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Microsoft Tuesday announced the availability of Exchange 2010 Service Pack 2, adding support for hybrid cloud environments, other enhancements and a number of bug fixes.
"SP2 includes much anticipated features such as the Hybrid Configuration Wizard, Address Book Policies, Outlook Web App Mini and Cross-Site Silent Redirection for Outlook Web App, as well as customer requested fixes and rollups released prior to Service Pack 2," said Kevin Allison, general manager for Exchange Customer Experience at Microsoft.
"As with SP1, Service Pack 2 is a fully slipstreamed version of Exchange with 13 server languages and 66 client languages (including English) available in a single package. There is no separate download for client and server languages; you'll only need to download and install separate language packs if you have Unified Messaging."
Many of the updates revolve around making it easier to manage an environment that includes both on-premise mailboxes and cloud-based mailboxes using Exchange Online and Office 365.
The Hybrid Configuration Wizard is intended to streamline the process of configuring such a hybrid deployment. Microsoft said the wizard helps organizations provide the seamless look and feel of a single Exchange organization while offering administrators the ability to extend the feature-rich experience and administrative control of an on-premises organization to the cloud.
Microsoft has also made it easier to enable Mailbox Replication Service Proxy (MRSProxy) to make it simpler for administrators to move mailboxes from on-premises to Outlook.com or another forest.
The service pack also includes a mini version of Outlook Web App, designed to operate on mobile phones. Microsoft said it's a lightweight browser-based client somewhat akin to the Outlook Mobile Access client it offered in Exchange 2003. It's text-based to accommodate low-bandwidth and low-resolution devices. The app gives users the ability to access e-mail, e-mail subfolders, calendar, contacts, tasks and the global address list. Users also have the ability to compose, reply to and forward e-mail; create and edit calendar, contact and task items; handle meeting requests; and set the time zone and automatic reply messages.
The update to Address Book Policies gives organizations the ability to segment address books into smaller subsets with the intent of streamlining the user experience. It achieves this through the introduction of the address book policy (ABP) object, which can be assigned to a mailbox user. The ABP determines the global address list (GAL), offline address book (OAB), room list and address lists that are visible to the mailbox user assigned the policy.
Microsoft announced the updates in May to give Exchange customers time to update their Active Directory schema.
Thor Olavsrud is a contributor to InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.