Upgrade from Exchange 2007 Beta 2 to RTM

Fortunately for Microsoft there was a lot of excitement around the prereleases of Exchange 2007 Beta 2, and many of us liked it so much more than Exchange 2003 or our previous solutions that we upgraded to it early.  Luckily for all of us who did this, Microsoft left a way for us to get our Beta 2 configuration up to RTM.

On December 24, when I wanted to move my test machine over from Beta 2 to RTM I had to make a decision. The choices were that I could format the hard drive and reinstall Windows 2003 R2 x64 and Exchange 2007 RTM, or I could just upgrade to the RTM version.  Upgrade’s are always less desirable and in this case completely unsupported by Microsoft for a production environment.  In my case though, this was just for a testing environment and I was in a hurry to get to RTM since I was tired of some of the bugs in my Beta 2 configuration.  This was the process that I used which worked well for me:

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Apple Mac OS X Server 10.4.9 Update

Apple finally released their 10.4.9 update today after about 4 or 5 developer releases. I’m currently downloading these updates onto my local software update server to deploy to my Apple servers and workstations. I’ll be looking forward to testing the previous authentication problems that I have had in the past, but I can already see a number of other outstanding issues in the list below have finally been addressed by Apple.

This is Apple’s list of fixes for Server:

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Non-domain Joined Outlook/Exchange Users

This topic is rarely addresssed because most Outlook/Exchange users tend to be domain joined, but in my testing I ran into a few issues that are worth making a public note of. First off, I want to say that I only tested this scenario with Exchange 2007, but this may be relevant to Exchange 2003 as well.

I did not run into any issues when using Exchange 2007 with Outlook when the Exchange server was also the Domain Controller (DC) and Global Catalog (GC) server. When I separated the Exchange 2007 server and the DC/GC I ran into an issue with Outlook not authenticating properly to the Directory Service through the RPC over HTTPS proxy. I was not able to track down the full reason behind the problem, but I figured out the solution as well as contributing factors.

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Accessing Exchange from Mac OS X

Sadly, in a Windows centric environment, such as an Exchange organization, the Macs often get left behind. The Macs can play nicely with the PCs in terms of collaboration, but we can probably never expect them to have all the same features that Outlook and Exchange are capable of achieving.

On a Mac there are really only two options for accessing your Exchange mailbox, and that is an IMAP client or an OWA (Outlook Web Access) based client. Thankfully for us, most Apple computers already have both of these; Apple Mail and Microsoft Entourage. Both of these clients can interface with Exchange both over OWA or IMAP.

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