Add2Exchange Standard Edition Release Notes

Summary
Symptoms, Description, Resolution

Applies To

  • Add2Exchange Enterprise 9x series to 2x

 

02/14/2011 Add2Exchange Standard Build: 9.2.153.160 successfully released

Mandatory upgrade. This release fixes Calendar replication.  This release no longer will replicate tentative appointments and is a major upgrade.  We had found that users who got copies of tentative appointments and subsequently refused them would in certain circumstances, delete the original.  This is a mandatory upgrade since it was not working correctly.

We know that some users are relying on this functionality, and this is a major change. We feel this is a security breach and hole in the proper functioning of the product, going around the rules of replication, so this functionality is now core functionality in all the product line.

 

Prior Release notes:

11/11/2011 Add2Exchange Standard Build: 8.11.163.154 released

Mandatory upgrade. This release fixes several important functions. This is a mandatory upgrade since it was not working correctly.We also fixed various other fixes, all of which are proprietary and necessary for proper operation.  There were no user noticeable changes contained in this list. .

Add2Exchange Standard 8.5x and Add2Exchange Enterprise 13.7x

Add2Exchange Standard 8.5x and Add2Exchange Enterprise 13.7x release contain critical technology enhancements and are mandatory upgrades for Add2Exchange users. TIP: Unless Cross-grading, be sure to upgrade with the appropriate version, A2E Standard or A2E Enterprise Edition.

As you may have noticed, we are now posting a smaller "helper download" application which gets the appropriate download package from the Cloud. This is an improvement but some antivirus programs flag it as a Trojan. Let us assure you, it is not, and we have already notified the major AV companies. Some have put it on the white list, but some do not. See a related article here.

A critical upgrade is required of A2E Recovery and Migration Manager tool (RMM) licensees of both RMM Standard and RMM Enterprise. This is a critical notice to upgrade, so no not use prior versions, as more exceptions are handled correctly and frankly, it actually does what it is supposed to do every time! You would use this tool to fix an alerted relationship (do not delete them) or an Exchange Migration or an Exchange Recovery.

To coincide with these A2E releases, the RMM tool was also improved to provide Advanced Options for Admins to correct botched Recovery or Migrations. Even though the RMM tool is a separate product and licensed separately, this release note is included here for both A2E Standard and A2E Enterprise since they are so tightly integrated. This upgrade is a mandatory upgrade for all prior users of RMM. The current releases are: Standard RMM: version 8.5.31.32. Enterprise RMM: version 13.7.68.49. Uninstall the prior products first. No reboot is necessary. Again, do not use prior versions. This post suggests options for Migration.

A new free A2E Diags was improved and included in every new Add2Exchange download. This is not a critical upgrade but should be upgraded if running A2E Standard Edition or Cross-grading to Enterprise to take advantage of the Templating System in RGM and to sanitize the database after the upgrade.

Help for Technical Support:
An FAQ was created for Explaining the system to new Admins, Troubleshooting common problems and Migration Options located here: A2E Troubleshooting.

The A2E event log error entries are now more closely referencing our online knowledgebase for deep linking for quicker problem resolution.

The Infrastructure is being built now for proactive monitoring of the sync service and be able to offer and provide integrated alerts to pagers or emails with options to alert DIB Premium Support Technicians to call YOU when it is not working correctly. We aim to enable this feature in Q4 of 2011.


A2E Standard and Enterprise Enhancements

Relationship manager now spins off another Relman so it is faster and smoother and backward compatible and this combined with the next few tips will virtually eliminate Sync hangs.

