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What's new in Exchange 2016

[This topic is prerelease documentation and is subject to change in future releases. Blank topics are included as placeholders. If you have feedback, we'd love to hear it! Email us at ExchangeHelpFeedback@microsoft.com.]  

Applies to: Exchange Server 2016

Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 brings a new set of technologies, features, and services to Exchange Server. Its goal is to support people and organizations as their work habits evolve from a communication focus to a collaboration focus. At the same time, Exchange 2016 helps lower the total cost of ownership whether you deploy Exchange 2016 on-premises or provision your mailboxes in the cloud.

Choose the section below that matches the version of Exchange you're upgrading from. If you want to know about features that have been removed or replaced in Exchange 2016, see What's discontinued in Exchange 2016.

Exchange 2016 architecture

Clients

     Outlook on the web (formerly Outlook Web App)

     Support for modern authentication for Outlook

     MAPI over HTTP

     Document collaboration

Office 365 hybrid

Messaging policy and compliance

     Data loss prevention

     Transport rules

     In-place Archiving, retention, and eDiscovery

Today, CPU horsepower is significantly less expensive and is no longer a constraining factor. With that constraint lifted, the primary design goal for Exchange 2016 is for simplicity of scale, hardware utilization, and failure isolation. With Exchange 2016, we reduced the number of server roles to two: the Mailbox and Edge Transport server roles.

The Mailbox server in Exchange 2016 includes all of the server components from the Exchange 2013 Mailbox and Client Access server roles:

  • Mailbox services include all the traditional server components found in the Exchange 2013 Mailbox server role: the Client Access protocols, Transport service, Mailbox databases, and Unified Messaging. The Mailbox server handles all activity for the active mailboxes on that server.

  • Client Access services provide authentication, limited redirection, and proxy services. Client Access services don't do any data rendering and offer all the usual client access protocols: HTTP, POP and IMAP, and SMTP.

Along with the new Mailbox role, Exchange 2016 now allows you to proxy traffic from Exchange 2013 to Exchange 2016 in addition to Exchange 2016 to Exchange 2013. This new flexibility gives you more control in how you move to Exchange 2016 without having to worry about deploying enough front-end capacity to service new Exchange 2016 servers.

The Edge Transport role is typically deployed in your perimeter network, outside your internal Active Directory forest, and is designed to minimize the attack surface of your Exchange deployment. By handling all Internet-facing mail flow, it also adds additional layers of message protection and security against viruses and spam, and can apply transport rules to control message flow. For more information about the Edge Transport server role, see Edge Transport servers.

For more information about the Mailbox server role, see Mailbox servers.

Outlook Web App is now known as Outlook on the web, which continues to let users access their Exchange mailbox from almost any Web browser.

noteNote:
Supported Web browsers for Outlook on the web in Exchange 2016 are Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer 11, and the most recent versions of Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Safari.

In Exchange 2016, the former Outlook Web App user interface is updated and optimized for tablets and smart phones, in addition to desktop and laptop computers. New features that will be rolled out between now the general availability release of Exchange 2016 include:

  • Platform-specific experiences for phones for both iOS and Android.

  • Premium Android experience using Chrome on devices running Android version 4.2 or later.

  • Email improvements, including a new single-line view of the Inbox with an optimized reading pane, archiving, emojis, and the ability to undo mailbox actions like deleting a message or moving a message.

  • Contact linking the ability for users to add contacts from their LinkedIn accounts.

  • Calendar has an updated look and new features, including email reminders for Calendar events, ability to propose a new time in meeting invitations, improved search, and birthday calendars.

  • Search suggestions and refiners for an improved search experience that helps users find the information they want, faster. Search suggestions try to anticipate what the user's looking for and returns results that might be what the user is looking for. Search refiners will help a user more easily find the information they're looking for by providing contextually-aware filters. Filters might include date ranges, related senders, and so on.

  • New themes Thirteen new themes with graphic designs.

  • Options for individual mailboxes have been overhauled.

  • Pins and Flags which allow users to keep essential emails at the top of their inbox (Pins) and mark others for follow-up (Flags). Pins are now folder specific, great for anyone who uses folders to organize their email. Quickly find and manage flagged items with inbox filters or the new Task module, accessible from the app launcher.

  • Performance improvements in a number of areas across Outlook on the web, including creating calendar events, composing, loading messages in the reading pane, popouts, search, startup, and switching folders.

Exchange 2016 brings support the Active Directory Authentication Library (ADAL) authentication model in Outlook clients on Windows, Android, and other platforms. ADAL enables functionality like two-factor authentication to help improve security of your data.

For more information, see Office 2013 modern authentication public preview announced.

MAPI over HTTP is now the default protocol that Outlook uses to communicate with Exchange. MAPI over HTTP improves the reliability and stability of the Outlook and Exchange connections by moving the transport layer to the industry-standard HTTP model. This allows a higher level of visibility of transport errors and enhanced recoverability. Additional functionality includes support for an explicit pause-and-resume function. This enables supported clients to change networks or resume from hibernation while maintaining the same server context.

noteNote:
MAPI over HTTP isn't enable in organizations where the following are true:
  • You're installing Exchange 2016 in an organization that already has Exchange 2013 servers installed.

