Public mailbox with Exchange/Outlook

I have set up a mailbox to accept email from various sources and I want a group of people to have access to these incoming messages.

There are several ways of sharing this mailbox (that I'm aware of).

The preferred method would be to have all the mail redirected to a public folder.  How can this be accomplished without using Outlook's Inbox assistant (which never works very well!!)??

Another method (keeping in mind that I'd rather accomplish the first method), is to simply share the mailbox (file/open special folder).  Using this method caused a few problems such as:
- inability to set real-only rights for all but one client (I can accomplish this within a public folder as in the first method)
- some clients cannot view this mailbox (error: unable to display folder, the inbox could not be found) what is this?
- inability to make a shortcut to this mailbox (file/open special.... is time consuming)

Finally, Exchange server allows a mailbox to be hidden from address book, however, when this option is selected.. one can no longer access this mailbox.  What is the use of this 'feature'??  My goal was to hide this aforementioned mailbox from the public address book.

There are several questions here so I'll offer more points accordingly.

Thank you.
S ConnellyTechnical WriterAsked:
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Neo_mvpsConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Some solutions for you...

1] Under Exchange 5.5 every public folder is assigned an SMTP email address unless you disabled this feature or removed the SMTP addy.  Internal or External clients should be able to send mail to that folder when using the SMTP address.

2] Take advantage of the MS Exchange Server Scripting and Routing object.  Since this runs under a service account and doesn't rely on 'rules', items could be copied to the public folder.  (See for samples.)

3] You have a generic mailbox created.  You can assign an Exchange Distribution List as the owner of this mailbox.  This will enable every member of the DL to add the mailbox to their profile under Tools > Services > MS Exchange Service > Advanced.  Once this is done, each person can add a shortcut to their Outlook bar.

Anyway... with these 3 and the others, you have some options to solve your problem.
Have you thought of setting the mailbox up as a distribution list.
I have many mailboxes that are set to hidden, and all can still receive mail, you just cannot see them on the global address list, and unless you know the address, you can't send to them
What about adding all the users who need access within exchange administrator so they have owner writes to all folders within the mailbox.

Then get all the users to add it as an additional mailbox. Tools>services> Select exchange server>Propeties>Advanced Tab>add>name of mailbox>then ok till back to the inbox.  Make sure the folder list is showing and it is then there.

Once they all have it you can hide the mailbox.
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S ConnellyTechnical WriterAuthor Commented:
to all: The preferred method is to set up mailbox where all incoming mail is send to a public folder.  Is there a way to do this within relying on that dreaded Inbox assistant (or complex VB scripting)?

hes: I still cannot address the problem of permissions (view only and full access clients).  As well, I would still see the error msg (on one client) as outlined in my question.

pyleo: I assumed the you would assume I already did that (-:.  Still, some clients cannot view mailbox...Also (from Exch. Admin) you have little flexibility in the access to a mailbox (ie. read-only or erase permissions).  In addition, I do not want the client to go through a long winded procedure to access this mailbox.  I must keep the process as simple as possible, hence, the preference of setting up a special public folder for all incoming email.

Neo mvps: #2 is interesting but is too much to learn in a short period of time.. #3 is the same suggestion as pyleo.  Too complex (relatively speaking). I already know how this is done but ruled it out in favour of sending mail to a public folder.

Well doesn't no 1. of Neo_Mvps comment fulfil all your needs then?
sconnell: No you can not rely on the Inbox Assistant or the Rules Wizard to move anything outside the mailbox unless the client is running.  The reason behind it is that Exchange is going to want to check security permission and it doesn't have a context to check against.  This is why 5.5 introduces smtp addys on the public folders or Exchanger Server Scripting and Routing to get the job done.  They don't rely on a user to be logged on or they can operate under a service and not be confined to a given mailbox. (Note: Exchange Scripting is based on VBScript and CDO.  So if you are familiar with these two technologies it shouldn't be to hard to implement.)
S ConnellyTechnical WriterAuthor Commented:
Neo_mvps: Thank you... I'm using your #1 idea.  I set up a public folder to accept incoming mail to several email prefixes.  Works just as I wanted!
S ConnellyTechnical WriterAuthor Commented:
I meant 'from', not "to", the email prefixes.  Thanks again.
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