MVP’s around the world

image.pngMid-2017, I  had a look at the publicly available statistics on MVP’s around the world after Microsoft changed their MVP award renewal regime. This was to check if there was any impact noticeable. With the regime change, also came a change that MVP’s can be awarded on a monthly basis. This means people can be awarded every month; maybe not in every category, but overall yes.

For the start of 2018, let’s first have a look at the total population of MVP’s. The total number of MVP’s went down from 3410 in July last year, to 3695 now (-15%). The table below contains the number of awards per category, and the change from July 2017 to January 2018:

Competence Jul2017 Jan2018 Change
Access 37 39 +5%
AI 1 20 +1900%
Business Solutions 193 214 +11%
Cloud and Datacenter Management 392 412 +5%
Data Platform 399 422 +6%
Enterprise Mobility 148 157 +6%
Excel 94 104 +11%
Microsoft Azure 311 350 +13%
Office Development 38 42 +11%
Office Servers and Services 449 480 +7%
OneNote 15 15 0%
Outlook 14 14 0%
PowerPoint 36 37 +3%
Visio 14 14 0%
Visual Studio and Development Technologies 901 1002 +11%
Windows and Devices for IT 148 136 -8%
Windows Development 277 266 -4%
Word 23 23 0%
Total 3490 3747 +7%

Note: The total number of MVP’s doesn’t equal the total number of competences, as people can be awarded in more than one category.

Overall, the numbers are up in most categories. However, as stated before, a big sanitation round is expected for Q3’2018, as this year the former October and January awardees will be up for the new yearly renewal cycle, which takes place mid-2018. The new category introduced last year, Artificial Intelligence, saw a significant number of folks being added.

When zooming in on the Office Servers and Services MVP’s category, the awards per country is shown in the following heath map and table. Note that anonymous MVP’s are not taken into account:

image

Country Number Country Number Country Number
Argentina 2 (0%) India 12 (0%) Russia 9 (12%)
Australia 23 (-18%) Ireland 1 (-50%) Saudi Arabia 1 (100%)
Austria 2 (100%) Israel 1 (0%) Serbia 1 (0%)
Belarus 1 (100%) Italy 10 (-10%) Singapore 4 (0%)
Belgium 7 (0%) Japan 18 (-6%) Slovakia 1 (0%)
Bosnia-Herzegovina 2 (-34%) Jordan 1 (100%) Slovenia 2 (0%)
Brazil 4 (-56%) Korea 7 (-37%) South Africa 5 (0%)
Brunei Darussalam 1 (0%) Kuwait 1 (0%) Spain 6 (0%)
Bulgaria 1 (-50%) Latvia 1 (0%) Sri Lanka 5 (-38%)
Canada 38 (-14%) Macedonia F.Y.R.O 1 (-50%) Sweden 8 (-12%)
Chile 1 (-50%) Malaysia 2 (-34%) Switzerland 5 (-29%)
China 15 (-22%) Mexico 4 (0%) Thailand 1 (0%)
Colombia 2 (-34%) Nepal 1 (100%) The Netherlands 15 (25%)
Croatia 6 (20%) New Caledonia 1 (100%) Turkey 5 (25%)
Czech Republic 4 (100%) New Zealand 5 (0%) Ukraine 2 (0%)
Denmark 4 (0%) Norway 6 (20%) United Arab Emirates 3 (-40%)
Egypt 2 (0%) Pakistan 2 (0%) United Kingdom 25 (0%)
Finland 2 (0%) Palestine 1 (0%) United States 111 (5%)
France 16 (0%) Peru 2 (100%) Uruguay 1 (0%)
Germany 19 (26%) Poland 3 (0%) Vietnam 2 (-50%)
Greece 1 (0%) Portugal 4 (-20%) TOTAL 480 (-5%)
Hungary 4 (33%) Romania 2 (0%)
When looking at the changes over the last year (January 2017 – January 2018), the total number went down from 505 to 480 (-5%). As the Office Servers and Services category contains quite a few long-standing, former October or January MVP awardees, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for this year’s renewal cycle.


