-------| Exchange & Outlook UPDATE |-------

IN THIS ISSUE
*Commentary: What to Expect from Exchange 2007 SP1
*Special Commentary: New Content and Community Site for Exchange Pros
*Editor's Note: TechX Web Site and Email Newsletter
*Exchanging Ideas: Turning Off Outlook 2003's Automatic URL Recognition
*New and Improved: Take Advantage of Group Management Functionality

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***COMMENTARY: What to Expect from Exchange 2007 SP1
by Paul Robichaux, Exchange Editor, exadmin@windowsitpro.com

Even Microsoft doesn't have unlimited resources. Although hundreds of programmers, testers, and program managers work on the Exchange team, they had their hands full creating Exchange Server 2007 because it was essentially a complete reimplementation of the core components of Exchange. The product team had to pick a ship date and then work to meet the date. As a result, some planned features were cut, including the ability to use public folders with OWA and the ability to manage POP and IMAP servers from the Exchange management GUI.

The cuts engendered a lot of discussion. Companies that depend heavily on a particular feature, such as Secure MIME (S/MIME) support for OWA, were unhappy with the cuts; others were more interested in new features such as Windows PowerShell and unified messaging and didn't mind the cuts in features that they weren't using. Most of my customers fall into the latter camp, but I've heard from many readers who felt that the lack of a particular feature would slow or block their deployment. On February 23, Microsoft posted an announcement about the upcoming release of Exchange 2007 Service Pack 1 (SP1) on the Exchange Team Blog. We now know which features will be returning—plus there are a few surprises.

Let's start with what's arguably the biggest new feature. Exchange 2007 introduced two new modes of continuous data protection (CDP): local continuous replication (LCR) and cluster continuous replication (CCR). In SP1, LCR and CCR will be joined by standby continuous replication (SCR), a new mode in which data from one Exchange server can be replicated to another server in another site, with an optional time delay for replay of the replicated logs. The source and target servers can be in different subnets (unlike CCR), which means that you can use SCR to add offsite protection to a CCR cluster or a standalone server. You might think of SCR as a nonlocal version of LCR because it doesn't provide the automatic failover of CCR. Look for more details about this feature in a future UPDATE.

The second biggest piece of SP1 news is the extensive list of features added to OWA 2007. The monthly calendar view is back, as are support for S/MIME and access to public folders. SP1 will also include personal distribution list support and the ability to recover deleted items. Also, the HTML transcoding engine that provides HTML versions of Microsoft Office documents can now handle Office 2007 documents—a welcome bonus.

The SP1 change most likely to get a round of applause from administrators is that the Move-Mailbox cmdlet in Exchange Management Shell now supports importing from and exporting to PSTs. Not everyone needs the ability to move mailbox contents to and from PSTs, but those who do tend to need it greatly, and they've been very vocal about its omission from the release to manufacturing version of the product.

There are other new features, too, such as support for Windows Longhorn Server, but for space reasons I'll save these updates for a future column.

Microsoft has flip-flopped several times on the issue of whether service packs should contain new features or merely bug fixes. The direction seems to be trending toward the features end of things, although I expect SP1 to include bug fixes for Exchange components as well. In my Exchange 2007 testing to date, I haven't found any serious bugs, so I'm more interested in the bug fixes in Windows Vista SP1!

Microsoft hasn't publicly set an exact date for the release of Exchange 2007 SP1 (the February announcement said "second half of this year"), but the company has said that TechNet Plus subscribers will have access to the beta version in April. I'm interested to know if you've held off planning for Exchange 2007 deployment because of a missing feature, and if the feature set announced for SP1 changes your mind. Drop me a note and let me know.

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***SPECIAL COMMENTARY: New Content and Community Site for Exchange Pros
by Anne Grubb, Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP editor, agrubb@windowsitpro.com

The world of a messaging administrator is a lot more complicated than it was in the days of Exchange Server 5.5. As a Microsoft Exchange professional, you're responsible for overseeing more mail traffic and larger mail stores than ever before. You're also likely keeping an eye on an ever-growing base of mobile users, troubleshooting increasingly complex problems, staying vigilant against spam and viruses, and reining in IM users—all while trying to stay current with technology changes such as Exchange Server 2007, unified communications, and archiving to meet e-discovery mandates.

What you need on hand are information and a community of your peers and experts to call on when you need help with messaging issues. That's where Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP comes in. On the Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP Web site, you'll find these resources:

  • A new article posted each week on an Exchange or Outlook technical topic, plus weekly notifications of new content via email or RSS
  • Subscribers-only forum, where you can post questions or discussion topics and get responses from your peers and Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP contributors
  • Ask the Editor box, where you can submit your Exchange- and Outlook-related questions online
  • News and Analysis section, including the latest news relevant to Windows IT pros
  • Monthly email update containing editor's commentary and PDF with the previous month's articles

In the two-plus months that Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP has been live, I've had some great interactions with readers. I've helped some of you get your questions answered, and I've seen some lively discussions on the forum (especially about Microsoft's daylight saving time fix!). As Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP editor, I'm enthusiastic about our publication's ability to serve a valuable role in the community of Exchange & Outlook professionals. Check out the site at http://www.exchangeprovip.com. If you'd like to subscribe, contact customer service at 800-793-5697 or subs@windowsitpro.com.

