Public folders in Exchange Server have confused administrators and users alike. Since corporate intranets became popular, the pressing question has been whether to put an application on a website or use a public folder. With the rise of portal applications such as SharePoint, it's getting even easier to put public folder applications on web sites.
When Exchange 2007 was released, Microsoft announced that it was the last version of Exchange that would support public folders. Many people misinterpreted this announcement to mean that Exchange 2007 would not support public folders at all. The fact that in the RTM version of Exchange Server 2007, no graphical user interface was provided for managing public folders only added to the misconception.
Public folders are still a major part of Exchange Server deployments for many organizations. They provide a powerful way to share knowledge and data throughout your organization, and they've been a staple of Exchange Server. Using folders is a great way to share content and information with many users, and since they can be mail-enabled, it can also be an easy way for third-party application developers to hook into Exchange. Just use the MAPI libraries to connect to Exchange as a user with permissions to the specified public folder and you can send and receive messages — and share them with multiple users — without having to do a lot of coding.
In this chapter, I will cover Exchange Server 2007 public folder ...