Exchange Unwashed Digest – November 2014


The normal flow of new features, updates, and bugs flowed across the “Exchange Unwashed” desk during November. Some of the bugs were puzzling, others were infuriating, but everything was interesting – at least to me.

A clash between S/MIME and transport rules (Nov 27): Data Loss Prevention (DLP) was a big new feature in Exchange 2013 that has now been extended to SharePoint Online. DLP depends on special forms of transport rules to ensure that messages containing sensitive data don’t get outside an organization. As it happens, S/MIME messages might stop DLP working and so cause messages to be blocked. I never realized that this might happen until it did…

OWA functionality gap widens between Office 365 and Exchange 2013 (Nov 25): If you’re a user of Office 365, you’re probably aware that lots of new features have been popping up recently (People View, Clutter, and Groups). All great stuff, but these features aren’t in on-premises Exchange and might not ever feature in an on-premises release. Other UI tweaks have also popped up in Outlook Web App (OWA) that aren’t yet in on-premises Exchange, all of which underlines the growing functionality gap that has appeared between the cloud and on-premises versions.

Office 365 Groups problem exposes the seamy side of evergreen software (Nov 20). Another Office 365 story, this time one exploring how the rush to get new features to users and fulfill the promise of “evergreen” technology can have a downside. Office 365 Groups are nice (apart from the total lack of management features) but a security weakness was discovered after they were made available to users. The developers moved to fix the problem but didn’t communicate and the net result was that folks lost access to documents stored in the OneDrive for Business sites used by Groups. All a bit of a mess…

FAQ: Answers to common Office 365 Clutter questions (Nov 18). I really like the new Clutter feature now available in OWA for Office 365 but it’s clear that lots of people are struggling to understand how they might use it. So I put together this FAQ based on my own experience and a discussion with the developers. See what you think.

OWA updates in Office 365 help with Chrome showModalDialog issue but no joy for on-premises versions (Nov 13). Google shipped Chrome 37 and broke OWA and EAC, which use the showModalDialog method for common operations like attaching files to messages. Google hasn’t done much to help since September, but Microsoft has updated OWA (but only for Office 365) to remove the use of the method. It’s a help but overall still a mess.

Microsoft pulls Exchange updates to fix installer problem (Nov 11). We were all set to welcome Exchange 2013 CU7 when news emerged that Microsoft had pulled the update because a security fix might affect OWA. Given the criticism that has been leveled at Microsoft about product quality the call was a good one. We now await CU7 sometime in December…

Clutter arrives to impose order on Office 365 mailboxes (Nov 11). This is the post to welcome the initial appearance of Clutter in Office 365 tenant domains that had signed up for “First Release.” Between this and the FAQ referred to above, you should get a pretty good view of how useful Clutter might be to you.

Forcing Exchange’s Admin Center to use a specific language (Nov 7). You know what it’s like. It’s a winter afternoon and you have nothing much to do, which leads you to think that you want to perform Exchange administration in Welsh or German or some other language. And then you find out that EAC will allow you to do just that. Which is nice…

Active Directory schema extensions now a feature of every Exchange update (Nov 5). There was a time when the thought of a schema update would reduce an Active Directory administrator to a gibbering wreck. But that was in 2000 or thereabouts. We’re more mature about these updates now. After all, just wait for a few months and a new schema update will come along…

iOS 8 ActiveSync problem causes out-of-date meetings (Nov 3). Ah yes, the sheer quality of iOS mail app upgrades are a source of wonder and bemusement. Wonder because Apple keep on screwing up the ActiveSync connection to Exchange; bemusement because there’s no good reason why bugs keep on appearing in this part of iOS. There’s no conspiracy here at all. Apple and Microsoft are good friends. Move on please…

December brings us the holidays and all that well-feeling to friend and foe. I hope that the month brings a similar mix of events to report. Actually, I’m pretty sure that it will!

Follow Tony @12Knocksinna

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About Tony Redmond ("Thoughts of an Idle Mind")

Exchange MVP, author, and rugby referee
This entry was posted in Cloud, Exchange, Office 365 and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Exchange Unwashed Digest – November 2014

  1. Pingback: NeWay Technologies – Weekly Newsletter #124 – December 4, 2014 | NeWay

  2. Pingback: NeWay Technologies – Weekly Newsletter #124 – December 5, 2014 | NeWay

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