Exchange Server 2016 Cumulative Update 7 (KB4018115) and Exchange Server 2013 Cumulative Update 18 (KB4022631)

The latest set of Cumulative for Exchange Server 2016 and are now available on the download center.  These releases include fixes to customer reported , all previously reported security/quality and functionality.

Minimum supported Forest Functional Level is now 2008R2

In our blog post, Active Directory Forest Functional Levels for Exchange Server 2016, we informed customers that Exchange Server 2016 would enforce a minimum 2008R2 Forest Functional Level requirement for .  Cumulative 7 for Exchange Server 2016 will now enforce this requirement.  This will require all domain controllers in a forest where Exchange is installed to be Server 2008R2 or higher.  Active Directory support for Exchange Server 2013 remains unchanged at this time.

Support for latest .NET Framework

The .NET team is preparing to release a new update to the framework, .NET Framework 4.7.1.  The Exchange Team will include support for .NET Framework 4.7.1 in our December Quarterly updates for Exchange Server 2013 and 2016, at which point it will be optional.  .NET Framework 4.7.1 will be required on Exchange Server 2013 and 2016 installations starting with our June 2018 quarterly releases.  Customers should plan to upgrade to .NET Framework 4.7.1 between the December 2017 and June 2018 quarterly releases.

The Exchange team has decided to skip supporting .NET 4.7.0 with Exchange Server.  We have done this not because of problems with the 4.7.0 version of the Framework, rather as an optimization to encourage adoption of the latest version.

Known unresolved issues in these releases

The following known issues exist in these releases and will be resolved in a future update:

  • Online Archive Folders created in O365 will not appear in the on the Web UI
  • Information protected e-Mails may show hyperlinks which are not fully translated to a supported, local language

Release Details

KB articles that describe the fixes in each release are available as follows:

Exchange Server 2016 Cumulative Update 7 does not include new updates to Active Directory Schema.  If upgrading from an older Exchange version or installing a new server, Active Directory updates may still be required.  These updates will apply automatically during setup if the logged on user has the required .  If the Exchange Administrator lacks to update Active Directory Schema, a Schema Admin must execute SETUP /PrepareSchema prior to the first Exchange Server installation or upgrade.  The Exchange Administrator should execute SETUP /PrepareAD to ensure RBAC roles are current.

Exchange Server 2013 Cumulative Update 18 does not include updates to Active Directory, but may add additional RBAC definitions to your existing configuration. PrepareAD should be executed prior to upgrading any servers to Cumulative Update 18. PrepareAD will run automatically during the first server upgrade if Exchange Setup detects this is required and the logged on user has sufficient permission.

Additional Information

Microsoft recommends all customers test the of any update in their lab environment to determine the proper installation process for your production environment. For information on extending the schema and configuring Active Directory, please review the appropriate TechNet documentation.

Also, to prevent installation issues you should ensure that the Windows Script Execution Policy is set to “Unrestricted” on the server being upgraded or installed. To verify the policy settings, run the Get-ExecutionPolicy cmdlet from on the machine being upgraded. If the policies are NOT set to Unrestricted you should use the resolution steps in KB981474 to adjust the settings.

Reminder: Customers in deployments where Exchange is deployed on-premises and in the , or who are using Archiving (EOA) with their on-premises Exchange deployment are required to deploy the most current (e.g., 2013 CU18, 2016 CU7) or the prior (e.g., 2013 CU17, 2016 CU6) Cumulative Update release.

For the latest information on Exchange Server and product announcements please see What’s New in Exchange Server 2016 and Exchange Server 2016 Release Notes.  You can also find updated information on Exchange Server 2013 in What’s New in Exchange Server 2013, Release Notes and product documentation available on TechNet.

Note: Documentation may not be fully available at the time this post is published.