From the mailbag today….

What are the impact of Exchange [Outlook]/Office [SharePoint]/Vista 2007 on SBS 2003 R2?


As you know:


Earlier versions of Exchange & SharePoint are in SBS. So how does one do a new SBS install with Office 2007…which uses the new features in both Exchange & SharePoint 2007?

Vista is NOT compatible with MSDE, which lots of applications run on that are installed at SBS customers, like Small Business Accounting 2006…so how do you migrate?

In fact, installing a SQL Express or SQL Server 2005 Workgroup based application stops MSDE applications from working, because of redirection. ISVs must reprogram their software & the tools aren’t even out yet! I know…I’ve tried it.

SQL Server 2005 is now on SBS 2003 R2, but are their any SQL Express issues?

When will SBS 2003 R2 become SBS 2007 with all the new stuff & fully compatible with Vista & Office 2007?


So when do you migrate to Vista?  When your client is ready to.  Now folks have chided me that here I am saying that I’ll upgrade to Vista when I’m ready to and doesn’t that fly in the face of my “kill off 98” stance?  No, not when both XP sp2 and Vista are supported and secure operating systems.

But let’s first set some ground rules and expectations of what SBS is and isn’t.  I think people … especially those who are new to the SBS space need to be reminded of what SBS is… it’s the “Price Fixe” side of the menu of a fine dining restaurant.  You want to choose stuff?  You go to the alacarte side of the menu and you buy the separate components and you put your meal together.  If SBS’s price fixe menu doesn’t fit your client anymore?  They you transition pack up to the big server land and we wish you luck on the alacarte side of the menu.


SBS has always been an entire meal…and while we upgrade service packs and what not… the meal stays intact.  We don’t move over to the alacarte side of the menu (normal Windows Server/Exchange parts) unless we are fully ready to leave the Price Fixe side of the menu.  So the sweet spot for things that work really really nicely are going to be SBS 2003 + XP sp2 + Office 2003.  Are we stuck for the next year or so?  No.  But just like how XP didn’t quite glue in as nicely as 2000 did on SBS 2000, or how 98 was duct taped on to SBS 2003, or Office XP wasn’t as nice as Office 2003 on SBS 2003, the parts that were built to work with one another will work the best… the rest you will have to do some very reasonable workarounds is all.


As far as Vista compatibility with MSDE… no one said it didn’t work… just that it wasn’t “supported”.  Thus depending on the risk you and your clients wish to take with LOB apps, that’s your line in the sand…. if you upgrade and your LOB apps won’t support Vista… you go unsupported is all and you are your own tech support.  I personally am only kicking a few machines up to Vista at this time and won’t do a major migration until I’m ready to.  It’s that simple. 


Regarding the issue of having SQL 2005 workgroup side by side with MSDE…I’m assuming the question is about MSDE and SQL 2005 on the server?  I have it here on my R2 box and it’s supported and having no issues?  I did the upgrade like this You can’t upgrade the MSDE instances on the R2 box that require MSDE…..for example SBSmonitoring is not supported on anything other than MSDE as it’s database.  So don’t look to upgrade MSDE’s on your R2 box to SQL express.


Does this mean us SBSer’s are screwed and can’t run Vista? Or the newer Sharepoint?  No, but we do have to understand what is and is not supported, or what might be optimal and want just needs a few minor manual steps to get things as “glue like” as it was with SBS 2003/XP sp2/Office 2003.  Exchange 2007 is not supported on a SBS 2003 box because it’s sooo glued in under the hood that to install it in place of 2003 would break a lot of stuff.  Sharepoint v3 is supported side by side with Companyweb/Sharepoint 2.0, again because of all the vast “glue” between Company web and the rest to rejigger that stuff would be horrific.  Vista will be getting a fix up patch so that you won’t need to shut off User Account Control (like someone in the partner group said they were doing).  BUT there are ways to blur the lines a bit more….as the SBS blog team gang just posted …there are ways to put parts of your Sharepoint 2.0 stuff inside your Sharepoint 3.0 stuff.



…and in fact many of the answers to the questions posed here are answered on this FAQ site: 


Also good page to keep an eye on is here:  (it obviously needs the Exchange 2007 info). But in general we stay with our parts for the best experience, best price, most wizard glue and best community experience.  Anything else is taking your clients into a bit of uncharted territory.


But what you should be focusing on is understanding that the next version of SBS will only be on the 64 bit platform and thus getting prepared for “WHEN” your clients will be ready for that migration.


But truly….. I’ve said this before… and I’ll say it again….. SBS benefits from the fact that we stay behind the bleeding edge.  We let the big server land folks work out the kinks and THEN we get the technology.


Bottom line don’t worry…those of us on the price fixe side of the menu won’t go hungry that’s for sure….


Oh and if you didn’t read all those blog posts and whitepapers that were included in the WSS 3.0 download?… you might need this blog post

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