MVP - Most Valuable Professional

Just can't get enough of IT

This blog is about mostly anything in IT. But the primary focuses are Microsoft technologies like Exchange Server, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams, and Cloud Security.
Thomas Stensitzki | MVP
Thomas Stensitzki | MVP

MVP LogoThomas Stensitzki is a leading technology consultant focusing on the Microsoft messaging and collaboration technologies and the owner of Granikos GmbH & Co. KG.

He is an MVP for Office Apps & Services since 2018.

Thomas is an MCT Regional Lead for Germany and delivers Microsoft Learning training courses for Office 365, Microsoft Teams, and Exchange Server.

He holds Master certifications as Microsoft Certified Solutions Master Messaging and as Microsoft Certified Master for Exchange Server 2010. These certifications make him a subject matter expert for any messaging topic related to Microsoft Exchange, Exchange Online, Microsoft 365, and hybrid configurations.

Follow Thomas: LinkedIn, Twitter

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Contact Thomas at


At a recent troubleshooting case I was wondering why the pipeline tracing target directory remained empty after enabling the Exchange 2013 CU12 transport pipeline tracing using

Set-TransportService -PipelineTracingSenderAddress -PipelineTracingEnabled $true

In this case the sender address itself was

In past scenarios the email address to trace was copied from the original message and therefore this issue never occured.

After heading down the road on why no trace messages got logged in the pipeline tracing folder, and enabling and disabling the feature several times across multiple servers, the sender address made it's way into the cmdlet via Copy&Paste. And voilá... transport started tracing messages.

Set-TransportService -PipelineTracingSenderAddress -PipelineTracingEnabled $true

The TechNet article on pipeline tracing does not state anything about the fact that the email address attribute is case sensitive.

If you want to enable or disable pipeline tracing across multiple Exchange 2013 servers, you might want to use the following one-liners:

# One liner to activate Pipeline Tracing on multiple Exchange 2013 servers in a co-ex scenario
Get-ExchangeServer | ?{$_.AdminDisplayVersion -ilike "*15*"} | Get-TransportService | Set-TransportService -PipelineTracingEnabled $true -PipelineTracingSenderAddress

# One liner to deactive Pipeline Tracing across multiple Exchange 2013 servers
Get-ExchangeServer | ?{$_.AdminDisplayVersion -ilike "*15*"} | Get-TransportService | Set-TransportService -PipelineTracingEnabled $false -PipelineTracingSenderAddress $null

Not mention that the output stored in the pipeline tracing folders might be sensitive, as all data is stored in a readable format.



You need assistance with your Exchange Server setup? You have questions about your Exchange Server infrastructure and going hybrid? You are interested in what Exchange Server 2016 has to offer for your environment?

Contact me at
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The JET Blue Story

The Exchange Server product used the Extensible Storage Engine (ESE, aka JET Blue) to store data for decades. The story of the JET Blue (in contrast to JET Red which is used for Access database) can be read here ( In the acient days of data storage the ESE database was the best choice for storing mostly unstructured data with many dynamic properties.

The Messaging API (MAPI) had been developed in the 1990s to provide programmers with a set of unified interface for easier message exchange. The MAPI documentation at TechNet has been replaced by the current Outlook 2013 MAPI Reference. In todays world it is not easy to find reliable ressource about the original MAPI implementation. The only printed resource is Inside Mapi (Microsoft Programming Series) , ISBN 978-1572313125 , which has been published in 1996.

At Ignite 2015 Ross Smith VI joked about moving the Exchange storage engine to SQL. Back in the day with Exchange 2013 in production and Exchange 2016 coming, this was true. But Ross laid the tracks for the evolution of Exchange.

Exchange Storage Engine Joke at Ignite

But it seems that the Exchange Product Team realized that in today's world with heavily standardized communication and less dynamic requirements than in the 1990s the days of JET blue are over. At the same time SQL Server evolved to mature database solution, capable of handling big data. The question was, if it can store SharePoint data, why not Exchange data. After twenty years of Exchange Server using the good ole ESE engine it was time to move on.

The SQL scripts that are used by Exchange to configure SQL are loacted in $exbin\SQL


	[IsWellKnownProperty] [bit] NOT NULL,





Exchange Server goes SQL

The current Exchange 2016 CU2 Preview supports an undocumented registry key to activate SQL Server support for Exchange. Personally I do not know, if this was supposed to be officially included in a public realease. So maybe the SQL support was made available by error and is already removed from the most current build again.

The famous SqueakyLobster registry key in has been used in Exchange 5.5 to troubleshoot performance issues. The new "Lobster" key is used to activate hidden code in Exchange Server product. The name of the key is LobsterMapiDB.

This key activates support for Exchange modern storage. Without this key you won't be able to move mailboxes from ESE legacy storage to SQL modern storage.

It is assumed that a SQL Server 2014 instance is available. A SQL Server 2014 Express edition is sufficient for testing purposes.