Fixed service hangs by providing fault tolerance by testing for communication link to underlying Exchange infrastructure and if fails, to reset and wait until next time. This fix/enhancement avoids the occasional A2E Director Hang on some systems during system availability (stability) time periods and is contained in the new A2E Standard and A2E Enterprise editions

These software upgrades, combined with a process to exclude certain directories from Antirust Active file scanning and a process to move the Microsoft temporary "MMP files" from the Windows/Temp directory and also exclude from active file scanning is recommended to avoid sync interruptions due to aggressive antiviral interference. These upgrades and processes have been stress tested to virtually avoid sync "hanging" all together. See this link: http://support.diditbetter.com/Forums/Thread.aspx?pageid=1&mid=2&ItemID=1&thread=71&postid=182

Both Standard and Enterprise systems are now compatible with SQL Express 2008 R2 with an easy install and upgrade so database size can grow to 10 GB and is a seamless upgrade. In near future upgrades of both A2E Standard and Enterprise we will bundle it for the initial installation.

Add2Exchange EE (A2E EE) can now make duplicate template in Relationship Group Manager – and be able to attach to another distribution group, but not the same one as prior. This is the case for someone wanting to set up two dist. groups to the same folder, like when they want some users with non-editing dist. list and some users in a bidirectional edits of info. This is a big improvement!

A2E EE now tests for similar settings of relationship template when saving the relationship template and allows the user to further edit the automatic name convention of the template system so they make it a unique name and not confusing to them later. This is an extension of the previous enhancement so the templates can be called something like "Editing" and "Non Editing".

Finally for the duplicate template enhancement, A2E EE checks for attaching the same or similar template to the same distribution group and prompts to not do it or it will cause duplication and offers suggestion to detach older template and sync in order to attach new or select another distribution list. Much more user intuitive and interactive.

A2E EE can make a template from one users private folder to many users when attaching a distribution list by unchecking the checkbox which says "Template Side" during Relationship Group Manager (RGM) build of the relationship Template. For example, this feature can now replace single individual relationships with an RGM template relationship from their personal contacts to many users contained in a distribution list (such as z_Toms_Contacts) through Relationship Group Manager.

Every function in A2E Standard Edition is now contained and superseded or improved in some way in A2E EE. Now RGM system can make all types of relationships desired through RGM which would go to or from users. The only function that cannot be done by templating in RGM is public to public, which would not be attached to a distribution list anyway. Both Editions can do public to public relationships as a single discrete relationship.

EE has better prompts in EE RGM Templating system to make user's better understand options
EE has web link to support site for clearer explanations and opens browser from within application to specify more precise (lengthy) and clear options for new users and seasoned admins to make the correct decisions.

EE has tighter interfacing the Recovery and Migration Manager Tool (RMM) so discarded relationships in RMM trigger to empty the trash and avoid a two sync cycle and reduce Administrative time to manage.

FIXES

Fixes specific to Add2Exchange Enterprise:

Fix: Fixed A2E Service hangs. This fix/enhancement avoids the occasional A2E Director Hang on some systems during system availability and is contained in the new A2E Standard and A2E Enterprise editions.
Fix: Gal Manager will handle users with a O’ in their name: (apostrophe)
Fix: RelManager will handle users with a O’ in their name
Fix: Exclusions for GalManager work as expected
Fix: EE GAL Sync was not bringing over the Title field
Fix: EE GAL now will put Telephone 1 (Other) from AD to Outlook Business Telephone number in GalCache folder. This is actually an enhancement, but many admins considered this a bug. This field is natively available in all smartphones.
Fix: In certain circumstances, the RGM Template system would fail to function properly and report there was no one in the distribution list when it was attached to another template.
Fix: AFTER this upgrade, Renaming of distribution lists is allowed and the system will continue to operate properly.
Fix: Licensing routine was broken on some systems and would report that it was licensed when in fact it was not and not syncing all relationships.
Fix: Configuration to the CAS Server is allowed in most systems providing fault tolerance during fail overs.

Fixes specific to Add2Exchange Standard:
Fix: The biggest fix in A2E Standard is to enhance the systemic checking routines and avoid unhandled conditions, causing hanging in the sync process. The system now detects changing or unavailable infrastructure environments and will reset without a hang. Combined with antiviral exclusion tip above creates a consistent environment to replicate.

