Software engineers tend to get all the credit for the development of a product over time. However, in the case of Exchange Server, I also think that the technical writers who build the documentation deserve credit for the substantial increase in the quality and quantity of the information about all aspects of Exchange that’s available online.
Back in the bad old days Exchange 2003, its product documentation was an inch deep and not a mile wide. There were too many corners of the product that were undocumented and those that were written about were not always dealt with at the level that administrators needed, especially if they worked on one of the more complex deployments.
Fortunately the situation is much improved now. The combination of formal documentation for Exchange 2010 that’s available on TechNet and the more informal information released through the EHLO blog is sufficient for most purposes. Sure, there’s always something esoteric to track down or something new that suddenly surfaces, but that’s where blogs like this come into the picture! Or, if you don’t like researching product information online and want the comfort of a solid book, even though Microsoft doesn’t release printed technical manuals for Exchange of the type that used to be issued years ago, there are plenty of independent volumes available for your reading pleasure in paper and electronic formats.
The Exchange documentation team is currently working to support the next version of the product. Every new release brings its own challenges because there are new features to describe and old ones to be redone or withdrawn. David Strome, one of the senior technical writers who support Exchange, used his blog to ask the technical community for some help as Microsoft figure out how best to navigate the huge amount of content that’s now available for Exchange.
If you’ve a few minutes over a cup of your favorite steaming beverage, please use it to read about David’s request and consider how you access information on TechNet. And when you’re ready to contribute, tell the technical writers how you’d make it better. I’ve made my comment and look forward to seeing yours.
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