Security Updates for Exchange 2013 & 2016

Despite the quarterly wave of Cumulative Updates being imminent, CVE-2017-11932 and ADV170023 warranted a quick release of Security Update KB4045655 for current versions of Exchange 2013 and Exchange 2016.

This security update fixes a vulnerability in OWA, which could allow elevation of privilege or spoofing if an attacker sends an email that has a specially crafted attachment to a vulnerable Exchange server.

You can download the security updates here:

Be advised the update may leave your Exchange services in a disabled state, despite installing correctly. In those cases, reconfigure those services to Automatic and start them manually.

Also note that this security update overrides an earlier update, KB4036108, which might cause Calendar Sharing issues when split DNS is used.

Security updates are Cumulative Update level specific. Be advised that updates may carry the same name, e.g. the update for CU7 and the one for CU6 are both Exchange2016-KB4045655-x64-en.msp. I suggest adding some form of Cumulative Update identification to the file name when archiving it, e.g. Exchange2016-KB4045655-x64-en-CU7.msp.

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

 

Exchange Updates – September 2017

Ex2013 LogoHoneymoon caused some backlog, and one of the things to post was that the Exchange Team released the September updates for Exchange Server 2013 and 2016. Like the previous Cumulative Updates for these Exchange versions, Exchange 2013 CU18 and Exchange 2016 CU7 require .NET Framework 4.6.2; NET Framework 4.7.1 is currently being tested (4.7 will be skipped), and support for 4.7.1 is expected for the December updates.

Version Build KB Article Download UMLP Schema Changes
Exchange 2016 CU7 15.1.1261.35 KB4018115 Download UMLP Yes
Exchange 2013 CU18 15.0.1347.2 KB4022631 Download UMLP No
  • KB 4040754 “Update UseDatabaseQuotaDefaults to false” error occurs when you change settings of user mailbox in Exchange Server 2016
  • KB 4040121 You receive a corrupted attachment if email is sent from Outlook that connects to Exchange Server in cache mode
  • KB4036108 Security update for Microsoft Exchange: September 12, 2017

Exchange 2013 CU18 fixes:

  • KB4040755 New health monitoring mailbox for databases is created when Health Manager Service is restarted in Exchange Server 2013
  • KB4040121 You receive a corrupted attachment if email is sent from Outlook that connects to Exchange Server in cache mode
  • KB4040120 Synchronization may fail when you use the OAuth protocol for authorization through EAS in Exchange Server 2013
  • KB4036108 Security update for Microsoft Exchange: September 12, 2017

Notes:

  • Exchange 2016 CU7 requires Forest Functionality Level 2008R2 or later.
  • Exchange 2016 CU7 includes schema changes, but Exchange 2013 CU18 does not. However, Exchange 2013 CU17 may introduce RBAC changes in your environment. Where applicable, use setup /PrepareSchema to update the schema or /PrepareAD to apply RBAC changes, before deploying or updating Exchange servers. To verify this step has been performed, consult the Exchange schema overview.
  • When upgrading your Exchange 2013 or 2016 installation, don’t forget to put the server in maintenance mode when required. Regardless, setup will put the server in server-wide offline mode post-analysis, before making actual changes.
  • Using Windows Management Framework (WMF)/PowerShell version 5 or later on anything earlier than Windows Server 2016 is not supported. Don’t install WMF5 on your Exchange servers running on Windows Server 2012 R2 or earlier.
  • NET Framework 4.7.1 is being tested by the Exchange Team, but .NET Framework 4.7.1 nor .NET Framework 4.7 are supported.
  • When using Exchange hybrid deployments or Exchange Online Archiving (EOA), you are required to stay at most one version behind (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, i.e. 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 in which you upgrade servers with Cumulative Updates is irrelevant.

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.

Ignite 2017 Sessions

In about a month’s time, Microsoft Ignite 2017 – North America will kick off in the city of Orlando, Florida. Currently, the session catalog contains an amazing number of 1139 1161 sessions. With such a number, it can be hard to pick sessions depending on your areas of interest or expertise; the Ignite Session Scheduler can be a helpful tool to assist in this noble task.

