‘Tis the Season… to look for a better way to manage your documents and emails
December 16, 2019
Better Than Google Search
January 17, 2020

During 2019 we continued to focus on making business users more productive as they generate and manage documents and emails, while they work in the desktop applications that business users prefer – such as Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint, Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat.

Major themes for our work throughout the year have been:

  • Ongoing improvements related to managing Outlook emails in SharePoint, including an exciting new tool for automatic email filing and a new Office app to allow filing of emails and attachments from mobile devices, Macs and OWA
  • Taking advantage of the capabilities of Office 365, including Teams and OneDrive for Business as well as SharePoint Online. The result has been impressive gains in user productivity as well as supported functionality.
  • Making it much easier to deploy and administer both MacroView products and SharePoint-based document and email stores. In this regard we have made great progress towards our objective of providing solutions, not just software for managing documents and emails in SharePoint.

The Highlights are grouped under these headings:

  • Filing Outlook Emails Automatically
  • Email Management Enhancements
  • Teams, OneDrive for Business and Moving Folders and Document Sets
  • Working with File Lists 
  • Sharing and Approving Files
  • MacroView Case and Matter
  • Saving Emails and Attachments from Mobile Devices and Macs
  • Streamlining Document Preparation
  • Assisting with Deployment and Administration

 

Filing Outlook Emails Automatically

MacroView Corporate Email Filing (CEF)

In June 2019 we released this new module for both MacroView DMF and MacroView Message. MacroView Corporate Email Filing is very easy to deploy and maintain – its filing rules are retrieved from a central SharePoint location and you do not need a new rule every time you create a new area where you want emails filed. Importantly, Corporate Email Filing does not need a custom database, which makes it ideal for use with Office 365 implementations.

 

Both incoming (Received) emails and copies of outgoing (Sent) emails can be saved to SharePoint automatically by Corporate Email Filing. Corporate Email Filing supports the same sorts of filing rules as you can use with Personal Email Filing and in addition it supports rules based on filing tags that are embedded in the Subject of emails. Once a Filing Tag (aka Luggage Tag) is embedded in the Subject of an email, that email will be saved to the location in SharePoint (Online or on-premises) identified by that tag and all subsequent emails in the conversation will automatically be saved to the same location as those emails are sent and received. Read more…

Only Prompt for Mandatory Metadata

We introduced this new setting for MacroView DMF and MacroView Message, which will enable automatic filing of incoming (Received) emails in many more scenarios.

We don’t want to disrupt users as they are working in Outlook, so we do not file incoming emails automatically if that filing would trigger the display of a metadata capture (profiling) dialog. Instead the emails are flagged as Not Auto Filed, so that you can drag and drop to save them at a convenient later time. With the new configuration setting in place, MacroView DMF and Message will automatically file an incoming email if all the metadata columns defined in the destination SharePoint location are optional. If any Required columns are present, the incoming email will still be marked as Not Auto Filed. Read more…

Run Filing Rules

MacroView DMF and MacroView Message can be configured to automatically file incoming and outgoing emails from Outlook to SharePoint using Email Filing Rules but what if you need to apply these rules retrospectively to existing emails?

The Run Filing Rules option on the MacroView ribbon in Outlook allows you to select one or more emails in your Inbox or Sent Items folder in Outlook and run any currently active filing rules against these emails.

Run Filing Rules command

Any selected emails that match a rule will be saved automatically to SharePoint provided no metadata prompting is required and you have permission to save to the specified location. Read more…

We also extended Run Filing Rules so that it checks for Predictive Email Filing (PEF) tags in the subject of the selected emails, if PEF is set to Fully Automatic. Read more…

 

Email Management Enhancements

We made a range of improvements to the general email management capabilities of MacroView DMF and MacroView Message.

Save Location Displayed as Category

A feature of MacroView DMF / MacroView Message 8.6.19 or later, is the visibility of the save location of messages in Outlook. The URL is recorded as an Outlook category and is visible at the top of the email message, similar to below:

In Outlook, an email that has been Saved to SharePoint also displays URL where saved.

