Table of Contents
What is an exchange email?
"Exchange email" typically refers to Microsoft Exchange, a mail server, calendaring software, and contact manager developed by Microsoft. Microsoft Exchange is a staple in many businesses and organizations for its email services as well as other collaborative features.
At its core, Microsoft Exchange is a server product. This means it's software that runs on servers, typically within a company's data center, to provide email services to users.
Exchange supports various protocols like MAPI (for Outlook connectivity), POP3, IMAP, and ActiveSync (for mobile device connectivity).
While "Exchange" is the server software, Microsoft's "Outlook" is the most commonly used client application to access emails, calendars, and contacts stored on an Exchange server. Outlook is available as a desktop application, a web application (known as Outlook Web App or OWA), and a mobile app.
Beyond email, Exchange supports calendars (allowing for meeting scheduling, free/busy lookups, etc.), contacts, tasks, and more. These features are integrated and can be accessed through various clients, including Outlook.
High Availability & Security
One of the reasons many businesses choose Microsoft Exchange is for its robust features concerning availability, backup, and security. Features such as Database Availability Groups (DAGs) provide redundancy for mail databases.
As part of Microsoft's move to the cloud, Exchange Online became available as a hosted service in the Microsoft 365 suite (formerly known as Office 365). This means that instead of a company needing to host their Exchange servers on-premises, they can subscribe to Exchange Online and let Microsoft handle the infrastructure.
Microsoft Exchange integrates well with other Microsoft products, such as SharePoint, Skype for Business, and Teams. This provides a seamless user experience for communication and collaboration.
In essence, when someone says they have an "Exchange email", they're saying they have an email account hosted on a Microsoft Exchange server, which could be on-premises or in the cloud (Exchange Online).