However, when you want to perform more complex queries something more low-level might be appropriate. For this purpose I took my existing script IgniteDownloader.ps1, which could already be used to download Ignite contents such as videos and slide decks, and enhanced it so it can also be used to retrieve session information as PowerShell objects, allowing you to perform queries, reports etc. Because the script now suits more purposes, I renamed it to Get-IgniteSession.ps1 in the process.

Note that Get-IgniteSession leverages the online Microsoft Ignite session catalog, which is currently in the process of being finalized. You might find therefor the schedule is subject to change over the coming weeks, but also that you can no longer download contents from previous Ignite editions.

You can download the script from the TechNet Gallery here.

If you are attending Ignite, unlike me, some of the potential interesting sessions to look out for are (list subject to change):

Session Title Speaker(s)
BRK1005 Learn about the Microsoft global network and best practices for optimizing Office 365 connectivity Paul Collinge, Paul Andrew
BRK1053 Microsoft Office 365 adoption user group meetup Michael Blumenthal
BRK2195 Create engaging workflows inside Outlook and Microsoft Teams conversations with Actionable Messages David Claux, Shivakumar Seetharaman
BRK2203 Send secure email to anyone with Office 365 and Microsoft Azure Information Protection Praveen Vijayaraghavan
BRK2248 Microsoft Exchange: Through the eyes of MVPs (Panel discussion) Brian Reid, Michael Van Horenbeeck, Ingo Gegenwarth, Steve Goodman, Nicolas Blank, Tony Redmond
BRK2251 What’s new and what’s coming in the Microsoft Outlook family of apps JJ Cadiz, Alessio Roic
BRK2252 Group collaboration in Microsoft Outlook Krish Gali
BRK2374 Stop data exfiltration and advanced threats in Microsoft Office 365 and Azure
BRK2378 Understanding Multi-Geo Capabilities in Office 365 Sesha Mani, Sameer Sitaram
BRK2399 Delivering the modern workplace
BRK2401 Customer story: How to protect against security breaches and insider threats Edward Panzeter, Ian Lindsay
BRK2420 The road to hybrid cloud: Customer case studies optimizing Hyper-V, SQL Server, and Microsoft Azure
BRK3041 Key elements of Office 365 connectivity strategy base on real-life examples Paul Andrew, Jeff Mealiffe, Konstantin Ryvkin
BRK3051 Get your enterprise network ready for Office 365 Paul Andrew, Paul Collinge, Jeff Mealiffe
BRK3053 Troubleshooting Office 365 identity: How modern authentication works and what to do when it doesn’t Jonas Gunnemo
BRK3080 Build smarter apps with Office using the Microsoft Graph Yina Arenas
BRK3082 Anti-phishing with Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection Abhishek Agarwal
BRK3154 The epic Exchange preferred architecture debate Ross Smith IV, Lin Chen, Mike Cooper
BRK3155 Thrive as an enterprise organization in Microsoft Exchange Online Jeff Kizner
BRK3157 Exchange and Outlook mega “ask the experts” Brain Day, Greg Taylor, Jeff Mealiffe, Allen Filush, Scott Schnoll, Ross Smith IV, Julia Foran, JJ Cadiz, Alessio Roic, Meg Quintero, James Colgan, Steve Conn, Wey Love
BRK3158 Design your Exchange infrastructure right (or consider moving to Office 365) Boris Lokhvitsky, Robert Gillies
BRK3184 Deploying and using Outlook mobile in the Enterprise Ross Smith IV
BRK3185 Improvements and innovations in calendaring with Microsoft Outlook and Exchange Julia Foran
BRK3186 Running Exchange hybrid over the long term Michael Van Horenbeeck
BRK3222 Scott Schnoll’s Exchange tips and tricks Scott Schnoll
BRK3248 Exchange Online – spanning data center regions Brain Day
