SharePoint and Exchange – better together?

I just wanted to share some thoughts I have had since attending TechEd back in 2009 and have been meaning to blog about this ever since.

Walking around the exhibition hall I stopped by the Exchange stand and had a quick demo of some of the new features of Exchange 2010 which had been released at TechEd during the Keynote. I was interested to see that the Exchange product had functionality for users to update their AD information which had been something that had been lacking from SharePoint functionality. I asked how this was achieved and it was by directly writing back to AD.

Roll on to the SharePoint 2010 release back in April this year and was pleased to find that SharePoint also has update AD functionality although this works in a different way as it replicates the AD information into a SQL DB then writes back the information from SQL to AD via FIM (Forefront Identity Manager).

It made me think ‘why don’t the Exchange team and SharePoint team work together to provide a consistent solution?’. Possibly due to internal competition who knows.

So why Exchange and SharePoint better together? Well as SharePoint now has service applications I see no reason why Exchange can’t be one. Previously there was talk of Exchange mailstore edb files becoming SQL DB’s but this never materialised, possibly due to performance of SQL compared to hosting on the file system. Well now SharePoint 2010 / SQL 2008 has RBS functionality along with service apps this should go some way to addressing the performance of using SQL whilst still keeping the mailstore files on a file system.

With email tightly integrated into SharePoint all the same rich functionality can be applied to email management whilst retaining a single centralised web based management tool.

So will it happen, we’ll have to wait and see…


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