For years Microsoft has been slowly phasing out public folders, perhaps exchange 2010 really is the LAST TIME they'll be shipped...

I've heard sharepoint is the replacement, but I don't understand full, can someone give me an idea of how to replace this workflow?

  • In our office, we have projects, they have a project number, ie 10353. Each job folder has a public folder, organized in a hierachy like Projects > Year > Folder > Subfolders
  • The main subfolder we use is for genera correspondence. When an email is received that relates to a project, it is dragged and dropped (or right click move to) a public folder. Adding public folder favourites for each user helps this.
  • When an email is sent, we have a custom email form, which is the default email form, but with a project number field next to the subject line. When you enter the job number in there, it carbon copies our filing system in, which reads the job number and puts the email in the public folder for you.
  • if you need to refer to emails, you go to public folder and find them there. This isn't the best with large jobs, but it works ok.

Now, I have limited experience with sharepoint (well, WSS), we've used it to do some neat discussion boards/polls etc as an intranet site, but I haven't seen much of its integration with outlook.

The great thing about our solution is how tightly it integrates with outlook which is exactly where the emails are. If you want to forward an old email, you go to public folder and forward it, simple. Any solution that replaces it should be at least as easy as this.

Improvements we would like would be to have better searching of emails, better support in exchange (ie future version) and also, custom forms in outlook are being phased out (the VBA kind), so avoiding these would be good.

Does sharepoint do this? or what solutions do this kind of thing?


Here is what I would do :

  1. Create a custom list based on the discussion template for every project like "12345-list"
  2. Make it email enabled with email address 12345@yourSMTPserver.domain.local, where 12345 is your project name.
  3. Tell your users to “connect to outlook” from sp action menu.
  4. Now they can “drag and drop” emails from their inboxes or they can just send emails to these lists
  5. You can add some custom calculated columns to your lists, like =year([today]), so you could sort or filter by year for example

There are a lot of benefits that SharePoint could offer in your scenario, such as different views by project or year , keyword search, recycling bin, version control, item permissions, workflows, etc.,

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