BRK3249 Modern authentication for Exchange Server on-premises Greg Taylor
BRK3259 Transitioning from distribution lists to Office 365 Groups in Outlook Shilpa Ranganathan
BRK3262 Implementing Exchange Online Protection for on-premises Exchange Brian Reid
BRK3263 Secure Exchange on-premises as well as Microsoft secures Exchange Online Andrew Higginbotham, Raji Dani
BRK3264 Troubleshooting complex Exchange operational issues Ingo Gegenwarth, Andrew Higginbotham
BRK3332 Ten critical areas for those moving from Exchange on-premises to Office 365 Tony Redmond
BRK3340 Use Microsoft Graph to reach on-premises users of Exchange 2016 deployments Deepak Singh
BRK3382 Securing, governing, and protecting your Office 365 investments Chris Bortlik
BRK3382R Securing, governing, and protecting your Office 365 investments (repeat) Chris Bortlik
BRK4021 Investigate tools and techniques for Exchange performance troubleshooting Nasir Ali, Jeff Mealiffe, Bob Samer, Justin Turner
BRK4022 Insights on Exchange storage, high availability, and data protection Lin Chen
BRK4029 Inside Exchange Online Matt Gossage
THR1014 What can you do with Office 365 Groups in Outlook?
THR1020 Tackling adoption as a service with Office 365 Richard Harbridge
THR1022 Bring your sales team together: Office 365 Groups, Teams & Microsoft Dynamics 365 in the real world Chris Johnson
THR1029 Spend less time managing data and more time with customers: Quick tour of Outlook Customer Manager
THR1035 Prevent costly data leaks from Microsoft Office 365
THR1046 Using Digital Experience Management to Validate the Impact of IT Change
THR1068 Online virtual labs: The hidden gem for free hands-on learning, practice, and exploration CA Callahan
THR2026 Set up secure and efficient collaboration for your organization with Microsoft Office 365 Joe Davies, Brenda Carter
THR2041 Using groups in Outlook for education Krish Gali
THR2042 Collaborate with people outside your company with Office 365 Groups in Outlook
THR2043 Dive deeper into what’s new and what’s coming for Outlook for Windows JJ Cadiz, Jason Creighton
THR2044 Dive deeper into what’s new and what’s coming for Outlook for Mac James Colgan
THR2045 Dive deeper into what’s new and what’s coming for Outlook on the web Allen Filush
THR2046 Dive deeper into what’s new and what’s coming for Outlook for iOS and Android Meg Quintero
THR2062 Real-world advanced threat protection Brian Reid
THR2063 What is DMARC Brian Reid
THR2065 Groups and Teams: Friend or foe? Loryan Strant
THR2080 Tackling cross-tenant Office 365 integration and migrations: Three things you need to know
THR2086 What’s new with Microsoft Exchange Online Public Folders
THR2088 The top five PowerShell commands for Exchange Steve Goodman
THR2097 Developing a blueprint for your data in Microsoft Azure
THR2153 Improving calendaring in Microsoft Office 365 and Outlook
THR2173 Microsoft Office 365: Avoid the Icarus effect J. Peter Bruzzese
THR2181 The impact of digital literacy on Office 365 user adoption Tracy Van der Schyff
THR2203 Put your enterprise applications in the fast lane
THR2205 Delivering the borderless workplace
THR2214 Hybrid cloud activated: A customer case study optimizing on-premises and Azure performance and cost Mor Cohen
THR2229 Get the most from the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Mobile App
THR3022 Troubleshooting Exchange ActiveSync devices Ingo Gegenwarth
THR3023 PowerShell Desired State Configuration: Keep your service stable and stay on top of your config Ingo Gegenwarth
THR3034 Complete your collaboration practice: Voice & video solutions for Office 365 and Skype for Business
THR4000 Edge Transport servers and Hybrid: Why, or why not? Michael Van Horenbeeck

