How to add an Exchange Online Shared Mailbox (Office 365)
Follow these instructions to add your Exchange Online Shared Mailbox (ex. firstname.lastname@example.org) for you team in Front. A shared mailbox is a mailbox that you'll be granted access to by an Exchange administrator and see as a separate inbox section in your Outlook navigation panel.
- The person who adds the Shared Mailbox needs to be a Front administrator.
- The person who adds the Shared Mailbox needs to be a member of the mailbox and have Full Mailbox Permissions - Read and Manage, Send as, and Send on Behalf. Instruction on managing Shared Mailbox permissions.
Helpful information before you get started
- Front will automatically import 50k of your most recent email messages unless the import functionality is disabled during the connection process. More on the import behavior here.
- All imported emails will be archived by default.
- Front has 2-way sync with shared mailboxes on Office 365. More the sync behavior here and exceptions here.
- All Outlook folders will be converted into tags and applied to the conversation. The tags will be made public since you'll be adding shared mailboxes.
- By default, any Office 365 shared mailboxes will have their threading mode set to Office 365. This will allow for full two-way sync for all inbound and outbound email, open/archived status, and tagging. If you change the threading mode to any other option, the status of messages and tags will not be synced.
- If you already have an SMTP setup for your Office 365 account, see this article on how to transition.
The person who authenticates the inbox will have their account tied to this channel. If they change their password or their user account is deleted in Office 365, the channel will stop syncing. If that happens, an admin will need to go into the channel settings to re-authenticate the channel to bring it back online.
How to prepare your inbox before adding it to Front
To ensure your transition to Front goes smoothly, prepare your inbox using the following best practices before adding your Office 365 shared mailbox to Front.
- For emails that still need to be worked on - create a unique Office 365 folder and move all the emails you want to keep track of into that folder.
- We assume shared mailboxes will be added to the team workspace. Follow these instructions after you've gone through the configuration steps in the next section:
- Simply click into the search bar and use the tag modifier tag: to search for all email conversations that have your unique tag on it.
- Select all and unarchive those conversations.
Click the gear icon on the top right of Front and into the Company settings tab.
Click on Inboxes on the left menu and Add a shared inbox.
Fill out the name and description of your inbox. Click Create.
Choose Microsoft from the channel menu, then Office 365 (Exchange Online), and click the Shared mailbox option.
Enter the shared mailbox address you want to add.
Click the Sign in with Microsoft button to authenticate with an Office 365 account that has full permissions to the shared mailbox - Read and Manage, Send as, and Send on Behalf.
Choose whether or not you want to import historical emails and folders. If you do not wish to import these items, turn the toggle(s) off so they appear greyed out.
The last thing you need to do is edit the Exchange Settings for the Shared Mailbox and update the mailbox delegation to include the authenticating user in the Full Access and Send As sections.
Choose the teammate access for this inbox, and whether you'd like to add this inbox to teammates' sidebars.
Complete the remainder of the inbox settings, and click Finish.
When connecting an Office 365 account, you are agreeing to give Front the following permissions:
How will Front sync with Office 365?
Check out the full breakdown here.
The default folders that need to exist in your Office 365 account, in order to successfully complete your sync, are: Inbox, Drafts, Sent Items, Deleted Items, Junk Email, and Archive. If you rename one of these folders or if a message is in a customized folder or part of a shared mailbox, Front will tag the conversation with the name of the folder when it syncs over. If you experience an error referencing missing required folders, please contact us.
What happens to my shared and private folders from Office 365?
Front has one-way sync for user-created Office 365 shared and private folders, which sync to Front as shared/private tags (including nesting) within an inbox.
Outgoing display name
Office 365 does not support setting a different display name for the From address when sending an email. It uses the name set on your Office 365 account.
Automatic history import
When you connect an Office 365 email account to Front, we will automatically import your most recent 50K messages.
What permissions do I need to connect an Office 365 Shared Mailbox?
Whoever is connecting the shared inbox to Front needs to have:
- "Edit, Read, and Manage" permission
- "Send As" permission
- "Send on behalf of" permission
Who needs to maintain access to the Shared Mailbox after it's connected to Front?
This is a decision your IT team should make. Front only requires the authenticated user to retain access to the Shared Mailbox. However, in the unlikely event that Front is not accessible, teammates who retained access to the shared mailbox would be able to switch to Outlook temporarily.
Does a Front user need to be granted access to the Shared Mailbox in Exchange in order to send emails?
No. When a shared mailbox is added to Front, a teammate with the proper permission has to go through the authentication process. A successful authentication means all users from Front, who have access to the shared mailbox, will be able to send emails.
Can my users find conversations that have been moved to an Archive Mailbox in Exchange?
While Front does not support connecting and importing historical emails from Archive Mailboxes, if an email is received in Front and subsequently moved into an Archive Mailbox via a company policy, that email will continue to be visible and available to the teammates in Front.
Can I scope Front app permissions to certain mailboxes?
Yes. More information can be found at this Microsoft resource.
See here for common troubleshooting questions for Office 365 channels.
This feature is available on all plans.