Chapter 9. Public Folder Management

Introduction

Public folder management seems very simple on its face: you create a public folder and people post to it, then Exchange automatically replicates the folder data from point to point. However, there’s an awful lot of hidden complexity lurking beneath the simple exterior. It’s not uncommon for medium- and large-sized organizations to have thousands of folders with items in them, often with folders that by themselves take up gigabytes of space in the information store. As the number and size of public folders in use increases, so does the likelihood that you’ll actually have to maintain and manage your public folders instead of just leaving them alone.

Public Folders Versus Mailboxes

Exchange separates public folders from mailbox folders using a simple design: public folders live in their own separate databases. These databases are very similar in structure and behavior to mailbox databases, but there are some important differences.

  • Individual public folders may be replicated to one or more servers. All replicas are treated equally; there’s no master copy of a given folder. When someone changes a public folder item in one replica, that change is passed to the other replicas, and Exchange will make an attempt to resolve conflicting changes on its own when possible by comparing modification times and update sequence numbers to find the newest change.

  • Every Exchange server has access to a copy of the public folder hierarchy, a structure that ...

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