When we began working on the “Office 365 for Exchange Professionals” eBook, we knew that this was not a once-off effort. The dynamic nature of Office 365 and the number of changes that appear I the service means that books that are just a few months old start to become obsolete. Those that appeared in 2012 or 2013 are now ancient and don’t reflect what users or administrators see today.
We set out on this project with the intention of keeping the book up to date through a series of regular releases. With that commitment in mind, the team is working hard to produce the 2nd edition of “Office 365 for Exchange Professionals” to meet a target delivery date of September 14. This happens to be the first day of the IT/DEV Connections conference in Las Vegas (check out the Office 365 sessions in the Enterprise Collaboration track) and will mark the first time in a year that three authors and our technical editor will be together in the same physical place. Some of our MVP colleagues who have helped us by reviewing chapters of the book will also be at the conference, so we might just have a small celebration to mark the release of the 2nd edition.
But before we can crack open the champagne, we have to update the book’s 18 chapters and appendix (covering directory synchronization). Some of the chapters don’t need major updates but dramatic shifts have occurred in the content of others, either in terms of software that is now available or in the form of new information gained from Microsoft at events such as the Ignite conference in May. For example, directory synchronization has changed significantly since the formal release of the AADConnect tool, Office 365 Groups have been transformed with new PowerShell cmdlets and a new object type, Outlook 2016 is close to being released, and lots of change has happened in Delve. And that’s just a hint of the sixty-odd changes we have tracked since we stopped writing the content of the original release on April 15 last.
Apart from changes originating inside Microsoft, we also have had the chance to assess and re-evaluate different components running inside Office 365 and incorporate those thoughts into the flow of the book. “Best practice” is an ethereal notion because it evolves over time and with experience. We hope that we can capture the developing state of knowledge and expertise around Office 365 by keeping our ears open for news, assessing that news in the light of our experience, and testing in practice.
The current eBook will remain available until we launch the new edition. The PDF and EPUB versions will be available first on ExchangeServerPro.com. It will take us a little longer to generate the Kindle (MOBI) format for Amazon.com. We still have not decided how to price the 2nd edition. With over 100 pages of new content, it seems like this is much more of a new book than an update. In any case, we have time to figure this out over the next month or so. Now back to the writing…
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