Fix: We developed a process and free tool to sanitize the SQL Database for upgrades from earlier versions. This will recreate a metadata-consistent environment for consistent replication. See this link: Sanitize DB. This tool should be run on any Standard system upgrade or cross grade. This process will only have to be run once and never again and takes less than 5 minutes. This process should be run on any A2E Standard system or A2E Standard to Enterprise Cross grade. Important: If invalid rows are found, make sure all relationships are unidirectional prior to the first sync. If you have invalid rows and have questions, contact tech support for assistance.

The Road Ahead: We are retooling Add2Exchange to allow for many enhancements:
Upsize to full SQL
Different and better communication protocols
Reduced Rights assignment!
Faster with less resources
Automatic Licensing, Renewals and reducing restrictions
System Alerts to Email for Monitoring performance
Integrated Premium Support Monitoring for proactive fixes

Send your requests to help@diditbetter.com or post it in the upgrade forum here.

A Word on immediate Prior Release Notes

We are sorry, but we didn't "drop the ball". Actually, with these releases we think that we have made a touchdown together! Thank you for all your feedback, and our beta testers and near beta testers.

The Diditbetter.com Support team did not release forward facing release notes for versions from 7.3 to present and 12.4 to present. Why you may ask? Even though there were over 600 fixes between the two products, once we knew the sync stability of the products were in question, we focused entirely on that. These fix notes to the public were deemed to be less important than the certainty of immediate stability, thus this task went to the bottom of the list and pretty much fell off.

Since these current releases are mandatory for automated and unattended sync stability, the list above is what we believe really matters to our Admins - some sense of certainty that the upgrade will perform as advertised. In the future, however, since from all accounts these products seem to be "Golden Releases", moving forward we will have more time and manpower and will start again to timely release to you the information to help you Admins fully evaluate any and all product upgrades.

Again, thank you for your cooperation, suggestions, guidance and patience.

We are scheduled to release new versions on the 15th of each month. Use this procedure to upgrade: and be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed on the website for notifications.

 

Prior Release notes

Add2Exchange 7.3 and 12.4 Release Notes

Add2Exchange Standard 7.3 and Add2Exchange Enterprise 12.4 are strongly recommended upgrades for all Add2Exchange customers and a mandatory upgrade for users of the GAL sync feature of Add2Exchange Enterprise.

These release notes apply to both Standard and Enterprise Editions of Add2Exchange, except as noted explicitly for a particular edition.

 

Prior Release notes

Add2Exchange 7.3 and 12.4 Release Notes

Add2Exchange Standard 7.3 and Add2Exchange Enterprise 12.4 are strongly recommended upgrades for all Add2Exchange customers and a mandatory upgrade for users of the GAL sync feature of Add2Exchange Enterprise.

These release notes apply to both Standard and Enterprise Editions of Add2Exchange, except as noted explicitly for a particular edition.

Important Upgrade Notice for GAL sync users

This release of Add2Exchange will force the GAL cache to be cleared and repopulated. If you have edited the items in the GAL cache, for example to add pictures to contacts, then these items will be removed to a subfolder of the cache!

Because of GAL sync changes to accommodate Exchange 2007 and 2010, the GAL cache needs to be refreshed, which will remove any customizations to those items. We regret the inconvenience, but this means that such customizations will need to be redone by the user after the first synchronization of the new version. Because some of those customizations may be important or difficult to recall, the cleared cache items are moved to a subfolder of the GAL cache rather than being deleted. You can find them there.

Do not drag items from the subfolder, since that will cause duplication. Wait for the GAL sync to complete, then edit the items in the GAL cache manually to reproduce your customizations. Once the information is no longer needed, you may delete the subfolder at any time.

This process will only happen once and will not have to be performed again.

As a benefit from this change, we have relaxed the rules on the GAL cache so any that other contacts which are added to the GAL cache folder manually will now be replicated and not be removed after GAL sync has run.

We have also created a GAL exclusion list which will allow service accounts and other accounts to not participate in the GAL sync replication relationships.

