Introduction to Working with the Exchange Server 2003 Store Guide


Topic Last Modified: 2005-05-12

The Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 store is a storage platform that provides a single repository in which you can manage multiple types of unstructured information. A single Exchange topology may include store components (mailbox stores and public folder stores) that reside on multiple servers.

Because of the inherent complexity and flexibility of the store components, the store can be one of the most difficult parts of Exchange Server 2003 to administer. Troubleshooting problems that involve the store can be a time-consuming and complex process. This guide provides in-depth information to make administration and troubleshooting tasks easier for you to perform.

Before you read this guide, you should review the Exchange Server 2003 Administration Guide, especially "Managing Mailbox Stores and Public Folder Stores." This topic provides a basic explanation of the Exchange store, and explains how to perform common administrative tasks.

This guide builds on the basic concepts presented in the Exchange Server 2003 Administration Guide. It examines several features of the store in depth, such as the way in which public folders replicate, how free/busy folders work, and how offline address books work. This information includes detailed explanations of how these features work, and guidance for using them effectively. It provides troubleshooting information about common store issues. This detailed information will also help you troubleshoot store problems that may be unique to your Exchange topology.

Understanding the Exchange Server 2003 Store provides a conceptual introduction to the Exchange store. It includes overviews of the components of the store, their functions, and how you can interact with them. Troubleshooting and Repairing Exchange Server 2003 Store Problems, provides solutions to the most common store problems. The remaining topics of the guide provide detailed information about specific store features such as public folders. You can use this information to investigate issues not covered in the troubleshooting topic, and to configure your topology in a way that avoids future problems.

This guide complements several other Exchange Server 2003 guides that provide information that affects the Exchange store. For more information, see the following guides:

This guide provides detailed answers to the following questions:

This guide is designed for information technology (IT) professionals who deploy, maintain, or troubleshoot Exchange Server 2003, especially the storage components of Exchange Server 2003. It is designed to produce maximum benefits for the following professionals:

  • Systems architects

Those individuals responsible for planning and crafting overall business strategies and solutions.

  • Enterprise Exchange administrators

Those individuals responsible for installation, maintenance, and administration of software in the enterprise.

  • Messaging support personnel

Those individuals who specialize in troubleshooting the difficulties that end users have with their messaging environment.

Before reading these topics, familiarize yourself with the following terms:

  • Cached Exchange Mode

    New feature introduced in Outlook 2003. In Cached Exchange Mode, Outlook 2003 can be connected to the server, and still use the offline address book files from the local hard disk.

  • Crawl

    Process of fully populating a full-text index. Because a crawl involves indexing an entire mailbox store or public folder store and may occur as a background process, it can take hours or even days to complete.

  • General-purpose public folder trees

    Also known as non-MAPI public folder trees. New public folder trees that you can create in Exchange Server 2003. Users can access folders in such trees using Microsoft Office Outlook Web Access for Exchange Server 2003.

  • Mailbox delegate

    A user who has been granted some level of access to another user's mailbox.

  • MAPI public folder tree

    Default public folder tree in Exchange Server 2003, named Public Folders. This public folder tree is compatible with the Exchange Server 5.5 public folder tree and is accessible by using Outlook or Outlook Web Access. Each organization has one Public Folders tree.

  • Search folder

    Special folder that Exchange Server 2003 uses to track the search results when you use Outlook or another client application to search for messages in a mailbox or public folder. A search folder is associated with the folder that contains the information that was searched.

  • Site folder server

    The first server that is installed in the administrative group. The default public folder store on this server holds several system folders that have only one replica per administrative group. These folders are referred to as site folders. Offline address book folders are a common type of site folder.

  • Zombie user

    Usually referred to as an unknown user. An unknown user is a user that is listed in a public folder access control list, but does not have an account in the Active Directory directory service. This situation may arise in a mixed-mode topology.