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The Question of What’s New in the Exchange ADC Version SP1

(Footnote: I’m using the Blog here to answer questions that were posed to me in TechNet Briefing Events or Webcasts, for which I didn’t have an immediate answer.  I like to treat that as an opportunity for “Win-Win”, so I learn something new, and the attendees will benefit if they look here and find the results of my research also.)

An attendee in my Muncie, Indiana TechNet Briefing asked a really good question.  I was demonstrating the installation of the ADC (Active Directory Connector), and was describing the fact that I was using the most recent version that is included in the Exchange Server 2003 SP1.  The question was…

“Hey Kevin… What’s new in the SP1 version of the ADC?  What’s the difference between that one and the one that’s on the Exchange 2003 CD?”

Well… I didn’t know.  So today I looked it up. 

The first thing I noted was that the version number is different.  The version on the Exchange CD is 6.5.6944.0, while the SP1 version is 6.5.7226.0.  It’s a higher number.  Happy now?

“Um… No.”

Okay… then I’ll dig further.

SP1 included some great improvements in enabling site consolidation from Exchange 5.5 to 2003 installations.  Cross-site resource moves are now possible.  Changes to the ADC were neccessary to support these new functionalities.  Also, improvements in the ADCTools give the user more flexibility when creating new connection agreements in “large, complicated environments”.  For a more detailed look at the changes included in SP1, check out Nino Bilic’s “Deployment Changes in Exchange Server 2003 SP1” article.

This brings up another question.. 

“So.. If I already have ADC installed and configured, and then I install Exchange Server SP1, will the ADC be upgraded automagically?”  

No.  If you already have the ADC installed and running, and if you do just the upgrade to Exchange Server 2003 SP1, you won’t be automatically upgrading the ADC to the newer vesrion.  You will need to run the ADC setup included with SP1 to upgrade the ADC.  And you need to make sure that you’ve closed down any other Exchange related MMCs before running it so that you don’t attempt to update any files that are in use.  See KB.306505 for more about this.

If you want details of what is new in SP1, I highly recommend that you view Evan Dodd’s prerecorded webcast on “An Overview of Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 1”.

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