This is supported for both SharePoint Online (Office 365) and SharePoint Server (on-premises). Read more…

Save in .EML Format

MacroView DMF and Message now have an option to save Outlook emails in .EML format.

This complements the new MacroView Mail app (see below), which automatically saves Outlook emails in .EML format.

Right-click>Standardise

Many customers have told us that they have Outlook emails saved as MSG files in Windows folders. With MacroView DMF and Message they can easily upload those MSG files to SharePoint (Online or on-premises) but the uploaded emails do not have their attributes recorded as metadata and neither are their file names consistent with the file names that MacroView assigns as you drag and drop an email from Outlook to SharePoint.

The right-click>Standardise extension addresses this problem. You select one or multiple MSG files in a MacroView file list, right-click and choose Standardise. The files will be renamed in line with the MacroView naming standard and the attributes of the selected emails will be recorded as metadata. You will then be able to use that recorded metadata to search efficiently for those emails.

Custom email property mapping

As it saves an Outlook email to SharePoint, the MacroView software looks to record the attributes of the email in metadata columns defined in the destination content type. MacroView can provision a site content type with a default set of email metadata columns (see Assisting with Deployment and Administration, below) but if you already have a different set of metadata columns in place, the Email Property Mapping extension allows you to record in those existing columns. You specify the metadata columns where you want email attributes recorded by using an XML file, which can be deployed from a central SharePoint location. Read More…

 

Teams, OneDrive for Business and Moving Folders and Document Sets

Teams sites displayed in the MacroView Tree

We added a setting which causes the sites that Microsoft Teams creates to be displayed in the MacroView tree. These sites are displayed with the purple Teams icon, to distinguish them from other SharePoint Online site collections.

When you expand a Teams site, you will see the General folder in the document library that Microsoft Teams creates in a new site. You can view existing files, save new files, right-click to create new folders, etc. Read more…

Option to display Groups and Teams in the MacroView Options>General tab

Going forward this setting will be configured to be ON by default.

Display Only Your Own Personal Site

By default, MacroView DMF / Message will discover and display all the OneDrive for Business sites for which you have permission – i.e. your own Personal Site and those for other users in your organization. In a large organization this can be a little overwhelming, so we added a new setting which causes only your own Personal Site to be displayed. The new setting is called AutoFilterPersonalSites and can be deployed via Group Policy.

Move entire folder or document set

MacroView DMF and MacroView Message now allow an entire folder or document set to be moved from one location to another within the same SharePoint Online tenant. You simply right-click the folder or document set and choose Move to…

MacroView does not prompt for any metadata as part of this move but where the chosen target location contains the same metadata properties as the source location, metadata will be retained. Likewise, where the target location contains the same versioning settings, the source item versions will be retained. Read more…

 

Working with File Lists

We delivered some exciting improvements related to working with file lists in MacroView DMF and MacroView Message. These improvements are available when you are working with Office 365 SharePoint Online (including Teams and OneDrive for Business areas). They are also available to users of on-premises SharePoint Server in Client Side Only mode.

This video in the MacroView channel in YouTube shows:

  • The new Find Files feature
  • Filtering simultaneously on multiple columns in a View
  • Improvements related to the List View Threshold.

Each of these improvements is described in the following paragraphs.

 

Find Files feature

During 2019 we added a new Find Files control to MacroView DMF and MacroView Message. This new control is located above the file list and allows you to quickly locate any documents or emails containing the text that you enter. The text can be in the metadata and / or content of the files.

As it displays its results, Find Files maintains the columns in your View – in other words Find Files is a powerful way to filter a View. In addition to files stored in the current location, the results will include files stored in any sub folders. Find Files adds a Found in column to the View to indicate the sub-folder where a result is located. This is shown in the screen shot below. Read more…

New Find Files command will find files that contain a specified word in their content or metadata, in a SharePoint area and its sub-areas.

