Exchange Server 2016 Preview is here!

Ex2013 LogoAnd so it begins. Few moments ago, the Exchange team published the public preview of Exchange 2016. The build number of the preview version is (yes, 15.1.*, not 16.*). Exchange 2016 Preview raises schema to version 15317.

The team’s post contains information on the changes and features introduced in Exchange 2016. Many of these were already announced at Ignite earlier this year. An earlier blog post on these announcements can be found here.

With this Exchange 2016 Preview, there are important deviations from announcements made at Ignite 2015:

  • Minimum required Forest Functional Level (FFL) and Domain Functional Level (DFL) is Windows Server 2008. At Ignite is was announced Windows Server 2008 R2 FFL/DFL would be required.
  • Supported Operating Systems will be Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2. At Ignite, it was announced Windows Server 2012 was not going to be supported. Note that Windows Server 10 (Windows Server 2016) is currently in preview, is not (yet) supported, but likely will be at or shortly after both reach RTM status.
  • Coexistence requires  Exchange Server 2013 Cumulative Update 8 or Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 3 Rollup 9. This is lower than Exchange 2013 CU10+ or Exchange 2010 SP3 RU11+ as was mentioned at Ignite.
  • Exchange 2016 Preview works with Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010 with KB2965295, or Outlook 2016 (currently in Preview). This is a lower requirement than Outlook 2010 SP2 with KB2956191 and KB2965295 or Outlook 2013 SP1 with KB3020812 as announced at Ignite. Note that Mac users can utilize Outlook for Mac for Office 365 or Outlook for Mac 2011.
  • Not mentioned at Ignite, but something which recently was introduced in Exchange Online, is the introduction of auto-expanding In-Place Archives in Exchange 2016 Preview. After filling up the initial archive with 100 GB (default quota), Exchange will create auxiliary archives in chunks of 50 GB. To the end user using Outlook 2016 or Outlook for the web (the new Outlook WebApp branding), these archives will appear as a single archive. Downlevel Outlook clients will only display the initial 100 GB archive.

Meanwhile, the TechNet technical library has been updated with information on Exchange 2016. Be advised that this documentation may be incomplete and subject to change, and in fact may even be not on par with the preview product. However, as the product reaches RTM, the documentation should become more complete and final.

Some links to get you started:

  • The official announcement from the Exchange Team can be found here
  • Preliminary documentation for Exchange 2016 can be found on TechNet here
  • Documentation on Active Directory schema changes for Exchange 2016 can be found here

Needless to say, this is a preview. It’s great to play with in a lab, but don’t install it in your production environment unless you are part of the TAP program.

You can download the Exchange 2016 Preview here

Changes in Exchange 2013 Preview

Note: This article is based on a pre-release product and may therefor be subject to changes.

Here’s an short list of the changes and notes regarding Exchange 2013, compared to Exchange 2010:

Goodbye EMC, Hello EAC
The Exchange Management Console (EMC) is no more. A new web-based management interface, the Exchange Administration Center (EAC), replaces EMC and ECP (organization management functions). The EAC provides a single console for on-premise, hybrid or online deployments and doesn’t require installation of management tools.

EAC can also be used to manage Public Folders and contains functionality to run reports on mailbox or administrator audit logs.

Less roles is more
Exchange 2013 reduces the number of Exchange server roles to two: Client Access Front End server and Mailbox server (Exchange 2003 Front-End/Back-End anyone?):

  • Client Access Front End servers will only proxy or process client traffic. They consist the known Client Access Server services as well as the Front End Transport Service component that deals with mail transport, hence the term Client Access Front End or CAFE. Multiple CAFE servers can still be organized in Client Access Arrays. New in Exchange 2013 is that client connections are stateless, which means you can utilize simple layer 4 (based on IP address or port) load balancing solutions or DNS Round Robin when requirements permit. Since connections are stateless, I expect client experience to improve as well as clients shouldn’t notice when being failed over to a different CAS server;
  • Mailbox servers are used for data storage and UM. Multiple Mailbox servers can still be organized in clusters using Database Availability Groups.

If you require an Edge Transport server, you can use Exchange 2010 or even Exchange 2007 Edge Transport servers in combination with Exchange 2013.

Transport Servers MIA?
In Exchange 2013, mail flow is dealt with by both the Client Access server and the Mailbox server. The Client Access server hosts a service called Front End Transport service which will process messages from or to external sources. The Mailbox server hosts two transport-related services, Hub Transport and Mailbox Transport service, which will process messages from or to other Mailbox servers or deal with the retrieval or storage of messages.

Transport pipeline overview diagram

Because the transport services are now co-located with Mailbox and Client Access servers, I do foresee challenges for organizations who designed infrastructure and farms purely for routing and processing messages. Of course, Mailbox servers will perform the same job, next to serving mailboxes, but this defeats the best practice of reducing attack surface by splitting roles.