  • MAPI over HTTP wasn't enabled in Exchange 2013.

While MAPI over HTTP is now the default communication protocol between Outlook and Exchange, clients that don't support it will fall back to Outlook Anywhere (RPC over HTTP).

For more information, see MAPI over HTTP. While this topic was written for Exchange 2013, it's also applicable to Exchange 2016.

For more information about the new combined Mailbox server role, see Mailbox servers.

Exchange 2016 will enable Outlook on the web users to link to and share documents stored in OneDrive for Business in an on-premises SharePoint server instead of attaching a file to the message. Users will be able to collaborate on files in an on-premises deployment as they can do today in Office 365.

If a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file stored in OneDrive for Business or on-premises SharePoint is included in an email received by a user on Exchange 2016, the user will now have the option of viewing and editing that file in Outlook on the web alongside the message. To do this, you'll need a separate computer running the next version of "Office Web Apps vNext" server in your on-premises organization. It doesn't cost anything to view attachments using "Office Web Apps vNext" server. However, if you want a user to edit attachments, that users will need to have an Office client license.

Other improvements include the following:

  • Saving a file to OneDrive

  • Uploading a file to OneDrive

  • Most Recently Used lists populated with both local and online files.

The Hybrid Configuration Wizard (HCW) that was included with Exchange 2013 is moving to become a cloud-based application. When you choose to configure a hybrid deployment in Exchange 2016, you'll be prompted to download and install the wizard as a small app. The wizard will function the same in previous versions of Exchange, with a few new benefits:

  • The wizard can be updated quickly to support changes in the Office 365 service.

  • The wizard can be updated to account for issues detected when customers try to configure a hybrid deployment.

  • Improved troubleshooting and diagnostics to help you resolve issues that you run into when running the wizard.

  • The same wizard will be used by everyone configuring a hybrid deployment who's running Exchange 2013 or Exchange 2016.

In addition to Hybrid Configuration Wizard improvements, multi-forest hybrid deployments are being simplified with Azure Active Directory Connect (AADConnect). AADConnect introduces management agents that will make it significantly easier to synchronize multiple on-premises Active Directory forests with a single Office 365 tenant.

Hybrid deployments will support the new modern authentication model in Outlook described earlier in this topic.

Exchange ActiveSync clients will be seamlessly redirected to Office 365 when a user's mailbox is moved to Exchange Online. To support this, Exchange ActiveSync clients need to support HTTP 451 redirect. When a client is redirected, the profile on the device is updated with the URL of the Exchange Online service. This means the client will no longer attempt to contact the on-premises server when trying to find the mailbox.

There are several new and updated message policy and compliance features in Exchange 2016.

To comply with business standards and industry regulations, organizations need to protect sensitive information and prevent its inadvertent disclosure. Examples of sensitive information that you might want to prevent from leaking outside your organization include credit card numbers, social security numbers, health records, or other personally identifiable information (PII). With a DLP policy in Exchange 2016, you can now identify, monitor, and protect 80 different types of sensitive information — for more information on these sensitive information types, see Sensitive information types inventory.

To learn more, see: Data loss prevention

You can use Exchange transport rules to look for specific conditions in messages that pass through your organization and take action on them. For example, your organization might require that certain types of messages be blocked or rejected in order to meet legal or compliance requirements, or to implement specific business needs. Transport rules are similar to the Inbox rules that are available in Outlook. The main difference between transport rules and Inbox rules is that transport rules take action on messages while they’re in transit as opposed to after the message is delivered. Transport rules also contain a richer set of conditions, exceptions, and actions, which gives you the flexibility to implement many types of messaging policies.

These features are new to transport rules in Exchange 2016:

  • Exchange transport rules can now identify 80 different types of sensitive information. For more information on these sensitive information types, see Sensitive information types inventory.

  • With the new condition Any attachment has these properties, including any of these words, a transport rule can match messages where the specified property of the attached Office document contains specified words. This condition makes it easy to integrate your Exchange transport rules and DLP policies with SharePoint Server, Windows Server 2012 R2 File Classification Infrastructure (FCI), or a third-party classification system.

  • With the new action Notify the recipient with a message, a transport rule can send a notification to the recipient with the text you specify -- for example, you can inform the recipient that the message was rejected by a transport rule, or that it was marked as spam and will be delivered to their Junk Email folder.

  • The action Generate incident report and send it to has been updated so that the incident report can now be sent to multiple distribution lists.

Exchange 2016 includes the following improvements to In-Place Archiving, retention, and eDiscovery to help your organization meet its compliance needs:

  • Public folder support for In-Place eDiscovery and In-Place Hold Exchange 2016 has integrated public folders into the In-Place eDiscovery and Hold workflow. You can use In-Place eDiscovery to search public folders in your organization, and you can put a In-Place Hold on public folders. And similar to placing a mailbox on hold, you can place a query-based and a time-based hold on public folders. Currently, you can only search and place a hold on all public folders. In later releases, you'll be able to choose specific public folders to search and place on hold. For more information, see Search public folders using In-Place eDiscovery.