Filtering Multiple Columns in a File List

In last year’s Highlights we described how you could filter a MacroView file list on multiple columns – a column in the file list and one or more Key Filter columns. We have now made it possible for users of SharePoint Online to filter based on multiple columns in the file list itself. For example in the file list shown above, you could filter on Name and Version and Document Type.

Improved handling of the List View Threshold

Thanks to this improvement, MacroView DMF and MacroView Message v8.6 and later are much less impacted when the number of items in a view exceeds the List View Threshold. For example you can now page through all items in a View that contains more than 5,000 items. The new Find Files command (see above) will display up to 60 relevant results if you are working with a view that exceeds the List View Threshold. Read more…

 

Sharing and Approving Files

Right-click>Share

MacroView DMF and MacroView Message now allow you to right-click a file or folder (or document set) in SharePoint Online (including in Teams and OneDrive for Business) and choose the Share option. This will create an Anonymous link to the file / folder / document set, which you can send to internal and external users.

Importantly, you can specify whether a user of the link has Read or Write access to the file, and for what period. Importantly the link will allow an external user to access the file without needing an Office 365 license from your organization.

Note that an administrator can restrict whether such sharing is available on a site collection by site collection basis. MacroView DMF and MacroView Message respect such restrictions.

Future versions of MacroView DMF and Message will also support sharing with specific people inside and outside your organisation. Read more…

You can create an Anonymous link by right-clicking a file or folder or document set and choosing Share

Content Approval Extension

The Content Approval extension provides MacroView DMF and MacroView Message users with convenient access to the native Content Approval workflow that comes with SharePoint. When you configure Content Approval on a library, newly-saved files have a Pending status. The Content Approval extension allows you to right-click on a file and advance its status to Approved, whereupon the new file will be visible to other users.

This is a good example of how you can have a custom right-click menu item added to MacroView DMF which makes it easy to work with a custom workflow.

 

MacroView Case and Matter

We upgraded MacroView Case and Matter to include all the improvements made to MacroView DMF. We also made a number of other improvements that result in a more business-user friendly solution.

Create Matters Within Folders

The right-click>Create New Matter command can now be used to create the document set for a new Matter within a folder. Previously you could only Create a New Matter within a document library. Note that the folder that you right-click must still contain an appropriate document set content type.

Installing and Administering a Case and Matter Solution

We been testing the new MacroView Solution Provisioning tool, which will make installing and administering MacroView Case and Matter dramatically easier. This tool will allow a suitably authorised user to provision the components of a MacroView Case and Matter solution by simply right clicking in the MacroView tree and choosing intuitive menu options. These components include:

  • Site columns related to Client and Matter attributes
  • Site columns for automatic recording of email attributes
  • Site content types for Matter document set, Matter Documents and Emails which use the above site columns
  • Client sites
  • Matter lists
  • Matter Libraries, with metadata, views, numbering and versioning configured.

Provisioning site collection level components for MacroView Case and Matter by right-clicking a site collection and choosing Provision

Previously, to define these site-level components and to create sites and document libraries that complied with the design of MacroView Case and Matter you needed to go into the SharePoint web browser UI and follow a long list of technical instructions.

The new tool supports both SharePoint Online and on-premises SharePoint implementations. Case and Matter is just one of the solutions supported by the new MacroView Solution Provisioning tool. See Assisting with Deployment and Administration for more details of the new MacroView Solution Provisioning tool.

UDN, AOI support for SharePoint 2019

During 2019 we released new versions of MacroView Unique Document Numbering (UDN) and Advanced Office Integration (AOI) which support SharePoint 2019.

MacroView UDN and AOI are included in MacroView Case and Matter and are relevant to any scenario where users want unique numbering and version control to function in a similar matter to a traditional DM system.