Change to Version Numbering

In order to better serve our customers, our internal version numbering scheme has changed as well. The old system was based on three numbers: the major, minor and build numbers, e.g. 12.2.0226. The new system will allow us to more easily track down issues experienced by our customers and help us introduce new features in a timely and more maintainable fashion.

The new version numbering maintains the same major and minor numbers, but changes from the old system at the third place number. The new system uses revision and build numbers that are not related to the old build number. However, the new third-place number, the revision number, does start at a higher value than the old build number, so version numbers are still strictly increasing when comparing a new version number to the old number. So from a practical standpoint, it is still easy to tell that a release with the new numbering system is newer than one with the old numbering system. Still, we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Changes to download packaging

In addition to the need for package naming to change because of the version numbering change, we have also improved the manner in which the download packages are named and packaged. This includes:

  • simplified upgrade package naming
  • smaller package size
  • self-extracting executables

Simplified naming

The version numbers on the package names now match the system described above, of course. In addition, we have simplified the naming of upgrade packages. There are still three packages; a full package which includes the SQL installer, an upgrade for old versions of Add2Exchange that did not have SQL (versions 2 or 3), as well as an upgrade package for more recent Add2Exchange versions (which already have SQL installed) that does not include the SQL installer.

The upgrade package names used to include every possible major version number that you could have installed, so you could distinguish between the upgrade package with SQL and the one without. For example, the normal upgrade package included “5_6_7_11_or_12_to_12.x.x.x” in the name. This is cumbersome.

Instead, the upgrade packages now include “2_or_3_upgrade” and “all_other_upgrade”. This requires you to read the package names in relation to one another, but is more maintainable than the alternative. The difference between the files should be clear when you look at the list of downloadable files on the website.

Smaller package size and self-extracting executables

Due to the size of the download packages, we have switched to 7-zip for compression. Since 7-zip is not installed by default on customer systems, the packages are now self-extracting executables. They extract automatically to a subdirectory clearly marked with the version number.

We’ve also removed the CHM version of the documentation from the main package (it is still installed by the installer), saving additional space. The PDF version is still available directly in the unzipped files, without the need to install Add2Exchange to see it.

Between these two improvements we’ve lowered the package sizes by more than 10% – 20%.

 

Add2Exchange Standard 7.3 Released 4/2010

Summary

The following issues have been addressed in this release.

Edition Feature Severity Issue ID subject
         
         
         
         
Both SQL - Feature #360 Replace SQL 2005 SP2 with 2005 SP3
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
Enterprise Sync Major Bug #508 change metering of normal sync to some base value, 0 is too low
Enterprise GAL Major Bug #503 GAL cache not updating changes in names, adding new distribution list every change
Enterprise GAL Major Bug #499 Gal Exclusions cause an error 9 when applying
Enterprise RGM Major Bug #497 Removing someone from Dist list does not refresh relationships
Enterprise GAL Minor Bug #495 RGM GAL Sync change to RGM so it can do nothing on dest item delete
Enterprise Console Minor Bug #494 Change relationship options to set automatically for bidirectional
Enterprise RGM Major Bug #485 RGM distribution list exclusions not being remembered
Enterprise RGM Major Bug #484 RGM seems to be testing for names instead of ids for duplicates, multiple does not work
Enterprise RGM Major Bug #479 RGM cannot find account for template
Enterprise Console Minor Bug #470 widen the field in confidentiality
Enterprise RGM Major Bug #448 RGM Excludes
Enterprise Trial Major Bug #447 EE Trial Restart does not reset Enterprise Features
Enterprise RGM Major Bug #392 IF Dist list name changes, it changes it in RGM and for relationships
Enterprise GAL Major Bug #389 Make Gal work with IDs
Enterprise GAL Major Bug #336 address book entry not in right format

Explanation of Severity Levels:

Our severity classification system is straightforward:

Critical Issue may cause loss of data or other harmful effect
Major Product does not perform correctly despite correct configuration and environment
Minor Product does not respond correctly to configuration or environment problem

Details

Enterprise Feature #616 – do not delete galcache

The GAL cache holds a copy of the GAL for GAL synchronization. When clearing the cache for any reason, Add2Exchange now saves the old GAL cache in a subfolder in order to preserve any modifications to cached items made by the administrator.

