I'm in a large organization and the organization is moving away from local shared folders. In the past, users were able to create Outlook PST files and store them on network folders (shared drives). Users would then connect and use their files PST files within Outlook by providing the network path to the file. Since users do no have an incredibly large amount of space on the exchange server they would make use of PST files to store and archive mail. With shared folders (shared drives) becoming a thing of the past we are left to look for other alternative means of storing and archiving mail.
It has been decided that we will be keeping our on-prem SharePoint 2013 Server. We do have the capability to increase the size of our SQL Server to handle the influx of emails and files that did reside on the shared folders but are now expected to reside within SharePoint. We will obviously need a more specific SharePoint governance plan, but there's a technical hurdle: Outlook cannot connect to PST files when it believes those files reside on an internet space.
Our on-prem SharePoint server is our intranet. I created a mapped drive to a location on our intranet had been attempting to direct Outlook to connect to the PST file at that location (Explorer view --> Map network drive to the location) but when I attempted to connected to the PST file I received this message: "You cannot use an Internet address here. Enter a path that points to a location on your computer or on the network." The location is mapped to F: on my local machine.
So I have some questions...
Is it possible (via 3rd party software or administration magic) to place a PST file within a SharePoint document library and to open that PST file within Outlook from that location?
We don't currently implement MySites, but will likely have to implement them in the future. Would a better solution be for users to store their mail into a document library within their MySites?
Or, is SharePoint just the wrong tool for the job and we should plead to have our network folders returned?
Any input would be helpful. If this is not making sense and if you have any questions, please ask. I'm at the planning stage right now and I'm looking for ideas.
Thanks in advance for your help.