Exchange 12 Beta 1 Community Technology Preview

Published Mar 01 2006 02:57 PM 8,082 Views

When we released Beta 1, we promised the release would be available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers early this year. Well, that time has come. Beta 1 is now being distributed via CD shipping to TechNet subscribers; MSDN subscribers will be able to download the CTP in March. 


This CTP includes both the full 64-bit version, and the 32-bit version for feature evaluation, training, and demonstrations.


We chose to release this early build to only the TechNet and MSDN community (of 200,000) due to their long standing relationship with Microsoft and their commitment to providing valuable product feedback. We intend to make Beta 2 publicly available. 


We are targeting mid-2006 for Beta 2, and remain on track to finish in the end of 2006 or early 2007. As always final timing will be driven by quality.


Thank you for all of your feedback and support to date. We look forward to that much more with this CTP release.


- Terry Myerson

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So, any place to get setup and admin documentation to whet our whistles with while waiting for the MSDN download?  I'd love to start reading up on the nuts and bolts of this so I'll be better prepared to start playing.

Second question.  How mature will the CTP be in comparision to what the "dog food" group is currently using in-house?

Last, will the CTP run on any of the Longhorn Server builds?

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#1: Not to my knowledge, but I'll ask around.
#2: We are dogfooding later builds than the CTP. The CTP fork happened in november/december and we're currently dogfooding a fork from february.
#3: No, the CTP will not run on Longhorn. Please stick to win2k3 sp1.

- KC Lemson
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It is from a November/December build and apparently MS is currently running on a Feb. build. There won't be an upgrade path from this CTP to Final so don't plan on it.  It only installs on Win2k3 as far as I can tell. It won't work under Longhorn yet.
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Beta 1 of Exchange 12 was released last December, but now Microsoft has decided to broaden the audience according to the Exchange GM, Terry Myerson at the Microsoft Exchange Team Blog

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I'm looking for a little direction on this new CTP. Basically, I just downloaded it through my MSDN subscription. I completely understand that it is BETA1 and not a finished product. However, I've had several odd problems after installing it in VMWare w/Windows 2003 SP1 x86.

1. The unified messaging piece fails to install.
2. After installing and restarting, the main System Managmenet snap-in will not open. It gives me an error saying that I don't have rights. I was able to work around this by simply opening a blank MMC session and adding the snap-in into it.
3. Outlook WebAccess does not work. After typing in my username and password I get an (that is after I modified the web.config) to show the error. Basically the error says it find the 'Microsoft.Exchange.ClientAccess.OWA.something.something.dll' (I can't remember the whole name'. However, a dll similar to this one seems to be in the 'bin' folder of the owa website.

Anyway, is there any help out there to get this thing going? Is there anyway to get into the beta program? I'm working on a .NET 2.0 Line-of-business application that I like to integrate with outlook's calendar via the new webservice APIs. Anyway thanks again for a great product. From what I've seen E12 is going to rock!

webmaster at
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I have did the same as Jonathan and installed it on VMWare running w2k3 SP1.

First time the installation of the mailbox task installation did not finish due to a DCOM error. The second time it did finish, however it could not create a logfile for the mailbox store (which I could fix manually).

Now, the only problem (and questions) I am having is thisL I am trying to send mail via OWA. When I click the send button however, it tells me I have unsufficient permissions to send. I have searched the System Administrator but I can't find any available permissions setting.

Could you tell me how to solve this and how permissions can be managed.

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re: Testing scenarios

Is everyone installing a separate DC or trying to put them on the same VM?

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I created a new DC and a new forest on the same VMware machine.
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Re: Permission to send through OWA

I believe this is a known issue, do you mind trying creating a regular test account that is not an Admin and trying to get/recieve mail through OWA? Also, is Outlook working and is it just OWA?

Re: System Manager not working

Are you using the shortcut from start->programs to open ESM? It may be possible that the shortcut was not properly configured. One simple technique to try out is by navigating to exchange serverbin and directly clicking on the Exchange MSC file.

