Exchange Server 2003 SP2 Overview


Topic Last Modified: 2007-12-26

Published: June 06, 2005 | Updated: October 19, 2005

Add even better protection, reliability, and easier administration as well as improved mobile messaging to your Exchange Server 2003 messaging environment when used with compatible devices.

SP2 is a cumulative update that enhances your Exchange Server 2003 messaging environment with:

  • Mobile e-mail improvements

  • Better protection against spam

  • Mailbox advancements

SP2 offers a huge leap forward in mobility capabilities. With SP2, Exchange Server 2003 can offer a significantly improved Microsoft Outlook experience on mobile devices as well as additional security and device control. As always, the Exchange ActiveSync protocol does not require expensive software or outsourcing fees to access data on your server running Exchange Server.

The mobility enhancements in SP2 give you:

  • New seamless Direct Push Technology e-mail experience. No longer is there a reliance on short message service (SMS) to notify and ensure that your device automatically retrieves new e-mail from your Exchange server. SP2 uses an HTTP connection, maintained by the device, to push new e-mail messages, calendar, contact, and task notifications to the device.

  • Additional data compression. This translates to a faster experience when sending and receiving messages and reduced sync times.

  • Additional Outlook properties. This includes support for task synchronization and pictures in your list of contacts. In addition, you can now look up people by using the Global Address List (GAL) over the air.

  • Greater control over device security. This includes:

    • Policy setting. Unlock a device with a password.

    • Local wipe. Decide how many incorrect logon attempts are permitted before your data might be at risk.

    • Remote wipe. Lost, stolen, or misplaced devices are never out of reach. You decide when it’s prudent to reset devices remotely over the Web.

    Such policies help to ensure corporate data or applications are not compromised when devices are lost or get into the wrong hands.

  • New optional support for certificate-based authentication. This eliminates the need to store corporate credentials on a device.

  • Added support for Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME). With S/MIME, you can sign and encrypt messages coming to and from mobile devices.

For details about the other mobility features in Exchange Server 2003, see New Mobility Features in Exchange Server 2003 SP2.

Most mobile e-mail improvements, with the exception of support for tasks and for pictures in contacts lists, require that your device or the software on the devices be compatible with Exchange Server 2003 SP2. Windows Mobile-based devices require the Messaging and Security Feature Pack for Windows Mobile 5.0.

Licensees of the Exchange ActiveSync protocol can take advantage of these improvements through updates to their messaging applications or devices. The roadmap for those devices is owned and managed by the licensee.

SP2 delivers improved protection against spam to help ensure a secure and reliable messaging environment, including:

  • Updated and integrated Exchange Intelligent Message Filter. Based on the same patented SmartScreen filtering technology developed by Microsoft Research and now incorporated in Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, MSN Internet Software and Services, and MSN Hotmail, SP2 incorporates the latest data and updates to the Exchange Intelligent Message Filter. Improvements to this filter ensure a continued focus on identifying spam and reducing false positives. These updates include new capabilities in the fight against spam including blocking phishing schemes. Phishing schemes attempt through deception to fraudulently solicit sensitive personal information by masquerading as legitimate Web sites.

  • New support for Sender ID e-mail authentication protocol. This new feature further helps prevent unwanted mailbox phishing and spoofing schemes by verifying the IP address of the e-mail sender against the purported owner of the sending domain. Spoofing attacks occur when one person or program is able to masquerade successfully as another to gain access to personal e-mail messages. The result of the Sender ID check is used as input to the Exchange Intelligent Message Filter. The sender must have registered a list of the valid IP addresses in DNS for accuracy. To learn more about Sender ID, see the Sender ID page on the Microsoft Safety site.

Sender ID framework


Drive down operational costs and the complexity of your messaging environments with advances such as:

  • Increase in mailbox storage size limits to 75 gigabyte (GB) for Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition in response to your feedback and evolving mailbox storage needs.

  • New offline address book format offers significantly improved performance particularly when Outlook clients are operating in cached mode.

  • Cached mode enforcement with added flexibility. You can grant access to a user who has configured Microsoft Office Outlook to run in cached mode, but deny access otherwise. This new feature is especially beneficial to organizations seeking to further site and server consolidation by taking advantage of the performance improvements enabled by cached mode.

  • Finer controls for public folders, including better replication and permissions management, safe removal of servers, and folder deletion logging to increase administrative efficiency.

  • Full support for Novell GroupWise 6. x connectors and migration tools.

  • Iberian and Brazilian Portuguese spelling checker for Microsoft Office Outlook Web Access.