This architecture found in Exchange 2010 didn’t exist in Exchange 2003 (but could come a long way by hardening servers). Then came Exchange 2007 with its server role architecture, which made a lot of sense for large environments (of course, there’s always the option of co-locating server roles). Now, wtih this reduction of server roles, I know at least 1 customer who will ponder on creating hardening guides for Exchange 2013 when the time comes.

Au revoir, MAPI
MAPI (RPC) will be dropped in Exchange 2013, leaving Outlook Anywhere (RPC over HTTPS) access as the protocol of choice for clients (IMAP/POP access still there). This means less holes to put in firewalls (only HTTPS), easier load balancing configurations, a single client endpoint (which also has benefits from a certificate perspective), etc. Of course there are also downsides, like Outlook 2003 doesn’t work and tools may stop working.

Public Folders
Unlike Exchange 2010, where Microsoft in early announcements mentioned the possible deprecation of Public Folders, Microsoft leaves no doubt when it comes to Public Folders and Exchange 2013. In fact, Microsoft made some interesting changes to the Public Folders architecture, where Public Folders reside in mailbox databases utilizing mailboxes (i.e. Public Folder Mailboxes).

This architectural change enables Public Folders to basically have the same benefits as Mailboxes in Mailbox databases, e.g. cluster continuous replication better known as Database Availability Groups. While this has serious implications for the migration scenario, it might prove a better alternative the “move to Sharepoint” cliché. It also requires rethinking placement of mailbox databases; while public folders utilize a multi-master model, where a branch office could make changes in local public folder database which replicated throughout the organization, Database Availability Groups utilizes a single master model, meaning with Exchange 2013 public folder clients must connect to the writable mailbox database copy.

The feeling that Microsoft is serious again about Public Folders is also driven by the fact that the next version of Exchange Online, part of the next version of Office 365 which confusingly is called Office 365 Preview, contains Public Folders. That’s right, Public Folders in Office 365; who thought that would ever happen, raise your hands. Check out Office 365 Preview here.

Outlook Web Access support for Exchange 2013’s Public Folders is expected in Exchange 2013 SP1.

Storage Engine
Exchange 2013 sticks with the ESE as the database engine of choice. The Information Store processes, now called Managed Store, have been revised, utilizing per database processes which enable faster fail-over and improved resilience. The engine integrates Microsoft’s FAST indexing engine.

Additionally, Microsoft expects another 50% IOPS reduction (which would mean 1/8th of Exchange 2003 figure) and support for 8TB SATA disks which are expected to become available later this year.

DAG 2.0
Well, sort of. Exchange 2013 adds functionality to the Database Availability Groups. To enhance site resiliency, servers can be in different locations, meaning you you aren’t required to place CAS servers in the Active Directory site together with the Mailbox servers. This creates interesting scenarios, where for example you could create (centralized) CAS farms (even in dedicated sites), while the DAGs are hosted in other sites. Major benefit of this is also that this reduces the namespaces required to create a resilient Exchange configuration.

Client Access servers deal with certificate management; Mailbox servers contain self-signed certificates which are automatically trusted. The EAC contains a notification center which will report on certificates nearing expiration.

Data Loss Prevention
Here, Data Loss doesn’t refer to loss of bits, but to loss of sensitive information. Exchange 2013 provides a mechanism to protect sensitive data. Supported clients, like Outlook 2013, provide notifications of possible policy breaches through PolicyTips, much like MailTips. More information on DLP here.

OWA 2013
Outlook Web App (OWA) in Exchange 2013 adds integrated apps, like Bing Maps. Apps can be managed using the EAC. Apps installed in Outlook 2013 also become available in OWA 2013 and vice versa. OWA 2013 also offers LinkedIn integration and merged calendar view (like in Outlook).

OWA 2013 supports the following browsers when compared to OWA 2010:

  • Windows
    • Internet Explorer 7 or later (same);
    • Firefox 12 or later (was Firefox 3.0.1+);
    • Chrome 18 or later (was Chrome;
    • Safari 5.1 or later.
  • Mac
    • Firefox 12 or later (was 3.0.1+);
    • Safari 5.0.6 or later (was 3.1+);
    • Chrome 18 or later.
  • Linux
    • Firefox 12 or later (was 3.0.1+);
    • Chrome 18 or later.
  • Tablets & Smartphones
    • Windows 8 PRE;
    • iOS 5.0 or later for iPhone or iPad;
    • Android 4.0 or later;
    • Other browsers revert to Light mode

Note: iPad 1 has 256 MB, OWA 2013 requires 512 MB therefor it isn’t supported on iPad1 devices.

