Update to the RUPS – Announcing the Exchange Update Management System (UMS)…

I have to confess that it has been a long time since I wrote something that has been so popular both with readers of my site, and indeed myself. For those of you whom have not been following the the life of the “RUPS”, in November 2011 I released the RUPS tool, which was designed to make the process of applying Exchange 2010 SP 1 Roll-Ups to DAG based Mailbox servers a little more straight forward.

A few days later I released version 1.1 – as I had received some really good feedback on the original version which I really wanted to see implemented into the tool.

On the 5th December 2011 Microsoft released Exchange 2010 SP2 – therefore I decided to expand the functionality of the Tool (version 1.2) to work with Service Packs as well as Roll-Ups. I also added some functionality that allowed for you to execute custom Powershell commands from within the environment (as Service Pack 2 for Exchange 2010 had a new pre-requisite – and the ability to install this from within a single Management interface made sense).

On December 9th 2011 I had some feedback which notified me of some bug fixes (therefore needed to be done straight away) and a couple of feature enhancements therefore I released version 1.3.

Finally, on the 13th December 2011 I received another bug report which I fixed for version 1.3a.

Summarising the above – in a short space of time the change log for the RUPS tool looked like the following:

  • 1.0
    • Initial Release
  • 1.1
    • Ability to disable Forefront Services
    • Disable Specific Services from within the tool
  • 1.2
    • Ability to execute custom Powershell Commands
    • Ability to use the tool with Exchange Service Packs
  • 1.3
    • BUG FIX: Fixed Forefront Services Disable Command
    • Added to the ForeFront Services Command – Stops the MSExchangeIS and MSExchangeTransport Services
    • Added to the Apply Command – Starts the MSExchangeIS and MSExchangeTransport Services
    • Added Command Logging Window with Export Command
    • Added hints window
    • Added dedicated About Box
    • Better error handling
    • Other minor bug fixes
  • 1.3a
    • Minor bug fix to support expected services not being present on the execution server

Anyhow, over Christmas and New Year I have been getting a little bored (and drunk which is always dangerous coding territory for me), so I decided to have a close look at the tool again – the outcome of this “look” was that it occurred to me that I was not completely happy with all of what it did – or perhaps more to the point, what it didn’t do!

There were a number of features that I would personally like to see implemented which would “round” the utility into something that I think would be really useful for Exchange admins – for example;

  • I wanted to add a splash screen (this was a drunk feature)– mainly because I had not ever written one in C# (however, this idea would later become quite useful as it serves as a placeholder which a number of Powershell Commands are executed by the tool as it starts up)
  • I was VERY unhappy with the way I had implemented ForeFront Server Protection detection – basically it didn’t work (bearing in mind that I had tried to fix this twice now!) – I wanted it to be simple and to work!
  • I had been trying to add in functionality to STOP ForeFront Services – but none to START it again afterwards (daft)
  • I wanted a visual reference of the Roles that were installed on the Exchange Server that I was working on (I don’t know why, it was just something that I though would be good)
  • I wanted the tool to be useful for managing the update process on Servers which run all Exchange 2010 Server roles – not just DAG members or Mailbox Servers
  • I wanted to add a reference to the “Best Practice” order for upgrade an Exchange 2010 server which was visually prevalent within the tool’s interface
  • I wanted to re-brand the tool as it was not just about Roll-ups, but more a update management system

So considering the above, I broke out my copy of Visual Studio, a few cans of Carling, and some Alanis Morrissette to implement the above features (cause that’s how I role beeaaaaatches!) – all of which are now present in the new version – 1.5 (which, henceforth shall be known as the UMS (Update Management System)).

Download

Version 1.5 is available for download from the link below. Like all previous updates this version supersede all previous releases – therefore if you are running a version of the UMS (or RUPS tool) – please remove it before installing this release.

Version 1.5 is now installed using the Windows Installer Service via a MSI package – therefore any future releases will “self-upgrade” (yaaa – finally).

UMSSetupIcon [ Exchange 2010 Update Management System – v1.5 – 1.3MB ]

Video Overviews and Tutorials

I thought that, rather than go through screen dumping everything that is new, it might an idea to produce a set of videos to accompany the new release of the tool.

Therefore I have put together 3 videos (below) which take you through the installation of the UMS, how the functionality works on DAG servers, and how the tool functions on roles that are non-DAG / non-Mailbox based. Much of the functionality is the same as was detailed in the articles that I put together when the tool was known as the “RUPS” tool (see the beginning of the article).

Installation

Installing the Exchange 2010 Update Management System

Using the Tool on DAG Members

Exchange 2010 Update Management System on a DAG Server

Functionality of the Tool on non-DAG Servers

Functionality of the Exchange 2010 Update Management System on non-DAG servers

Anyhow, I hope (as always) that this helps someone along the way – and I would also like to wish all my readers (or any visitor to the site) a very Happy New year.

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