MVP’s around the World

imageIn July 2017 the new annual award cycle regime was put into effect for Microsoft MVP’s around the world. Earlier this year, to simplify the process and introduce new talent in the program more quickly, Microsoft switched to a monthly cycle for recognizing MVP’s, and changed the award review from a quarterly to an annual cycle. This meant MVP’s from April and July were going to be the first ones the be reviewed for June 2017; the January and October awardees got their review shifted to July 2018. That might look like dispensation, but it isn’t as their contributions will be evaluated over a longer period of time.

Looking at the publicly available statistics on MVP’s around the world could provide some insight in what the program – and thus Microsoft – has set their sights on. So with the introduction of the new cycle, I did a quick comparison of this and last month’s numbers. But first a small disclaimer: below numbers are taken from a public source, the Microsoft Valuable Professional portal. Also, there are a small number of anonymous MVP’s, which always puzzles me as being an MVP usually means that this person is visible online. And finally, note that MVP’s can be awarded in more than one category, which is the reason some numbers won’t add up.

To start with the total number of MVP’s, that went down from 4017 in June to 3410 (-15%). It also saw a new category being added to the program: Artificial Intelligence, or AI. The table below contains the number of awards per category, and the change from June to July:

Competence June-2017 July-2017 Change
Access 41 37 -10%
AI 0 1 100%
Business Solutions 236 193 -18%
Cloud and Datacenter Management 455 392 -14%
Data Platform 445 399 -10%
Enterprise Mobility 170 148 -13%
Excel 116 94 -19%
Microsoft Azure 342 311 -9%
Office Development 39 38 -3%
Office Servers and Services 532 449 -16%
OneNote 16 15 -6%
Outlook 14 14 0%
PowerPoint 36 36 0%
Visio 15 14 -7%
Visual Studio and Development Technologies 1100 901 -18%
Windows and Devices for IT 201 148 -26%
Windows Development 351 277 -21%
Word 25 23 -8%
Total 4134 3490 -16%

Overall, the numbers are down except for the new AI category and the number of Outlook and PowerPoint MVP’s.

Regarding the Office Servers and Services MVP’s, the number of awards per country is depicted in the following heath map and table. Note that anonymous MVP’s are not taken into account:

image

Country Number Country Count Country Count
Argentina 2 (0%) Hungary 4 (0%) Russia 8 (-12%)
Australia 21 (-25%) India 12 (-8%) Serbia 1 (0%)
Austria 1 (0%) Ireland 1 (-50%) Singapore 4 (0%)
Belarus 1 (0%) Israel 1 (-50%) Slovakia 1 (0%)
Belgium 7 (-13%) Italy 10 (-10%) Slovenia 2 (0%)
Bosnia-Herzegovina 3 (0%) Japan 18 (-10%) South Africa 4 (-20%)
Brazil 4 (-50%) Korea 9 (-25%) Spain 6 (-15%)
Brunei Darussalam 1 (0%) Kuwait 1 (0%) Sri Lanka 6 (-15%)
Bulgaria 2 (0%) Latvia 1 (0%) Sweden 8 (-20%)
Canada 38 (-18%) Macedonia F.Y.R.O 1 (-50%) Switzerland 5 (-29%)
Chile 1 (-50%) Malaysia 2 (-34%) Taiwan 0 (-100%)
China 15 (-25%) Mexico 3 (-25%) Thailand 1 (0%)
Colombia 2 (-34%) Myanmar 0 (-100%) The Netherlands 13 (0%)
Croatia 5 (0%) Nepal 1 (0%) Turkey 4 (0%)
Czech Republic 2 (0%) New Zealand 5 (-17%) Ukraine 2 (0%)
Denmark 4 (0%) Norway 5 (0%) United Arab Emirates 3 (-40%)
Egypt 2 (0%) Pakistan 1 (-50%) United Kingdom 21 (-20%)
Finland 2 (0%) Palestine 1 (0%) United States 103 (-11%)
France 16 (-16%) Peru 2 (0%) Uruguay 1 (0%)
Germany 17 (-6%) Poland 3 (0%) Vietnam 2 (-34%)
Greece 1 (0%) Portugal 4 (-20%) Total 429 (-16%)
Guatemala 0 (-100%) Romania 2 (0%)

Looking at the names that were not on the MVP portal per July, one may notice there are quite a number of long-standing MVP’s that were not re-awarded. Apart from being a big loss for the community, it is also an indication Microsoft is further looking ahead to the Cloud First, Mobile First, On First™ world, indiscriminately coming clean with the MVP population in the process.

For those that were not re-awarded, thank you for all your past contribution, some for being an inspiration long before I became one, your honest feedback to the program and other MVP’s. Don’t forget: Once an MVP, always an MVP!

