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Exchange Public Folders – Now and Beyond

Whenever we engage on an Exchange Healthcheck or a design review a question on Exchange Public Folders almost always comes up. Basically, should we be using them? What is Microsoft’s stance on their long term supportability and what are some of the alternate technologies offered by Microsoft.
To answer these questions, Exchange Team has posted an article to the “You Had Me At Ehlo” Blog, this morning.
In Summary, the following points are meant to clarify both our current recommendations and long term commitments around Public Folders.
1. Public Folders are widely used by our customers for sharing document, calendar, contact, and tasks; and for archiving distribution lists.
2. Exchange 12 (aka “E12”) and Outlook 2007 (aka “Outlook 12”) include public folder support – with great new investments in manageability and improved storage costs. Both of these products will be fully supported for 10 years from the availability of E12 – through at least 2016.  You can continue to use Public Folders with full support throughout this time.
3. Windows SharePoint Services is another option from Microsoft for, amongst other things: sharing document, calendar, contact, and tasks; and for archiving distribution lists. DL archiving and Outlook synchronization are new in Windows SharePoint Services v3 (WSS v3), which ships at the same time as Office 12 and E12.
4. For all new collaborative application development, we recommend WSS v3 and the new E12 web services as your platform, both of which are designed with .NET development in mind. We recommend maintaining existing Public Folder applications in-place.
5. All current versions of Outlook (from 97 through 2003) and Exchange (4.0 through 2003) require Public Folders to be deployed – Public Folders are required within an organization until all Outlook clients are upgraded to Outlook 2007, all mailboxes have been migrated to E12, and of course, no Public Folder applications are still used. (More details in the article.)
To read the complete article, please visit the Exchange Team Blog at:
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