For business users who want to send and receive email with the simplicity that comes with Windows Live (formerly Hotmail) and GMail, but without the dreary advertising, Office 365’s Outlook Web Access (OWA) comes with simplicity, no ads, and the same tools available to the corporate world that makes OWA a serious alternative to Outlook for Desktop.
Mentioning Outlook stirs memories of an awkward email client that is too complicated to use and impossible to back up. Nor is there a shortage of clients who have worn out two buttons in Outlook – check mail, and send: Many users are only interested in email; calendars, tasks, contacts, etc. are just bloat. If any of this sounds familiar to you, you are not in the alone, and something that many people have hoped for which provides an advertising-free webmail service for commercial use is available to Office 365 users – Outlook Web Access, or OWA.
OWA is the portal for Microsoft’s Office 365. OWA is a web version of Outlook for Desktop which provides to Exchange Email, a service providing 50 GB of email per user account which can be synced across 5 devices – including sent items, which you will never see with POP accounts. Calendars, contacts, and more are all there too, albeit ring-fenced from email. although they are bound to be there. OWA is Microsoft Exchange. Importantly, whereas Google users expose their email to data mining, Exchange email is a secure content system that restricts access to “your eyes only”. Among other reasons, this privacy feature is why Exchange email is used almost overwhelmingly in commerce.
Perhaps the niftiest trick in Microsoft’s web based email client is the facility to run their email in “offline” mode.
Wait a minute. Read that one more time. Offline? Managing email with your web browser – offline? Did Hotmail ever do that? No. Nobody else did, either. That is why everybody needed Outlook for Desktop, or Outlook Express, or Eudora or Thunderbird. In case you still do not believe the proposition, the illustration above shows how offline mode is not more than two clicks away.
Offline email management is a trump card. Do not expect to see an entire mailbox in offline mode, more like a few day’s worth of traffic, but enough to keep you with something to do on the road. It is one feature of many “gimme’s” Microsoft deploys from time to time to keep the corporate world so attached to Exchange.
The great thing about OWA is that if you only want to run email, the browser interface does just that, and beautifully so on iPads. OWA connects directly to Exchange 2013, though, so all the tools that high end users need like shared address books, distribution groups, rules, instant messaging, administrator tools like mail policies and even in-line archiving, are there if you want them too.
You might be disappointed that this does not mean the end of Outlook for desktops. Outlook still has a place, and if anything has upped the ante as a portal not only for email, but for user access to Office 365 to document folders and Sharepoint mind boggling services ..but that is for another few articles.
For a thirty trial of Microsoft Exchange and OWA, contact Steve Galloway on 07834 461 266 or Fred Dreiling on 07919 340 570. No credit card required for trial services.
Email signatures are included at the end of emails to disclose contact information like trading names, addresses, and other useful contact information. Signatures are created individually for email accounts. Users who rely on desktop clients like Outlook should create email signatures using Outlook. Users who manage email should create signatures in Outlook Web Access (OWA) should create their signatures in OWA. Users who use both Outlook and OWA should create signatures in both Outlook and OWA.
This article shows how to create a signature using OWA. Follow these steps:
– log into Office 365 at http://mail.office365.com
– open the apps dashboard on the left of the toolbar and click open Mail in the dropdown menu
– next, click open the setting icon on right side of the toolbar, and click ope “Options” in the dropdown menu:
– look down the options in the next page and click open “Signatures”. Complete the signatures using the editing tools. Also, depending on the operating system you use, you may be able to copy and paste content from Word. Save the the signature when completed.
If you have full privileges to a shared mailbox that appears in an Exchange address book, you can use Outlook Web App or a desktop version of Outlook (for example, Outlook 2013), to open that mailbox.
Shared mailboxes allow a group of people to monitor and send email from a public email alias, like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. When a person in the group replies to a message sent to the shared mailbox, the email appears to be from the shared mailbox, not from the individual user. You can also use the shared mailbox as a shared team calendar.
The admin for your organization has to create the shared mailbox and add you to the group of users before you can use it.
Display a shared mailbox using OWA
Use this method to monitor email from your primary mailbox and the shared mailbox at the same time. After you complete this task, each time you open Outlook Web App, the shared mailbox and its folders will display in the left navigation in Outlook Web App.
- Sign in to your account in Outlook Web App.
- Right-click your primary mailbox in the Folder pane, and then click Add shared folder.
- In the Add shared folder dialog box, type the name of the shared mailbox, select the name, and then click Add.
The shared mailbox displays in your Folder list in OWA. The shared mailbox will appear there each time you access OWA. You can expand or collapse the shared mailbox folders like you can your with your primary mailbox. You can remove the shared mailbox if you no longer want to view the shared mailbox in your folder list. To remove it, right click the shared mailbox, and then click Delete.
Display a shared mailbox in standalone mode
Use this method if you want to view and manage email for a shared mailbox in a its own browser window, rather than rendering the shared mailbox folder in OWA’s navigation tree.
- Sign in to your account in Outlook Web App.
- In the Navigation bar on the top of the Outlook Web App screen, click on your name. A drop-down list will appear.
- Click Open another mailbox.
- Type the email address of the other mailbox that you want to open. Another Outlook Web App session will open in a different window allowing access to the other mailbox.
Tip If you mistype the email address of the mailbox, a second window will open up stating that the webpage can’t be found. Try retyping the email address again.
Note also that shared mailboxes also attach to a calendar function. A shared calendar is established when administrators create a shared mailbox so that group members have mutual access and privileges to a shared calendar.
Microsoft Outlook Web App (or Outlook Web Access) is a browser-based email client. Outlook Web App (OWA) lets users access their Microsoft Exchange Server mailbox from almost any web browser. The tools has proven immensely popular, and in some cases organisations forego the deployment of desktop versions of Outlook in favour of OWA’s clean and intuitive presentation.
Additionally, OWA connects you to your contacts, calendars, tasks, and Office 365 tools like Sharepoint, Word online, Excel online etc., and other management facilities for handling your Office 365 accounts. Depending on user rights, some users have access to advanced services which permit network administration of in-house and third party installations.