installing Cumulative Updates.
  • Once installed, you can’t uninstall a Cumulative Update nor any of the installed Exchange server roles.
  • The order of installation shouldn’t matter with the “every server is an island” concept, yet recommended is to upgrade internet-facing, non-internet-facing servers first, followed by Edge Transports.

Caution:

As for any update, I recommend to thoroughly test updates in a test environment prior to implementing them in production. When you lack such facilities, hold out a few days and monitor the comments on the original publication or forums for any issues.

Security Updates Exchange 2016 & 2019 (Sep2019)

Today, Microsoft published security fixes for Exchange Server 2016 and 2019. These fixes address the following vulnerabilities:

The CVE documents contain more details on the vulnerabilities. These exploits can be fixed by single security updates; you can download them here:

VersionLinksBuildKB
2019 CU2Download15.2.397.6KB4515832
2019 CU1Download15.2.330.10KB4515832
2016 CU13Download15.1.1779.5KB4515832
2016 CU12Download15.1.1713.9KB4515832

Note: KB4515832 supersedes KB4509409 and KB4509408.

Be advised that these Security Updates are Cumulative Update level specific. Unfortunately, the security update carries the same name for different CU’s, and you cannot apply the same update for Exchange 2016 CU13 to Exchange 2016 CU12. I would suggest tagging the Cumulative Update in the file name when you store it, e.g. Exchange2016-KB4515832-x64-en_CU11.msp.

As with any patch or update, I’d recommend to apply this in a acceptance environment first, prior to implementing it in production.

Teams Mobile & Account Switching

Teams

Update: Added note about Intune App Protection policies.

One of the most requested features for Microsoft Teams on UserVoice is the ability to switch accounts. When you are working in consulting like me, chances are you need to switch accounts very often. This means you need to log in and out of every account to interact with their or guest access teams. Meanwhile your company might also be sending you messages, so you have to log in there as well. Now, on desktops one can leverage browsers’ private mode to accomplish simultaneous logons, but for mobile clients such alternative does not exist. All in all, this situation is far from ideal.

Now, the mobile workforce can rejoice, as iOS and Android received a client update (1.0.8.0 on iOS, don’t have Android device at hand currently). The updated client allows them to add more than one account, and quickly (and I mean quickly) switch between these accounts and guest accounts.

image
More button

To add an account, open the menu (), open Settings and select Add account at the bottom to add an existing account to your configuration.

After you finish adding accounts, you can switch between accounts by opening the menu, and selecting one of the accounts or guest access which are shown at the bottom, grouped with the account they belong to. Example is shown right (yes, this is dark mode).

To remove an account, activate the account (by selecting it or one guest access), open the menu, and select Settings and Sign Out.

Another benefit is when your tenant is Azure Information Protection enabled. After logging in, you get prompted and need to restart the Teams app. That annoyance doesn’t happen when switching accounts, as the app remains logged in when switching.

Note that at the moment, badges are only updated within the same account and guest access.

raNote that you cannot configure more than one account which has Intune App Protection configured. If you already have an IAP-enabled account and another gets IAP enabled, Teams requires you to pick one of the IAP accounts to be removed from the Teams app configuration.

Now, the only thing left to do is hope this functionality will arrive for Teams Desktop soon.

Security Updates Exchange 2010-2019

A quick blog that rather silently, Microsoft published hotfixes for a number of products few days ago, including Exchange Server 2010 up to Exchange Server 2019. These fixes address the following vulnerabilities:

  • CVE-2019-1084: Microsoft Exchange Information Disclosure Vulnerability, allowing non-printable characters to be added to Display Names.
  • CVE-2019-1136: Microsoft Exchange Server Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability, allowing NTLM MITM elevation permissions or impersonation through Exchange Web Services. This sounds like a variation on the NTLM MITM exploit which was fixed earlier this year with the February update cycle.
  • CVE-2019-1137: Microsoft Exchange Server Spoofing Vulnerability, allowing for cross-site scripting (XSS).

The CVE documents contain more details on the vulnerabilities. These exploits can be fixed by single security updates; you can download them here:

VersionCVE
2019
1084
CVE
2019
1136
CVE
2019
1137
DownloadBuildKB
2019 CU2XXLink15.2.397.54509408
2019 CU1XXLink15.2.330.94509408
2016 CU13XXXLink15.1.1779.44509409
2016 CU12XXXLink15.1.1713.84509409
2013 CU23XXXLink15.0.1497.34509409
2010 SP3 RU29XXLink14.3.468.04509410

Be advised that the Security Updates for Exchange 2013-2019 are Cumulative Update level specific. Unfortunately, the security update carries the same name for different CU’s, and you cannot apply the update for Exchange 2016 CU12 to Exchange 2016 CU11. I would suggest tagging the Cumulative Update in the file name when you store it, e.g. Exchange2016-KB4503027-x64-en_CU11.msp.

