Thursday 28 February 2008

Exchange 2007 Server roles - a summary

Here's a simple summary of Exchange 2007 server roles, taken from

- Mailbox (MB): responsible for hosting mailbox and public folder data.

- Client Access (CA): provides mailbox server protocol access (but not MAPI). Similar to Exchange 2003 FrontEnd server, it enables user to use OWA, POP3/IMAP4 and mobile device (ActiveSync) to access their mailbox.

- Hub Transport (HT): handles mail routing to the next hop: another Hub Transport server, Edge server or mailbox server. Unlike Exchange 2003 Bridgehead that needs Exchange admin defined routing groups, Exchange 2007 Hub Transport role uses AD site info to determine the mail flow.

- Edge Transport (ET): The last hop of outgoing mail and first hop of incoming mail, acting as a "smart host" and usually deployed in a perimeter network (DMZ), Edge Transport provides mail quarantine and SMTP service to enhance security. One advantage of this role is that is does not require Active Directory access, so it can function with limited access to the corporate network for increased security.

- Unified Message (UM): enables end users to access their mailbox, address book, and calendar using telephone and voice. IP-PBX or VoIP gateway needs to be installed and configured to facilitate much of the functionality of this server role.

Monday 25 February 2008

Get the best from Outlook 2007 and Exchange 2007 - Part 2

Here's part 2 of my Top-10 tips for Outlook and Exchange 2007. If you have some others of your own please share them!

6. Quickly Add a Contact from an E-mail
This is a neat trick to keep your list of Contacts current and complete. When the message is open right-click on the person’s name in the From field and select Add to Contacts.
Take a look at that menu – you can also see someone’s Free/Busy status if it’s visible to you!

7. Get Organised and colour co-ordinated
This is new for Outlook 2007 - Colour Categories. You are able to easily personalise and add categories to any type of information – messages, calendar items, contacts and tasks.
It’s simple;
Right-click – Categorize
You can add and modify colour categories to give you a simple visual way to easily organise your data and search for information. I have categories for “Business Development”, “Management Team”, “Planning”, “Personal” etc.

8. Feed Outlook with RSS
With Outlook 2007, you can read and manage RSS feeds and blogs from within your mailbox. It’s the right place to do this and you no longer have to leave Outlook to quickly browse the latest news and sports, industry news or favourite blog posts. Of course, you just don’t get the same online experience without a bit of Flash or a few ads.

9. Use OWA on an Exchange 2007-SP1 server
Outlook Web Access is a quick and simple, yet sophisticated interface to your mailbox. OWA has improved significantly in Exchange 2007-SP1 with functionality on a par with Outlook 2003. You how have the ability to set different Out Of Office messages for internal and external recipients, both with a reminder to turn it off, or an expiry time; your folders automatically update when new mail arrives, no need to refresh all the time now; reminders are displayed in a drop-down, and not a pop-up that often got blocked; Auto-complete works when adding email addresses to a new mail; Calendaring is very good now with smart scheduling; the list goes on.

10. Make sure you use “Outlook Anywhere” (aka “Cached Exchange Mode”)
You work in a local copy of your mailbox (it also allows you to work on email offline) and Outlook connects to Exchange in the background and doesn't hang if there is a break in communication with the Exchange environment. 60% of connections to Exchange use a cached mailbox. For users of laptops, mobile workers, or if you’re on a slower or less reliable network connection, it's a necessity.
In Exchange 2007, Outlook Anywhere performance is much improved over the Cached-Exchange-Mode in Exchange 2003.

Thursday 21 February 2008

Get the best from Outlook 2007 and Exchange 2007 - Part 1

Here’s the first part of my Top-10 list of how to get the best from Microsoft Outlook 2007 and Exchange 2007.

If you spend a lot of time working within Microsoft Outlook (and who doesn't!?) these tips can really boost your efficiency. As easy as they are, they are often overlooked and underused. There are usually additional short-cuts and alternative menus for all the tips below.

1. Flag for Follow-Up – use this to set Reminders on Messages
To set a reminder, which is visible in your Inbox and reminds you to act on or reply to any message, right-click on the message, select Follow Up, and choose your Due By time and date. You can chose a reminder for Today, Tomorrow, This Week etc.
When you click OK, the message will be flagged for you to remember to respond to, and the date and time will be automatically kept track of. To clear the flag, right click on the message and choose Clear Flag.

2. Use the To-Do Bar to manage your daily priorities and information
Check your priorities for the day by looking at the To-Do Bar. It shows your flagged messages (follow-ups) and Outlook Tasks in a simple list which you can manage and customise to suit you.
Cunningly, the To-Do Bar also connects tasks you may set in other Office 2007 applications including OneNote and Windows SharePoint Services.
Check your Calendar too because this is integrated with the To-Do Bar and show items due for action for each day. This allows you to easily schedule and block out time to work on items.

3. Permanently Delete Messages
When you delete something, hold down the Shift-key as you click Delete and it’s permanently deleted. You’ll be asked if you want to permanently delete the message, just to make sure, as it doesn’t go into the Deleted Items folder!
You can multi select a number of messages, or all folder contents, and it works the same way.

4. Quickly Undelete a Message
Ctrl-Z will bring it back. Works across all Microsoft Office applications too.

5. Catch those misspellings and common typos
You can easily have Outlook check your spelling in all outgoing messages – very handy if you’re a speedy & error-prone typist. In the Tools menu, click on Options and the Spelling tab, then select Always check spelling before sending.

Monday 4 February 2008

New whitepaper for SP1 and HMC4.0

If you're a Hosting provider and/or running HMC, there's a new white paper for Exchange 2007 SP1 and how SP1 features relate to HMC4.0
In particular, it addresses key features in anywhere access (inc. OWA and ActiveSync), built-in protection (in.c SCR) , and improvements to performance and scalability.

You can download the whitepaper here