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***Editor's Note

TechX Interoperability Web Site and UPDATE Email Newsletter
Do you work in a mixed environment? Visit TechX World for information about Windows interoperability. The TechX World community gives you access to interoperability articles that aren't available anywhere else; news, tips, and tricks from interop experts and other users; and forums and blog posts by other community members.

Join the TechX World community and sign up for the TechX Interoperability UPDATE email newsletter:
http://techxworld.com/community/reg

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***EXCHANGING IDEAS

Focus: Turning Off Outlook 2003's Automatic URL Recognition

Do you want to turn off automatic URL recognition on your machine? Find out how to obtain the new hotfix that will turn it off for you.
http://www.windowsitpro.com/Articles/ArticleID/93901/93901.html

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Tell Us About the Products You Love!
What products are you using that save you time or make your workload a little lighter? What hot product discoveries have you made that other IT pros need to know about? Let the world know about your experiences in Windows IT Pro's monthly What's Hot department. If we publish your story in What's Hot, we'll send you a Best Buy gift card! Send information about your favorite product and how it has helped you to whatshot@windowsitpro.com.

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Have a question? Got answers? Join your peers in the Exchange discussion forums:
http://forums.windowsitpro.com/web/forum/categories.aspx?catid=40&entercat=y
Current Threads:
Exchange Patch Question
Exchange not receiving from hotmail.com?
Saving email attachments

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The voting has ended in the Windows IT Pro Exchange & Outlook nonscientific Instant Poll for the question "What collaboration technologies do you use in conjunction with Exchange/Outlook?" Here are the results from the 51 votes:
- 41% SharePoint technologies
- 18% Microsoft Office Live Communications Server
- 0% Another Office product (e.g., Groove, OneNote)
- 18% Another vendor's collaboration product
- 24% More than one of the above

Tell us what you think in this month's Instant Poll:
http://www.windowsitpro.com/MicrosoftExchangeOutlook/
"What email client does your company use?"
a. Outlook 2007
b. Outlook 2003
c. Pre-2003 version of Outlook
d. Lotus Notes
e. Other

~~~~ Hot Spot: ~~~~

Making Exchange DR More Affordable
Exchange 2007 offers new DR and HA features, but you may have to trade these capabilities for other requirements. Join Paul Robichaux for an exploration of each level of granularity for Exchange DR, ranging from solutions that provide site resiliency to solutions that protect individual mailboxes, and determine how much DR capability you need. On-Demand Web Seminar.
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***NEW AND IMPROVED
by Blake Eno, products@windowsitpro.com

Take Advantage of Group Management Functionality
Imanami announced that is has partnered with Microsoft to provide Exchange Server customers with enhanced Web-based group management functionality through Imanami's directory management software, WebDir. WebDir provides Exchange customers with a self-service portal for enhanced end-user management of security groups and distribution lists. WebDir lets end users update their own directory information and manage their own groups, taking the burden off of IT. For more information, contact Imanami at 925-371-3000 or 800-684-8515.
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***EVENTS AND RESOURCES

These Windows-related events, papers, and resources will help you keep your knowledge and skills up to date and help you deploy, secure, and maintain the latest Exchange- and Windows-related technologies. For more Exchange related resources, visit
http://www.windowsitpro.com/go/exchangeresources

Get Ready for the Windows Server Longhorn Roadshow!
Seize control of your Windows infrastructure with Microsoft's biggest server release since Windows 2003. Get a live, under-the-hood look at Longhorn virtualization, deployment, Web services, and breakthroughs in core reliability. This one-day event is filled with demonstrations and in-depth discussions designed for IT pros who want a deep understanding of Windows Server Longhorn.
http://www.windowsitpro.com/roadshows/longhorn/?code=epromo

Microsoft Exchange Connections
April 1-4, 2007, Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress. Dive into Exchange Server 2007 as Microsoft architects and industry experts present over 45 sessions! Register and reserve your hotel room, and get a FREE hotel room night (three-night minimum stay). For more details, call 800-505-1201 or 203-268-3204.
http://www.winconnections.com

Deploy Exchange Server 2007 Without a Hitch!
This one-day technical training event teaches you how to preempt pitfalls and avoid corrupting your infrastructure. You'll learn how to effectively install, manage, and secure Exchange Server 2007 in a 64-bit environment. You'll also get a peek into the integration of Outlook, SharePoint Server 2007, and Exchange Server 2007. Register today!
http://www.windowsitpro.com/roadshows/exchange2007usa/?code=epromo

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~~~~ Contact Us ~~~~

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