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We are in the planning stages of moving from our current email platform to Exchange 2010. Currently our users are able to share folders where they can store project emails/information regarding the project that they recieve from both internal and external sources (they only share internally however). We've seen that Exchange 2010 does support public folders which seems to be about what we're doing, but also we've seen that it isn't recommended and it's days seem to be numbered.

Our users are (understandably) a bit concerned over our determination to NOT user public folders in 2010, as this is functionality that is quite handy for a number of people.

We've seen lots of suggestions for SharePoint, however that isn't in the cards for at least another fiscal year, we've suggested just saving the information out to a shared location on the file server, but that doesn't have the convenience of all the folders in one location and allowing the end user to determine who has rights to view the files.

Does anyone have any suggestions for how they would handle providing a sharing mechanism without utilizing public folders?

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Why isn't Sharepoint in the cards? – GregD Apr 18 '11 at 22:08
$$ - don't have it in the budget, we were supposed to do Exchange next year, but we're moving it up.. – yougotiger Apr 19 '11 at 0:15
Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0 doesn't cost anything. – GregD Apr 19 '11 at 0:24
@GregD, I'll have to look at that. One of management's other concerns is the small size of our staff and administration/development overwhelming our little staff. SO, we're trying to assess all our options... – yougotiger Apr 19 '11 at 17:26

In this case I would just give your users what they want. Public Folders are supported in Exchange 2010 and will be supported for the life of the product. They are being phased out and may or may not appear in the next version of Exchange but that is not a concern for now. Since you have a Sharepoint option on the cards for your next budget cycle just use PF's for now and migrate to Sharepoint when you can.

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Well, it may or may not be in the cards for a future budget cycle, we're getting serious pushback from management. – yougotiger Apr 19 '11 at 17:24
up vote 0 down vote accepted

You can actually share folders without using the public folders. It's a pain in the neck, but it basically goes like this:

Person sharing:
1. Must allow read permissions to their ROOT folder (the one with their account name) and every folder in the path to the shared folder to the recipient.
2. Give desired permissions to the actual folder to the recipient.
3. They must be done IN THAT ORDER or they don't work right for some reason.

Person Receiving
1. Go into File-Account settings
2. Select the exchange account.
3. Click More Settings.
4. Click Advanced
5. Add the sharer's username.
6. Click OK.

There's a decent tutorial on it at:
Share -
Receive -

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