Editor's Note: Originally posted by Paul Cunningham (Microsoft MVP) on his blog, Practical365, this review is extremely comprehensive and discusses the many ways Mailscape 365 can be used in Office 365 cloud and hybrid environments.
Over the past few years, Microsoft has made many attempts to do away with public folders. If you have had the pleasure to work or are still working with Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010, I’m sure you’ll remember the many rumors about Public Folders being deprecated in “vNext”. Yet, they still exist today in Exchange 2016 –although not in exactly the same form as in earlier versions of Exchange. Not only do they still exist, but Public Folders are still widely used! It’s not unheard of that a company has several million public folders representing terabytes worth of data.
Many administrators reacted surprised when Microsoft first announced “Modern Public Folders” back when Exchange 2013 was introduced to the world. Modern Public Folders offer the same exact user functionality as traditional public folders, but align with Microsoft’s efforts to improve high availability using Database Availability Groups. Traditional Public Folders, which were stored in separate Public Folder databases, did not fit into that paradigm. Even more so, because of that architecture with separate databases and no real HA story, Microsoft could not really support Public Folders in Office 365. To be honest, I am almost certain that Microsoft made the changes to the Public Folder architecture so that they would be able to offer them in Office 365. The fact that on-premises customers can now take advantage of those advancements is an added bonus.