Microsoft Adds Security Features to Exchange

Microsoft Corp. announced that Service Pack 3 for Exchange Server 5.5, which includes security enhancements, is now available as a free download.

Service Pack 3 (SP3) is a cumulative release that contains fixes to server issues that were previously available as Microsoft Quick Fix Engineering (QFE) patches and a few feature enhancements and utilities. Microsoft is recommending that customers apply it as soon as possible.

A new feature in the service pack is the Mailbox Manager Service, a tool for enforcing corporate e-mail retention policies. Using the service, administrators can configure the mailbox manager to delete messages based on criteria such as message age, message size, folder location and server. It can be scheduled to run automatically at off-peak times.

Another service is the Anti-Virus Interface for use by third parties to plug in anti-virus software. The interface hooks the attachment processing in the Exchange store.

Finally, the MTA Mixer enables the creation of either algorithmic or configurable mappings between X.400 and SMTP addresses, which can be useful to customers relaying messages between these two types of networks.

The full Exchange Server 5.5 package now includes Microsoft Outlook 2000 and Outlook for the Macintosh. These inclusions only come on the disk version, however, not the Web download. SP3 contains several previously released tools for coexistence, including Importer for Lotus cc: Mail Archives, Lotus Notes Connector, IBM Office Vision/VM Connector, SNADS Connector and Exchange Calendar Connector.

Previously released tools for migration include LDAP and IMAP Extractors for the Exchange Migration Wizard, Exchange Migration Wizard, Language Packs, Lotus cc:Mail Mirgration Directory Toolkit, Lotus Notes Importer, Migration Connector for Novell GroupWise, More Server Wizard and Schedule+ (SC2) File Import Utility for Microsoft Outlook.

More information and downloads are available on Microsoft's Web site at www.microsoft.com/exchange/deployadmin/sp3.htm.

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Microsoft Buys Visio, Softway

Thomas Sullivan

Building on separate strategies, Microsoft Corp. purchased two software companies last month.

Adding diagramming tools to its knowledge worker strategy, Microsoft scooped up Visio Corp. (www.visio.com), a supplier of enterprisewide business diagramming and technical drawing software.

Visio 2000, which was compliant with Office applications, enables users to assemble diagrams, technical drawings and information technology models. The software will remain separate, but will complement the Microsoft Office family of business productivity applications.

Visio will be renamed the Visio division, and will operate within Microsoft’s business productivity group, which is charged with delivering solutions that empower knowledge workers. The Visio division will focus on bringing to market the Visio 2000 product editions and on helping Visio customers upgrade to this latest version.

"Together, Microsoft and Visio will bring visualization and diagramming software to a way knowledge workers present their ideas," said Bob Muglia, senior vice president of Microsoft’s business productivity group, in a statement.

Furthering a push toward making the Windows operating systems more interoperable with Unix systems, Microsoft acquired Softway Systems Inc. (www.interix.com), which makes Interix. The suite of Unix utilities and developer tools help developers port Unix scripts and applications to Windows NT with minimal changes to the code.

Redmond currently offers Services for Unix Add-on Pack and Advanced Server for Unix, which was developed in conjunction with AT&T Corp. (www.att.com). Microsoft also works with Mortice Kern Systems Inc. (www.mks.com), maker of MKS Toolkit and MKS Nutcracker. The efforts with Mortice Kern help developers migrate their applications to run natively on the subsystem 32-bit Windows, so Windows and Unix systems can benefit from Microsoft’s Distributed interNet Architecture.

With this collection of interoperability technologies, Microsoft is hoping that customers will have confidence using Windows NT/2000, and that developers will begin migrating their code to run natively on Windows.