When using compatible browsers OWA 2013 supports offline mode, which means you can read or compose messages while disconnected, using your system to store the information. More information on which platform / browser combinations supports offline mode can be found here.


Recently, Microsoft announced it was no longer required to have an Enterprise CAL to perform Multi-Mailbox Searches in Exchange 2010. Like some predicted this was a clue on changes in Exchange 2013, which not only allows for cross-platform against Exchange, Lync and Sharepoint (In-Place eDiscovery), but allows you to export mail contents to PST files.

You can also search across primary and archive mailboxes in OWA.

Also, Legal Hold, now known as In-Place Hold, can now be performed based on queries and can be bound to a certain timeframe as well in Exchange 2013.

Unified Messaging
In Exchange 2013, UM functionality is split between CAS and Mailbox servers which explains the absence of the UM server role. The CAS server deals with call routing, while the Mailbox server provides UM services like synthesis.

Based on UCMA 4.0, Exchange 2013 UM utilizes the same engine for text-to-speech (TTS) and automatic speech recognition (ASR). The generated grammar files, previously generated and stored per server, are generated by the Mailbox Assistant running on the Mailbox server hosting the arbitration mailbox. The speech grammar files are stored in the arbitration mailbox and can be downloaded by Mailbox servers.

When trying to resolve the Caller ID, Exchange 2013 UM will consult different sources besides the default contacts folder, like other contact folders and social networks.

Updated MRS
The Mailbox Replication Service (MRS) has been updated in Exchange 2013 to enable bigger parallel moves, providing progress reports using notifications and to make the process more resilient by automatic retries and move priorization.

Site Mailboxes
Exchange 2013 introduces a new concept called Site Mailboxes, which bind an Exchange mailbox to a Sharepoint site. Goal is to enable users to collaborate easier, by enabling site members to utilize a single interface to access documents as well as related messages. More information on Site Mailboxes here.

PowerShell 3.0
The Exchange Management Shell is now based on WinRM 3.0.

Other changes worth mentioning:

    • Lync 2013 can archive contents in Exchange 2013 and use it to store contacts;
    • Exchange Workload Management, more information here.
    • To skip the license screen during (unattended) setups, you can use the switch IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms with setup.exe, e.g.
      Setup /m:Install /r:C,M /OrganizationName:X /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

Exchange 2013 Preview: Prerequisites

Note: This article is based on a pre-release product and may therefor be subject to changes.

Yesterday, the Exchange team released the preview (you can also call this a public beta) of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013. The build version of the Exchange 2013 Preview is 15.0.466.10.

You can download the 1,5GB self-extracting Exchange 2013 Preview here.

Prior to installing Exchange 2013 preview, you need to install the following prerequisites depending on the targeted platform

Note: Clicking the checkmark leads to the download.


Windows Server
2008 R2 SP1

Windows Server

.NET Framework 4.5 RC


Windows Management Framework 3.0 RC


UCMA 4.0 Preview



Office 2010 Filter Pack (Mbx)



Office 2010 Filter Pack SP1 (Mbx)



Windows Identity Foundation (KB974405)






Note: When present, uninstall the Visual C++ 11 Beta Redistributable after installing the UCMA component. On Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 you also need to register ASP.NET after uninstalling the VC++ 11 Beta Redistributable, before installing Exchange 2013, using:
%SystemDrive%\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319\aspnet_regiis.exe -ir -enable
followed by an IISReset.

Required Windows Features
These cmdlets install the required Windows features:


