Exchange 2010: Public Folders

Public Folders are similar to folders kept in personal or shared mailboxes, with some important differences. Public Folders are public to anyone with an Exchange Account. Public Folders are not replicated across multiple servers like private and shared mailboxes. The uses for Exchange Public folders are slightly different as well. Typically, departments use three types of these folders: Calendars, Task Lists, and Contact Lists.

Public Folder Calendars
Public Folder Calendars are often used for scheduling rooms or other resources, but in most cases, a Resource Mailbox is a better choice. Appropriate uses for Public Folder Calendars are internal event calendars or schedules, like an office “Vacation Calendar.”  For more on how to use Calendars see Exchange 2010 Calendars.

Public Folder Task Lists
Public Folder Task Lists are used for tracking tasks assigned to one or more Exchange Users.

Public Folder Contact Lists
Public Folder Contact Lists are used for Groups of Contacts like vendors or sales representatives. 

Security for Public Folders
Security for Public Folders is controlled by Security Groups. Typically, two or three groups will be created. One for Editors, one for Reviewers (read-only). If your department has an Active Directory OU, these security groups will be placed there. Your department IT Professional can then manage group membership.

Requesting/Troubleshooting Public Folders
To request a new public folder or report a problem with an existing public folder or to request changes to access for users, contact the IT Support Center.  

When the public folder is created, the requested security groups will be created in the appropriate OU.  In general, they will be named using the following format PF-OU-PFName-AccesLevel. In the example above, if the OU were NSS, and Editor access were requested, the name of the security group would be PF-NSS-ChapelStreet-Room102-Edit