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Configure Exchange 2003 public folders

How do I configure public folders in Exchange 2003, and what are the advantages of public folders?
VIEW MEMBER FEEDBACK TO THIS ASK THE EXPERT Q&A.

Good question. Public folders provide a way of sharing Exchange data across your Exchange organization inside of Exchange.

You configure public folders from within Exchange System Manager. Navigate to the appropriate Administrative Group and expand the public folders container. You can create and configure public folders from here. Once top-level public folders are created, users with adequate permissions will be able to create subfolders and store content.

I strongly recommend that you keep public folder usage under tight control. Microsoft has suggested that public folders will be phased out of Exchange gradually, with the logical replacement being SharePoint Portal Server.


MEMBER FEEDBACK TO THIS ASK THE EXPERT Q&A:

If you only have a single Exchange Server 2003 Standard, do you have to have a public folder database at all? Can I use both databases for user mailboxes instead?
—Robert L.

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Good question, Robert.

No, you are restricted to a maximum of one mailbox store, one MAPI-addressable public store, and four non-MAPI top level hierarchies (public stores for programmatic use).

Dropping the public store (which is possible) won't give you the ability to add a second mailbox store.
David Sengupta, Server Administration Expert


Do you have comments on this Ask the Expert Q&A? Let us know.

Related information from SearchExchange.com:

  • Learning Center: A primer on Exchange public folders
  • Reference Center: Public folder management
  • Dig Deeper on Exchange Server setup and troubleshooting

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