Windows Server
2008 R2 SP1

Windows Server

CAS Import-Module ServerManager;
Install-WindowsFeature RSAT-ADDS;
Install-WindowsFeature Desktop-Experience, NET-Framework, NET-HTTP-Activation, RPC-over-HTTP-proxy, RSAT-Clustering, RSAT-Web-Server, WAS-Process-Model, Web-Asp-Net, Web-Basic-Auth, Web-Client-Auth, Web-Digest-Auth, Web-Dir-Browsing, Web-Dyn-Compression, Web-Http
Add-WindowsFeature RSAT-ADDS;
Add-WindowsFeature AS-HTTP-Activation, Desktop-Experience, NET-Framework-45-Features, RPC-over-HTTP-proxy, RSAT-Clustering, Web-Mgmt-Console, WAS-Process-Model, Web-Asp-Net45, Web-Basic-Auth, Web-Client-Auth, Web-Digest-Auth, Web-Dir-Browsing, Web-Dyn-Compression, Web-Http-Errors, Web-Http-Logging, Web-Http-Redirect, Web-Http-Tracing, Web-ISAPI-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Filter, Web-Lgcy-Mgmt-Console, Web-Metabase, Web-Mgmt-Console, Web-Mgmt-Service, Web-Net-Ext45, Web-Request-Monitor, Web-Server, Web-Stat-Compression, Web-Static-Content, Web-Windows-Auth, Web-WMI, Windows-Identity-Foundation
MBX or CAS/MBX Import-Module ServerManager;
Install-WindowsFeature RSAT-ADDS;
Install-WindowsFeature Desktop-Experience, NET-Framework, NET-HTTP-Activation, RPC-over-HTTP-proxy, RSAT-Clustering, RSAT-Web-Server, WAS-Process-Model, Web-Asp-Net, Web-Basic-Auth, Web-Client-Auth, Web-Digest-Auth, Web-Dir-Browsing, Web-Dyn-Compression, Web-Http-Errors, Web-Http-Logging, Web-Http-Redirect, Web-Http-Tracing, Web-ISAPI-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Filter, Web-Lgcy-Mgmt-Console, Web-Metabase, Web-Mgmt-Console, Web-Mgmt-Service, Web-Net-Ext, Web-Request-Monitor, Web-Server, Web-Stat-Compression, Web-Static-Content, Web-Windows-Auth, Web-WMI
Add-WindowsFeature RSAT-ADDS;
Add-WindowsFeature AS-HTTP-Activation, Desktop-Experience, NET-Framework-45-Features, RPC-over-HTTP-proxy, RSAT-Clustering, Web-Mgmt-Console, WAS-Process-Model, Web-Asp-Net45, Web-Basic-Auth, Web-Client-Auth, Web-Digest-Auth, Web-Dir-Browsing, Web-Dyn-Compression, Web-Http-Errors, Web-Http-Logging, Web-Http-Redirect, Web-Http-Tracing, Web-ISAPI-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Filter, Web-Lgcy-Mgmt-Console, Web-Metabase, Web-Mgmt-Console, Web-Mgmt-Service, Web-Net-Ext45, Web-Request-Monitor, Web-Server, Web-Stat-Compression, Web-Static-Content, Web-Windows-Auth, Web-WMI, Windows-Identity-Foundation

On Windows Server 2012, create an inbound firewall rule for port 139 when installing Client Access server.

Active Directory Requirements
Be advised that a minimum of 1 Windows Server 2008 Domain Controller and Global Catalog server is required in each site where you want to install Exchange 2013 Preview. Windows Server 2003 Forest Level is supported.

After successfully preparing Active Directory for Exchange 2013, the schema version will be 15132, Forest version 15448 and the Domain version 13236. More information on how to verify those values here.

To quickly check the level of your domain controllers, you can use the script provided here which will report the msDS-Behavior-Version attribute (3 = 2008).

Order of things
Microsoft recommends you install Mailbox servers before installing Client Access servers.

Like Exchange 2010, Exchange 2013 supports IPv6. However, a pure IPv6 environment isn’t supported, so IPv4 is still required.

Everybody who’s still running on Exchange 2003 (many customers are) need to follow an intermediate upgrade path when moving to Exchange 2013 when it goes RTM, as co-existence between Exchange 2013 and Exchange Server 2003 isn’t supported. Note that the preview version isn’t supported in co-existence with any Exchange version by the way.

Release Notes
Be sure to also check out the Release Notes here.

Windows Server 8 & Consumer Preview Betas (Updated)

A quick heads-up on today’s release of the much-anticipated Windows “8” beta:

Windows Server “8” Beta
This is the next release of Windows Server, Windows Server “8” and is available for x64 architectures only. You can download Windows Server “8” Beta ISO or VHD here.

Windows Server “8” RSAT for Windows 8 Consumer Preview
The Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) for Windows 8 Consumer Preview enable you to manage Windows Server “8” Beta from computer running Windows 8 Consumer Preview. You can download the Windows Server “8” Server Remote Administration Tools for Windows 8 Consumer Preview here.

Windows 8 Consumer Preview
This is the desktop client OS available for x64 and x86 architectures. You can download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview here.

Some (online) documentation which you might find useful:

The Windows “8” operating systems are available English, French, German, Japanese or Simplified Chinese. Like with all beta bits, it’s not recommended to use this in your production environment so use them in a lab or testing environment only.

Update: From an Exchange perspective, it may be worth mentioning that the Windows 8 Customer Preview contains a simple built-in Mail application supports Autodiscover and the Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) protocol. The client will show up in the “Mobile Phones” list in OWA (they might need to relabel that in the next Rollup). The Mail app in the Customer Preview reports as “DeviceUserAgent : WindowsMail/16.2.3237.0215”. Wiping your Windows 8 client isn’t possible, but the e-mail account with all the related data will be removed instead, which isn’t consistent with the expected “Mobile Devices” behaviour in my opinion. I also wonder what your security officer will think of this when you’re running the Mail app on a Windows 8 tablet, e.g. Slate. Exchange fellow Dave Stork has done some more research including screenshots for your reading pleasure here.

