Announcing a licensing change for Multi-Mailbox Search

In Exchange 2010, we introduced the ability for discovery managers to search mailboxes across an Exchange 2010 organization using Multi-Mailbox Search. Along with Personal Archives, which allow you to eliminate the risk from PST files and store historical messaging data in Exchange, Legal Hold, which allows you to preserve data for eDiscovery, and Retention Policies, which allow you to manage email lifecycle, it has been one of the more popular features of Exchange 2010.

Multi-Mailbox Search required an Enterprise Client Access License (CAL) for each mailbox searched. We’ve heard your feedback on how you use this feature and the licensing requirements. In the coming months, we’re making a change to Exchange 2010 licensing so you’ll no longer require an Enterprise CAL for Multi-Mailbox Search. The Exchange Server Licensing page will be updated to reflect this.

7/16/2012: We've updated the Exchange Server Licensing page.
7/27/2012: This blog has been updated to reflect the timing of this change. See Update on Multi-Mailbox Search Licensing for details.

Bharat Suneja

Comments (17)
  1. Will you still require the Office Pro Suite or will this also be relaxed to Office standard?

  2. Bharat Suneja [MSFT] says:

    @Gary: Mutli-Mailbox Search does not require Microsoft Outlook. Discovery managers use Exchange Control Panel (web-based) to perform discovery searches.

  3. pesospesos says:

    personal archive would be great on a standard cal!!

  4. Phill Clarke says:

    Does this include the Legal Hold function as well or is it just the Multi-Mailbox Search feature?

  5. Bharat Suneja [MSFT] says:

    @Phil: This is just for Multi-Mailbox Search.

  6. Dean says:

    Are you going to fix the “Collect organizational Health” wizard? After 2 Service Packs and 13 Rollup Updates, the tool that provides information about the required CALs is calculating them wrong.If you decide to use the Multi-mailbox search (even when searching a single mailbox in ECP or EMS, you are using the multi-mailbox search), you need to be a member of the “Discovery Management” group, which is empty by default. If you add a member to the Discovery Management group and run the “Collect organizational Health” you will see, that without any prompts or warnings you need enterprise CALs for every mailbox. For example, if you have 1000 mailboxes with standard Exchange CALs, you will suddenly need 1000 Enterprise CALs, according to this tool. And that happens without running any searches.

  7. In my opinion MS should require an Enterprise CAL only if added value is realized to end users. This is the case with UM and Personal Archives but not with multi-mailbox search, custom retention policies and per user/DL Journaling.

    Will custom retention policies and per user/DL Journaling follow multi-mailbox license change?


  8. Ashwini Kumar says:

    Good that, ORG no need to pay for Enterprise CAL for Multi-Mailbox Search

  9. Tim Maung says:

    Should there be a new feature for Enterprise CAL license?



  10. Bharat Suneja [MSFT] says:

    @Tim: There are other features that require ECALs. See 'Exchange Server Licensing' (

  11. Bharat Suneja [MSFT] says:

    @Ashwini @Pesos: Thanks for the feedback!

  12. JJ says:

    Where's the love? The Exchange team announce a preview release of Exchange 2013 (on twitter) but all we get on the Team blog is 'licensing change for Multi-Mailbox Search'!!!

    No offense meant, this is a worthy article for the team blog, but surely there should be some info or at LEAST an announcement on Exchange 2013 preview??

    Not everyone is a twitter follower :-(

  13. Bharat Suneja [MSFT] says:

    @JJ: Thanks for the feedback! Exchange 2013 Preview posts begin next week.

  14. jim says:

    @Bharat, will there be an update that will avoid counting needed Enterprise CALs is there are any mailboxes or users in the Discovery Management Group?

  15. Bharat Suneja [MSFT] says:

    @Dean: Thanks for the feedback!

    @Dean @Jim: Will post an update on this when we have more to share.

  16. Siddhesh Dalvi (EXCHANGE) says:

    Good Change!

  17. MSSMMS says:

    Is there anything needed for Exchange Organizational Health Data report (in EMC) to take this licensing change into account?

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