  • Compliance Search Compliance Search is a new eDiscovery search tool in Exchange 2016 with new and improved scaling and performance capabilities. You can use it to search very large numbers of mailboxes in a single search. In fact, there's no limit on the number of mailboxes that can be searched in a single search, so you can search all mailboxes in your organization in one search. There are also no limits on the number of searches that can run at the same time. (For In-Place eDiscovery in Exchange 2016, the limits are the same as in Exchange 2013: you can search up to 10,000 mailboxes in a single search and your organization can run a maximum of two In-Place eDiscovery searches at the same time.

    In Exchange 2016, Compliance Search is only available by using the Exchange Management Shell. For information about using the Compliance Search cmdlets, see the following topics:

    noteNote:
    To have access to the Compliance Search cmdlets, an administrator or eDiscovery manager must be assigned the Mailbox Search management role or be a member of the Discovery Management role group.

For more information, see Messaging policy and compliance in Exchange 2016.

Exchange admin center

Exchange 2016 architecture

Setup

Office 365 hybrid

Messaging policy and compliance

Anti-malware protection

Mail flow

Recipients

Sharing and collaboration

Integration with SharePoint and Skype for Business

Clients and mobile

Batch mailbox moves

High Availability and Site Resilience

Exchange workload management

Exchange 2016 provides a single unified management console that allows for ease of use and is optimized for management of on-premises, online, or hybrid deployments. The Exchange admin center (EAC) in Exchange 2016 replaces the Exchange 2010 Exchange Management Console (EMC) and the Exchange Control Panel (ECP). (However, “ECP" is still the name of the virtual directory used by the EAC.) Some EAC features include:

  • List view   The list view in EAC has been designed to remove key limitations that existed in ECP. ECP was limited to displaying up to 500 objects and, if you wanted to view objects that weren’t listed in the details pane, you needed to use searching and filtering to find those specific objects. In Exchange 2016, the viewable limit from within the EAC list view is approximately 20,000 objects. After the EAC returns the results, the EAC client performs the searching and sorting, which greatly increases the performance compared to the ECP in Exchange 2010. In addition, paging has been added so that you can page to the results. You can also configure page size and export to a .csv file.

  • Add/Remove columns to the Recipient list view   You can choose which columns to view, and with local cookies, you can save your custom list views per machine that you use to access the EAC.

  • Secure the ECP virtual directory   You can partition access from the Internet and Intranets from within the ECP IIS virtual directory to allow or disallow management features. With this feature, you can permit or deny access to users trying to access management features in the EAC from the Internet outside of your organizational environment, while still allowing access to an end-user’s Outlook on the web Options.

  • Public Folder management   In Exchange 2010, public folders were managed through the Public Folder administration console. Public folders are now in the EAC, and you don't need a separate tool to manage them.

  • Notifications   In Exchange 2016, the EAC now has a Notification viewer so that you can view the status of long-running processes and, if you choose, receive notification via an email message when the process completes.

  • Role Based Access Control (RBAC) User Editor   In Exchange 2010, you could use the RBAC User Editor in the Exchange Toolbox to add users to management role groups. In Exchange 2016, the RBAC User Editor functionality is now in the EAC and you don't need a separate tool to manage RBAC.

  • Unified Messaging Tools   In Exchange 2010, you could use the Call Statistics and User Call Logs tools to help provide UM statistics and information about specific calls for a UM-enabled user. In Exchange 2016, the Call Statistics and User Call Logs tools are now in the EAC and you don't need a separate tool to manage them.

  • Groups enhancements   The Exchange Admin Center (EAC) can now display up to 10,000 recipients in the Groups Select Members window. By default, up to 500 recipients are returned when you open the Select Members window, however, you can choose to list up to 10,000 recipients by clicking Get All Results beneath the recipient list. We now support browsing more than 500 recipients by using the scroll bar and we've also added enhanced search features to enable you to filter recipients that are displayed in the recipient list. You can filter by:

    • city

    • company

    • country/region

    • department

    • office

    • title

For more information, see Exchange admin center in Exchange 2013.

Today, CPU horsepower is significantly less expensive and is no longer a constraining factor. With that constraint lifted, the primary design goal for Exchange 2016 is for simplicity of scale, hardware utilization, and failure isolation. With Exchange 2016, we reduced the number of server roles to two: the Mailbox and Edge Transport server roles.

The Mailbox server in Exchange 2016 includes all of the server components from all of the Exchange 2010 server roles (excluding Edge Transport):

  • Mailbox services include all the traditional server components found in the Exchange 2010 Mailbox server role: the Client Access protocols, Transport service, Mailbox databases, and Unified Messaging. The Mailbox server handles all activity for the active mailboxes on that server.

  • Client Access services provide authentication, limited redirection, and proxy services. Client Access services don't do any data rendering and offer all the usual client access protocols: HTTP, POP and IMAP, and SMTP.

For more information about the Mailbox server role, see Mailbox servers.

The Edge Transport role is typically deployed in your perimeter network, outside your internal Active Directory forest, and is designed to minimize the attack surface of your Exchange deployment. By handling all Internet-facing mail flow, it also adds additional layers of message protection and security against viruses and spam, and can apply transport rules to control message flow. For more information about the Edge Transport server role, see Edge Transport servers.

