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Exchange is a popular Microsoft messaging system that includes a mail server, an e-mail program (e-mail client), and groupware applications. Designed for use in a business setting, the Exchange server is often used in conjunction with Microsoft Outlook to take advantage of Outlook's collaborative features, such as the ability to share calendars and contact lists.

What is Outlook Web Access?

Outlook Web Access (OWA) is a form of webmail for Exchange Servers. OWA allows someone with an Exchange Server account to connect with a web browser to send and receive his email, check his calendar and view his contacts list. It provides basic Exchange Server service while providing easy to use access through any web browser. It is ideal for someone traveling or needing to access work email from home where Entourage is not available.

Versions of Exchange Server

Exchange 1.1

Windows Messaging, initially called Microsoft Exchange, is an e-mail client that was included with Windows 95 (beginning with OSR2), Windows 98, and Windows NT 4.0. (In Windows 98, it is not installed by default, but available as a separate program in the setup CD.) Microsoft Exchange gained wider usage with the release of Windows 95, as this was the only e-mail client that came bundled with it. Exchange was included throughout later releases of Windows up until the initial release of Windows 98, which by then also included Outlook Express 4.0.

Exchange Server 4.0

Exchange Server 4.0, released on June 11, 1996, was the original version of Exchange Server sold to the public, positioned as an upgrade to Microsoft Mail 3.5. Exchange Server was however an entirely new X.400-based client–server mail system with a single database store that also supported X.500 directory services.

Exchange Server 5.0

On May 23, 1997, Exchange Server 5.0 was released, which introduced the new Exchange Administrator console, as well as opening up "integrated" access to SMTP-based networks for the first time.Exchange Server 5.0 could, with the help of an add-in called the Internet Mail Connector, communicate directly with servers using (reference missing) . Version 5.0 also introduced a new Web-based e-mail interface Exchange Web Access, this was rebranded as Outlook Web Access in a later Service pack.

Exchange Server 5.5, introduced November, 1997, was sold in two editions, Standard and Enterprise. They differ in database store size, mail transport connectors and clustering capabilities. The Standard Edition had the same 16 GB database size limitation as earlier versions of Exchange Server, while the Enterprise Edition had an increased limit of 16 TB

Exchange Server 2003

Exchange Server 2003 (v6.5) debuted on September 28, 2003. Exchange Server 2003 (Latest in SP 2) can be run on Windows 2000 Server only with Service Pack 4 and 32-bit Windows Server 2003.

Exchange Server 2003 has many compatibility modes to allow users to slowly migrate to the new system. This is useful in large companies with distributed Exchange Server environments who cannot afford the downtime and expense that comes with a complete migration.

ExchangeServer 2003 is available in two versions, Standard Edition and Enterprise Edition. Both are install only 32 bit (not 64 bit) windows server 2003 standard or enterprises edition

Standard Edition

It supports up to two storage groups (with one of the storage groups, and one is reserved for database recovery operations) and a maximum of 2 databases per storage group. Each database is limited to a maximum size of 16GB. And in Service Pack 2, it allows a maximum database size of 75 GB, but by default 18 GB only. You can increase by edit to the registry.

Enterprise Edition

It allows a 16 TB maximum database size, and supports up to 4 storage groups with 5 databases per storage group for a total of 20 databases per server.

Exchange Server 2007

Exchange Server 2007 was released on November 30, 2006, to business customers as part of Microsoft's roll-out wave of new products. It includes new clustering options, 64-bit support for greater scalability, voice mail integration, better search and support for Web services, better filtering options, and a new Outlook Web Access interface.

Exchange Server 2007 (v8, code name E12, or with SP1 v8.1) runs only on 64-bit x86-64 versions of Windows Server.

Exchange server 2007 comes in two editions,

Exchange Server 2007 Standard edition - Standard edition can have 5 databases in up to 5 storage groups.

Exchange Server 2007 Enterprise Edition -Enterprise edition this is extended to 50 databases in up to 50 storage groups.

New Features

  1. Protection: anti-spam, antivirus, compliance, clustering with data replication, improved security and encryption

  2. Improved Information Worker Access: improved calendaring, unified messaging, improved mobility, improved web access

  3. Improved IT Experience: 64-bit performance & scalability, command-line shell & simplified GUI, improved deployment, role separation, simplified routing

Exchange Server 2010

Microsoft reached the RTM (Release to Manufacturing) milestone for Exchange Server 2010 on October 8, 2009, and was officially launched on November 9, 2009. Exchange Server 2010 is available in two server editions; Standard edition and Enterprise edition.

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