Enterprise Feature #556 – Assess improvement of using stored procedures

SQL queries have been reimplemented as stored procedures to improve synchronization performance.

Enterprise Feature #504 – Added metering to GAL option

GAL synchronization may take a long time on the initial sync, depending on the size of the GAL. There is a metering option to reduce the impact of this synchronization on the synchronization server CPU.

Enterprise Feature #390 – Gal Exclusions

A new tab has been added to the GAL Sync configuration dialog, allowing you to select entries in the GAL. These entries are exclusions that will be ignored during GAL sync.

Both Editions Feature #360 – Replace SQL 2005 SP2 with 2005 SP3

SQL Server 2005 Express SP3 is now the default SQL package for Add2Exchange. SP3 is the first version of SQL 2005 Express to be supported by Microsoft with Microsoft Server 2008 R2.

SQL Server 2005 Express has been updated to Service Pack 3 on the full install. Upgrades to existing Add2Exchange installs must be done with Microsoft update, as SQL is not included with the upgrade package.

 

Prior Revision Log

Add2Exchange Standard 6.12 and Add2Exchange Enterprise 11.12 – Released 12/2009

Enterprise Bug #311 – Critical – RGM – Relationships Lost if Distribution Lists Become Hidden in Active Directory

If you are using the Relationship Group Manager in Add2Exchange Enterprise, relationships could be permanently lost if the defining distribution list is hidden in Active Directory. You should upgrade to this version of Add2Exchange Enterprise immediately.

Enterprise Bug #273 – Critical – Database – SQL Upgrade Query Fails

In rare cases, a SQL command that was part of support for Exchange 2007 changes would cause database tables to lose information.

Enterprise Bug #269 – Major – Sync – Source Message Failure/Transaction Rollback

This update addresses the Source Message Failure/Transaction Rollback issue in the Add2Exchange event log. This release is a mandatory upgrade for those users. It is strongly recommended that all users under current Software Maintenance update to this version of software.

Upgrading to this version to repair the issue is a two-step process.

  1. Perform the upgrade according to the usual steps. Stop the Add2Exchange service, remove the old version and install the new one.
  2. Run the “Remove Invalid Database rows” script from the A2EDiags kit. Instructions for this are in technical bulletin A2E-183 at: http://support.diditbetter.com/kb/A2E-183.html.

Standard Bug #159 – Major – Sync – Source Message Failures Return After Cleanup

Same as prior issue, for Add2Exchange Standard. Follow the same instructions for upgrade.

Enterprise Bug #246 – Major – Database – Group Membership Field Isn’t Wide Enough for Exchange 2007 DNs

Microsoft increased the amount of data necessary to identify Exchange mailboxes. The database had to have fields widened to accommodate.

Enterprise Bug #160 – Major – GAL Sync – GAL Cache Creates Duplicates When Display Names Are Edited

GAL synchronization used display names to identify records, causing duplicate items to be created if the names changed. The identification method has been improved.

Standard Bug #157 – Major – Console – Deleted Relationships Don’t Clean up

Deleted relationships were not being removed during synchronization, leaving unwanted items in destination folders. Workaround was to manually remove the items.

Standard Bug #251 – Major – Console – Folder Picker Generates “Run-time error 438”

The folder picker would crash in certain situations, preventing creation of relationships.

Add2Exchange Standard Edition 6.9.0915 – Released 9/2009

*Critical Update* This update addresses an issue that may affect the correctness or continued operation of synchronization in the prior released version of Add2Exchange. It is strongly recommended that all users under current Software Maintenance update to this version of software. This may be a mandatory upgrade for users of some revisions of Add2Exchange. Consult the revision log below to see if there is a known issue with your installed version.

Improved Synchronization Time for Enterprise Edition

Several minor enhancements contribute to an overall faster synchronization time for Enterprise Edition.