Any changes to configurations or the registry should be validated in a test environment first. Never try this in production right away.

The high level steps required to activate SQL support for Exchange 2016 are:

  • Create a configuration file to provide the SQL connection string
  • Create a SQL server login for the Exchange Trusted Subsystem security group
  • Add a registry key to the local Exchange Server registry
  • Restart Information Store Service (MSExchangeIS)
  • Execute PowerShell script to migrate mailboxes to SQL

The detailed steps are:

  • Create a new config file named Microsoft.Exchange.Data.SQL.exe.config in $exinstall/bin
		<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
		<!-- Exchange SQL Configuration - preliminary support -->
		<!-- %MAILBOXDATABASENAME% will be replaced by Exchange -->
		<!-- More information -->
			<sectionGroup name="SqlMapiProviderGroup" type="Microsoft.Exchange.Data.SQL.SqlMapiProviderGroup, Microsoft.Exchange.Data.Common, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a">
				<section name="SqlMapiProviderSection" type="Microsoft.Exchange.Data.SQL.SqlMapiProviderGroup, Microsoft.Exchange.Data.Common, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a" />
				<gcServer enabled="True" />
				<generatePublisherEvidence="False" />
				<add key="MigrateMailboxesAutomatically" value="false" /> <!-- Not yet supported -->
				<add key="AllowJETBlueCoexistence" value="true" /> <!-- Allows for SQL/ESE Coexistence in DAG -->
				<add key="PerDatabaseMaxSize" value="1GB" />
				<add key="VerboseLoggingEnabled" value="False" />
					<add name="LobsterMapiDB"
					connectionString="Data Source=SERVERNAME\INSTANCE;Initial Catalog=%MAILBOXDATABASENAME%;Integrated Security=True;MultipleActiveResultSets=True" />
  • Create a SQL login for Exchange Trusted Subsystem
  • Create a new DWORD named LobsterMapiDB in
    and set the data value to 1

    LobsterMapiDB RegistryKey
  • Restart Exchange Information Store

    Restart-Service MSExchangeIS
  • Use Move-MailboxToModernStorage.ps1 script to move selected mailboxes to modern storage

More can be found here:



Enjoy Exchange for the next 20 years...

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Last updated: 2017-11-11

A new PowerShell script to export all mailbox folder permissions has been published to TechNet Gallery and GitHub.

This script exports all mailbox folder permissions for mailboxes of type "UserMailbox". The permissions are exported to a local CSV file.

CSV Eample

"Mustermann, Max (mmustermann)";"Tasks";"Doe, John";"Editor"
"Mustermann, Max (mmustermann)";"Calendar";"Doe, John";"Editor"
"Mustermann, Max (mmustermann)";"Inbox";"Doe, John";"Reviewer"
"Mustermann, Max (mmustermann)";"Custom Folder";"Doe, John";"Reviewer"

This script is based on Mr Tony Redmonds blog post


.\Get-MailboxPermissionsReport.ps1 -CsvFileName export.csv



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Last updated: 2019-06-14



This script exports all mailbox folder permissions for mailboxes of the type UserMailbox. This is useful for documentation purposes prior to migration.

The permissions are exported to a local CSV file.

The script is intended to run from within an active Exchange Server 2013/2016/2019 Management Shell session.


Gather mailbox folder permission data for a large number of mailboxes takes some time.


# Export mailbox permissions to export.csv

.\Get-MailboxPermissionsReport-ps1 -CsvFileName export.csv

Version History

  • 1.0, Initial community release
  • 1.1, Minor PowerShell fixes
  • 1.2, Minor PowerShell fixes
  • 1.3, MailboxId parameter added
  • 1.4, Fix to ensure mailbox uniqueness using the alias property


Additional Credits

The script is based on Mr. Tony Redmonds blog post 


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WIth Exchange Server 2013 CU11 and Exchange 2016 CU1 the Exchange Product Group introduced a new feature named Mailbox Anchoring.

The workaround provided by Veritas in KB article 107463 recommends to set a new registry key for the NetBackup process responsible for running PowerShell queries.

There is no guarantee that this workaround will fix your backup issuesd with Exchange Server 2013 CU11 or Exchange Server 2016 CU1. It seems that the only workaround is by creating a new service account for NetBackup service due to rights assignments being removed during Exchange Server CU setup.

Steps required:

  • Create a new NetBackup service account in Active Directory (see Exchange 2013 DAG and NetBackup Restore Error 5)
  • Add the new NetBackup service account as a member of
    • Exchange Organization Administrators domain security group
    • Administrators security group on each Exchange mailbox servers 
  • Configure the following NetBackup service to use the new NetBackup service account on each Exchange mailbox server:
    • NetBackup Client Service
    • NetBackup Legacy Client Service
    • NetBackup Legacy Network Service

Enjoy classic backup with Exchange Server 2013 and Exchange Server 2016.



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