New-MoveRequest changes for Exchange 2010 SP1

Note: The following information is based on Exchange 2010 SP1 Beta and subject to change in the final product.

If you transferred mailboxes using PowerShell or performed cross-forest mailbox moves using Exchange 2010 you’re probably familiair with the New-MoveRequest cmdlet. This cmdlet is used to initiate an asynchronous mailbox move talking to the Mailbox Replication Service (MRS) located on one of the Exchange Servers hosting the Client Access Server role. A few changes have been made to the New-MoveRequest cmdlet in Exchange 2010 SP1, which I would like to share with you.

The first interesting new option is the Outbound parameter. With Outbound  you can specify that the cross-forest mailbox move is to be initiated from the source forest. To initiate the move from the target forest you can use the Remote (identical to RTM). Note that Outbound and Remote are mutually exclusive.

Because of Exchange 2010 SP1’s capability to host the personal archives on a different database than the associated primary mailboxes, the following parameters have been added to New-MoveRequest for SP1:

  • ArchiveOnly can be used to specify that you want to move the personal archive only;
  • PrimaryOnly can be used to specify that you want to move the primary mailbox only;
  • ArchiveTargetDatabase can be used to specify the database you want to move the personal archive mailbox to. When omitted, the database hosting the primary mailbox will be used;
  • RemoteArchiveTargetDatabase can be used to specify the database in the remote forest you want to move the personal archive mailbox to. When omitted, the database hosting the primary mailbox will be used.

This enables you to bulk transfer the personal archives to another database using simple cmdlets. For example, to select all mailbox users with personal archives and move those personal archives to another database you could use:

Get-Mailbox | where { $_.ArchiveDatabase -ne $null } | New-MoveRequest -ArchiveOnly -ArchiveTargetDatabase MDB02

Like with regular mailbox move requests, you need to clean up afterwards by clearing completed moves. You could do that from EMC or use the following command in EMC:

Get-MoveRequest -MoveStatus Completed | Remove-MoveRequest

The updated New-MoveRequest cmdlet will also enable you to immediately create the associated personal archive on a seperate database when performing cross-forest mailbox moves:

$cred = get-credential
New-MoveRequest -Identity UserA -RemoteLegacy -TargetDatabase MDB1 -TargetArchiveDatabase MDB2 -RemoteGlobalCatalog -RemoteCredential $cred -TargetDeliveryDomain

Note that this cmdlet will not enable archiving for moved mailboxes.

Finally, the EMC has been updated to reflect the possible split between primary mailbox location and personal archive location when moving mailboxes around. When selecting Mailbox > .. Move Request (Local or Remote), you’ll have additional options:

For more background on mailbox moves in Exchange 2010 and the role of the Mailbox Replication Service, please consult this TechNet article.

Exchange 2010 SP1 Beta “Release Notes”

Still no seperate Release Notes on Exchange 2010 SP1 Beta, but it turns out the Exchange 2010 SP1 Beta help file contains a What’s New section. Here’s an excerpt of new and discontinued features:

Note: This is based on pre-release documentation and subject to change in future releases!

New Option in Deployment
During an Exchange 2010 SP1 installation, you can now select a new option to install the required Windows roles and features for each selected Exchange 2010 SP1 server role.

Client Access Server Role Improvements
The improvements and new features in the Client Access server role fall under several key areas: Federation certificates, Exchange ActiveSync, SMS Sync, Integrated Rights Management, Microsoft Office Outlook Web App, and virtual directories. Each area is described in more detail in the following sections.

Federation Certificates
In Exchange 2010 SP1, you can use a self-signed certificate instead of a certificate issued by a Certificate Authority to establish a federation trust with the Microsoft Federation Gateway. A self-signed certificate is automatically created and installed on Exchange servers in your organization when you use the New Federation Trust wizard in the Exchange Management Console.

Exchange ActiveSync
In Exchange 2010 SP1, you can manage Exchange ActiveSync devices using the Exchange Control Panel (ECP). Administrators can perform the following tasks:

  • Manage the default access level for all mobile phones and devices.
  • Set up e-mail alerts when a mobile phone or device is quarantined.
  • Personalize the message that users receive when their mobile phone or device is either recognized or quarantined.
  • Provide a list of quarantined mobile phones or devices.
  • Create and manage Exchange ActiveSync device access rules.
  • Allow or block a specific mobile phone or device for a specific user.

For every user, the administrator can perform the following tasks from the user’s property pages:

  • List the mobile phones or devices for a specific user.
  • Initiate remote wipes on mobile phones or devices.
  • Remove old mobile phone or device partnerships.
  • Create a rule for all users of a specific mobile phone or device or mobile phone type.
  • Allow or block a specific mobile phone or device for the specific user.

