Service Packs are always welcome in the Microsoft world. Some offer simply a collection of hotfixes and patches, along with a few new toys and enhancements. Others, like Exchange 2010 SP1, bring a long list of improvements. Here are the 10 Exchange 2010 SP1 changes I most appreciate.
1. Public Folder permissions through the EMC
Public Folders may have been deprecated in Exchange 2007, but many companies still use them and plan to do so for as long as possible. Now, with SP1, you can see and configure permissions on those folders through the EMC (Exchange Management Console). This replaces the annoying method employed by the RTM version, freeing you from having to use the EMS (Exchange Management Shell) or having to work through Outlook to make permission changes.
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2. Retention Policies and Tags go GUI
While Managed Folders (MRM 1.0) have been relegated to the EMS with SP1, Retention Policies (MRM 2.0) have been pulled out of the EMS and into the GUI to allow for easier MRM (Messaging Records Management). Moreover, you now have a variety of preconfigured Retention Policy Tags to get you started, as well as a couple of Retention Policies. Having this in the GUI will make it much easier for admins to make real use of MRM 2.0.
3. Deployment switch for roles and features
This is a nice option you can select when performing an Exchange installation, as it removes the need to manually install these roles and features through Server Manager or to run prerequisite commands in PowerShell. I tried it during my own deployment, and it didn't quite get me all the way through, as I had hoped. Some aspects of IIS weren't installed, forcing me to resort to PowerShell anyway. But I'm still putting this one on my list.
4. Federation with self-signed certificates
With SP1, a self-signed certificate will work for a federation trust with the Federation Gateway. Before SP1, demoing Federation (Organization Relationships and Sharing Policies) required getting not one third-party CA certificate but two to show how it worked between two domains. Now you can test this out using the self-signed cert.