The Exchange 2016 architecture provides the following benefits:

  • Version upgrade flexibility   No more rigid upgrade requirements. Mailbox servers can be upgraded independently and in any order in relation to other Mailbox servers.

  • Session indifference   With Exchange 2010, session affinity to the Client Access server role was required for several protocols. In Exchange 2016, the client access and mailbox components reside on the same Mailbox server. No session affinity is required between Mailbox servers, Edge Transport servers, or mail servers on the Internet. This allows inbound connections to Mailbox servers to be balanced using techniques provided by load-balancing technology like least connection or round-robin.

  • Deployment simplicity   With an Exchange 2010 site-resilient design, you needed up to eight different namespaces: two Internet Protocol namespaces, two for Outlook Web App fallback, one for Autodiscover, two for RPC Client Access, and one for SMTP. With Exchange 2016, the most organizations only need namespaces f you're coexisting with Exchange 2010: one for client protocols and one for Autodiscover. Depending on how you configure your mail routing, you might also need an additional namespace for SMTP routing.

As a result of these architectural changes, there have been some changes to client connectivity. First, RPC is no longer a supported direct access protocol. Clients now communicate with Exchange 2016 using either MAPI over HTTP or Outlook Anywhere (RPC over HTTP).

The high availability model of the mailbox component has not changed significantly since Exchange 2010. The unit of high availability is still the database availability group (DAG). The DAG still uses Windows Server failover clustering. Continuous replication still supports both file mode and block mode replication. However, there have been some improvements. Failover times have been reduced as a result of transaction log code improvements and deeper checkpoint on the passive databases. The Exchange Store service has been re-written in managed code (see the "Managed Store" section later in this topic). Now, each database runs under its own process, allowing for isolation of store issues to a single database.

In Exchange 2016, the Managed Store is the name of the Information Store processes, Microsoft.Exchange.Store.Service.exe and Microsoft.Exchange.Store.Worker.exe. The new Managed Store is written in C# and tightly integrated with the Microsoft Exchange Replication service (MSExchangeRepl.exe) to provide higher availability through improved resiliency. In addition, the Managed Store has been architected to enable more granular management of resource consumption and faster root cause analysis through improved diagnostics.

The Managed Store works with the Microsoft Exchange Replication service to manage mailbox databases, which continues to use Extensible Storage Engine (ESE) as the database engine. Exchange 2016 includes significant changes to the mailbox database schema that provide many optimizations over previous versions of Exchange. In addition to these changes, the Microsoft Exchange Replication service is responsible for all service availability related to Mailbox servers. The architectural changes enable faster database failover and better physical disk failure handling.

The Managed Store is also integrated with the Search Foundation search engine (the same search engine used by SharePoint 2016) to provide more robust indexing and searching when compared to Microsoft Search in previous versions of Exchange.

For more information, see High availability and site resilience.

Managing digital certificates is one of the most important security-related tasks for your Exchange organization. Ensuring that certificates are appropriately configured is key to delivering a secure messaging infrastructure for the enterprise. In Exchange 2010, the Exchange Management Console was the primary method of managing certificates. In Exchange 2016, certificate management functionality is provided in the Exchange admin center, the Exchange 2016 administrator user interface.

The work in Exchange 2016 related to certificates focused around minimizing the number of certificates that an Administrator must manage, minimizing the interaction the Administrator must have with certificates, and allowing management of certificates from a central location. In previous versions of Exchange, it was difficult to see when a digital certificate was nearing expiration. In Exchange 2016, the Notifications center will display warnings when a certificate stored on any Exchange 2016 server is about to expire. Administrators can also choose to receive these notifications via email.

For more information, see Digital certificates and SSL.

Setup has been completely rewritten so that installing Exchange 2016 and making sure you've got the latest product rollups and security fixes is easier than ever. Here are some of the improvements we've made:

  • Improved readiness checks   Readiness checks make sure that your computer and your organization are ready for Exchange 2016. After you’ve provided the necessary information about your installation to Setup, the readiness checks are run before installation begins. The new readiness check engine now runs through all checks before reporting back to you on what actions need to be performed before Setup can continue, and it does so faster than ever. As with previous versions of Exchange, you can tell Setup to install the Windows features required by Setup so you don't have to install them manually.

  • Simplified and modern wizard   We've removed all the steps in the Setup wizard that aren't absolutely required for you to install Exchange. What's left is an easy-to-follow wizard that takes you through the installation process one step at a time.

For more information, see Planning and deployment.

The Hybrid Configuration Wizard (HCW) that was included with Exchange 2013 and Exchange 2016 is moving to become a cloud-based application. When you choose to configure a hybrid deployment in Exchange 2016, you'll be prompted to download and install the wizard as a small app. The wizard will function the same in previous versions of Exchange, with a few new benefits:

  • The wizard can be updated quickly to support changes in the Office 365 service.

  • The wizard can be updated to account for issues detected when customers try to configure a hybrid deployment.

  • Improved troubleshooting and diagnostics to help you resolve issues that you run into when running the wizard.

  • The same wizard will be used by everyone configuring a hybrid deployment who's running Exchange 2013 or Exchange 2016.

In addition to Hybrid Configuration Wizard improvements, multi-forest hybrid deployments are being simplified with Azure Active Directory Connect (AADConnect). AADConnect introduces management agents that will make it significantly easier to synchronize multiple on-premises Active Directory forests with a single Office 365 tenant.

