Exchange Unwashed Digest – November 2015


Here is a digest of the posts that appeared on my “Exchange Unwashed” blog on WindowsITPro.com during November 2015. The Thanksgiving holidays distracted some in the U.S., but we kept on trucking along…

Building efficient keyword queries for eDiscovery searches in Exchange and SharePoint (Nov 26): These days it’s somewhat strange when software allows you free rein, which is why it seems funny to be able to build keyword queries for eDiscovery searches from scratch without any assistance from Exchange or SharePoint. Perhaps the developers believe that all administrators are perfectly fluent in the Keyword Query Language (isn’t everyone?). Or it’s their little way of warning the unknowledgeable away from the unintelligible.

Why Exchange 2016 ignores Outlook 2007 (Nov 24): You know what it’s like. You’ve just charted out how a new version of Exchange (in this case, Exchange 2016) can be rolled out into production when someone asks the “what about Outlook” question. No one likes going near user desktops and the thought of having to deploy a new version of Microsoft Office is enough to reduce a strong administrator to a quivering wreck, especially after the Office 2010 “ribbon” caused so much grief for some. But there’s no getting away from the fact that Exchange 2016 will simply not play ball with Outlook 2007. Something more modern is required, like a nice new Outlook 2016 client. That’ll do nicely.

SharePoint 2016, Microsoft Graph, Ingestion, and choosing a new smartphone (Nov 19): A miscellany of topics from a new beta version of SharePoint 2016 to preview versions of third-party archiving ingestion for Office 365 taking in an eBook that seeks to dispel cloud myths before arriving at the question of the moment – Windows Mobile 10 versus iPhone?

Sixty million Office 365 targets light up for developers (Nov 18): Being someone whose last programming attempts were based on Visual Basic 3.0, I don’t normally pay much attention to the world of development. But the Office Graph – now the Microsoft Graph – is a pretty fascinating project to weave an intelligent fabric from the many strands of Microsoft’s cloud services. The Graph isn’t a massive database. Instead, it’s an API and a lot of smarts that link data like user accounts, mailboxes, calendars, groups, and so on in a very approachable method for developers to do their stuff. So it’s interesting. At least, I thought so… Now just how do I connect to the Graph with Visual Basic again?

Why Microsoft decided to keep deleted items in Exchange Online and why it might be the right decision (Nov 17): When they made the original decision, I enjoyed a little rant at Microsoft’s decision to stop the Managed Folder Assistant removing items from the Deleted Items folder in Exchange Online. But after taking some time to reflect on the call, it might be that they made the right business decision because it improves the service for the majority of tenants. It might also have been the right technical decision too, even if some other routes were open. I still don’t like it very much, but I can live with the notion of vast amounts of junk piling up in user mailboxes around the world. Isn’t that why we have these massive mailboxes for anyway?

The not so boring version of how Exchange Online satisfies SEC rule 17A-4 (Nov 12): The pleasure of browsing through complex regulations produced by a government agency should never be underestimated, especially when accompanied by the terse commentary of a legal opinion. I guess Microsoft didn’t expect a huge amount of reaction from the community when they let everyone know how Exchange Online Archiving satisfies Rule 17A-4 Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). After all, a story about how Outlook supports “likes” and “mentions” is much more interesting… But some goodness lies in the information, so here’s the not-so-boring and totally not-a-legal-opinion of the technical side of the story.

Microsoft reduces price for Office 365 Import Service (Nov 10): I couldn’t believe it when I heard that Microsoft planned to charge $8/GB to process data through the Office 365 Import Service. It just didn’t make sense when you consider that it is in Microsoft’s best interests to have customers keep as much data as possible in the service. A protest duly erupted and the result is now seen in a rather dramatic reduction to $2/GB data for drive shipping. Network uploads are free. Which is how it should be.

Getting data into Office 365 is easy; not so straightforward to retrieve (Nov 5): The rush to embrace the cloud is a wonder to behold, but I wonder just how many people really think through the issues involved in making a retreat should such a (horrible) course of action becomes necessary. It is easy to move Exchange mailboxes to Office 365 and ingest other data (PSTs, SharePoint sites, file servers) using the Office 365 Import Service, but how do you realize the promise that “it’s your data” and take it back? It’s a hard question…

Google’s last gasp attempt to stop the Office 365 juggernaut (Nov 3): The news from Mountain View that Google would really like more customers to use Google Apps for Work should come as no surprise to anyone. The fact that they’re willing to let companies who have a Microsoft enterprise agreement to use Google Apps for Work free of charge until that agreement expires seems like a good way to entice companies to move out of the Microsoft orbit, but I’m not sure that these tactics will work. There’s just too much to do to move to Google when Office 365 is so much easier to get to…

I also published two articles this month. First, Multi-Factor Authentication and Office 365 – Better protection, better security on November 16 to discuss how MFA or modern autheFollow Tony @12Knocksinnantication now works pretty smoothly for Office 365 tenants, and A call to action: It’s time to eliminate PSTs on Nov 9, my polemic on everything that so so wrong with PST files…

Now on to December. More holidays, but lots more work to do.

Follow Tony @12Knocksinna

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

Exchange MVP, author, and rugby referee
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