Exchange 2010 SP1 adds more features

Microsoft announced some nice new touches to it’s Exchange 2010 product with the release of SP1.

Yesterday, Microsoft made the first public announcement about Exchange Server 2010 SP1. Besides some bug fixes, it adds a ton of extremely valuable new features to what is already the most significant release of Exchange in some time.

The first major SP1 change I want to talk about involves the way that the Personal Archive feature works. In Exchange 2010 RTM, Personal Archive mailboxes must be in the same mailbox database as the primary mailbox they support. This requirement prevents you from using the Personal Archive functionality with less-expensive, slower storage, and it puts limits on how you provision mailbox databases for users. This situation alone has slowed down Exchange 2010 deployments because the utility of Personal Archives is limited by not being able to move them to alternate storage.

SP1 removes this limitation so that a Personal Archive mailbox can be created in any mailbox database in the organization. It’s essentially treated as any other mailbox would be except that it’s linked to its primary mailbox. In keeping with the idea that it’s much like a regular mailbox, SP1 also lets you grant delegate access to users’ Personal Archives.

SP1 includes a bunch of very welcome improvements to the Exchange Management Console (EMC) and the Exchange Control Panel (ECP). The biggest items here are support for Role Based Access Control (RBAC) and full support for retention tags and policies.

OWA and Exchange ActiveSync get some great new features as well, notably a series of interface tweaks that make OWA look more like a web app and less like a desktop app. OWA in SP1 will finally support themes again because they provide a very useful, and supported, way to brand and customize the appearance of OWA for companies that want to do so.

The Exchange Team Blog has an expanded list of SP1 features available in the post "Yes Virginia, there is an Exchange Server 2010 SP1,"

Now we wait for the announcement for SBS 2008 R2, which should include Exchange 2010 among other things. Keep your eye’s open!

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