Microsoft Office 365, Sharepoint Online and Mail Enabled Lists

Microsoft Sharepoint does so many things that there are 100’s of features used by only a subset of companies, but there are a number of features that are pretty key to the majority of Sharepoint organizations. To me, one of these is:

Mail Enabled Lists

Basically, this allows you to send emails to a list within Sharepoint and have it catalogue the mail and also store any attachments to that mail; I think that’s pretty cool!

This feature wasn’t available in BPOS and I discovered today it won’t be available in the soon to be released Office 365 either. I couldn’t really understand why as, on the face of it, mail enabled lists appear to be quite an easy feature to enable. I asked one of the Microsoft TSP’s today and also did a little Bing based research and have come up with something of an answer.

The official answer from Microsoft Corp. is:

“They are currently disabled due to performance, scalability, policy enforcement, data requirements and legal compliance issues that can affect Enterprise customers”

Looking into it further, I came across a post on Joel Oleson’s MSDN based blog on the subject of Mail Enabled lists which throws some more light onto the subject. He says:

“MS IT has been very cautious about their support for email enabled lists and specifically only supporting it on few isolated environments”

which I found very surprising. Luckily he goes on to answer my question – Why?

“Email enabled lists create contact objects in AD, it takes careful coordination to create these contact objects and ensure the proper write access to a specific OU. Imagine 500,000 lists all with the ability to be email enabled”

BPOS/Office 365 is a multi tenant setup, meaning there could be millions of lists in the cloud based Active Directory, many of which could have 1000’s of updates a day. That is quickly a huge overhead for the servers and infrastructure to cope with, potentially leading to a negative impact on the service Microsoft offer to their customers.

Hopefully in the future, Microsoft will enable this feature…perhaps with a maximum limit per company for number of lists/number of daily updates etc. However there is no word floating around the halls of any such move for the foreseeable future…

What are your thoughts – are mail enabled lists important to you? Would it stop you from moving to the cloud? Let me know in the comments Smile

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12 thoughts on “Microsoft Office 365, Sharepoint Online and Mail Enabled Lists

  1. Pingback: Microsoft Office 365: Updates « Software Ruminations

  2. Thinking Pretty Hard about moving to the Cloud, it is the only thing holding me back right now, as how do we get our information into the server from the scan, which is our biggest use of the entire system.

  3. Hey, is Cloud2050 the same as Anura? I went to the old AnuraSoftware.com site and saw it was taken over by GoDaddy. But the Cloud2050 site looks just the same as the old Anura, right down to the products offered.

  4. Pingback: SharePoint Online: Soporte de correo entrante en listas! - Blog del CIIN

  5. Pingback: SharePoint Online: Soporte de correo entrante en listas! « Pasión por la tecnología…

  6. Pingback: ¡Soporte de correo entrante en SharePoint Online! - Blog técnico de Office 365 - Office 365 - Español - Microsoft Office 365 Community

  7. Those explanations are fine, except they don’t explain why BPOS-Dedicated customers can also not use mail-enabled lists. They don’t share an AD with anyone.

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