FYI: The Future of Public Folders

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The Exchange Team has a great new post on the future of Public Folders in Exchange 12 and understanding how they are implemented.  Be sure to read this post if you are thinking about moving to Exchange 12 and/or Outlook 2007, this article will provide you the facts for your public folder migration plans (or delay making plans all together).

...There are many custom applications that use Public Folders and while most will be supported there certain types of custom applications that require more than just the folder to work.  For example, custom applications that use Exchange Workflow will have to be migrated for E12 because Workflow is not supported on E12...

...Also of note when planning your migration away from older Outlook clients is that they require public folders to work and that as long as you have pre Outlook 2007 clients connected to Exchange 12, you will need to have public folders enabled...

...The main focus of this article is to put your migration fears on hold, if not to rest, for Exchange 12 in that you will still have the Public Folder technology.  Given that, the alternative technologies such as InfoPath, Sharepoint, and Windows Workflow Foundation are definitely worth looking into as they are exciting products and will be continue emphasized as a migration path for aging Exchange technologies...

Updated 1/22/2009 – Fixed a broken link.

  • Public Folders is currently one of the things that is helping to thwart switching to Lotus Domino.  I would move in the other direction, make public folders more robust and integrate them more heavily into the other products.  

    Areas to make them more robust:
    Group Calendars
    Group Tasks
    Add SharePoint document workspaces
    Enhance the rules & forms available
    Tie in the workflow, moving data between public folders, web services, & SharePoint
    Enhance search capabilities
    Archival/Aging capability (move to other storage)
    Public Folder notifications
    On the AD side, add dynamic security groups.
    RSS Subscriptions on the Public Folders
    There is so much more that can be done with the idea

    Another feature that would be nice, is having a service to allow web access to mail archives (mutiple simultaneous read access, at least one writer).
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