Configuring a Public Folder E-Mail Address

This tip describes how to configure an Exchange Server Public Folder with an e-mail address so that e-mails can be directed to the folder from anywhere (internal users or external sources like a web site).

Assume you want all mail that originates from your web site addressed to to be routed to a Public Folder so that all customer service representatives can access it from there.

The first thing we need to do is create the Public Folder that is going to be used as the mailbox.

  1. In Outlook, expand "Public Folders" and then right click on “All Public Folders”.
  2. Select “New Folder” from the menu.
  3. You will now be presented with the “Create New Folder” dialogue box. Supply your folder with a suitable name (in our example we will call it Web Site Mail). Make sure that the “Folder Contains” is set to “Mail and Post Items”, and click OK.

Your newly created Web Site Mail folder will now appear in the Public Folder tree.

In order for the Public Folder to receive email it is important to ensure that it is mail-enabled. To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. In “Exchange System Manager”, expand Folders and then expand Public Folders. You will see your Web Site Mail folder listed in the tree.
  2. Right click over “Web Site Mail”, and select All Tasks, and then click on Mail Enable. You will either be prompted to establish an email address or you will be informed the folder is already mail-enabled. (Note: if you are running an Exchange 2000 Native mode organization, Public Folders are automatically mail-enabled).

Once we have established that the folder is mail-enabled, we can move on with a few more administrative tasks. The first is ensuring the Public Folder has a suitable email address; the second is making sure that all the users are aware of when another user has read a message or replied to a messaging in the folder.

Open the Properties for the Public Folder via “Exchange System Manager”, and select the E-mail Addresses tab. Here you will see the SMTP address that was assigned to the folder. This may not always be appropriate or you may want to add additional addresses to the folder.

  1. To edit the e-mail address click on the existing SMTP address and click on the Edit button:

  2. In the “Internet Address Properties” dialogue box, enter the email address that you would like to assign to this folder, and then click OK, click OK again.
  3. You can assign the folder multiple email addresses by clicking on the Add button on the “E-mail Addresses” tab.

The next part in making this folder work correctly is to ensure that the messages that are received by it are entered as E-Mail Messages. By default the folder will store its information using the Post format, and we really need to change this. Refer to the tip entitled "Changing the Message Class of Public Folder E-Mails" to achieve this.

Now, because this folder is going to be used by multiple users, what we really need is for each user to know when one of the other users has read and/or responded to the e-mail in it. Here are the steps to enable this:

  1. Open the Properties for the Public Folder using “Exchange System Manager”.
  2. At the bottom of the General tab you will see a checkbox titled “Maintain per-user read and unread information for this folder”, clear the checkbox.

By default Public Folders are hidden from the Exchange Global Address list, and it would probably be better if this folder actually appear in the Global Address List, this way users could select it from the Global Address List and users in the Customer Support Department would also be able to use it in the From field when replying to a message. To unhide a Public Folder from the Global Address List:

  1. Open the Properties for the Public Folder using “Exchange System Manager”.
  2. Go to the Exchange Advanced tab, and clear the checkbox “Hide from Exchange Address List”.

The last step you will need to perform is to make sure you have set the folder permissions appropriately for the users that need access it. This can be done by opening the Properties for the folder in Outlook and clicking on the Permissions tab.