Exchange 2010 Public Folder Database requirement

Current Status: with mitigation

Unlike and 2010, 2003 clients rely on public folders. If a public database doesn’t exist, 2003 users will be blocked from connecting to their 2010 mailbox and receive the error message shown in Figure 8.

Figure 8:
Error message when an 2003 user connects to an 2010 mailbox

There are several reasons why a public database is required for 2003 client. First, Outlook 2003 in cached mode uses the “OFFLINE ADDRESS BOOK” system folder to download the offline address book (OAB) and the “SCHEDULE+ BUSY” to retrieve and update free/busy information.

Figure 9:
Offline Address Book and Schedule+ Busy system folders

Second, if you’re installing 2010 into an existing Exchange organization 2007, it’s important you add the Exchange 2010 public database to the replica list of the “SCHEDULE+ BUSY” folder. If this step isn’t completed, users who use 2003 cannot publish their free/busy data in Exchange 2010. Instead hash marks appear in the free/busy data for these users. More information as well as the steps that can be used to remediate this can be found in the following KB article:

Special Thanks to Henrik Walther

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