Exchange Updates – June 2017

Ex2013 LogoToday, the Exchange Team released the June updates for Exchange Server 2013 and 2016. Like the previous Cumulative Updates for these Exchange versions, Exchange 2013 CU17 and Exchange 2016 CU6 require .NET Framework 4.6.2.; NET Framework 4.7 has been tested by the Exchange team, but is still unsupported until further notice.

Exchange 2016 CU6 contains much awaited feature enhancements:

  • Sent Items Behavior Control. The implementation of Sent Items behavior in Exchange 2016 CU6 won’t be backported to earlier Exchange versions, as these have their own implementation.
  • Original Folder Item Recovery. This feature won’t be backported to previous versions of Exchange as well.

Apart from DST changes, check the lists below for changes contained in these updates.

Version Build KB Article Download UMLP Schema Changes
Exchange 2016 CU6 15.1.1034.26 KB4012108 Download UMLP Yes
Exchange 2013 CU17 15.0.1320.4 KB4012114 Download UMLP No
  • KB4024658 FIX: The EAS web.config file is not updated on the CAFE server during a build-to-build upgrade
  • KB4024654 POP/IMAP clients can’t log on with NTLM when Alias and SamAccountName are different in Exchange Server 2016
  • KB4024653 Active Monitoring probes fail when you use a new accepted domain as the default domain in Exchange Server 2016
  • KB4024652 Repeated IMAP SEARCH BODY requests may not return newly delivered messages in Exchange Server
  • KB4024651 The “MessageRetrievalMimeFormat” setting isn’t honored for plain text-only email messages in IMAP in Exchange Server
  • KB4024650 Emoji is displayed as question marks in iOS clients in an Exchange Server environment
  • KB4024649 The Read or Unread flag isn’t synchronized correctly after you turn off an ActiveSync device overnight in Exchange Server
  • KB4024648 FIX: A new contact created in OWA may be merged into an existing contact on Exchange Server 2016

Exchange 2013 CU17 fixes:

  • KB4024652 Repeated IMAP SEARCH BODY requests may not return newly delivered messages in Exchange Server
  • KB4024651 The “MessageRetrievalMimeFormat” setting isn’t honored for plain text-only email messages in IMAP in Exchange Server
  • KB4024650 Emoji is displayed as question marks in iOS clients in an Exchange Server environment
  • KB4024647 “The property is too long” error when you update the “Department” field of user mailbox in Exchange Server 2013
  • KB4024646 “Insufficient access rights” error when you run setup.exe as member of “Delegated Setup” group in Exchange Server 2013

Notes:

  • Exchange 2016 CU6 includes schema changes, but Exchange 2013 CU17 does not. However, Exchange 2013 CU17 may introduce RBAC changes in your environment. Where applicable, use setup /PrepareSchema to update the schema or /PrepareAD to apply RBAC changes, before deploying or updating Exchange servers. To verify this step has been performed, consult the Exchange schema overview.
  • When upgrading your Exchange 2013 or 2016 installation, don’t forget to put the server in maintenance mode when required. Regardless, setup will put the server in server-wide offline mode post-analysis, before making actual changes.
  • Using Windows Management Framework (WMF)/PowerShell version 5 or later on anything earlier than Windows Server 2016 is not supported. Don’t install WMF5 on your Exchange servers running on Windows Server 2012 R2 or earlier.
  • NET Framework 4.7 is being tested by the Exchange Team, but is not supported until further notice.
  • Customers who have deployed Exchange in Hybrid or use Exchange Online Archiving need to stay current, or at least run the prior Cumulative Update version.
  • When using Exchange hybrid deployments or Exchange Online Archiving (EOA), you are required to stay at most one version behind (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, i.e. 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 in which you upgrade servers with Cumulative Updates is irrelevant.

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.

Speaking at Office 365 Engage 2017

I am happy to announce I will be co-hosting a workshop, as well as present a session at the Office 365 Engage conference. The event will be held in the beautiful city of Haarlem, The Netherlands, from June 19 to June 22.

For an independent event in Europe, track chair Tony Redmond managed to come up with a pretty impressive line-up with lots of Microsoft MVPs, consisting of folks such as Michael van Horenbeeck, Jaap Wesselius, Ingo Gegenwarth, Siegfried Jagott, Brian Reid, Vasil Michev, Paul Robichaux, Chris Goosen, Alan Byrne, Brian Desmond, and last but not least Steve Goodman who I am finally going to meet in person after missing each other for several reasons for the last 5 years.