SMS Sync
SMS Sync is a new feature in Exchange ActiveSync that works with Windows Mobile 6.1 with the Outlook Mobile Update and with Windows Mobile 6.5. SMS Sync is the ability to synchronize messages between a mobile phone or device and an Exchange 2010 Inbox. When synchronizing a Windows Mobile phone with an Exchange 2010 mailbox, users can choose to synchronize their text messages in addition to their Inbox, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, and Notes. When synchronizing text messages, users will be able to send and receive text messages from their Inbox. This feature is dependent on the user’s mobile phones or devices supporting this feature.

Server-Side Information Rights Management Support
Exchange ActiveSync mailbox policies now contain support for Information Rights Management (IRM) functionality. Information Rights Management is enabled when creating a new Exchange ActiveSync mailbox policy. This new functionality allows non-Windows Mobile devices to receive and view protected e-mails. When the IRMEnabled property is configured on the Exchange ActiveSync mailbox policy and IRM is enabled for Client Access Servers, the protected e-mail will be decrypted on the server before it is downloaded to the mobile phone or device. The downloaded e-mail will be downloaded with additional properties that indicate the restrictions sent with the original e-mail. Protected messages will only be decrypted and downloaded if the mobile phone or device connects to the Client Access server using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).

Outlook Web App Improvements
The following is a list of the new Outlook Web App functionality in Exchange 2010 SP1:

  • Improved management of the relationship between Office Communications Server and Outlook Web App. Configuration is stored in Active Directory instead of a web.config file and can be managed via cmdlet.
  • Twenty-seven themes are available, and they have new administrative options:
    • Set default theme with the DefaultTheme parameter by using either the Set-OwaMailboxPolicy or the Set-OwaVirtualDirectory cmdlet.
    • Create custom themes by modifying existing themes.
    • Control the order themes are listed in Outlook Web App.
  • By default, attachment types that are marked as Force Save will be excluded from security checks for XML or HTML. You can change this behavior by setting the ForceSaveAttachmentFilteringEnabled parameter to $true by using either the Set-OwaMailboxPolicy or the Set-OwaVirtualDirectory cmdlet.

Reset Virtual Directory
In Exchange 2010 SP1, you can use the new Reset Client Access Virtual Directory wizard to reset one or more Client Access server virtual directories. The new wizard makes it easier to reset a Client Access server virtual directory. One reason that you might want to reset a Client Access server virtual directory is to resolve an issue related to a damaged file on a virtual directory. In addition to resetting virtual directories, the wizard creates a log file that includes the settings for each virtual directory that you choose to reset.

Improvements in Transport
The following is a list of new Transport functionality in Exchange 2010 SP1:

  • MailTips access control over organizational relationships
  • Enhanced monitoring and troubleshooting features for MailTips
  • Enhanced monitoring and troubleshooting features for message tracking
  • Message throttling enhancements
  • Shadow redundancy promotion
  • SMTP failover and load balancing improvements
  • Support for extended protection on SMTP connections
  • Send connector changes to reduce NDRs over well-defined connections

Permissions Functionality
The following is a brief description of new permissions features and enhancements in Exchange 2010 SP1:

  • Database scope support
    With database scopes, you can control which databases mailboxes can be created for a given set of administrators and also control which databases they can manage.
  • Active Directory split permissions
    Active Directory split permissions enable you to completely separate the administrative capabilities of Exchange administrators from your Active Directory administrators. The ability to create and remove Active Directory users and groups and manage non-Exchange attributes of Active Directory objects by Exchange administrators and servers has been removed in Exchange 2010 SP1.
  • Improved user interface
    You can now create and manage management role groups and management role assignment policies in the Exchange Control Panel (ECP). This includes adding and removing management roles to role groups and role assignment policies, adding and removing members to and from role groups, and assigning users to role assignment policies.

Exchange Store and Mailbox Database Functionality
The following is a list of new store and mailbox database functionality in Exchange 2010 SP1:

  • With the New-MailboxRepairRequest cmdlet, you can detect and repair mailbox and database corruption issues.
  • Store limits were increased for administrative access.
  • The Database Log Growth Troubleshooter (Troubleshoot-DatabaseSpace.ps1) is a new script that allows you to control excessive log growth of mailbox databases.
  • Public Folders client permissions support was added to the Exchange Management Console (EMC).

Mailbox and Recipients Functionality
The following is a list of new mailbox and recipient functionality included in Exchange 2010 SP1:

  • Calendar Repair Assistant supports more scenarios than were available in Exchange 2010 RTM.
  • Mailbox Assistants are now all throttle-based (changed from time-based in Exchange 2010 RTM).
  • Internet calendar publishing allows users in your Exchange organization to share their Outlook calendars with a broad Internet audience.
  • Importing and exporting .pst files now uses the Mailbox Replication service and doesn’t require Outlook.
  • Hierarchical address book support allows you to create and configure your address lists and offline address books in a hierarchical view.
  • Distribution group naming policies allow you to configure string text that will be appended or prepended to a distribution group’s name when it’s created.
  • Soft-delete of mailboxes after move completion.