Hybrid deployments will support the new modern authentication model in Outlook described earlier in this topic.

Exchange ActiveSync clients will be seamlessly redirected to Office 365 when a user's mailbox is moved to Exchange Online. To support this, Exchange ActiveSync clients need to support HTTP 451 redirect. When a client is redirected, the profile on the device is updated with the URL of the Exchange Online service. This means the client will no longer attempt to contact the on-premises server when trying to find the mailbox.

There are several new and updated message policy and compliance features in Exchange 2016.

Data loss prevention (DLP) capabilities help you protect your sensitive data and inform users of internal compliance policies. DLP can also help keep your organization safe from users who might mistakenly send sensitive information to unauthorized people. DLP helps you identify, monitor, and protect sensitive data through deep content analysis. Exchange 2016 offers built-in DLP policies based on regulatory standards such as personally identifiable information (PII) and payment card industry data security standards (PCI), and is extensible to support other policies important to your business. With a DLP policy in Exchange 2016, you can now identify, monitor, and protect 80 different types of sensitive information — for more information, see Sensitive information types inventory. Additionally, the new policy tips in Outlook 2016 inform users about policy violations before sensitive data is sent.

To learn more, see: Data loss prevention

You can use Exchange transport rules to look for specific conditions in messages that pass through your organization and take action on them. For example, your organization might require that certain types of messages be blocked or rejected in order to meet legal or compliance requirements, or to implement specific business needs. Transport rules are similar to the Inbox rules that are available in Outlook. The main difference between transport rules and Inbox rules is that transport rules take action on messages while they’re in transit as opposed to after the message is delivered. Transport rules also contain a richer set of conditions, exceptions, and actions, which gives you the flexibility to implement many types of messaging policies.

These features are new to transport rules in Exchange 2016:

  • Exchange transport rules can now identify 80 different types of sensitive information. For more information on these sensitive information types, see Sensitive information types inventory.

  • With the new condition Any attachment has these properties, including any of these words, a transport rule can match messages where the specified property of the attached Office document contains specified words. This condition makes it easy to integrate your Exchange transport rules and DLP policies with SharePoint Server, Windows Server 2012 R2 File Classification Infrastructure (FCI), or a third-party classification system.

  • With the new action Notify the recipient with a message, a transport rule can send a notification to the recipient with the text you specify -- for example, you can inform the recipient that the message was rejected by a transport rule, or that it was marked as spam and will be delivered to their Junk Email folder.

  • The action Generate incident report and send it to has been updated so that the incident report can now be sent to multiple distribution lists.

  • Additional transport rules predicates and actions.

The Microsoft Rights Management connector (RMS connector) is an optional application that helps you enhance data protection for your Exchange 2016 server by connecting to cloud-based Microsoft Rights Management services. Once you install the RMS connector, it provides continuous data protection throughout the life span of the information and because these services are customizable, you can define the level of protection you need. For example, you can limit email message access to specific users or set view-only rights for certain messages.

To learn more, see:Rights Management connector

Exchange 2016 includes the following improvements to In-Place Archiving, retention, and eDiscovery to help your organization meet its compliance needs:

  • In-Place Hold   In-Place Hold is a unified hold model that allows you to meet legal hold requirements in the following scenarios:

    • Preserve the results of the query (query-based hold), which allows for scoped immutability across mailboxes.

    • Place a time-based hold to meet retention requirements (for example, retain all items in a mailbox for seven years, a scenario that required the use of Single Item Recovery/Deleted Item Retention in Exchange 2010).

    • Place a mailbox on indefinite hold (similar to litigation hold in Exchange 2010).

    • Place a user on multiple holds to meet different case requirements.

  • In-Place eDiscovery   In-Place eDiscovery allows authorized users to search mailbox data across all mailboxes and In-Place Archives in an Exchange 2016 organization and copy messages to a discovery mailbox for review. In Exchange 2016, In-Place eDiscovery allows discovery managers to perform more efficient searches and hold.

    • Federated search allows you to search and preserve data across multiple data repositories. With Exchange 2016, you can perform in-place eDiscovery searches across Exchange, SharePoint 2013, and Skype for Business. You can use the eDiscovery Center in SharePoint 2013 to perform In-Place eDiscovery search and hold.

    • Query-based In-Place Hold allows you to save the results of the query, which allows for scoped immutability across mailboxes.

    • Export search results Discovery Managers can export mailbox content to a .pst file from the SharePoint 2013 eDiscovery Console. Mailbox export request cmdlets are no longer required to export a mailbox to a .pst file.

    • Keyword statistics   Search statistics are offered on a per search term basis. This enables a Discovery Manager to quickly make intelligent decisions about how to further refine the search query to provide better results. eDiscovery search results are sorted by relevance.

    • KQL syntax   Discovery Managers can use Keyword Query Language (KQL) syntax in search queries. KQL is similar to the Advanced Query Syntax (AQS), which was used for discovery searches in Exchange 2010.

