Supported browsers: Chrome, Edge, FireFox, Opera and Safari.
Supported applications: SharePoint Online, SharePoint 2019, SharePoint Server SE and Microsoft Teams.
Supported clients: Windows 10, Windows 11, macOS and iPad
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Extract email metadata on the fly
View attachments directly in browser
See all features below
Standard SharePoint / Teams
Before describing the features of SLIM Companion Email Manager it is important to understand the capabilities and limitations of SharePoint and Teams for managing emails.
Emails are stored as regular documents in document libraries without email metadata. As a result users cannot sort emails by sent date or group emails by conversation. The file names will be based on the email subject. Email replies are named with a sequence number e.g. subject (1).msg resulting in meaningless file names. This simple naming mechanism also introduces a risk that emails are overwritten by other users even though they contain different content.
It typically takes multiple seconds to preview an email with the standard viewer. The names of email attachments are shown but the attachments cannot be opened. Users need to download the email to their computer and then open the email using a mail client (e.g. Outlook) before they can access the attachment. This is not always possible. For example, opening an msg email on a macOS (OS X) client, an iPad or a computer without Outlook. For some organizations downloading attachments is not acceptable because potentially sensitive content ends up on local computers. The sent date shown in the preview is in UTC. This is confusing for users.
Another limitation is the indexing of email attachments. SharePoint Search (and Microsoft Search) will only index the email contents and the names of the attachments. The actual contents of the email attachments is not indexed. This impacts users and also auditors and Purview users. It may violate privacy and security laws (GDPR, HIPAA, SEC, …) by storing content without being able to report on it.
Users also frequently need to attach SharePoint or Teams document(s) to an email. This involves downloading of the document, opening a new email in their mail client and then attaching the downloaded document. This becomes even more cumbersome when dealing with multiple documents or complete folder structures.
Viewing emails with content in some languages (e.g., Thai, Greek, …) sometimes fails in the standard SharePoint viewer.
The situation for SharePoint 2019 and SharePoint Server SE is even worse. It is not possible to upload emails from Outlook using drag and drop, and there is no functionality at all to view emails or email attachments in the browser.
In short, SharePoint Online, SharePoint 2019, SharePoint Server SE and Microsoft Teams provide very limited functionality to manage emails.
Spoiler alert: Email Manager addresses nearly all of the above limitations.
Email Manager in-depth
Email Manager is a SharePoint Framework (SPFx) App that needs to be installed once in your SharePoint environment. There is no need to install any software on the user’s computer since it is fully browser-based. Your data is secure because the emails are processed in your browser and does not require the use of external systems or services. The tool is easy to use because it extends the standard SharePoint interface. Specifically it adds buttons to the ribbon of document libraries and adds options to the ellipsis menu (…) of emails.
Email Manager buttons
Viewing emails is optimised for performance, viewing an email typically takes less than 1 s. Accessing the email attachments is also very fast because the data is already present in the memory of the browser. Users can directly view email attachments with common file formats such as pdf, jpg, png, gif, … in the browser. A unique feature of the App is to also view Office attachments (docx, xlsx, …) in the browser. This way documents with potentially sensitive content are not stored on local computers but remain in the cloud.
Browsing through large sets of emails is optimised by offering previous / next buttons and by using the keyboard’s left and right arrow keys. In addition, users can navigate to a specific email by entering a number.
The App can be used in the “SharePoint Online” presentation mode which mimics the standard SharePoint Online email preview with the main difference that the attachments are shown with hyperlinks.
The App can also be used with the “Outlook” presentation mode which mimics the Outlook client presentation.
Emails using Windows-1252 (used throughout the Americas, Western Europe, Oceania, and much of Africa) and in other languages (e.g., Polish, Russian, Greek, Turkish, Arabic, Hebrew, Farsi, Urdu, Thai, Vietnamese, …) can be viewed directly in the browser.
The release notes (see below) provide an up to date list with supported languages.
View emails with email attachments
Email Manager supports viewing email attachments in emails. The attachments in the email attachments can also be directly viewed in the browser without downloading any content. This enables users to get their work done and security / compliance officers do not have to worry about downloaded content on local computers.
View files in zip attachments in your browser
This feature allows users to view files in a zip attachment directly in the browser without downloading and opening the zip file. This feature is available for commonly used file formats such as docx, xlsx, pptx, pdf, msg, eml, jpg, png, gif, json, js and xml.
Open SharePoint emails in Outlook
The optional “Open in app” feature allows users to select one or more emails in SharePoint and open them using Outlook (or their default mail client) without additional user actions such as “Keep” or “Save as”. This feature provides an integration between SharePoint and Outlook similar to Word. It allows users to view SharePoint emails in their familiar email client and allows replying to SharePoint emails.
Note: this feature requires a configuration of the user’s browser to directly open the email from the approved SharePoint tenant. It is only available for Edge and Chrome, and the email is first downloaded to the user’s download folder before it is automatically opened using Outlook.
Extract email metadata
Email Manager can automatically extract email metadata such as To, From, Subject, … during uploading. End users can simply drag and drop emails from Outlook into SharePoint or use the SharePoint “Upload” button. This allows for efficient viewing, sorting, filtering and searching using email metadata. It is also possible to combine email metadata fields like sender name and sender email address (similar to Harmon.ie).
Note: Email Manager allows for extracting email metadata during uploading. It cannot be used for emails that are already present in SharePoint / Teams. For example, emails that have been migrated from a legacy system. Extraction of metadata from emails in SharePoint / Teams is supported by the BulkMetadataManager tool (link).
The Email Manager functionality can also be used in Teams. Open the “Files” tab and then select “Open in SharePoint” or add a new tab to open SharePoint.
Emails can be uploaded using drag and drop from Outlook and the App can automatically extract email metadata. Emails can be quickly viewed and the email attachments can be directly viewed in Teams without first downloading the email, opening the email using your mail client and then viewing the attachment using the local applications (e.g. Adobe Reader, Word, …).
Large lists and views
The Email Manager tool can handle document libraries exceeding the list view threshold and supports views and filters or sort order applied in the originating SharePoint page. Users can tag emails during viewing for further processing such as moving the emails to a different location, set properties or download all selected emails.
Attach SharePoint documents to a new email
Attaching SharePoint document(s) to an email is made simple. Select one or multiple document(s) and click the “Mail item(s)” button. This generates a new email with the selecteded document(s) attached. “Mail item(s)” can also be used to zip a folder structure in SharePoint and attach the zip file to an email.
Email Manager supports multiple languages via language packs (e.g., fr-CH).
SharePoint 2019 and SharePoint Server SE
All Email Manager features such as view emails, view attachments, extract metadata, mail SharePoint documents, … are supported with SharePoint 2019 and SharePoint Server SE. The App also also users to drag and drop emails from Outlook to SharePoint 2019 or SharePoint Server SE. After clicking the “Upload email(s)” button a drop area is shown in the SharePoint page that allows users to upload a single email or multiple emails.
A name conflict may occur when an email is uploaded and the email name after applying the renaming based on email metadata (optional) already exists.
Email Manager can be configured to automatically delete the uploaded email or a dialog can be shown that allows the user to add the email as a new version, with a unique sequence number like (1) or cancel the upload request.
The current version of Email Manager can handle msg and eml emails. The tool supports:
– the latest versions of Chrome, Edge, FireFox, Opera and Safari
– Windows 10, Windows 11, macOS and iPad
– Teams App (Windows 10/11 or macOS) or Teams web client
– SharePoint Online (Office 365), SharePoint 2019, SharePoint Server SE and Microsoft Teams