Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Work Life: Sharing PST Files

The corporation only provides 50MB of email space. I reach this quote with only one month's worth of emails. To lighten this load, I had suggested a group mailbox so that we can reduce the amount of emails needed in our personal mailbox. The group mailbox has a slightly higher quote but unfortunately also contains more important emails for audit.

Network Share

I tried to search for solutions to store the emails at some location on the network. But, it appears that any sharing over the network is discouraged. I tried testing this anyways and appears that the file gets locked once someone accesses the PST file.

Unlocking File

I could not find a way to unlock the file. I tried to close the mailbox and then tried to close/reopen Outlook. I keep getting the following error:

"The file [[filename]].pst cannot be opened."
I even tried after the user had logged off. After a period of time, I was able to successfully able to access the file. Most likely there is a timer that unlocks the file if somehow the lock is not released properly (whatever that process is if there is one). So this makes this not appealing as a solution to the group.

My Workaround

Because we are just using this so we can keep records of old trails to certain processes, I decided for the short-term to create a local PST and store all the old emails there. Once completed, copy the PST file to the shared folder. Whoever on the team that needs the archived emails can then copy the PST to their local system and attach it to their Outlook.

The user may choose to keep a permanent local mailbox. The user will still follow the steps to "download" the PST from the network folder then simply copies all the emails to the permanent mailbox. Drop and delete the downloaded PST file.

To update the archive file, download the latest copy then copy all old emails to the archive mailbox, drop the mailbox, and copy mailbox to the network folder.

There are some risks that the PST file may get corrupted. Keep a backup file may be useful.


Reference

http://www.howto-outlook.com/faq/aboutpst.htm
http://www.publicshareware.com/public-share-outlook-description.html


Terms

shared mailbox - some sites use this term in place of group mailbox