In this article I explained how you can inventory and hopefully get rid of many Public Folders. But you probably end up with a couple that’s actually being used. What to do with them if you want to dismount and remove that last Public Folder database?

Microsoft says: Use Sharepoint and in Exchange 2013 Microsoft introduced Modern Public Folders (check the FAQ). Maybe E2013 is still months away for you and SharePoint, sure, it’s nice and free, but to be honest – many customer don’t want Sharepoint. Period. What to do? In this article I will give you some simple alternatives in different scenarios, all of them without SharePoint (or any other 3rd party product) – just plain Exchange.

Do you have any more suggestions? Please comment!


Incoming e-mail Public Folders

Many are using e-mail enabled PF:s for many users to share (Customer Service, ServiceDesk etc). Just create a Shared Mailbox in Exchange instead:

New-Mailbox –Name CustomerService –OrganizationalUnit “domain.local/OU/Shared Mailboxes” –Database DB01 -Shared

Then give the user(s) Full Access to it:

Add-MailboxPermission CustomerService –User username –AccessRights FullAccess

Maybe they need Send As also?

Add-ADPermission CustomerService –User username –ExtendedRights Send-As

More info here.

Remember that with Exchange 2010 SP1+ and Outlook 2010, shared mailbox will be automatically be mapped by users who get Full Mailbox Access to it. So no more need to manually add additional mailboxes in user’s Outlook profile. So the user will automatically get this mailbox added below their personal mailbox.

If you want to disable this behaviour you need SP2 and add -Automapping $false. Example:

Add-MailboxPermission CustomerService –User username –AccessRights FullAccess -Automapping $false


Shared Calendars

It’s quite common that some users use some kind of shared calendar for shared events where it’s not practical to use their personal calendars. Solving it without Public Folder is pretty simple though. Just create a shared mailbox like above. Once it’s added, it will be added to the users Calendar tab:


Shared Address Book

Also quite common is to have shared “address books” of contacts (which are not Active Directory users). Same there – shared mailbox and it will turn up here:


But what about OWA?

For some reason, Microsoft haven’t added the Automapping feature in OWA. So there, the user would have to add the Inbox manually:

Same goes for the Calendar:

Sure, the long term solution would be to move to Exchange 2013 and Modern Public Folders but to some of you, you might want to start removing those Public Folders already today…