    • In-Place eDiscovery and Hold wizard   Discovery Managers can use the In-Place eDiscovery and Hold wizard to perform eDiscovery and hold operations.

      noteNote:
      If SharePoint 2013 isn't available, a subset of the eDiscovery functionality is available in the Exchange admin center.
    • Public folder support for In-Place eDiscovery and In-Place Hold Exchange 2016 has integrated public folders into the In-Place eDiscovery and Hold workflow. You can use In-Place eDiscovery to search public folders in your organization, and you can put a In-Place Hold on public folders. And similar to placing a mailbox on hold, you can place a query-based and a time-based hold on public folders. Currently, you can only search and place a hold on all public folders. In later releases, you'll be able to choose specific public folders to search and place on hold. For more information, see Search public folders using In-Place eDiscovery.

    • Compliance Search Compliance Search is a new eDiscovery search tool in Exchange 2016 with new and improved scaling and performance capabilities. You can use it to search very large numbers of mailboxes in a single search. In fact, there's no limit on the number of mailboxes that can be searched in a single search, so you can search all mailboxes in your organization in one search. There are also no limits on the number of searches that can run at the same time. (For In-Place eDiscovery in Exchange 2016, the limits are the same as in Exchange 2013: you can search up to 10,000 mailboxes in a single search and your organization can run a maximum of two In-Place eDiscovery searches at the same time.

      In Exchange 2016, Compliance Search is only available by using the Exchange Management Shell. For information about using the Compliance Search cmdlets, see the following topics:

      noteNote:
      To have access to the Compliance Search cmdlets, an administrator or eDiscovery manager must be assigned the Mailbox Search management role or be a member of the Discovery Management role group.
  • Search across primary and archive mailboxes in Outlook on the web   Users can search across their primary and archive mailboxes in Outlook on the web. Two separate searches are no longer necessary.

  • Archive Skype for Business content   Exchange 2016 supports archiving of Skype for Business content in a user’s mailbox. You can place Skype for Business content on hold using In-Place Hold and use In-Place eDiscovery to search Skype for Business content archived in Exchange.

For more information, see Messaging policy and compliance in Exchange 2016.

Exchange 2016 includes the following improvements to auditing:

  • Auditing reports   The EAC includes auditing functionality so that you can run reports or export entries from the mailbox audit log and the administrator audit log. The mailbox audit log records whenever a mailbox is accessed by someone other than the person who owns the mailbox. This can help you determine who has accessed a mailbox and what they have done. The administrator audit log records any action, based on an Exchange Management Shell cmdlet, performed by an administrator. This can help you troubleshoot configuration issues or identify the cause of problems related to security or compliance. For more information, see Exchange auditing reports.

  • Viewing the administrator audit log   Instead of exporting the administrator audit log, which can take up to 24 hours to receive in an email message, you can view administrator audit log entries in the EAC. To do this, go to Compliance Management > Auditing and click View the administrator audit log. Up to 1000 entries will be displayed on multiple pages. To narrow the search, you can specify a date range. For more information, see View the administrator audit log.

The built-in malware filtering capabilities of Exchange 2016 helps protect your network from malicious software transferred through email messages. All messages sent or received by your Exchange server are scanned for malware (viruses and spyware). If malware is detected, the message is deleted. Notifications may also be sent to senders or administrators when an infected message is deleted and not delivered. You can also choose to replace infected attachments with either default or custom messages that notify the recipients of the malware detection.

For more information about anti-malware protection, see Anti-malware protection.

How messages flow through an organization and what happens to them has changed significantly in Exchange 2016. Following is a brief overview of the changes:

  • Transport pipeline   The transport pipeline in Exchange 2016 is now made up of several different services: the Front End Transport service, the Transport service, and the Mailbox Transport service. For more information, see Mail flow and the transport pipeline.

  • Routing   Mail routing in Exchange 2016 recognizes DAG boundaries as well as Active Directory site boundaries. Also, mail routing has been improved to queue messages more directly for internal recipients. For more information, see Mail routing.

  • Connectors   The default maximum message size for a Send connector or a Receive connector, as specified by the MaxMessageSize parameter, has been increased from 10MB to 25MB. For more information about how to set parameters on a connector, see Set-SendConnector and Set-ReceiveConnector.

    You can set a Send connector in the Transport service of a Mailbox server to route outbound mail through a Front End transport server in the local Active Directory site, by means of the FrontEndProxyEnabled parameter of the Set-SendConnector cmdlet, thus consolidating how email is routed from the Transport service.

  • Edge Transport   You can optionally install an Edge Transport server in your perimeter network to reduce your attack surface and provide message protection and security. For more information, see Edge Transport servers.

This section describes the enhancements for managing recipients in Exchange 2016:

  • Group naming policy   Administrators can now use the EAC to create a group naming policy, which lets you standardize and manage the names of distribution groups created by users in your organization. You can require a specific prefix and suffix be added to the name for a distribution group when it's created, and you can block specific words from being used. This capability helps you minimize the use of inappropriate words in group names.

    For more information, see Create a distribution group naming policy.

  • Message tracking   Administrators can also use the EAC to track delivery information for email messages sent to or received by any user in your organization. You just select a mailbox, and then search for messages sent to or received by a different user. You can narrow the search by searching for specific words in the subject line. The resulting delivery report tracks a message through the delivery process and specifies if the message was successfully delivered, pending delivery, or if it wasn't delivered.