Reduced Resource Usage

Both editions of Add2Exchange use fewer WMI calls and less transaction processing in SQL, making better use of server resources.

Improved Diagnostic Messages

Diagnostic log messages have been reviewed and improved to give more and better detail.

Multiple Instances of Add2Exchange Director Fix

Some customers experienced issues with the Add2Exchange Director program not exiting correctly. These are fixed.

Server Move Fixes

Customers relocating Add2Exchange to a new server experienced some issues with the latest version of the Server Move assistant product and x64 systems. These are resolved.

Note: the Server Move assistant is a separately licensed product.

Synchronization Timer Issue Resolved in Enterprise

Minor issue with the timing of GAL sync resolved in Enterprise Edition.

SQL Installation Fix

Some users experienced failures to connect with the SQL database upon initial installation. Fixed.

Recovery and Migration Manager Fix

Relationships were not being repaired properly as part of Server Moves, which also may have affected repairs for Mailbox restores. Affected both Standard and Enterprise Editions. Fixed.

GAL Sync Fix for Enterprise Edition

Global Address List synchronization in Enterprise Edition was failing on Distribution Lists which contained apostrophes in their names. Fixed.

Relationship Group Manager 424 Error Fix

In some situations the Relationship Group Manager would throw a 424 error when attempting to create or edit a relationship. Fixed.

ToolBox Licensing Fix

In some situations the Add2Exchange ToolBox would throw an error when trying to request a license for the ToolBox. Fixed.

Tuned Default Relationship Settings

Default settings for Relationships when being created now match the recommended settings in the Guide.

Add2Exchange 6.5 – Released 5/2009

*Known Issue* This version of Add2Exchange contains a known issue that is addressed by the most recent update. The most current version is a mandatory upgrade for all users of this version who are under active Software Maintenance.

Recurring Item Synchronization fix

The implementation of the Global Recurrence Window has changed. Instead of using a range of days in the past to determine whether a recurrence should be synchronized, Add2Exchange now uses a hard cutoff date to determine the recurrence window. If a recurrence starts after the cutoff date, it is synchronized and otherwise it is not. This allows synchronization of recurrences to be more predictable and eliminates the need to periodically reset on-going recurring meetings to begin more recently when they were falling outside the old rolling window. The new cutoff date is fixed and does not roll forward with the passage of time.

Multiple Relationship Deletion fix

When deleting multiple relationships from the console at once, in some circumstances not all destination folder copies would be successfully deleted. This version successfully deletes the destination copies for multiple relationships. However, deletion now occurs upon the next synchronization cycle, as opposed to immediate deletion when the relationship is removed in the console.

Add2Exchange 5.x

*Outdated* This version of Add2Exchange is no longer supported. The most current version is a mandatory upgrade for all users of this version who are under active Software Maintenance.
*Known Issue* This version of Add2Exchange contains a known issue that is addressed by the most recent update. The most current version is a mandatory upgrade for all users of this version who are under active Software Maintenance.

See Technical Bulletin A2E-151 Prior Release Notes for details on 5.x releases.

Add2Exchange 4.x

*Outdated* This version of Add2Exchange is no longer supported. The most current version is a mandatory upgrade for all users of this version who are under active Software Maintenance.
*Known Issue* This version of Add2Exchange contains a known issue that is addressed by the most recent update. The most current version is a mandatory upgrade for all users of this version who are under active Software Maintenance.

Add2Exchange 4.x does not contain the latest SQL Server revision and Microsoft Updates frequently fail to update the SQL Server. Numerous potential data integrity issues in this version have also been fixed in the 5.x series.

See Technical Bulletin A2E-151 Prior Release Notes for details on 4.x releases.

Add2Exchange 3.x and Prior

Changes to Microsoft’s Exchange security model also outdate all 3.x revisions. Add2Exchange 3.x also has restrictions on the number of relationships which can be built.

See Technical Bulletin A2E-151 Prior Release Notes for details on 3.x and prior releases.

 

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