In general there seems to be some timeout issues happening during installation in the VM environment that is causing some items not to complete succesfully (mailbox database creation for example). One way to tell what is going on is by looking at Exchange ServerLoggingSetupLogs and looking at setup.log.  
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I ran into a problem installing the BridgeHead Role.

  Bridgehead Role                 ......................... 100%
    The specified language is not supported for DSN creation.
                                  ......................... FAILED
    The specified language is not supported for DSN creation.

This is on Windows 2003 Standard R2 (English). The machine is also a DC (running in VirtualServer 2005 R2).
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Re: Bridgehead role problem

In Beta 1, only English and Japanese locales are supported, if you set your regional settings to English, it should work fine.
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I have some questions about the migration path to Unified Messaging.  We currently use Avaya's Modular Messaging product that uses Micosoft Exchange 2003 as the message store.  I am curious if anyone knows will Microsoft's Unified Messaging be a solution to completely replace the Avaya product? I am really impressed with the functionality presented in the whitepapers for Exchange 12.   Will Exchange 12 support an IP enabled PBX?  

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Oops forgot the last part of my question.

Will Exchange 12 support an AVAYA IP enabled PBX.

We currently have an Intel Dialogic 8 port card to interface between the PBX and exchange for the Modular Messaging system.  Exchange 12's system looks much better and I am very interested in migrating to it instead of Avaya's messaging platform.

Thanks again!
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Very Nice.  Should keep the Shell in the final release.  Get rid of the UI... ;)

Getting a strange error with OWA
"There was an unknown error accessing the directory. If the problem continues, contact technical support for your organization."

Thats comes up after the Language and TZ page.  However the URL is pointing to the LanuageSelection.aspx when the error displays.

Any Ideas ?
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The account you are logging on with may be an Admin (Enterprise or Domain Admin) account. Try creating a regular test user and logging on as that user. The reason this may be happening is that Exchange at first logon writes the client locale to the directory... but if you are an EA or DA, Exchange does not have permission to write to that user's object in the AD (as EA and DA are high privliged accounts). This is a "secure by default" change in E12.

And yes we're definately keeping the shell. :)
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Sweet. All works now. Thanks Vivek...

You guys have done a great job !

I love it already..... :)
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Only getting Basic mode OWA though.

Is that right ?
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I have rebuild my testlab this weekend. A seperate DC, seperate Exchange and a seperate Workstation running on Virtual Server 05. Did not run into any problems now, installing Exchange.

Using OWA for the administrator account definitely does not work. For other, not admin, accounts it works sweet.

Still one question remaining: where to apply permissions? Or is this not implemented in this Beta?
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Is it too late to make a feature request?
I know it probably is, but I figured I would throw it out there anyway since I routinely am asked this question by customers as an Exchange consultant.

Is there any way to configure individual DLs to not deliver email to users when they have their Out Of Office set?
In theory it would be just another true/false attribute of an email enabled group, and something the message catagorizer would look at when it was expanding messages.
Nested DLs would not be a problem, because the expansion process could decide that if any DL along the path of expansion was set to require delivery (the default setting) when a person is Out Of Office, then the message would be delivered.

So many customers have many DLs that they would like to give their users the option of not receiving email when they go on vacation or whatever. Today removing ones self from email groups either requires some custom third party solution (with user intervention requesting that they be temproarily removed), or an admin making the changes manually.

In theory this option could be set per DL (with the default being set to always deliver) and give list owners the ability to make their lists mandatory or not.

Just a feature I have had asked of me over and over again.
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I have installed W2003 SP1 x64 on real Hardware. Then i have installed the .net framework 2.0 and mmc 3.0. But i can't install E12. The setup says that there is no mmc 3.0 installed..... :(
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I've got another error here...I get through the .NET and the MMC, but then I error 1063 when I start to run the actual Exchange setup.  THis is on an older Netserver LC3...I can't find the solution through google.
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I think i figured out my problem, one of the dll files has a spelling mistake in the name...bug found!!!
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How do I get Premium OWA to work.  I get basic in both IE7B2 and IE6.01.  Basic mode not selected.
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spent two days installing and testing the E12 ctp. My setup:
- Virtual server R2
- 1 W2K3 DC for single forest / single domain
- 1 W2K3 member server for Mailbox E12
- 1 W2K3 member server for Client Access E12
- 1 WinXP + Outlook 2003 for client.

