Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Using Public Folders for Contacts

Admittedly, Small Business Server 2003 gives you plenty of space to store contacts. I mean look at it, it's a contact storing MACHINE!

Ok ok ok, so there isn't much direction as to where to store your contacts, you have

  • The Active Directory

  • SharePoint

  • Public Folders

  • Outlook Personal Contacts

So what should you choose?

Active Directory
Shows up in the GAL and is easily searchable, but you need an admin to add each and every contact. I also find that if a contact changes an email address, it's not as easy as Outlook to change it.

SharePoint is great, but you can't add the contacts to an e-mail message if you're not in the office (or on a VPN connection)

Outlook Personal Contacts
This is a great way to store personal contacts, but you can't share them with your co-workers

Public Folders
In my opinon this is the best way to store contacts. An Admin makes the public folder, and any user can add or change contacts inside the folder. One other gotcha is any Distribution Lists the admin must create. When using OWA you have to select the public folder from the drop down list in order to email contacts from it.

And there you have it, the ways to store contacts on SBS!


Anonymous said...

Great info, thanks. Can you describe how public folders work and how to set them up? Or at least link?

Sean Daniel said...

public folders are setup by default. In OWA you can just click public folders on the nav bar (under inbox, calendar, etc).

With Outlook 2003/2007, you have to click "all folders" on that same nav bar, scroll to the bottom and then select public folders.

They are ready to roll!

Anonymous said...

Here's a new one!I know this is a little old but can you somehow add a contact directly to the public folders contact?I mean when you get an e-mail from a person that's not a contact you right click the e-mail address and you have the option "Add to Outlook contacts".What I'm saying is , is there a way so that when you right click on it an option should pop up , you want to add it as a contact to the public folder contacts or do you want to add it to your Outlook contacts?