    For more information, see Track messages with delivery reports.

This section describes the sharing and collaboration enhancements in Exchange 2016.

  • Public folders   Public folders now take advantage of the existing high availability and storage technologies of the mailbox store. The public folder architecture uses specially designed mailboxes to store both the hierarchy and the public folder content. This new design also means that there is no longer a public folder database. Public folder replication now uses the continuous replication model. High availability for the hierarchy and content mailboxes is provided by the database availability group (DAG). With this design, we're moving away from a multi-master replication model to a single-master replication model.

    For more information, see Public folders.

  • Shared mailboxes   In previous versions of Exchange, creating a shared mailbox was a multi-step process in which you had to use the Exchange Management Shell to set the delegate permissions. Now you can create a shared mailbox in one step via the Exchange admin center. In the EAC, go to Recipients > Shared Mailboxes to create a shared mailbox. Shared mailboxes are a recipient type so you can easily search for your shared mailboxes in either the user interface or by using the Shell.

    For more information, see Shared mailboxes.

Exchange 2016 offers greater integration with SharePoint 2016 and Skype for Business. Benefits of this enhanced integration include:

  • Skype for Business Server 2015 can archive content in Exchange 2016 and use Exchange 2016 as a contact store.

  • Discovery Managers can perform In-Place eDiscovery and Hold searches across SharePoint 2013, Exchange 2016, and Skype for Business data.

For more information, see Integration with SharePoint and Lync.

Outlook Web App is now known as Outlook on the web, which continues to let users access their Exchange mailbox from almost any Web browser.

noteNote:
Supported Web browsers for Outlook on the web in Exchange 2016 are Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer 11, and the most recent versions of Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Safari.

In Exchange 2016, the former Outlook Web App user interface is updated and optimized for tablets and smart phones, in addition to desktop and laptop computers. New features that will be rolled out between now the general availability release of Exchange 2016 include:

  • Platform-specific experiences for phones for both iOS and Android.

  • Premium Android experience using Chrome on devices running Android version 4.2 or later.

  • Apps for Outlook which allow users and administrators to extend the capabilities of Outlook on the web.

  • Email improvements, including a new single-line view of the Inbox with an optimized reading pane, archiving, emojis, and the ability to undo mailbox actions like deleting a message or moving a message.

  • Contact linking the ability for users to add contacts from their LinkedIn accounts.

  • Calendar has an updated look and new features, including email reminders for Calendar events, ability to propose a new time in meeting invitations, improved search, and birthday calendars.

  • Search suggestions and refiners for an improved search experience that helps users find the information they want, faster. Search suggestions try to anticipate what the user's looking for and returns results that might be what the user is looking for. Search refiners will help a user more easily find the information they're looking for by providing contextually-aware filters. Filters might include date ranges, related senders, and so on.

  • New themes Thirteen new themes with graphic designs.

  • Options for individual mailboxes have been overhauled.

  • Link preview which enables users to paste a link into messages, and Outlook on the web automatically generates a rich preview to give recipients a peek into the contents of the destination. This works with video links as well.

  • Pins and Flags which allow users to keep essential emails at the top of their inbox (Pins) and mark others for follow-up (Flags). Pins are now folder specific, great for anyone who uses folders to organize their email. Quickly find and manage flagged items with inbox filters or the new Task module, accessible from the app launcher.

  • Performance improvements in a number of areas across Outlook on the web, including creating calendar events, composing, loading messages in the reading pane, popouts, search, startup, and switching folders.

Internet Explorer 11 and Windows Store apps using JavaScript support the Application Cache API (or AppCache), as defined in the HTML5 specification, which allows you to create offline web applications. AppCache enables webpages to cache (or save) resources locally, including images, script libraries, style sheets, and so on. In addition, AppCache allows URLs to be served from cached content using standard Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) notation. The following is a list of the browsers that support AppCache:

  • Microsoft Edge

  • Internet Explorer 11 or later versions

  • Google Chrome 44 or later versions

  • Firefox 39 or later versions

  • Safari 8 or later (only on OS X/iOS) versions

Exchange 2016 brings support the Active Directory Authentication Library (ADAL) authentication model in Outlook clients on Windows, Android, and other platforms. ADAL enables functionality like two-factor authentication to help improve security of your data.

For more information, see Office 2013 modern authentication public preview announced

MAPI over HTTP is now the default protocol that Outlook uses to communicate with Exchange. MAPI over HTTP improves the reliability and stability of the Outlook and Exchange connections by moving the transport layer to the industry-standard HTTP model. This allows a higher level of visibility of transport errors and enhanced recoverability. Additional functionality includes support for an explicit pause-and-resume function. This enables supported clients to change networks or resume from hibernation while maintaining the same server context.

noteNote:
MAPI over HTTP isn't enable in organizations where the following are true:
  • You're installing Exchange 2016 in an organization that already has Exchange 2013 servers installed.

  • MAPI over HTTP wasn't enabled in Exchange 2013.

While MAPI over HTTP is now the default communication protocol between Outlook and Exchange, clients that don't support it will fall back to Outlook Anywhere (RPC over HTTP).