My results:

- Messages sent trough outlook remain in the outbox en do not arrive at the destination
- Messages sent trough OWA end un in the DRAFTS folder ???

I am using a standard (non-admin account) all servicepacks, updates en hotfixes installed except W2K3 R2.

No error messages in the eventlog whatsoever.

Anybody seen this before?

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To Francois:

I have had my issues with this too. After exploring the GUI I found out, that after installation you will manually have to create (via the monad shell) the following:

1. Sendconnector
2. Receiveconnector and apply
and in my case (.local domain) I needed to create a addressrewriteentry to rewrite it to a existing toplevel domain (.nl instead of .local)

Be sure to restart the Microsoft Exchange Transport Service after you configured something on this issue.

For the specific commands refer to the exchhelp.chm.
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Just finished installing Exchange12. Trying to log to OWA. I get access denied when using non-admin account, but when using admin account i get There was an unknown error accessing the directory. Same error as Craig's. Outlook 2003 seems to work fine.
Help help
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I read that external mail is not capable with the gateway role yet. What about the bridgehead? I am unable to send external mail and for the life of me cannot find SMTP anywhere and installing the individual component from 2003 r2 loads a failed IIS object.

Great job with the OWA portion by the way, it seems MUCH faster or maybe that's just the x64 OS lol. Either way, I love it
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To: Mark.

Thx. for your suggestion, I checked and found both the receive and send connector where not installed. My coll. has a similiar setup but has also installed the Bridgehead role (does not work for me, the setup exists with a time-out error). His setup is working.

I have tried to install the connectors but I am totally lost on all required parameters. Also the attempt to list the parameters of the working setup did not help me.

Is it possible to paste the required commands in an answer to this post? It would make life a lot easier.

Thanks in advance,

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I notice that in E12 OWA, you can no longer open another mailbox with http://servername/exchange/alias or http://servername/owa/alias (apparently, you can't now GET anything under /Exchange without Translate:f ).  I'm sure that a lot of people will miss this.  Is this a permanent change, or is it just missing from the Beta, and likely to be added later?
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I am an MSDN subscriber but I don't see Exch12 CTP from my download page?
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so i'm having a problem installing this. I'm using VM Server 2005 R2. I made two guest servers.

1. a single domain controller on Win2k3 SP1

2. a member server to the above domain controller. logged in as a DA and EA, etc..

domain is called EXC12DOMAIN.local

It errors out when installing MSI Package 'exchangeserver.msi' with a status of processing. I am selecting all options to install with exception to the one that gets greyed out. .net 2.0 and mmc 3.0 installed just fine. I had to raid domain level to native which worked just fine too.

Here's the error:

Installing product C:servereni386exchangeserver.msi failed. Fataled error during installation. Error code is 1603

Fatal error during installing.

Any suggestions?
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What database type would be used in "E12"? Would be SQL or it will be same old?

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makhan.  I see .edb's, .log's and .chk's here, so I assume it's ESE .  No .stf's, though.

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Where have I been?  I have been so very bad at blog posting.  I like to think that I favor...
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To any member of the MS Exchange development team!

I installed the CTP and I'm very satisfied with the improvement of the Web Access. But, the first thing one of my colleagues complained was the missing monthly view in the calendar. There is now only a weekly view and I did'nt find a way to switch to monthly view like in the current OWA from Exchange 2003. Please change this!
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I'm following on my post

i still can not get the install of Exchange 12 beta1 to go through. I even put together a separate box and it still won't work. I get the same exact error.

This is how i set it up

Server 2003, install SP1, do windows update, add IIS, install exchange 12 beta1 (fails)

Please help or point to me where i can get help.

I would really like to demo this beta!!

-Ben Nordlander

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Anyone know how to configure the Cisco Call Manager for Exchange 12 UM integration?
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I have spent 3 days now in installing E12 Beta 1 and still haven't succeded.

