EDIT 11/24/2009: Corrected the permissions needed in KB 970104 section.
It has been about a couple of months since we released Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 2. About 3 years ago when we shipped Exchange Server 2007 we promised cumulative update rollups every couple of months. Keeping with that promise we have released Update Rollup 1 for Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 2 (KB 971534) to the download center today. The release of the rollup via Microsoft Update will happen on November 24. Update rollups are service pack dependent, so you need to first upgrade to Exchange Server 2007 SP2 before deploying this Update Rollup.
While the bulk of the changes in this rollup are bug fixes we have also made some improvements to the experience when installing the patch. We laid the foundation for these improvements in the Exchange Server 2007 SP2 product MSI which also included requiring everyone to upgrade to Windows Installer 4.5. We are building upon it in this rollup and hope to improve your experience during installation of these patches.
1) Ability to cancel installation of a rollup - As most of you have noticed the cancel button in the rollup is disabled for most of the time. This is because the custom actions implemented in the patch did not have corresponding rollback versions. Hence a cancel of the install would have meant that the system state would not have been rolled back. We have redesigned this area of the code and enabled the administrators to cancel installation and rollback the system to the initial state whenever possible. Note that there are still some critical points during setup where we disable canceling, for example when we reach the end of the installation sequence where canceling install at that point would take longer than finishing up the rollup deployment.
2) Pre-installation checks for common issues faced by customers
a. We now check for the lack of internet connectivity, which can cause longer installation times due to the system trying to obtain the Certificate Revocation List from the HTTP URL specified in the signing certificate. If we detect the absence of internet connectivity we provide a warning (see below). The link points to the topic How to Install the Latest Service Pack or Update Rollup for Exchange 2007 in the Exchange Server 2007 TechCenter documentation which covers the steps to update the system configuration to not do the check under the section "When Exchange cannot connect to the Internet". We will also post a blog shortly on the technical details about this.
b. KB 970104 - We check if the user account initiating the install of the rollup has adequate permissions. If the user does not have Exchange Server Administrator permissions, the installation throws an error before making any changes to the system. The most common case of this is seen when users install the rollup using an account which is a local administrator and see that Outlook Web Access is not working because the user account did not have permissions to update the OWA component in Active Directory which requires running some cmdlets which require Exchange Server Administrator privileges.
3) Shorter downtime of Exchange Services during deployment of the rollup by doing a 2 step Native Image Generation. This is the place where the rollup installer seems to be stuck for a long time with the message "Creating native images for .NET assemblies. This process can take an extended period of time to complete." If NGEN is busy imaging non-Exchange .NET assemblies in the system due to a pending queue then Exchange services are down for a lot longer than they need to be.
a. Step 1 will keep Exchange services running while imaging non-Exchange .NET assemblies in the system.
b. Step 2 will stop Exchange services and then image the Exchange assemblies.
The advantage to this two step process is that if Step 1 takes a large chunk of the maintenance interval than expected, the administrator can cancel the rollup installation and reschedule the installation of the rollup to a future time.
4) Ability for Exchange administrators to execute custom PowerShell scripts before and after rollup installation to stop 3rd party services loading Exchange assemblies and causing a reboot. More on this in a blog post coming up soon.
Some of the other critical product bug fixes in this rollup which we would like to call out are
1) KB 971010 - Intermittent issue where a database does not mount when CCR failover happens due to missing temp log file
2) KB 941775 - Running Isinteg for the first time on a newly created DB fails with Error: FULLCHKMGR::EcReadRowCountGlobalFlag failed with error JET_wrnColumnNull
3) KB 972115 - Transport rule does not fire for Message Delivery Notifications if header is folded because the report-type is not evaluated
KB 971534 has more details about this release and a complete list of all fixes included in this rollup.
We welcome your feedback on the improvements we have made in this rollup. Also, a friendly reminder again that we will be watching our Exchange Software Updates forum which is available to provide assistance if you encounter issues when deploying the rollup.