Microsoft Planning To Hobble Classic Exchange Admin Center This Month

Microsoft announced on Thursday that it'll deprecate the "classic" Exchange Admin Center management portal on June 20, 2023.

Microsoft described it as a "final deprecation" for the older Exchange Admin Center product. It means that "starting June 21, 2023, the classic EAC will no longer be functional for WW customers," per the announcement. Microsoft defines "deprecation" here. It seems to mean that further development of a software feature by Microsoft will stop.

This classic Exchange Admin Center portal was originally tagged for deprecation back in Sept. 2022, per Microsoft's 2021 advance notice. The deprecation was described back then as not affecting Exchange Online government users.

Microsoft explained in its Thursday announcement that it delayed the planned 2022 deprecation based on customer feedback, which it used in the new Exchange Admin Center's design. It also took time out to address "feature parity" with the new portal. However, not all features got ported.

On top of the new perks available in the Exchange Admin Center portal, IT pros will be losing some capabilities. For instance, "support for auditing and add-ins is not available in new EAC and you must use PowerShell," the Thursday announcement noted.

Some capabilities in the classic Exchange Admin Center were moved to other Microsoft management tools. For instance, the classic version had a compliance management tab that's not available in the new portal as it's "now a part of Microsoft Purview compliance portal," according to Microsoft's document on the two portals' differences.

Microsoft also moved the classic portal's protection tab to the Microsoft 365 security center, according to the document.

Microsoft had explained back in 2021 that it was switching users over to a new Exchange Admin Center to better show insights through a new dashboard with alerts. The new Exchange Admin Center also offers perks for Microsoft's partners, who can use it to switch between Exchange Online tenancies. It enables cross-tenant migrations, as well as migrations from other services, such as Google Workspace. Users of the new portal also get privileged identity management support, plus access to Azure Cloud Shell for running PowerShell scripts.

IT pros overseeing Exchange Online may also face other possible deprecation deadlines. For instance, Remote PowerShell for Exchange Online security was slated for deprecation on July 15, 2023, as announced by Microsoft in May. Microsoft also plans to deprecate the use of Client Access Rules with Exchange Online in Sept. 2023, although there's a reprieve until Sept. 2024 for organizations encumbered by technical limitations.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.


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