On Tuesday december 13, 2016 Microsoft has released its quaterly updates:
and Update Rollups:
Looking at Exchange 2016, what does this CU bring us?
There are minor changes to the user interface of Outlook on the Web or Outlook Web App, whatever you may call it. It’s not that dramatically, the formatting controls have been moved to the bottom of the frame containing the editing pane, as can be seen on the following screenshot.
And finally, there’s support for the .NET Framework 4.6.2. Using .NET Framework 4.6.2 is still optional (but recommended), but the upcoming release in March 2017 (Exchange 2016 CU5) will require the use of .NET Framework 4.6.2.
As you might have noticed, Exchange 2016 CU3 (the previous release) introduced support for Windows Server 2016. This was also announced at the Ignite 2016 in Atlanta. Unfortunately there was a major flaw in Windows 2016 clustering that caused issues with Exchange 2016 in a Database Availability Group configuration. This has now been fixed by the Windows team (KB3206632), and Exchange 2016 again fully supports Windows 2016. The hotfix is mentioned is mandatory, and the setup application does a check for this hotfix.
Exchange 2016 does not introduce any new schema changes, but you may execute setup.exe /prepareAD /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms to make sure any changes in the configuration partition are applied successfully.
As usual, and especially after the latest issues with Exchange 2016 CU3 and Windows 2016 I strongly encourage everybody to thoroughly test Exchange 2016 CU4 (or any other update that’s needed of course) in your lab environment before bringing it into production!
In Exchange 2013 you could use the Office Web Apps server in combination with Exchange server to view attachments online, without having to download these attachments first to the local workstation. Exchange 2016 is the successor of Exchange 2013, Office Online Server (OOS) 2016 is the successor of Office Web Apps 2013.
For an optimal user experience in Outlook on the Web you want an Outlook Online Server to view attachments online. Instead of downloading the attachment to your client workstation (not ideal when working on a non-trusted workstation) you can view it in your browser, and your browser will show something like this:
So how does this work?
Continue reading Install Office Online Server 2016
Now that Microsoft has Exchange Server 2016 it’s time to have a closer look at what’s new in the product. It might not be a surprise that it looks a lot like Exchange Online. Not surprisingly since Microsoft is developing Exchange for the cloud, and Exchange on-premises is just a spin-off of Exchange Online, released on a quarterly basis.
It might be blunt to say, but Exchange 2016 is nothing more than Exchange 2013 Service Pack 2, if you look at the version numbering with PowerShell (Get-ExchangeServer | Select Name,AdminDisplayVersion) you’ll see that it’s actually a minor upgrade from 15.0 (Exchange 2013) to 15.1 (Exchange 2016).
The question can be raised why a new version? It’s all about the support lifecycle, and get rid of support for Exchange Server 2007. Customers need a new version, from a support point of view or from a license point of view (software assurance).
But, back to Exchange 2016… it is a new version, and with a new version also new features are introduced and other features are deprecated or removed.
Continue reading Exchange 2016 – What’s new?
On July 22nd Microsoft released a public beta of Exchange Server 2016. Although the RTM version of Exchange Server 2016 is still quite some time in the future, this beta version will give you the possibility to have an early look at the software.
At first glance Exchange 2016 looks like some sort of Exchange 2013 SP3 and at some point I can agree (after all, there’s nothing wrong with Exchange 2013). Picture this, Microsoft has ten thousands of servers running Exchange 2013 in their datacenters, and when upgrading to a new version Microsoft simply cannot afford to add to much complexity when upgrading, like when upgrading from Exchange 2007 (BPOS in those days) to Exchange 2010, or from Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2013. From this perspective it makes sense there aren’t too much differences. But actually there are many, many new features in Exchange 2016 so it also makes sense to talk about a new version. And from a Microsoft support point of view they also have to release new versions (both major and minor) to keep track of supporting older versions…
In this blog post I’ll show some nice features and improvements, but there are many, many more to discover. Let’s go ahead and have a quick look…
Outlook on the Web (OOTW)
One of the most visible improvements in Exchange Server 2016 is the new user interface (UI) which now looks like the Office 365 OWA interface, but with several new improvements (which will follow later in Office 365) which makes the new UI very slick:
Figure 1. The new Converged OWA User Interface, now called Outlook on the Web (OOTW)
Continue reading Exchange 2016 Public Preview