Limitations of Alternate PF Trees

Posted on January 8, 2009 by Daniel Petri in Exchange Server with 0 Comments

Why does Outlook still show only the basic Public Folders structure although I’ve created additional Public Folder hierarchies?

When you install Exchange, a default public folder hierarchy is created. All MAPI clients such as Microsoft Outlook can access this public folder hierarchy to read messages and store documents. You can create subfolders to reflect the departments in your organization. In addition to this default hierarchy, you can create alternate public folder hierarchies for applications or Web browsers to access (See Create new PF Tree on Exchange 2000 and Create new PF Tree on Exchange 2003). Because of their intended use, there are different access methods for the default public folder hierarchy than for alternate hierarchies that you create.

The general purpose of a public folder hierarchy is displayed on the General tab of a public folder root.

Although Exchange 2000 allows multiple Public Folder roots, current Outlook clients don’t, so you can’t display these other structures in Outlook. However, you can view them via the Web (OWA – Outlook Web Access) with the following format:

http://exchange server/public folder root

or via EXIFS just like you’d look at any shared folder on the network.

See the following pages on my site for more info:

Exchange 2003 note: Exchange Server 2003 does not expose drive M: by default so for you, the only method of providing access to the Alternate PF Trees is by using OWA. However, it is possible to re-create the M: EXIFS drive if you really need it.

In order to re-create drive M: on Exchange Server 2003 follow instructions on the Restore the M Drive Mapping in Exchange 2003 page. This will re-create drive M: for you.

Use the following table to determine the appropriate client for a public folder hierarchy:

Hierarchy type Folder tree use displayed as Access methods
Default MAPI clients MAPI clients, such as Microsoft OutlookApplications, such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel

Web browsers

IFS shares

Alternate General purpose Applications, such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft ExcelWeb browsers

IFS shares

See the What’s the Type of this PF Tree? page for more info on this topic.