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EV support for Outlook 2010

Created: 19 May 2010 • Updated: 29 Nov 2010 | 17 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.

We need an EV Outlook add-in service pack or upgrade that works in Outlook 2010. Your Enterprise  Vault 9 product , not due until the end of the year, is far to late for us to wait.
I am rather shocked that a company such as Symantec would not have already issued updates that provide functionality with major player new software. THis is a major disappointment. We need a working Outlook 2010 client for Enterprise Vault now.

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Nick White's picture

Hi,

unfortunately all I can do at this time is point you towards Alex Brown's comment in this thread: https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/forums/out...

"As noted, it does take some time to provide support for a major release such as this including in this particular case a full port of the EV client to use the newer OOM (Outlook Object Model) and full QA testing of the solution. Therefore at the moment I don't have dates to communicate to you however you should expect to hear more information from us a litle later in the year."

SOLUTION
Rob.Wilcox's picture

As Nick says there isn't a client yet that supports Outlook 2010.  In the end though how much you need a client depends how you / your users utilise the Add-in currently in Outlook 2003/7.    For example on one of my machines I use Outlook 2010, and I haven't noticed not having an add-in, because when I know I want to do something with Enterprise Vault, I use the URL for browser search.  I know it's not the *best* solution, but it's a neat little trick whilst the Add-in is developed.

ZeRoC00L's picture

Maybe you can ask Symantec to participate in EV9 beta ?

If this response answers your concern, please mark it as a "solution"

Rob.Wilcox's picture

The EV 9 beta won't help.  Please refer to the comments in : https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/forums/out...

[start]


Just wanted to clarify what will and will not be included in the EV 9.0 release later this year.
As Scanner notes above, EV 9.0 is indeed planned to be Generally Available in Q3 this year with First Availability being available for customers currently on the beta program a couple of weeks prior to this date.
EV 9.0 will included support for Exchange 2010 SP1 (not original release) but will not provide support for Outlook 2010.

While Outlook 2010 has gone RTM, Enterprise Vault support will be provided in an upcoming release (but not EV 9.0 original release) later in the year.
As noted, it does take some time to provide support for a major release such as this including in this particular case a full port of the EV client to use the newer OOM (Outlook Object Model) and full QA testing of the solution. Therefore at the moment I don't have dates to communicate to you however you should expect to hear more information from us a litle later in the year

[end]

patman's picture

I entirely agree with wildman and Symantec have left a great many customers - including me - extremely unhappy.  I can quite understand the challenges to EV with Exchange 2010 and we are holding off our Exchange 2003 -> 2010 migration whilst we wait for EV9.  However, irrespective of Exchange 2010 the release of Office 2010 and particular Outlook 2010 was hardly a minor update and was much anticipated by lots of organisations. This makes the statement:

"EV 9.0 will included support for Exchange 2010 SP1 (not original release) but will not provide support for Outlook 2010."

all the more irritating each time I read it. I simply cannot understand the lack of any update to the EV 8 client to work with Outlook 2010, let alone the lack of planning for an EV9 client.  What kind of bizarre product strategy decides that an otherwise pretty good vaulting product should actually stop working for its primary customer - the end user? 

Presumably a result of the same extraordinary thinking as is demonstrated in the following statement by Nick Wade in http://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/support-exchange-2010-symantec-enterprise-vault-coming :

"The adoption of Exchange 2010, even before Service Pack 1 has been interestingly rapid and out of sync with historical trends of pre-SP1 production deployments of Exchange Server and other things."

WHAT?  Probably the most important architectural update and improvement to the world's premier Windows-based messaging product for nearly a decade - and Symantec are surprised that people wanted to buy it?  If I was a shareholder, I think I'd have been organising a lynch mob after hearing that one ...

If anyone is still reading this I am actually using the 7.5.18918 add-in with OL 2010 which happily retrieves vaulted tems and,  if a user is configured to have an offline vault, this configuration is capable of downloading vaulted items into the offline cache (very important for us).  For search, direct access to the vault via a browser is perfectly acceptable as previously mentioned by Rob Wilcox.  The only issue I have is not being able to specifically manage the offline vault, as vaulted items are only ever downloaded after a prompt when they're opened; there doesn't appear to be any way of forcing a full sync of the offline vault without the EV menu options being available (unless anyone knows otherwise?).

If I've achieved this much with just an EV 7 client, then the fundamental functionality is there even if the UI isn't - so why on earth haven't Symantec done something at least for their Outlook 2010 customers ?!?
 

JesusWept3's picture

From the outside looking in, i can tell you that the adoption and willingness to upgrade to Exchage 2010 has been surprisingly rapid for us as well, typically customers won't roll out huge changes to their environments till an SP1 level has come out, many organizations still even run Exchange 2000 and Windows 2000 servers with only the lack of support being what forces them to move.

