Manage Exchange 2007 public folders from Exchange Management Console

Find out how to add and use public folder management functionality in the Exchange Management Console after installing Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 SP1.

Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 originally lacked several public folder management features, such as the ability to reliably manage public folder replicas. Installing Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1 (SP1) enables this and other public folder administrative functions that were previously unavailable via the Exchange Management Console or Exchange Management Shell. This tip explains how to add and use public folder management functionality in the Exchange Management Console after installing Exchange 2007 SP1.

Because Exchange Server 2007 originally lacked public folder management features, administrators had to install Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1 (SP1) to perform such tasks as managing public folder replicas.

After downloading SP1, however, it may appear that nothing has changed within the Exchange Management Console. If you look at the Tools container, there is a link to the Public Folder Management Console, as shown in Figure 1.

Exchange public folder management Figure 1. A separate console performs public folder management. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

When the Public Folder Management console opens, it is initially empty. You must first use the Connect to Server link (Figure 2) to determine which Exchange server you want to manage.

Exchange Public Folder Management console Figure 2. Connect to an Exchange server to use the Public Folder Management console. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

When connecting to a server, the console will allow you to connect only to Exchange servers containing public folder stores. Therefore, you won't be able to use the Public Folder Management Console to create a public folder store. You must use the Exchange Management Console or the Exchange Management Shell for this task. You can then use the Public Folder Management Console to create public folders once the store exists.

More Exchange public folder management resources:
Tutorial: Manage Exchange 2007 public folders with Exchange Management Shell

Tutorial: The Exchange Management Console for Exchange Server 2007

Tip: What to expect in Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1

Exchange public folder replication tutorial

Once you have connected to an Exchange server, the console displays two containers:

  • Default public folders
  • System public folders

The public folders you created will appear in the Default Public Folders container. Select this container and all public folders beneath it will appear in the details pane. If you right click on an individual public folder, you can delete it, update the folder's contents, mail-enable the public folder or access its properties sheet.

Right click on a folder and select Properties to view three tabs: General, Replication and Limits.

  • The General tab gives you a few statistics on the folder's size, and lets you maintain per-user read information for the folder.

  • The Limits tab lets you set quotas on the folder.

  • The Replication tab lets you control folder replication. As you can see in Figure 3, this tab lets you control which servers will store folder replicas. You might assume that you can click on Add to access a list of servers to create folder replicas on, because this was an option in Exchange Server 2003. But this isn't the case in Exchange Server 2007.

Exchange public folder Management console
Figure 3. The Replication tab allows you to manage folder replicas. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

When you click on Add, the console lists individual public folder stores across the Exchange organization. This simplifies the process of creating folder replicas because you can pick the store for which you want to create the replica.

By default, public folders data will be replicated according to the store's replication schedule. To create your own custom replication schedule, deselect the Use Public Folder Database Replication Schedule checkbox, and choose either a preset replication schedules or the Use Custom Schedule option from the dropdown list.

The last option in the Replication tab is Local Replica Age Limit. If a public folder is used frequently, then the folder's contents could potentially deplete server disk space. To prevent this, the Exchange Management Console lets you enter an age limit for data in the public folder. Posts older than specified will be purged from the folder.

Note: The age limit only affects the replica on the server to which you are attached. If you need to set an age limit across all replicas, you can do so by using the Limits tab in the properties sheet.

About the author: Brien M. Posey, MCSE, is a four-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional Award for his work with Windows Server, Internet Information Server (IIS) and Exchange Server. Brien has served as CIO for a nationwide chain of hospitals and healthcare facilities, and was once a network administrator for Fort Knox. You can visit Brien's personal web site at www.brienposey.com.

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