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Exchange 2013 CU8 includes Public Folder and EAS fixes

The recent Exchange 2013 cumulative update includes improved features for Public Folders and Exchange ActiveSync.

Microsoft has rolled out Cumulative Update 8 for Exchange Server 2013. The majority of improvements are for Public Folders, but there's also help for Office 365 migrations.

With Exchange 2013 CU8, admins can view contact and calendar Public Folders through Outlook Web App -- as long as the folders are added to favorites in Outlook. Another feature is the introduction of client redirection for Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) after a mailbox moves to Office 365. For those who've gone through a migration to Office 365, this feature will considerably improve the migration experience to Office 365 and save you time previously spent reconfiguring EAS devices.

Before this, when a mailbox was moved to Office 365 using a hybrid mailbox move, any ActiveSync client connected to that mailbox had to be reconfigured to point to Office 365. This was because the profile on the client wouldn't automatically update. 

Without CU8, as the Autodiscover endpoint in a hybrid deployment points to the on-premises Exchange Servers, the response to the request would simply state "mailbox not found," which would generate an error on the ActiveSync client.

After installing Exchange 2013 CU8, on-premises Exchange Servers will see that the mailbox moved. Even though Exchange was already aware of this, the logic to handle the situation was added. In response to an ActiveSync request, Exchange now issues an HTTP error 451 code to the client, which redirects it to Office 365. After the ActiveSync client successfully connects to Office 365, it locally updates its profile and will connect to Exchange Online from there on.

There is one caveat, though. The ActiveSync client must be able to process the HTTP error 451. In the past, some vendors chose not to do so.

Additional Exchange 2013 CU8, Exchange 2010 fixes

The Cumulative Update also contains an update to Daylight Saving Time as well as fixes for Transport Layer Security (TLS), Outlook Address Book files and quota warning messages. The full list of fixes can be viewed on Microsoft's Exchange 2013 CU8 page.

Microsoft also released Update Rollup 9 for Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 3 (SP3). The update doesn't contain any new functionality, but that shouldn't come as a surprise. Bug fixes for ActiveSync, TLS and SMTP are included; you can find these details on Microsoft's Exchange 2010 SP3 page.

With these updates, Microsoft appears to be back on track after having to delay previous updates because of quality issues. Despite these delays, the previous Cumulative Update was released without any major problems. Nonetheless, admins should always test these updates before deploying them in their environment not just to test to see if something breaks after the update, but also to test for new functionality.

About the author:

Michael Van Horenbeeck is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Master and Exchange Server MVP from Belgium and works for ENow, a company that provides systems management software for Microsoft technologies. He specializes in Exchange, Office 365, Active Directory and a bit of Lync. He is an active contributor in the Exchange community by writing articles for several tech websites and his own blog and by participating in the UC Architects podcast. He frequently speaks at international conferences, including TechEd, IT/DEV Connections and the Microsoft Exchange Conference.

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