A Surface View of Exchange 2000 Server

Don't expect to learn more about Exchange 2000 Server than the name of this book implies.

Pay close attention to the title of this book -- Introducing Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server --and do not take the word "Introducing" lightly. It truly is an introduction and therefore, do not expect this book to answer the deployment questions that have kept you up for several nights, or help you with your migration strategy.

If all you need is the "in a nut shell" look at Exchange 2000 without getting bogged down with deep technical explanations, this is the book for you.

It starts out with a historical view of Exchange since its birth, which people with any sort of interest in the evolution of things in general, such as myself, will appreciate.

Next, there is a section that means to give some background on Windows 2000, and I must say that despite the good intentions of the author, this section can be skipped all together. If you have no experience whatsoever with Win2K you will find it too vague and confusing to be of any real value; if you do have a fair amount of experience with Win2K, you will find yourself frowning at the diagrams that do not use the standard graphic representations such as circles, instead of triangles, for domains, not a big deal per say, since the book doesn't claim to be an introduction to Win2K. But a little bigger deal would be the few statements about the technology that could be easily misinterpreted as inaccurate (unless heavily wrapped in assumptions and some twisted creativity) such as "What used to be a mailbox is now a Win2K user" or "the MMC is one of the most significant features of Exchange 2000."

From that point, the author dives into a section that mixes some administrative concepts from both Exchange 2000 and Win2K, along with screen shots of how this brave new world will present itself to future Exchange administrators; followed by a section on installation, where the author spends some time going over relevant installation considerations. There is a brief, and very brief indeed, mention of how one would actually get an Exchange 5.5 environment to Exchange 2000, consisting of a few pros and cons on different upgrades, no groundbreaking information per se.

About one hundred pages or so into it (133 to be exact), we finally get to discuss Exchange 2000 in some sort of depth. The author starts with an overview of the Web store and all the wonderful things it will do for Exchange and for our ever bubbling and hype collaborative world. Then we get to other database technology enhancements, such as the multiple databases, Installable File System, front end/back end infrastructure and so on. An overview of Conferencing services, Instant Messaging and Chat wraps up the book, which will leave you wondering why is it that you can't get rid of that feature guide after-taste?

In summary, the book does a good job giving a general overview of the Exchange 2000 features. However, anyone looking for solid information needed to design, deploy or migrate to an Exchange 2000 environment will find this book too basic. Mind you, the author does point out that this was all based on a beta release of the product, so the lack of depth overall should not come as a surprise.

About the Author

Valéria Struk Ganamet, MCSE, has worked closely with Exchange since its first release, and also Windows NT 3.51, 4.0 and Windows 2000. She is the project lead for the Exchange 2000 and Conferencing server deployment, and also lead on the Microsoft based collaborative strategy development for EDS globally.

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