In this blog series we will be exploring the Next Generation Public Folder. Yes, that’s Public Folder in Microsoft Exchange Server 2013.
Managing public folder was always a pain area for almost all Administrators if they are involved in Migration project.
Rumors were made that Microsoft will move public folder to SharePoint or public folder will be removed completely from next version of exchange.
With the release of Exchange Server 2013 Public Folder has got a new face. The design has changed. The way Public Folder use to work for so many years has changed. Public Folder database is now Known as Mailbox Database.
So what is there for us. Lets Explore.
- No Public Folder Database.
- High Availability with Dag.
- Office 365 Users can now have Public Folders.
- Public Folders are now created inside Public Folder Mailboxes.
How to create Public Folders.
First we have to create Public Folder Mailboxes.
Figure 1.1 : Location to select for creating first public folder mailboxes
Figure 1.2 : New Public Folder Mailbox
In figure 1.2 Name can be any name of your choice and OU can be created if required to store Public Folder Mailboxes. Mailbox Database can also be created to store only PF Mailbox.
Figure 1.3 : Mailbox Created
In figure 1.3 Mailbox is created and this will be considered as Primary Hierarchy.
Figure 1.4 : Multiple PF Mailboxes.
Once mailboxes are created we can now start creating public folders for clients.
These mailboxes are disabled by default and cannot be accessed by end users. Recommended is to keep them disabled and on a dedicated OU.
Figure 1.5 : Disabled Public Folder Mailboxes.
Figure 2.1 : Creating New Public Folder using EAC.
Figure 2.2 : Creating Folder using EAC.
In Figure 2.2 we can create folder using EAC, however if we want to create PF for Secondary Mailboxes then we have to use Shell.
Figure 2.3 : Creating Folder using Shell
In Figure 2.3 we have created Public Folder for remaining mailboxes.
Figure 2.4 : Public Folder Path and Content Mailbox Name
We have created three Public Folder Mailboxes and each mailbox has a Public Folder. If we go back in Exchange Server 2003 we had an option to create Mapi and Non Mapi Tree. Mapi tree was accessible in both Outlook and Outlook Web Access. However Non Mapi Tree was accessible only via OWA. Those options were removed in Exchange Server 2007 and 2010.
In Exchange Server 2013 whole new concept has been introduced. The idea was to link Public Folder Mailboxes so that they can see the Folders which is created for that particular mailboxes.
How to link the mailbox. Type the below command.
Figure 2.5 : Linking the Mailboxes with Public Folder Mailboxes
Figure 2.6 : Linked all mailboxes.
Now that we have three Public Folder mailboxes in our scenario and those three mailboxes are linked with three different user Mailboxes. This will help the users to see only those folders which is created in that Public Folder Mailbox.
Wonderful concept. Public Folder is now easily manageable. Provided they are migrated without any hassles.
In the next part series we will learn how to set permission and other configuration to make public folder a better place to store shared data.
If you would like to go to next part then please click below
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