High Availability and Site Resilience Functionality

The following is a list of new high availability and site resilience functionality included in Exchange 2010 SP1:

  • Continuous replication – block mode
  • Active mailbox database redistribution
  • Improved Outlook cross-site connection behavior and experience
  • Enhanced datacenter activation coordination mode support
  • New and enhanced management and monitoring scripts
  • Exchange Management Console user interface enhancements
  • Improvements in failover performance

Messaging Policy and Compliance Functionality
The following is a list of new messaging policy and compliance functionality included in Exchange 2010 SP1:

  • Provision personal archive on a different mailbox database
  • Import historical mailbox data to personal archive
  • Delegate access to personal archive
  • New retention policy user interface
  • Support for creating retention policy tags for Calendar and Tasks default folders
  • Opt-in personal tags
  • Multi-Mailbox Search preview
  • Annotations in Multi-Mailbox Search
  • Multi-Mailbox Search data de-duplication
  • WebReady Document Viewing of IRM-protected messages in Outlook Web App
  • IRM in Exchange ActiveSync for protocol-level IRM
  • IRM logging
  • Mailbox audit logging

Unified Messaging Server Role Improvements
The Unified Messaging server role has been improved and has added new features in Exchange 2010 SP1. To use some of these features, you must correctly deploy Microsoft Office Communications Server “14” in your environment. The following is an overview of all the new features in Exchange 2010 Unified Messaging:

  • UM reporting
    The reports for Call Statistics and User Call Logs found in the Exchange Management Console are displayed in the Exchange Control Panel.
  • UM management in the Exchange Control Panel
    You can use the ECP to manage UM components in a cross-premises environment.
  • Cross-Forest UM-enabled mailbox migration
    In Exchange 2010 SP1, you can use the New-MoveRequest cmdlet with the Mailbox Replication Service (MRS) to move a UM-enabled mailbox within a local forest and multiple forests in an enterprise.
  • Outlook Voice Access improvements
    Outlook Voice Access users can log on to their Exchange 2010 mailbox and choose the order to listen to unread voice mail messages, from the oldest message first or the newest message first.
  • Caller Name Display support
    Exchange 2010 SP1 includes support for enhanced caller ID resolution for displaying names for voice mails from unresolved numbers using Caller Name Display (CND).
  • Test-ExchangeUMCallFlow cmdlet
    With this Exchange 2010 SP1 cmdlet, you can test UM connectivity and call flow.
  • New UM Dial Plan wizard
    An additional page has been added to the New UM Dial Plan wizard that allows you to add a UM server to the dial plan.
  • Office Communications Server “14” Support
    Migrating SIP URI dial plans and Message Waiting Indicator (MWI) notifications in a cross-premises environment has been added.
  • Secondary UM dial plan support
    You can add a secondary UM dial plan for a UM-enabled user.
  • UM language packs added
    New UM language packs are now available in Exchange 2010 SP1. In addition, the Spanish (Spain) (es-ES) UM language pack available for Exchange 2010 SP1 now includes Voice Mail Preview, a feature that wasn’t available in the Exchange 2010 RTM release of that language pack.
  • Call answering rules improvements
    There are three updates to Call Answering Rules for UM-enabled users in SP1.
  • UC Managed API/speech platform improvements
    Beginning with Exchange 2010 SP1, the UM server relies on Unified Communications Managed API v. 2.0 (UCMA) for its underlying SIP signaling and speech processing.
  • UM auto attendant update
    In Exchange 2010 SP1, a UM auto attendant will play only the holiday greeting on a holiday.

Audit Logging Improvements
Exchange 2010 SP1 provides improvements in functionality related to administrator audit logging and new functionality for mailbox audit logging:

  • Improvements in administrator audit logging
    Exchange 2010 enhances the administrator audit logging functionality by providing you with the ability to perform searches of the admin audit log using the Exchange Management Shell. You can search on cmdlet and parameter names, date, the user who ran the command, and more. The results generated by your search can be displayed on the screen or e-mailed to a recipient you specify and viewed as an XML file. And, because all the administrative interfaces run Shell cmdlets in the background, the actions that occur in all the interfaces can be logged.
  • New mailbox audit logging
    Exchange 2010 SP1 introduces new mailbox audit logging functionality to allow you to track mailbox access by administrators, delegates, and mailbox owners, and actions taken on mailbox items such as moving or deleting a message, using SendAs or SendOnBehalf rights to send messages, and accessing a mailbox folder or a message. You can use the ECP to generate a report of non-owner mailbox access and use the Shell to search mailbox audit logs.
  • The Exchange Control Panel also provides several reports which are generated based on the audit logs in Exchange 2010 SP1.

