You can use the new Installable File System (IFS) to treat Exchange as a file repository for any application. IFS makes it possible to map Exchange folders and mailboxes as shared network drives.
The primary benefit of IFS is its interoperability with other new features of Exchange. When IFS is combined with automatic document property promotion, full-text indexing, and HTTP client support, Exchange becomes a document repository with advanced search capabilities. Users can use Internet clients such as Microsoft Outlook 2000 or Outlook Web Access to search Exchange for document text and properties and see the results rendered in an Outlook-style view.
For example, you can create a public folder store for a department and build a hierarchy of folders for that department in the store. You enable sharing on those folders using IFS to navigate the mapped M:\ drive. You can then set permissions for those folders for the users in the department.
Your users can now use the shared folders as a departmental repository accessible from their applications, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, Outlook, and Office. If a document that includes properties (Owner, Title, Subject, Keywords, and so on) is saved in the Exchange folders, users can retrieve it quickly by searching for both text and properties.
Custom properties or metadata can be applied to Exchange objects; for example, a document management system using Exchange as the repository can add custom properties to documents. These properties are automatically added to the database along with the documents; however, these properties are not included when the documents are copied or moved from Exchange using IFS.
Related TopicsUsing IFS for File Access Full-Text Indexing Automatic Document Property Promotion