As with any patch or update, I’d recommend to apply this in a acceptance environment first, prior to implementing it in production.

Exchange Hybrid Agent GA

Ex2013 LogoIn February, Microsoft released the initial public preview version of the Hybrid Agent. The purpose of the Hybrid Agent, also branded as the “Exchange Modern Hybrid Topology”, is to simplify the process of setting up and deploying Microsoft Exchange Hybrid for Exchange 2010 and later deployments, where full “classic” Exchange Hybrid is not an option.

It can also address scenarios where deploying the Hybrid Agent would satisfy organizational migration requirements. For example, moving mailboxes between Exchange Online and Exchange on-premises while providing rich-coexistence features, but without requiring (re)configuration of the publishing of Exchange services. Other functionality the Hybrid Agent doesn’t offer is mail transport. Future builds of the Hybrid Agent might introduce cross-premises functionality, such as Send As delegations as demonstrated at Microsoft Ignite last year.

This week, the Hybrid Agent Public reached General Availability status. In the following article for ENow, I discuss the major changes in the agent since the initial Preview release.

Read the full article on the ENow Software blog.

MVP’s around the World (2019)

mvp

Update: Updated statistics based on award categories (not people) due to the number of multi-category awardees.

In previous years, I performed some comparisons on the MVP population after every award cycle. So, time to get some fresh statistics after July 2019 award cycle.

For comparison, I had a look at the public MVP statistics of July 3rd, 2018 against those of July 3rd, 2019, as the public MVP site was closed the first two days. From the numbers, it is clear that this cycle the number of MVPs went down again, from 3.030 last year, to 2.634 now (-13%).

The following table contains the changes per award category from July 2018 to
July 2019:

CompetenceJul-18Jul-19Change
AI588445%
Business Applications1641660%
Cloud and Datacenter Management303232-23%
Data Platform369332-10%
Enterprise Mobility122106-13%
Microsoft Azure444409-8%
Office Development334742%
Office Apps & Services606491-19%
Developer Technologies781644-17%
Windows and Devices for IT8757-34%
Windows Development186119-37%
Total MVPs30662634-14%

Few notes:

  • The total number of MVP’s doesn’t equal the total number of awards, as people can be awarded in more than one category; there are 52 MVP’s with multiple award categories (one even in 3 categories).
  • Former single product categories, such as Access or OneNote, were moved under the Office Apps & Services category (which was rebranded from Office Servers & Services). Those numbers are merged for the 2018 column.
  • When comparing to earlier years, the award categories were restructured in 2017, e.g. Visual Studio and Development Technologies became Developer Technologies.

When zooming in on the Office Apps & Services category, the awards per country are shown below. Be advised that 26 are anonymous MVP’s or have profiles without location.

CountryJul’18Jul’19CountryJul’18Jul’19CountryJul’18 Jul’19
ARE12GBR2328POL24
AUS1720HRV54PRK612
AUT23HUN22PRT32
BEL88IND1213RUS58
BGR12IRL11SAU11
BIH11ISR1SGP33
BRA210ITA86SLV1
CAN2831JOR11SRB11
CHE42JPN1122SVK11
CHN1416LKA41SVN12
COL24MEX25SWE65
CRI1MKD22THA13
CZE32MYS11TUR42
DEU1725NGA11TWN3
DNK26NLD1321UKR12
EGY11NOR56URY11
ESP58NPL11USA89120
FIN23NZL46ZAF45
FRA1620PAK22

The countries Argentina, Chile, Latvia, Peru, Romania and Greece are no longer represented in the Office Apps & Services category, while Costa Rica, Israel, Taiwan and El Salvador are new to the table.

MonthOct
2016
Jan
2017
Jun
2017
Jul
2017
Jun
2018
Jul
2018
Mar
2019
Jul
2019
OSS538505
(-7%)
532
(+5%)
449
(-16%)
490
(+2%)
383
(-21%)
622
(+62%)
491
(-22%)
TotalN/AN/A41343490
(-16%)
3815
(+2%)
3030
(-21%)
3205
(+6%)
2635
(-18%)

Above are the number of Office Apps & Services and total number of MVP’s over the last years. Do note that for March and July 2019 the former product categories are included in the Office Apps & Services category, hence why I included March to have a sense of the changes in the July cycle.

If you have questions or comments, please send them in the comments below.