Mecisback Once upon a time, there was an annual gathering of Exchange lovers throughout the world, and it was called the MEC (that's "Microsoft Exchange Conference" for you acronym haters). It was, by all accounts, a blissful event, full of informative sessions and drinking and merriment and more drinking.

In 2002, it died.

Now it’s back. (With, I might add, a rather un-Microsoftian style of fanfare, manifested in a Dharma Intiative logo*, multi-stage website rollout, and a twitter presence that regularly uses acknowledgements like “word.”)

Anyways. A bunch of us are going, for the purposes of a) learning more about Exchange 2013, and b) how third parties are planning to integrate with it, along with c) unveiling our supersecretstealthshhhh email app.

The following 6 sessions will, I hope, be key to our achieving a). They’re taught by some of the shiniest stars in the messaging biz, so I’m not too worried.

1)   Making the Call: On-Premises or the Cloud? Speaker: Tony Redmond (bt), author of Exchange Server 2010 Inside Out, blogger at WindowsITPro, former VP and CTO of HP Services Description:

Now that the new Exchange is on the horizon and Exchange 2003 and 2007 are slipping gently away into obsolescence, it's an appropriate time to consider the options that companies have for email. For some the decision to move towards a cloud solution is easy. Others, especially companies that are distributed or have specialized requirements, find the prospect more difficult. A hybrid solution might be the best approach or it might just be the case that the classic on-premises deployment is the best solution. This session discusses the major business and technology issues that companies need to review as they consider their options.


2)   The Deep, Dark Secrets of Unified Messaging Speaker: J. Peter Bruzzese, (b | t), Co-Founder and CIO of ClipTraining, Columnist at InfoWorld’s Enterprise Windows blog Description:

Dial plans, IP Gateways, Policies and AutoAttendants. It all sounds so complex to start with and as a result many Exchange administrators shy away from the UM side to Exchange. Let's dive into the mystic together and eliminate all the fear of working with Unified Messaging. Then let's go deeper and address all the nuances of using multiple auto-attendants, working with language packs and more.


3) Developing Mobile Applications with Exchange Web Services Speaker: Paul Robichaux (b | t), Content Author at Acuitus, Sr. Contributing Editor at WindowsITPro Description:

Exchange Web Services (EWS) is a powerful, flexible way to develop applications that create and manipulate data stored in Exchange Server mailboxes and public folders. In this session, you'll learn how to harness EWS to build collaborative functionality into mobile applications on iOS, including using Autodiscover, viewing and changing out-of-office status, viewing and creating calendar data, and working with public folder items. We'll also talk about the server-side configuration necessary to provide secure, reliable mobile device connectivity to EWS


4)   Personal Archive and Retention Policies Speaker: Jason Sherry (bt), Microsoft Infrastructure Architect and Professional Services Consultant at Pro Exchange Description:

This session will cover personal archive and retention best practices and usage. Topics discussed will include enforcing policies across the entire mailbox and specific folders, using retention and archiving tags, Managed Folders vs. Retention Tags, and Migrating PSTs to Personal Archive mailboxes. 3rd party archiving solutions will be open for discussion, but will not be the primary focus of this session.


5) Three Years In: Looking Back at Virtualizing Exchange 2010 Speaker: Devin Ganger (bt), Solutions Architect at Trace3 Description:

Virtualization technologies and techniques are becoming more common in datacenters of all sizes. While Exchange 2010 has detailed design guidance for virtual deployments, there are still many potential pitfalls. This session will explore the pros and cons gathered over three years of deploying virtualized Exchange solutions. Are there areas of functionality you give up by virtualizing? What hidden costs and risks you need to account for? What operational concerns will you need to address during the lifetime of your Exchange deployment? The goal of this session is to help you find the answer for the question of when it makes sense to virtualize Exchange and when to buck the trend.


6)   20 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do with Exchange Web Services Speaker: Glen Scales (b), Freelance Exchange Developer and Engineer Description:

This session will present unique look at accessing Mailboxes on Exchange using Exchange Web Services and doing things outside of the everyday normal Send/Create or Access operations. It will be a deep dive into using lesser known MAPI properties and Item Types, creating and modifying configuration objects, different reporting techniques and using more advanced EWS operations. The format for this talk would be a quick introduction into using EWS with PowerShell and then it would go through 20 different PowerShell scripts (1 ever 5 minutes) each would demonstrate 1 tip or function. So hopeful people can walk away having learned something out of the 20 scripts and tips presented and they would also have access to all the scripts used. There would also be a Q and A session at the end on general Exchange mailbox scripting or Exchange development questions.

*Props to Romit Mehta for pinpointing this