For more information, see MAPI over HTTP. While this topic was written for Exchange 2013, it's also applicable to Exchange 2016.

For more information about the new combined Mailbox server role, see Mailbox servers.

Exchange 2016 will enable Outlook on the web users to link to and share documents stored in OneDrive for Business in an on-premises SharePoint server instead of attaching a file to the message. Users will be able to collaborate on files in an on-premises deployment as they can do today in Office 365.

If a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file stored in OneDrive for Business or on-premises SharePoint is included in an email received by a user on Exchange 2016, the user will now have the option of viewing and editing that file in Outlook on the web alongside the message. To do this, you'll need a separate computer running the next version of "Office Web Apps vNext" server in your on-premises organization. It doesn't cost anything to view attachments using "Office Web Apps vNext" server. However, if you want a user to edit attachments, that users will need to have an Office client license.

Other improvements include the following:

  • Saving a file to OneDrive

  • Uploading a file to OneDrive

  • Most Recently Used lists populated with both local and online files.

Exchange 2016 makes use of batch moves. The move architecture is built on top of MRS (Mailbox Replication service) moves with enhanced management capability. The batch move architecture features the following enhancements:

  • Ability to move multiple mailboxes in large batches.

  • Email notification during move with reporting.

  • Automatic retry and automatic prioritization of moves.

  • Primary and personal archive mailboxes can be moved together or separately.

  • Option for manual move request finalization, which allows you to review a move before you complete it.

  • Periodic incremental syncs to migrate the changes.

For more information, see Manage on-premises moves.

Exchange 2016 uses DAGs and mailbox database copies, along with other features such as single item recovery, retention policies, and lagged database copies, to provide high availability, site resilience, and Exchange native data protection. The high availability platform, the Exchange Information Store and the Extensible Storage Engine (ESE), have all been enhanced to provide greater availability, easier management, and to reduce costs. These enhancements include:

  • Managed availability   With managed availability, internal monitoring and recovery-oriented features are tightly integrated to help prevent failures, proactively restore services, and initiate server failovers automatically or alert administrators to take action. The focus is on monitoring and managing the end user experience rather than just server and component uptime to help keep the service continuously available.

  • Managed Store   The Managed Store is the name of the Information Store processes in Exchange 2016. The Managed Store is written in C# and tightly integrated with the Microsoft Exchange Replication service (MSExchangeRepl.exe) to provide higher availability through improved resiliency.

  • Support for multiple databases per disk   Exchange 2013 includes enhancements that enable you to support multiple databases (mixtures of active and passive copies) on the same disk, thereby leveraging larger disks in terms of capacity and IOPS as efficiently as possible.

  • Automatic reseed   Enables you to quickly restore database redundancy after disk failure. If a disk fails, the database copy stored on that disk is copied from the active database copy to a spare disk on the same server. If multiple database copies were stored on the failed disk, they can all be automatically re-seeded on a spare disk. This enables faster reseeds, as the active databases are likely to be on multiple servers and the data is copied in parallel.

  • Automatic recovery from storage failures   This feature continues the innovation introduced in Exchange 2010 to allow the system to recover from failures that affect resiliency or redundancy. In addition to the Exchange 2010 bugcheck behaviors, Exchange 2016 includes additional recovery behaviors for long I/O times, excessive memory consumption by MSExchangeRepl.exe, and severe cases where the system is in such a bad state that threads can’t be scheduled.

  • Lagged copy enhancements   Lagged copies can now care for themselves to a certain extent using automatic log play down. Lagged copies will automatically play down log files in a variety of situations, such as single page restore and low disk space scenarios. If the system detects that page patching is required for a lagged copy, the logs will be automatically replayed into the lagged copy to perform page patching. Lagged copies will also invoke this auto replay feature when a low disk space threshold has been reached, and when the lagged copy has been detected as the only available copy for a specific period of time. In addition, lagged copies can leverage Safety Net, making recovery or activation much easier. Safety Net is improved functionality in Exchange 2016 based on the transport dumpster of Exchange 2010.

  • Single copy alert enhancements   The single copy alert introduced in Exchange 2010 is no longer a separate scheduled script. It’s now integrated into the managed availability components within the system and is a native function within Exchange.

  • DAG network auto-configuration   DAGs networks can be automatically configured by the system based on configuration settings. In addition to manual configuration options, DAGs can also distinguish between MAPI and Replication networks and configure DAG networks automatically.

For more information about both of these features, see High availability and site resilience and Changes to high availability and site resilience over previous versions.

An Exchange workload is an Exchange server feature, protocol, or service that has been explicitly defined for the purposes of Exchange system resource management. Each Exchange workload consumes system resources such as CPU, mailbox database operations, or Active Directory requests to execute user requests or run background work. Examples of Exchange workloads include Outlook on the web, Exchange ActiveSync, mailbox migration, and mailbox assistants.

There are two ways to manage Exchange workloads in Exchange 2016:

  • Monitor the health of system resources   Managing workloads based on the health of system resources.

  • Control how resources are consumed by individual users   Controlling how resources are consumed by individual users was possible in Exchange 2010 (where it’s called user throttling), and this capability has been expanded for Exchange 2016.

For more information about these features, see Exchange workload management.

 
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