I have a Windows 2003 server SP1 with following on the same machine.
- .Net framework 2.0,
- MMC 3.0,
- IIS,
- a completely new domain controler with a new domain that is the root of the forest,
- domain functional level set to win server 2003,
- a new DNS on the same machine (our IT guy that has set up several exchange 2003 servers
 helped me with this tasks)
- administrator account that is in the schema admin, enterprise admin groups etc.

with all this things the install always hungs in the instalation pre-checks no matter
for which role I try to install.
The output is always the same:

Total: 2 objects. 1 succeeded, 1 failed.

Organization Prerequisites
Status: Completed.
Elapsed Time: 00:00:21

Mailbox Server Role Prerequisites
A critical error has been found during analysis: {0}
Cannot write to the Domain Container in the AD.
A critical error has been found during analysis: {0}
E12 Beta 1 servers must be installed into the root domain of the forest.

The same IT guy that helped me set up the domain controler and DNS cant make nothing of this errors,
and we spent several hours trying to make heads and tails of it.

Has anybody come to a similar situation and solved it?
Any help would be very appreciated.
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I've installed E12 Beta 1 and indeed found the problem about the wrong DSN, changed my regional settings, finished that problem.

I've installed all four roles that can be installed on one server. (So NOT the gateway service). On a Windows 2003 R2 SP1 box with a separate DC.

I got used to the Exchange 2003 ESM and I'm wondering where I can define the Recipient Update Policie to give emailadresses to people.

Did anyone find it already ?
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When I'm trying to start Microsoft Exchange Transport Service and I'm getting an error and it doesn't start...

In the eventviewer I get the following errors:

Event Type: Error
Event Source: Microsoft Exchange Server
Event Category: None
Event ID: 5000
Date: 3/15/2006
Time: 3:22:30 PM
User: N/A
Computer: GATEWAY
EventType exchange12, P1 edgetransport.exe, P2 8.0.0462.19, P3, P4, P5 8.0.0462.19, P6 objectsfromentries, P7, P8 16c1, P9 rtl-x86, P10 NIL.

It looks like some kind of network problem (rtl-x86). I've tried to set the Outbound connector to one specified IP.

There are two NIC's installed in the VMWare server.

Does anybody know how to solve this?
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I've been trying to install Exchange 12 from MSDN for 2 days now.  I can't seem to get past the error "Exchange Server '12' requires Microsoft Management Console 3.0."  3.0 was installed per

I've verified mmc 3.0 is installed.  There's also no previous version in the registry.  I've tried it on a Windows Server 2003 SP1 machien and a Windows Server 2003 R2 machine.  Same error message. This is a 32-bit test environment.  I don't know if that matters.  My CEO is gung-ho to see this in action so I've got some pressure.  Any help would be appreciated.
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I too am having the MMC 3.0 error installing.  
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All of you that have issues with MMC 3.0 - hang in there, I am preparing a blog post on resolving this and I'll post it to this site, probably tomorrow morning.
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I'll look forward to it.  Thanks for the reply.

Does this issue happen on the 64-bit version?
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Hello, guys i have the same problem, i instal mmc 3 it's ok but when i would like to launch the setup, installer says that mmc3 was not installed ???
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For thos having the E12 install problem with MMC3 RTM:

create the following empty registry key


and then try it
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Worked for me!  Thanks.
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As mentioned before - we now have CTP build of Exchange 12 those of you that have MSDN and TechNet subscriptions...
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Will the Exch 12 support also 3COM's NBX or Cisco's Call Manager, are there any plans to integrate MS exchange with the unified messaging systems (VoIP)?
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Hi, I know this is probably way too late for E12 but it would be so useful I thought I'd just beg, maybe in a service pack?

Basically the GAL already contains (or can contain) information on each user such as name, phone number, job title, fax, mobile etc etc, so why not set up a central template for a signature that can contain logos etc and pulls this information for the user from the GAL, this could be forced applied on all users.  It would then be so simple and quick to standardise all signatures accross an organisation.
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