The single day workshop will be hosted together with Jaap, and we will discuss managing Office 365 and its workloads using PowerShell, and its part of the Office 365 Administration track. The day after, I will be giving a session on Managing Exchange Online using PowerShell – Tips & Tricks, part of the Exchange Online track. If you would like to see something specific addressed, leave it in the comments section or pop me an e-mail.

For visitors, the city of Haarlem, a small distance from Amsterdam or The Netherlands – well, everything in The Netherlands is near, is also a nice city to spend some leisure time. You can check out the Office 365 Engage schedule here. I hope to see you there!

PS: The people behind the conference gave me discount code which you can use when registering. Use code SPRMR467 to get 20% off. You can register here.

Michel de Rooij 728x90

Exchange Updates – March 2017

Ex2013 LogoToday, the Exchange Team released the March updates for Exchange Server 2013 and 2016, as well as Exchange Server 2010 and 2007. The latter will receive its last update, as Exchange 2007 will reach end-of-life April 11, 2017.

As announced in December updates, Exchange 2013 CU16 and Exchange 2016 CU5 require .NET 4.6.2. The recommended upgrade paths:

  • If you are still on .NET 4.6.1, you can upgrade to .NET 4.6.2 prior of after installing the latest Cumulative Update.
  • If you are on .NET 4.52, upgrade to Exchange 2016 CU4 or Exchange 2013 CU15 if you are not already on that level, then upgrade to .NET 4.6.2, and finally upgrade to the the latest Cumulative Update.

The Cumulative Updates also include DST changes, which is also contained in the latest Rollups published for Exchange 2010 and 2007.

For a list of fixes in these updates, see below.

Exchange 2016 CU5 15.1.845.34 KB4012106 Download UMLP
Exchange 2013 CU16 15.0.1293.2 KB4012112 Download UMLP
Exchange 2010 SP3 Rollup 17 14.3.352.0 KB4011326 Download
Exchange 2007 SP3 Rollup 23 8.3.517.0 KB4011325 Download
  • KB4015665 SyncDelivery logging folders and files are created in wrong location in Exchange Server 2016
  • KB4015664 A category name that has different case-sensitivity than an existing name is not created in Exchange Server 2016
  • KB4015663 “The message content has become corrupted” exception when email contains a UUE-encoded attachment in Exchange Server 2016
  • KB4015662 Deleted inline picture is displayed as attachment after you switch the message to plain text in Exchange Server 2016
  • KB4015213 Email is still sent to Inbox when the sender is deleted from the Trusted Contacts list in Exchange Server 2016
  • KB4013606 Search fails on Exchange Server 2016 or Exchange Server 2013
  • KB4012994 PostalAddressIndex element isn’t returning the correct value in Exchange Server 2016

Exchange 2013 CU16 fixes:

  • KB4013606 Search fails on Exchange Server 2016 or Exchange Server 2013

Exchange 2010 SP3 RU17 fixes:

  • KB4014076 Migration ends and errors reported when you on-board or off-board a mailbox through Exchange Online in an Exchange Server 2010 hybrid environment
  • KB4014075 UNC path does not open in OWA when the path contains non-ASCII characters in an Exchange Server 2010 environment
  • KB4013917 You cannot search in a shared mailbox through OWA in an Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 3 (Update Rollup 15 or 16) environment
  • KB4012911 Culture element is added in the wrong order when you use the ResolveNames operation in EWS in Exchange Server 2010

Notes:

  • Exchange 2016 CU5 doesn’t include schema changes, however, Exchange 2016 CU5 as well as Exchange 2013 CU16 may introduce RBAC changes in your environment. Where applicable, use setup /PrepareSchema to update the schema or /PrepareAD to apply RBAC changes, before deploying or updating Exchange servers. To verify this step has been performed, consult the Exchange schema overview.
  • When upgrading your Exchange 2013 or 2016 installation, don’t forget to put the server in maintenance mode when required. Do note that upgrading, before installing the Exchange binaries, setup will put the server in server-wide offline-mode.
  • Using Windows Management Framework (WMF)/PowerShell version 5 on anything earlier than Windows Server 2016 is not supported. Don’t install WMF5 on your Exchange servers running on Windows Server 2012 R2 or earlier.
  • When using Exchange hybrid deployments or Exchange Online Archiving (EOA), you are allowed to stay at least one version behind (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, i.e. 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 upgrading servers with Cumulative Updates is irrelevant.

