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I'm looking for an article or tutorial (or a couple of them) that would explain Microsoft's Exchange Server and its functionality plainly and with clear examples (what it does? why and when is that functionality needed? etc.), as for a layman if possible. I've looked over Microsoft's website, but it's nothing really specific. It seems that it presents a lot of business terms, but no clear examples or functionality.

I have no previous experience with MS Exchange, but I may be developing for it in the near future, that is why I would like to know what it is capable of and why it is needed within a company.

Thank you!

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Wikipedia has a article about it wich describes alot of what you're asking for:

Wikipedia: Microsoft Exchange Server

A brief list that pops into my head:

  • A global address list of all your exchange users plus distribution groups
  • Simplified managment through AD, enables more use of SSO
  • Calendar sharing (especially useful for sales department etc)
  • Room/equipment booking
  • Outlook Web Access (wich, as it's titled, a basic Outlook in a web browser with all your mail, contacts, calendars etc)
  • ActiveSync (sync mail/calendar/contacts of mobile phones/PDA over the air)

Competitors offer the same, but most AD-heavy organizations turn to Exchange for it's seamless intergration. Exchange 2010 can be installed and up and going within very short amount of time.

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...or the Microsoft Exchange Page. That is, after all, what it's for...

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