Site Mailboxes in Exchange 2013 & SharePoint 2013 – Part 6

User Experience with Site Mailboxes in Exchange 2013 and SharePoint 2013

Part 1 started with installing the EWS API on the SharePoint 2013 WFE and Part 5 finished of the server side configuration with adding a site mailbox to a demo site in SharePoint 2013. In the final post, we’ll take a look at how two end user can leverage the features setup in the previous articles. For the sake of demonstration I have created two users that will be collaborating.

Amy Reynolds will be leveraging her Outlook client so we’ll start by launching Outlook 2013 which is a requirement for site mailboxes. On the Windows 8 device we’ll hit the Windows key to navigate to the start menu and select Outlook 2013 as shown below.

select_outlook

In Outlook 2013, you’ll notice that Amy has a new message from the Demo SharePoint site letting her know (and any other site members) that a new site mailbox has been created. You’ll also notice that in the navigation pane of outlook a new “mailbox” has been added with the name, “Demo”. The inbox contains 1 item and the documents folder contains 2 items.

amy_exp

Clicking on the “Documents” folder, we can see a list of documents that are a part of the document library setup on the demo site. We also can see that the demo.docx is currently checked out to Franklin. As you can see in this simple example, I can get real time information on the documents that he and I are collaborating on without leaving my Outlook client and launching another client.

amy_documents

I want to make some changes to the document so I’ll send an email out to the site mailbox letting Franklin know about my ideas and that I want to modify the document when he is finished with his edits. Still in the Outlook 2013 client, I’ll draft a new email as shown below.

amy_email

Although I was directing my email to Franklin, he won’t see it in his primary mailbox, but will notice a new message has been posted to the Inbox of the “Demo” site mailbox in his Outlook 2013 client as shown below.

franklin_email

While this final post has only scratched the surface on the benefits of site mailboxes in Wave15, there are many benefits to this new feature for both end users and IT admins as it relates to collaboration, unified search, archiving, compliance, dlp, etc…

What are your thoughts? As I continue to dig into Wave15, I’ll be certainly revisiting this new feature as it has a lot promise in the enterprise.

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