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.

A short 2016 retrospective

oscarFirst of all, happy new year to all dear readers and followers. With January well underway, and taking some (largely offline) time off for the holiday period, it’s time to see what 2016 brought.

But first a new year resolution: step up the blogging game. While there isn’t much development happening in the Exchange space, with Microsoft’s cloud-first strategy, there is still a lot to talk about or script for. My list list of ‘scripting ideas’ is substantial, now let’s find some time to realize some of these ideas. Knowing that when you publish scripts, you automatically become its support channel, so that may put some additional stress on my mailbox, but it’s a small price for helping lots of people out.

Some Highlights:

  • Re-awarded as Office 365 Servers and Services MVP
  • Awarded 2016 Exchange Oscar for Best Code Contribution
  • Workshop: Advanced PowerShell Management of Office 365
    IT/Dev Connections
  • Webinar: How to Benefit from MS Office 365 and Maintain Control of Your Data
  • Session: Exchange 2016 & OOS, Office Online Server

Global Stats of 2016:

  • Number of views: 309,767 (total: 1,888,669)
  • Visitors: 220,900 (total 894,316)
  • Number of posts: 22 (total 547)

Popular Posts of 2016:

Note: Not considering the Archives, Versions, Builds and Dates, Schema Versions and Toolkit pages.

  • Exchange ActiveSync and Inheritable Permissions issue
  • TargetAddress, ExternalEmailAddress and Set As External
  • The Attribute, the Myth, the legacyExchangeDN
  • Limiting Exchange 2010 Database Cache
  • Outlook for iOS adds Contacts support

Top 5 Visitor Countries of 2016:

  • United States (96,286)
  • United Kingdom (29,606)
  • Germany (19,968)
  • India (14,355)
  • Netherlands (13,056)

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Top 5 Referrers of 2016:

  • exchangeserverpro.com (Paul Cunningham’s)
  • blogs.technet.com (MSFT blogs)
  • meridian.ws (blog)
  • experts-exchange (community)
  • veritas.com (support forum)

Top 5 Search Terms of 2016:

  • kb2506143
  • targetaddress
  • federation information could not be retrieved from the external organization
  • exchange 15.1
  • exchange version numbers

Top 5 Scripts of 2016:

  • Ignite 2016 Slidedeck and Video downloader (4,941, total 4,941)
  • Exchange v15 (2013/2016) Unattended Installation Script (2,601, total 8,577)
  • Removing Duplicate Items from a Mailbox (2,079, total 6,843)
  • Clearing AutoComplete and other Recipient Caches (1,932, total 3,920)
  • Removing Messages by Message Class from Mailbox (915, total 2,942)

Exchange Server Role Requirements Calculator 8.4

Exchange 2010 Mailbox Role Sizing Calculator 16.4Last week, the Exchange team published an update for the Exchange Server Role Requirements Calculator, the tool to aid you in properly sizing your Exchange Server 2013 or Exchange Server 2016 deployments.

The new version number is 8.4, and it contains the following changes since version 8.3:

New Functionality

  • Added support for ReplayLagMaxDelay
  • Added support for SafetyNetHoldTime in CreateDAG.ps1

Bug Fixes

  • Improved the DAG auto-calculation results display to highlight deployment configuration in both datacenters
  • Fixed an issue that prevented DAG auto-calculation in single site DAG deployments
  • Fixed a SPECInt2006 validation issue with DAG auto-calculation
  • Fixed a bug with the DAG auto-calculation with Active/Passive deployments
  • Fixed conditional formatting issues with the transaction log table
  • Removed data validation from certain unused cells on the Input tab
  • Fixed bug in calcNumActiveDBsSF formula

You can download the calculator here. For more information, please consult the list of changes here or Read Me here.