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Public Folders Get a New Pad in Exchange Server 2007 SP1


By Andrea Fowler

Public Folder Cartoon Icon

Hey there! I'm a public folder, and I've got some great news for you. In Exchange 2007 Service Pack 1 (SP1), I got my own graphical user interface (GUI)! It's a roomy three-paned management console…and it's all mine. I call it the Public Folder Management Console. It's a mouthful, but you can call it PFMC for short. And it is truly in some prime real estate—the Exchange Toolbox. I can't believe I got into this neighborhood. Only the best and most widely-used tools get in there. Yep, growing up and moving out. But it's hard living on my own. I've got to cook my own meals and MOM doesn't do my laundry anymore. But you know MOM…still trying to manage my events.


Any resemblance of MOM to an actual person is purely coincidental. MOM is the acronym for Microsoft Operations Manager 2005 SP1. For more information, see Monitoring Exchange 2007 with Microsoft Operations Manager 2005 SP1.

So, where was I for so long? Well, I never went away. I've just been living at the office where I work—the Exchange Management Shell. In Exchange 2007, I was "deemphasized." But I'm still going to be fully supported during the mainstream support of Exchange 2007. And let me assure you that in SP1, I am back, I am better than ever, and I plan on sticking around through at least 2012.


My new place is really easy to find. Just follow these directions to get there:

  1. Open the Exchange Management Console.

  2. In the console tree, click Toolbox.

    Look, there I am pointing to my new place in the Toolbox.

    Public Folder in the Exchange Toolbox cartoon


    Icons in the Toolbox do not actually point to their homes. For more information about how the Exchange Toolbox really works, see Using the Toolbox.

  3. From the Toolbox, you can either double-click the link in the result pane, or you can click Public Folder Management Console in the action pane.

The 25-Cent Tour

I can't wait to show you my Public Folder Management Console. I don't mean to brag, but just wait until you see how roomy it is and how much functionality it has.


The Public Folder Management Console is not a real home for little cartoon characters with folder bodies. It is a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) 3.0 snap-in. For more information about how to use the Public Folder Management Console, see Using the Public Folder Management Console.

Here's a picture of me relaxing in my result pane.

Public folder cartoon in management console

So, what exactly can you do in the Public Folder Management Console? Here's the lowdown:

  • Connect to other servers that have public folders

  • Update the public folder hierarchy

  • Add or remove public folders

  • Mail-enable or mail-disable a public folder

  • Update public folder content

  • Manage Send As permissions for mail-enabled public folders

  • View and modify public folder properties

There are three main sections to the Public Folder Management Console.

  • Public Folder tree   The public folder tree is located on the left side of my console and is organized by nodes that are based on the public folder hierarchy. As you can see, I've got the classic Default Public Folders node, where all of the public folders that I've created exist. Users can access these folders either directly or by using a client application such as Microsoft Outlook. And then I've got the snazzy System Public Folders node. Users don't access these folders. These folders store the information that is used by Outlook such as free and busy data or offline address books (OABs). If you want to know more about public folders and hierarchy, check out Understanding Public Folders.

  • Result pane   The result pane is in the center of my console. In that pane, you'll see the child public folders of the public folder that's selected in the public folder tree. OH! And one of the great new features in SP1 is that you can export the list of items that is displayed in the result pane. Isn't that cool? For more information, check out How to Export Lists from the Exchange Management Console.

  • Action pane   The action pane is really just an extension of the right-click menu. If you right-click an item, you'll see all of the same features that you would see in the result pane. And as the name implies, this is where all the action happens. This is where you can create public folders, modify them, and mail-enable them. If you want to learn more about how to perform all those tasks, check out Managing Public Folders.

The Office

Even though I can do all of those cool things in the Public Folder Management Console, there's a lot more I can do in the Exchange Management Shell. This is really where I do all of my work. Every time you click an item in the action pane or complete a wizard, the Public Folder Management Console isn't actually doing any heavy lifting; the real work is being done in the Exchange Management Shell. That's why I refer to the Exchange Management Shell as my office.

Here's a picture of me at my desk.

Public folder cmdlet with cartoon


The Exchange Management Shell does not contain cubicles, desks, or cartoon characters. For more information about how the Exchange Management Shell really works, see Using the Exchange Management Shell.

When I'm at the office, I can basically do everything that I can do in the Public Folder Management Console. But in the office, I can do a whole lot more. Such as:


Well, that's it. You've just had the grand tour of my new place. I hope that I'll see you around. Remember, my door's always open if you want to swing by.

Public Folder Cartoon Icon


   Public folders do not talk. Any conversations between public folders and a real person occurred solely in the mind of the writer. And according to her, that's the only voice she's been hearing lately.

0f7a70fa-710d-4818-bd8b-1faeafb9cf03 Andrea Fowler - Technical Writer, Microsoft Exchange Server