Historically if you look at the willingness to upgrade from 5.5 to 2000, or 2000 to 2003 etc the willingness to upgrade to 2010 is significantly higher than previous versions, what i will disagree with as well, is that Exchange 2010 whilst a big improvement is not that far above and beyond Exchange 2007 as that was the biiggest architectural changes (CAS/HUB/Transport etc all being introduced)

As for running EV2007 client (not EV7) with Outlook 2010, I could be wrong, but partial support is not a solution and for many customers won't be entertained, after all many companies such as the one i work for have to distribute these clients to tens of thousands of users which have to be tested, packaged, deployed etc which also takes considerable amount of time, we wouldnt want to have to distribute yet another client to all of our users.

But really it comes down to the way that Outlook 2010 has changed how the Outlook Add-Ins have to interface with Outlook 2010 by changing this to OOM.
Now the problem with this is, between Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010, Microsoft have had three years to work on and develop those API's and hooks, however for developers, they have had limited time and limited documentation (which Microsoft is unfortunately infamous for) in which to be able to develop their outlook add-ins.

And again as mentioned when you consider the size of the client now, with Virtual Vault, Vault Cache etc, its not as simple as just changing a header and expecting everything to work, majorly significant development and even more QA has to be passed along to that, and each issue that is bought up by QA has to go back to Dev for a fix, and then more QA and regression testing be performed.

And also remember that EV has to be able to perform well with other new features added to outlook not seen in 2007 and 2003, Microsoft have the luxury of being able to change features, add features, change interfaces etc and take their time needed to perfect it, I think same courtesy needs to be extended towards developers who have to react and perform significant re-working of existing code.

As for the planning of the client, if you read the statement from Alex Brown it will be an EV9 SP1 client that introduces Outlook 2010 functionality, as for providing support for EV8, theres really no point considering EV9 clients with EV8 servers will most likely be compatible, so just roll out the EV9 client and that way if/when you upgrade to EV9 on the servers, you'll already have the functionality there
 

Rob.Wilcox's picture

wilman/patman,

Your comments and opinions are very valuable to the EV team.  It's good to express them here, and anywhere else you can.  However, one main point  :-

As a Microsoft partner we had access to the same information as other partners, prior to the Beta that pretty much consistee of ...  ECE is gone.  OOM is the way forward.  Of course we asked for details of implementation, functions, methods, attributes, and so on which we could make use of.  There was zero documentation provided.  Lots and lots and lots and lots of chasing later....  still no documentation, except now of course it's past Outlook 2010 beta... As JW2 pointed out there has been YEARS of developement effort built up from Outlook 2003 to Outlook 2007, and massive amounts of documentation.  Go from that, to an early beta with NO documentation on how we could hook into it.   Microsoft have been developing those interfaces for several years, yet they could release nothing to partners.  Where does that leave us?

In addition there are also all sorts of decisions about... should 64 bit be supported on day one, should ONE client be produced which covers all versions of Outlook, or different installs (but then what happens if a user upgrades Outlook underneath the add-in), and more, and more similiar "simple" decisions, but the wrong thing could be very bad.

patman's picture

Rob,

Thanks for the response.  I can fully understand your position - and frustration - with regards to Microsoft's code release strategy. 
However, JW2's declaration that I should "... just roll out the EV9 client ..." would be all very well but (a) there isn't one yet and (b) there isn't even an indicative date for SP1. So far, the basic message appears to be:

   "If you're an EV for Exchange customer, don't roll out Office 2010 until 2011." 

I appreciate that not everyone would tolerate a partial solution but surely there must be enough customers who would do (including me) to warrant the offer of at least some kind of limited stand-alone applet or browser-based UI which doesn't have to integrate directly with the Outlook client?  The underlying functionality is there; all it needs is a simple interface of some kind to get at key facilities such as offline vault management.

Btw JW2, I agreethat Exchange 2007 brought in extensive changes but Microsoft still hadn't properly addressed the issues of providing a properly distributed architecture with native HA and DR capabilities.  The important change I was referring to is the DAG architecture and the freedom it brings from the near-total dependence on Windows server clusters and centralised storage, which sets 2010 way beyond 2007 and is what is really selling it.

Rob.Wilcox's picture

Patman, the external interfaces still work..  You can still use Archive Explorer, and Search.asp, for example.

Paul Lemonidis's picture

Hi all

I'm sorry but I consider this whole sscenario a mess. Exchange 2010 was not exactly a secret and has been around for over a year now having gone RTM about 8-9 months ago now. Backup Exec 2010 supported Exchnage 2010 within weeks. 6 months+ later for EV and not even a confirmed relase date!!?? To say it is dependent on E2010 SP1 is just nonsense an no new functionality is added and to offer no support for EV8 is sheer madness in my view. Best of all EV9 doesn't even add support for Outlook 2010!! Again the product was hardly a secret!

