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At the moment, we have a generic IMAP account on the mail server (MDaemon on Win2k3) which multiple users will access for incoming mails, and then they send out through their individual IMAP accounts. But this generic account has grown so large that it takes its toll on the mailserver.

What is the best way to share such large email data store between multiple MS Outlook users? Is it possible to download/archive all the files in some format that can be shared-accessed via outlook?

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What are you trying to accomplish with the generic IMAP account? Is it something like info@company.com? –  cwebber Mar 31 '11 at 4:49
    
@cwebber yes, sales@company.com actually. –  Jake Mar 31 '11 at 15:43

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Problems arise when you try to subvert a system's functional design: mail accounts, in the era that POP and IMAP were designed, were assigned to a single user, and that user managed the mail. Sharing an account is a permissions and privilege mess, and eventually a performance problem, as you're now discovering. Give everybody their own mailbox, forward the 'shared' account to all of them without keeping a copy, and let each user manage their own mail with rules until the culture has changed enough that their users' new personal mailboxes are the de facto standard method for contacting them.

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I know it's not meant to be used like this, but by sharing the same IMAP account, every user can see whether the mail has been attended to and then can act accordingly. This is useful for handling sales@mycompany.com. I can see that the orthodox way is to pipe emails to a CRM program and let a DB handle it.. but in the meantime, is there a way to share the emails? –  Jake Mar 31 '11 at 15:41
    
@Jake: In an online way? Not unless you're prepared to suffer the pain of poor IMAP performance and session-locking nightmares. Exchange is tailor-made for this kind of workflow, but it's a pretty heavy solution for a one-account problem. –  Jeff Albert Mar 31 '11 at 18:13
    
A webmail interface would get around the performance issues, but introduce its own problems. As Jeff says, you're trying to stretch this in a direction its not supposed to go - so you have to expect compromises I'm afraid. –  RobM Jun 4 '11 at 9:13

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