Exchange Server 2003 public folder administration improvements

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Summary
This article describes some of the administration improvements in Exchange 2003 public folders.

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Send Hierarchy (Hierarchy Replication Push) from Exchange System Manager

In Exchange 2003, you can push or initiate hierarchy replication between specific servers by using Exchange System Manager. This used to be an automatic process that could not be controlled by using Exchange System Manager. Now you can specify specific source servers to send hierarchy to specific target servers. You can also specify that you want the hierarchy from the last few days to be sent. And, you can specify the number of days. This is helpful when you are troubleshooting public folder hierarchy replication issues.

Note This feature does not replace the automatic replication of public folder hierarchy. The hierarchy is still replicated between servers on the schedule, but replication can now be initiated when you want it to occur.

To send hierarchy (to perform a hierarchy replication push) from Exchange System Manager, right-click the Public Folders tree, and then click Send Hierarchy:

Image:  Exchange System Manager Send Hierarchy option

You can now specify the source server and the destination server that will receive the hierarchy push. You can also specify the number of days of hierarchy changes that you want to send. Source servers can only be Exchange 2003 computers, while destination servers can be Microsoft Exchange 5.5, Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server, or Exchange 2003 computers. When you have made your selections, click OK:

Image:  Source Servers and Destination Servers


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Send Content (Content Replication Push) from Exchange System Manager

You can also use Exchange 2003 Exchange System Manager to push the public folder content from one server to another at will. This is useful when you are troubleshooting public folder replication, or when you want a specific server to receive content first (for example, after a replica has been established on several servers).

To send content (to perform a content replication push) from Exchange System Manager, right-click the folder that contains content that you want to push to another server. Click All Tasks, and then click Send Contents:

Image: Send Contents Option in Exchange System Manager

In the Send Contents window, click to select the check boxes for the source server and the destination server (that will receive the content push), and then type the number of days of content changes that you want to send. Source servers can only be Exchange 2003 computers, while destination servers can be Exchange Server 5.5, Exchange 2000, and Exchange 2003 computers. Also, only the computers that contain a replica of the folder content appear in the Source Server list. After you make your selections, click OK:

Image:  Source Server and   Destination Servers for  Content Push


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View Public Folder Content from Exchange System Manager

You can now use Exchange System Manager to view the actual content of public folders. This is done though Outlook Web Access (OWA) integration with Exchange System Manager. Because of this, if you are viewing the content of the folder that has the only replica on an Exchange 2000 computer, the interface is different from the interface that is used when you view the folder that has a replica on an Exchange 2003 computer.

Note Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration on a Windows 2003-based server may cause you to receive an error message when you try the following steps. For additional information about this issue, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
815141 Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration Changes the Browsing
To view public folder content from Exchange System Manager, click the folder that you want to view, and then click the Content tab in the right frame. The following image shows how this appears in an Exchange 2003 folder:

Image:  Content Tab in Exchange System Manager

The following image shows how this appears in an Exchange 2000 folder:

Image: Exchange 2000 Folder



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Search for Folders in Exchange System Manager

You can use Exchange 2003 Exchange System Manager to search for public folders by using different properties of the folder. This does not search public folder content. This only searches though the public folder hierarchy. You can search for a folder by name (or partial name), by permissions, by replicas, by creation and by modification time ranges, and by folder age.

To use the search functionality, click the Find tab of the folder or the folder tree. If you select the public folder tree itself and search from there, you can search the whole folder hierarchy. If you select a subfolder (for example, a top level folder), then your search occurs only in that folder and in its child folders.

The following image shows an example of a search for folders that is based on name from the root of the public folder tree:

Image:  Searching For Folders Based On Name

When you search based on permissions, you can find any folders that are in the hierarchy that contain a specific user who has specific rights. You can search by using granted or denied permissions. The following image shows an example of the options that can be used when you configure a search that is based on permissions:

Image: Select Permissions Options



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Offline Address Book Folders Structure

Exchange 2003 introduces a new offline Address Book folder that is named OAB Version 3a. This section details some history and some information about the contents of the various offline Address Book folders.

To view the offline Address Book folders and the contents of those folders by using Exchange 2003 Exchange System Manager, expand Folders, right-click Public Folders, and then click View System Folders. Click the Offline Address Book folder to see a parent folder for each of your Admin Groups.

The parent folder does not typically contain any content unless the Exchange 4.0 and 5.0 compatibility check box is selected for the Default Offline Address List entry. If this check box is selected, a set of OAB files are created. These are used by earlier Exchange DOS clients, Windows-based 16-bit clients, and Microsoft Exchange Server 4.0 and 5.0 clients.

The OAB Version 2 child folder contains a set of offline address books in ANSI character set format that are used by Microsoft Outlook 97 through Microsoft Outlook 2003. Each message object in the folder represents a generation (generally daily) of the offline Address Book. The message object contains several highly-compressed files. These files hold the offline Address Book data. Additionally, delta changes are created from the previous generation in a file that is named Changes.oab, so Outlook only has to download changes that occurred since the last download.

The OAB Version 3a child folder contains a set of offline Address Books that are in Unicode format. These offline Address Books are used by Outlook 2003. When you log on to Outlook 2003, Outlook 2003 verifies the existence of this folder and uses the Unicode files if they are available. Outlook 2003 prefers to use the Unicode files over the older ANSI format files that are in the OAB Version 2 child folder.

The following image shows an example of how this folder structure appears in Exchange System Manager:


Image:  OAB Version 3a Folder



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More information
The following guided troubleshooting wizard helps you troubleshoot public folder replication problems for Exchange Server 2003.

The link below will navigate your web browser to a guided tutorial which will help you solve your problem

Start guided walkthrough.

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Article ID: 823817 - Last Review: 12/08/2015 03:32:21 - Revision: 3.0

Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise Edition, Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition

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