As for 64 bit support. Will Symantec finally wake up and join the real world?? 2008 R2 only runs on 64 Bit, Exchange is 64 Bit only and very few serious servers would now have less than 4 GB of RAM. Even Office 2010 is available in native 64 Bit. If you even need to ask the question of native 64 Bit then I am extremely concerned quite frankly!!

On the next point I am also concerned but would hope to be proved wrong. How exactly does EV9 tie in with Database availability Groups etc? I can find no answer to that question beyond it does!! That statement is meaningless in isolation!

Rob.Wilcox's picture

Paul,
Your comments are very much appreciated.  To address your individual points to the best of my ability :

BackupExec has different needs and wants from an Exchange perspective, it is also a vastly different and bigger product than Enterprise Vault.  

Exchange 2010 SP 1 does have new features.  A quick Search using your favourite search engine reveals things like this :
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9174997/Microsoft_previews_Exchange_2010_SP1?source=rss_keyword_microsoft

The comment around 64 bit support, or not, is specifically around the Outlook 2010 Add-in (which is what this forum post is all about).  The question which arose internally is whether we should support 64 Bit Outlook on "Day 1", or later.

EV 9 supports archiving from mailboxes whose mailbox stores are part of a DAG.  The information of which physical server a database is on, is recorded by Enterprise Vault periodically so when an archiving task starts, the task knows which server to contact.

Hope that helps a little,

Paul Lemonidis's picture

Many thanks for your quick reply.

To answer your comments. I agree. Backup Exec is bigger etc and yet it supported Exchnage 2010 fully several mmonths ago!

Yes these are new features, although if I wanted to be pedantic I would say they are enhancements as they don't require major code rewrites. That aside, how do any of the things mentioned in the article stop support of Exchange 2010 RTM?

Thanks for that. Now I'm more worried than before. Will you still not have a 64 Bit version of the EV server software that runs natively on a 64 Bit OS and talks with Exchange 2007 nativey in 64 bit?

Thanks for the update on DAG's. Very basic support really. Can you have mutliple archives servers accessing different copies of DAG databases. The logic I see here is as follows. I have one server of a DAG in my main data centre and one in my backup one. Could I then locate one EV server in each site to archive from the local DAG database copy. Thus in the event of the main centre going offline I will have a DAG working database copy and  in theory a lcoal EV server archive that matches it. I appreciate that is greatly simplifying things but the idea would seem valid at avery simplistic level.

Many thanks in advance.

Rob.Wilcox's picture

Hi Paul,

My point about BackupExec is that it is a bigger product in terms of many things, included Developer and QA resources.  Enterprise Vault was unfortunately behind the curve.

The decision of what's supported is out of my hands -- it is Exchange 2010 SP 1.  

Native 64 Bit Enterprise Vault will not come in EV 9.

EV in EV 9 will target the active database only.  It won't be able to target any of the "standby" members of the DAG.  I think you will find *very* little will be able to do that (in a Microsoft Support manner)

Hope that helps

BrianO's picture

The problem here is priority and resources.  While I understand that Outlook 2010 included some fundamental changes, with enough priority and resources, Symantec could have support completed and tested in 3-4 months. 

Why on earth are we paying for software maintenance and support if this is the type of upgrade timeline we're going to see?  I've heard rumors that Symantec has substantially reduced the size of the EV team and that's a major reason behind the delays.

And don't even get me started on Mac support...  Our folks have to run a Windows VM on their Mac just to have proper EV access...  Nice job Symantec.

Have a meeting with our account rep next week and plan to continue to express my displeaure.

Rob.Wilcox's picture

BrianO, maybe it's worth picking out a few of the points you raised above, and discussing them more fully with your account team :

"Symantec could have support completed and tested in 3-4 months"..  This isn't entirely true, since it's just testing the existing Outlook Add-in with Outlook 2010, it's rewriting large parts of it.

"..reduced the size of the EV team"...  that's not true.  The team has grown.

"Mac support"...  That's one really to drive home with the Account Management and Product Management folks.  If you're a large(ish) Mac-shop, and the product just "isn't there" then you need to work with those folks to highlight each of the issues, prioritise and get them driven through to our Engineering groups.

Hope that helps, a little?

jclissold's picture

Hi

Finding it difficult to find the correct guidelines for -

  • Upgrading EV8 to EV9 (although I've completed this now)
  • coexistence with EV9, exchange 2003 and exchange 2010
  • Prerequisites for exchange 2010
  • migrate EV users from exchange 2003 to exchange 2010
  • Perquisites for outlook 2010 on EV9

I seem to find a lot of old stuff out there but no concrete migration path.

Any help would be appreciated

Rob.Wilcox's picture

jclissold,

Please start a new forum thread with your questions, if you've not already done so.