Support for Coexistence with Exchange Online
Exchange 2010 SP1 includes functionality that supports coexistence with Exchange Online. However, Exchange Online has not yet been updated to support the following Exchange 2010 SP1 functionality:

  • Migration of UM-enabled mailboxes
    The New-MoveRequest cmdlet can be used with the Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Replication service (MRS) to move a UM-enabled mailbox within a coexistence environment.
  • IRM support for coexistence
    IRM is fully supported for cross-premises deployments. The tenant administrator can export the trusted publishing domain from the on-premises Active Directory Rights Management Services (AD RMS) server and import it to the cloud-based service. This functionality allows IRM-protected messages to be decrypted in the cloud, and cloud mailbox users to send IRM-protected messages that on-premises mailbox users can decrypt and access.
  • Remote Mailboxes
    A new set of SP1 cmdlets allow you to create and manage a mail-enabled user in the on-premises Active Directory site and at the same time create and manage the associated mailbox in the cloud-based service. The cmdlets are:

    • New-RemoteMailbox
    • Set-RemoteMailbox
    • Get-RemoteMailbox
    • Enable-RemoteMailbox
    • Disable-RemoteMailbox
    • Remove-Remote Mailbox
  • Transport
    Updated features in Transport help ensure that message flow remains protected between users regardless of where their mailboxes are located. Enhanced Transport features such as MailTips, delivery reports, and message moderation also support this deployment scenario.

Discontinued Features
The file also mentions the following discontinued features from Exchange 2010 RTM to Exchange 2010 SP1:

Export-Mailbox and Import-Mailbox
Use Mailbox Export Requests or Mailbox Import Request. For more information, see Understanding Mailbox Import and Export Requests.

Federated Delivery
Federated delivery allowed messages to be sent in an encrypted format and delivered as if they came from an internal server with internal addresses resolved, unsolicited e-mail and virus filtering results preserved, and trusted system data preserved between federated organizations.

Use New-MailboxRepairRequest.

Managed Folders in EMC
In Exchange 2010 SP1, use the Shell to administer Managed Folders features such as Managed Default Folders, Managed Custom Folders. , and Managed Folder Mailbox Policies.Use the EMC to manage Retention Policies and Retention Tags – the new Messaging Records Management (MRM) feature introduced in Exchange 2010.

Exchange 2010 SP1 Beta updates (cont’d)

Even more collateral updates after the release of Exchange Server 2010 SP1 Beta. Today the updated Exchange Server 2010 SP1 Beta Help file and the Exchange Server 2010 SP1 Beta UM Language Packs saw daylight.

The standalone Exchange Server 2010 SP1 Beta Help file can be used to as a reference to plan, deploy and manage your Exchange 2010 SP1 Beta organization.

The Exchange Server 2010 SP1 Beta Unified Messaging (UM) Language Packs allow an Exchange Server 2010 SP1 Beta UM server to speak additional languages to callers and recognize other languages when callers use Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) or when voice messages are transcribed.

You can download the Exchange Server 2010 SP1 Beta Help file here; the individual Exchange Server 2010 SP1 Beta UM Language Packs can be retrieved from this location.

Hosting Deployment Guide for Exchange 2010 SP1 Beta

In addition to the Exchange 2010 SP1 Beta release yesterday and all the updated related documents and kits, the Hosting Deployment Guide for Exchange 2010 SP1 Beta became available today.

The guide (CHM help file) describes hosting Exchange Server 2010 SP1 in a multi-tenant organization using single installation.

You can download the guide here.

Exchange 2010 SP1 Beta

This weeked the Exchange team released the public beta of Service Pack 1 for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010.

You can download the Exchange 2010 SP1 Beta here.

For those still unaware, the 500Mb+ file contains the full set of binaries; you can use it to upgrade existing RTM installations but can also deploy new Exchange 2010 SP1 Beta installations.

Note that when you want to install SP1 Beta on an Exchange Server holding the Client Access Server role, on top of Windows Server 2008 R2, you first need to install hotfix 981002 – Windows Communication Foundation in the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. You can download this hotfix here.

With the release of SP1 Beta Microsoft also released updates of the following documents and kits (list might be incomplete):

Note: As always with beta code, it is advised to use it on non-production systems only.

Update: The Exchange Team blogged on the Exchange 2010 SP1 Beta availability and confirmed included updates mentioned earlier, e.g. archiving and discovery enhancements, OWA improvements, upgraded mobility features and Management Console improvements. Still no Release Notes though, but the team also mentioned that Exchange 2007 SP3 is imminent.

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 SP1 Beta Web Services SDK June 2010