I'm a firm believer that Exchange Server was never meant to be used as is; I like to think of it more as something administrators can build on. There's a whole market of add-ons, extensions, sidecar applications and snap-ins that either add functionality to Exchange or provide convenient access to features buried underneath interfaces.
I've compiled a list of my five favorite free Exchange and Microsoft Outlook add-ons. Each add-on either adds new functionality or makes it easier to work with existing functions that aren't sufficiently exposed through the graphical user interface (GUI) or PowerShell.
Also, there are no trial periods or other strings attached. That said, some of them are "light" versions of other products or single-feature editions of the full-blown product. Exchange itself is expensive so free add-ons are often tough to come by; most companies assume that the prospective user can afford the full product license.
Note: Some of these add-ons have been eclipsed by advances in functionality in Exchange itself. I've included add-ons for the various iterations of Exchange and Outlook, so be sure to click through them all -- there's sure to be at least a couple that could satisfy your organization's needs.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Serdar Yegulalp has been writing about personal computing and IT for more than 15 years for a variety of publications, including (among others) Windows Magazine, InformationWeek and the TechTarget family of sites.