iPhone 2.0 public folders

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by mikesown, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. mikesown macrumors member

    Aug 12, 2004
    My company uses Exchange with public folders to share contacts and calendars that are companywide. All of the mobile devices I have played with(BlackBerry and Windows Mobile) can't sync these public folders. Does anyone know if the iPhone 2.0 software supports synchronizing public folders over the air?

  2. Blackforge macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2008
    I'm pretty sure there is not a method built into ActiveSync to access Public Folders. Also, Public Folders are being deemphasized by Microsoft so its very unlikely to ever be there. Heck, they didn't have a GUI to manage public folders in Exchange 2007 until SP1 came out a few months back.

    However, I'm sure there are third party tools they will automate a way to sync what is in a Public Folder into a folder in your mailbox that you can access through ActiveSync. There may be other alternatives to this.

    You can also access public folders through Outlook Web Access in Safari.

    You can usually go directly to public folders using a URL formatted like this: https://owaserver/public

    If your company is running Exchange 2007 SP1, you might want to look into hosting your shared Contacts/Calendar on a Sharepoint server. This is a supported method through ActiveSync on Exchange 2007.
  3. mikesown thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 12, 2004
    Right now we're using Exchange 2003, but we're going to move to Server 2008 / Exchange 2007 within the month. Can you elaborate on SharePoint? Does it operate the same way as Exchange public folders? How would I access the contacts/calendars from a desktop PC? Outlook? Also, can I stick SharePoint on the same server as Exchange or does it require a dedicated computer? On the iPhone, would I be able to access the contacts in the same way as all of my other Exchange contacts(but separated into a different folder)?

  4. Blackforge macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2008
    Sharepoint is very different from Public Folders.

    There are actually two different types of Microsoft Sharepoint. Windows Sharepoint Services (WSS) and Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server (MOSS). Both are very similar with additional features being in the Server product. It is basically a collaboration web environment that uses IIS and a SQL Server backend. Sharepoint as a whole I consider a basic platform that can be extended to suit certain needs. You can create shared Calendars, Contacts, document folders, etc. You can setup different Sites and it supports I'd suggest taking a look at WSS, just to get a feel for it. I believe WSS itself is free.


    If you use Outlook 2007, you can connect things from Sharepoint into your Outlook, by telling it to "Connect to Outlook". Depending on the type of object it is in sharepoint will be how it shows up in Outlook. Contacts, will show up in your Contacts. Calendars will show up under Calendars, etc. These will then end up showing under the Sharepoint Lists tab under Account Settings. What this means is that Outlook will keep an offline copy of the Sharepoint Data in Outlook.

    As for ActiveSync, what it does is proxy sharepoint links through the Exchange 2007 Front-end servers into your network. Sharepoint has a simplified mobile interface. However not everything is necessarily viewable through that mobile view.


    Not sure if the iPhone supports the proxying bit or not. This may not even be good enough to what you need as it is read only and not pushed to the device. You'd probably still be stuck using a third party product to get it to copy the data from public folders or sharepoint and put them into a folder within Outlook and be able to access it. I know iPhone supports multiple Contacts folders. Not sure if it can handle multiple Calendar folders (I know Windows Mobile doesn't).

    I would not recommend Sharepoint in any form to be installed on the Exchange server. It can be very system resource intensive, especially if it starts getting used more.

    You could get to Public Folders through IMAP (not supported in Exchange 2007), but I believe that still would not get what you need (a true calendar/contact view).

    Sorry if I got your hopes up as this still doesn't look like it would provide you what you want. ActiveSync just isn't made for shared data synchronizaiton yet. Blackberry, Good, ActiveSync, etc all just provide a way to get to your intranet and not actually sync the shared data.
  5. HumanTouch macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2008
    Public folder frustration...

    I have exactly the same challenge. I've been trying to move away from my Palm based device for a number of years now. I have a number of PDAs in my possession as a result. The primary reason I can't move away from my PalmOS device (currently a Palm Treo 680) is because it's the only device I know of that supports synchronization of Exchange public folders. It works really well. The caller ID even works for inbound calls from people in the public folder contacts. The Palm application I use for this is Chapura Keysuite. I hope they develop an equivalent for iPhone soon because I'd REALLY like to migrate!

  6. mcwill macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2007
  7. Rockhead macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2008
    I Have three public contacts folders and three public calendars on Exchange Server and have been using Chapura's folder mirror to sync these with my iPhone with good results Prior to the iPhone, I've used their products with a Treo and with a WM5/6 phone (HTC S620) with reasonable success.

    Here is a link to the product info and download site:

  8. kajbjo macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2008
    foldermirror -> iPhone


    I purchased and installed foldermirror for my client that I've setup to use ActiveSync on Exchange 2003 vs his iPhone. To me this product seems flawed. The two-way sync of the public folder never works. The one-way Sync sometimes works. I'm talking to Chapura support on this but still have not gotten it to work especially well.

    I know that the Chapura-sync software for Treo's and aweful phones like that seemingly work to sync public folders but that's not really an option anymore imo.


  9. Rockhead macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2008
    I use Folder Mirror with Outlook 2003 and able to do a two-way sync with all of my public folders, provided that I have permission to modify each folder that I'm trying to sync.

    You should note that the iPhone does not have a category field, so you will not see the Exchange public folder names on your iPhone. Instead, all contacts will appear in a single list on your iPhone. If you enter a contact in your iPhone, it will appear on your Outlook desktop in the default folder.

    Two way calendar syncs seem to work fine.
  10. TheFrog macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2009

    What about OLMixedFolders? This AddIn copies all the contacts to the default-folder and back. It takes use of categories the direct contacts to public folder and back.
  11. ulrich, Dec 31, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011

    ulrich macrumors newbie

    Dec 31, 2010
  12. haveyeanynuts macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2011
    Public Folders App

    If you're Exchange environment is 2007 or 2010 and Exchange Web Services is enabled you can use Public Folders App in the app store. Only posts just now but I emailed their support and an update for contacts is being submitted soon. They said they intend on having calendars and tasks working shortly too. I use it for accessing my companies customer documentation we store in public folders and it works great.
  13. dubsdj macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2011

    works for me and works with outlook 2010 public folders and Iphone sync

    It's cheap too!!
  14. lotto2 macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2012
    We also use MS Exchange with public folders which we use on our smart phones - mostly iPhone but few blackberrys. In order to sync public folders we had to purchase 3rd party application. There is not many available but one we use is simple and works perfectly.


    Simple server side install. One way - two way sync.
  15. vlw007 macrumors newbie


    Jun 5, 2017
    Campbell, California
    It's kind of scary to respond to a thread that started nine years ago but this is still applicable to many iOS users who use Exchange Server and Office 365

    Here is a blog post on I wrote a while back:
    Sync Public Folder Contacts to iPhone

    If you are using Office 365, here is a video on how to sync a public folder for free using a SaaS resource.

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15 June 25, 2008