Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 : Indexing Exchange Public Folders

2/7/2014 2:13:50 AM

One of the major strengths of SharePoint is its ability to index (or crawl) a variety of content sources. This index can then be searched using keywords, enabling users to find the information they seek wherever it lives.

When it comes to search, the capabilities will vary depending on whether you are running Windows SharePoint Services or Microsoft Office SharePoint Server. With Windows SharePoint Services, only content stored within SharePoint (for example, lists and libraries) can be searched. With Microsoft Office SharePoint Server, searched content can include additional content sources such as file shares, regular websites, and Exchange Public Folders, which is the area of focus for this section. This section assumes you are using Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.

Using Microsoft Search Server 2008

Search Server 2008 integrates with SharePoint, and it supports the ability to search Exchange Public Folders. One advantage is that you can enhance the Windows SharePoint Services search engine without having to upgrade to Microsoft Office SharePoint Server. There is also an Express edition of Search Server 2008 that supports this at no additional licensing cost.

Configuring search in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server is done through a designated Shared Services Provider (SSP). To access your SSP, click on the SSP name in the left-hand navigation menu in Central Administration. Inside the SSP, click the Search Settings link, which you'll find in the Search category.

It is important to note that crawling public folders from SharePoint is not supported in a native Exchange 2010 environment due to the lack of WebDAV support. Organizations wishing to use this feature must keep an Exchange 2003 or 2007 server in their environment that houses the public folder store. If you use Exchange 2007, at least Service Pack 1 (SP1) must be applied. Also, you must ensure that you have applied at least SP1 for your SharePoint farm.

1. Defining a Content Source

The first step in indexing Exchange Public folders is to create a content source. Each content source defines a certain type of content, such as Exchange Public Folders, SharePoint Sites, and so forth. You can have multiple content sources of the same type. To create a content source, click the Content Sources And Crawl Schedules link on the Configure Search Settings screen.

On this screen, the current content sources will be listed. Click the New Content Source button to create a new one. On the Add Content Source screen, choose Exchange Public Folders. SharePoint crawls public folders via their web address using the http://<exchangeserver>/public/<folderpath> syntax. Enter one or more addresses that you want to include in this content source. You'll notice that you can specify whether you want to recursively crawl this folder and all subfolders or just the folder itself.

You can also specify a full and incremental crawl schedule. As you would guess, a full crawl must be completed before incremental crawls can run. The crawl schedule is configured a little differently than other scheduling systems you may have worked with. Figure 1 shows what the schedule interface looks like.

The Repeat Within The Day setting at the bottom allows you to repeat the schedule throughout the day. When setting this option, you'll need to do a little math to calculate the ending time. Based on the settings shown in Figure 1, the schedule will repeat every hour between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Due to the strain this places on both Exchange and SharePoint, carefully plan your crawl schedules.

Figure 1. Configuring a crawl schedule

Figure 2 gives the full settings for an Exchange Public Folder content source.

Each content source can only have one set of crawl settings and schedules. Thus, if you need different settings based on different sections of your public folders, you should create additional Exchange Public Folder content sources.

For SharePoint to properly crawl your public folders, the crawler account must be granted Reviewer permissions to the folders it will crawl. By default, SharePoint uses a single account called the Default Content Access account when crawling all content sources. You can view and change this account by clicking the Default Content Access Account link on the Configure Search Settings screen.

Even though SharePoint has read access to all Exchange public folders, it doesn't mean that all users will. SharePoint's search engine is security trimmed, which means that it only shows results that the user has at least Reviewer permissions on. SharePoint is able to do this by also reading the folder's permissions and storing them within its index.

If you expect SharePoint to index non-Microsoft file formats, you may need to install an appropriate IFilter on your SharePoint index servers. This will apply to files found in any content source, including public folders. For PDF files, which is the most common need, you can install Adobe's free PDF IFilter (http://adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID=2611) or a third-party one from FoxIt (www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/ifilter). If you'll be indexing a heavy amount of files, consider FoxIt as it performs much better.

Creating a SharePoint Scope

To help users narrow the breadth of a search, SharePoint supports the use of scopes. A scope is a set of rules that allows you to set logical boundaries around indexed content. These rules can be based on a content source, a file type (such as Excel documents), and even metadata on the content (such as Author). Without scopes, users would search everything in the index—which can result in far too many hits to be useful. One idea is to create a scope that allows users to search only Exchange public folders.

Figure 2. Configuring an Exchange Public Folder content source
  •  Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 : Email Integration (part 3) - Configuring Incoming Email - Directory Management Service, Troubleshooting Incoming Email
  •  Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 : Email Integration (part 2) - Configuring Incoming Email
  •  Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 : Email Integration (part 1) - Configuring Outgoing Email
  •  D-Link HD Wireless Outdoor Cloud Camera DCS-2332L
  •  Windows 7 : Programming WMI Support (part 5) - Techniques for Testing WMI Driver Support, WMI Event Tracing
  •  Windows 7 : Programming WMI Support (part 4) - Troubleshooting Specific WMI Problems
  •  Windows 7 : Programming WMI Support (part 3) - Firing WMI Events
  •  Windows 7 : Programming WMI Support (part 2) - WMI Requirements for WDM Drivers ,WMI Class Names and Base Classes
  •  Windows 7 : Programming WMI Support (part 1) - WMI Architecture, Registering as a WMI Data Provider, Handling WMI Requests
  •  Parallel Programming with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 : PLINQ Operators and Methods (part 2)
    Most View
    Asus VivoBook S400CA Ultrabook Review
    MSI GX60 Gaming Notebook - Great Looks And A Fast GPU
    Toshiba Kirabook - Toshiba Attempts To Refresh With A Premium Ultrabook (Part 1)
    Dell PowerEdge T320 - A Top Choice For SMBs
    Android Application Development : Drawing 2D and 3D Graphics - Bling (part 1)
    Windows Server 2008 : Adding Roles to Server Core - Using ocsetup to Add Roles to Windows Server 2008 (part 1)
    Samsung Galaxy Camera - A Hybrid Between Photography And Sharing
    Adobe InDesign CS5 : Working with Objects and Layers - Creating and Deleting Object Layers
    Developing BlackBerry Tablet Applications : OS Interactions - Splash Screen
    Microsoft Surface RT - The Thin And Light Tablet
    Popular Tags
    Microsoft Access Microsoft Excel Microsoft OneNote Microsoft PowerPoint Microsoft Project Microsoft Visio Microsoft Word Active Directory Biztalk Exchange Server Microsoft LynC Server Microsoft Dynamic Sharepoint Sql Server Windows Server 2008 Windows Server 2012 Windows 7 Windows 8 Adobe Indesign Adobe Flash Professional Dreamweaver Adobe Illustrator Adobe After Effects Adobe Photoshop Adobe Fireworks Adobe Flash Catalyst Corel Painter X CorelDRAW X5 CorelDraw 10 QuarkXPress 8 windows Phone 7 windows Phone 8 BlackBerry Android Ipad Iphone iOS
    Top 10
    Review : Acer Aspire R13
    Review : Microsoft Lumia 535
    Review : Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II
    TomTom Runner + MultiSport Cardio
    Timex Ironman Run Trainer 2.0
    Suunto Ambit3 Peak Sapphire HR
    Polar M400
    Garmin Forerunner 920XT
    Sharepoint 2013 : Content Model and Managed Metadata - Publishing, Un-publishing, and Republishing
    Sharepoint 2013 : Content Model and Managed Metadata - Content Type Hubs