Sunday, March 16, 2014

Exchange TechNet Documentation Warning

With the release of Exchange 2013, back in 2012 Microsoft made a change to all online TechNet documentation where links which use to refer to Exchange 2010 documentation now refers to the Exchange 2013 documentation.  This has frustrated the IT community as this means all links on blogs, online publications and books are now invalid.

For example, a publication may have a link referencing to what was at the time an Exchange 2010 TechNet document, however when the user goes to the link now, the article is now the Exchange 2013 pointing the user at misleading documentation due to subtle differences between product releases.

To illustrate this change, lets take an article such as "Recover an Exchange Server", the TechNet document which provides companies the procedure for performing an Exchange Recover Server installation.  This article is available at the following URL:

TechNet article dd876880 use to refer to Exchange 2010, however if you go to it now it provides documentation for Exchange 2013.

Another example is the most important article Exchange Prerequisites which provides all the prerequisites required for performing an Exchange Server installation.  TechNet article bb691354 use to reference Exchange 2010 but now it points to the Exchange 2013 article.

How do I get the previous product version articles?

Since these changes it has been very difficult to pull up previous versions of Exchange documentation as searches in Google/Bing even if you specify "Exchange 2010" or "Exchange 2007" still always come up with the Exchange 2013 documentation.  There is however an easier way to get to previous documentation which I will show you below.

For Exchange 2013 documentation specify (v=exchg.150) in the TechNet URL link.
For Exchange 2010 documentation specify (v=exchg.141) in the TechNet URL link.
For Exchange 2007 documentation specify (v=exchg.80) in the TechNet URL link.

For the "Recover an Exchange Server" documentation, to access the Exchange 2010 documentation the link would look like:

To access the Exchange 2013 document for the same article, the link would look like:

For this particular article, there is no Exchange 2007 version so if you try with Exchange 2007 it will automatically revert to Exchange 2013.  On that note, if you enter an invalid version number, or if the article does not exist for the version you specify it will automatically redirect to the Exchange 2013 version (the latest version of Exchange).

The last thing to note, the Exchange 2007 online documentation most articles are a complete different TechNet article code (such as dd876880) and rarely does adding (v=exchg.80) to a 2010, 2013 article work.  I have found it is mainly toggling between Exchange 2010/2013 documentation works the best and is most useful.

I hope this post has been informative.

1 comment:

  1. You can also click on "Other versions" and select Exchange 2010. This other versions drop down can be found in the upper left corner of the article under the article heading.