 

Saving Emails and Attachments from Mobile Devices and Macs

MacroView Mail App

2019 has seen the development of MacroView Mail – an Office app that will support saving of Outlook emails and their attachments to SharePoint Online, Teams and OneDrive for Business from mobile devices (iOS and Android), Macs and PCs running just a web browser. This new app compares very favourably with other apps available in the market for saving Outlook emails to SharePoint.

The new MacroView Mail app is scheduled for release in Q1 2020.

 

Streamlining Document Preparation

Support for Modern Authentication

We added support for Modern Authentication to MacroView ClauseBank. This minimizes the number of times a user has to enter their userid and password when the ClauseBank is implemented in SharePoint Online.

ClauseBank Video playlist

We created a playlist of videos that show how you can install, configure and use MacroView ClauseBank and so enable significant improvements in productivity when generating Word documents, Outlook emails and PowerPoint presentations. A key to the increased productivity is the way MacroView ClauseBank reduces the risk of missing, out-of-date or badly formatted document content.

The new playlist is called Generating Documents and Emails and it contains the following videos (duration in minutes:seconds):

  • Introducing MacroView ClauseBank (3:28)
  • Streamlining Sales Proposals (3:37)
  • Efficient Creation of Client Service Emails (1:33)
  • Smarter Preparation of PowerPoint Presentations (1:19)
  • Improved Management of Microsoft Office Templates (2:59)
  • Setting Up a New ClauseBank (3:42)
  • Adding New Content to a ClauseBank (1:52)

Advanced Document Assembly (ADA) Solutions

Our document automation specialists continue to work with customers to make it easier for business users to mark-up, create and edit their documents using familiar Microsoft Office 365 applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. During 2019 we introduced MacroView Dashboards, which can be tailored to reflect an organization’s business requirements and  facilitate the automation of business documents.

MacroView ADA solutions take familiar features of Microsoft Office and make them dramatically more useful. A good example is how ADA enhances a Word content control so that it can retrieve data dynamically from an enterprise system.  Wherever possible we seek to take advantage of your existing investment in Microsoft technology.  We provide you with flexible, easy to use means of managing your templates and solution configuration settings. Increasingly these are based on SharePoint in the Cloud. The result is that key users in an organization can keep pace with rapidly changing business requirements, without the need for IT assistance.

 

Assisting with Deployment and Administration

Making users more productive as they manage documents and emails in SharePoint has long been a key focus for MacroView. During 2019 we also focussed on making things more productive for installers and administrators.

Support for SharePoint 2019 and Office 2019

In 2018 we announced Preview support for SharePoint and Office 2019. This support was added to all MacroView products during 2019. By SharePoint 2019 we mean support for on-premises SharePoint 2019 Servers and also support for the SharePoint 2019 that underpins Office 365 / SharePoint Online.

Refresh Licenses Button

This new button was added to the MacroView Options>Support tab in DMF v8.6.19. It is located on the right of the dialog, in the Profile Settings section. When you click this button you will immediately pick up any changes that the MacroView Services team have made to your licenses in the MacroView Licensing System. This includes newly added / removed licenses for MacroView plug-ins or extensions. Read more…

MacroView Options>Support dialog lets you Refresh Licenses and also turn MacroView extensions On and Off

Toggling DMF Extensions On / Off

The screen shot below also shows how you can toggle each MacroView extension to be On (i.e. ticked) or Off. This is useful when troubleshooting an issue and you want to temporarily disable an extension without needing to uninstall and subsequently re-install that extension. Read more…

MacroView Options>Support dialog, showing 4 extensions turned ON and Refresh Licenses button highlighted

Centralised Deployment of Configuration Files

Various XML configuration files are used to control the operation of MacroView DMF and its extensions. An example is the TreeNodesToHide.XML file which can be used to centrally specify document libraries that are NOT to be displayed in the MacroView tree. Typically each MacroView DMF extension uses an XML configuration file – some extensions use multiple XML configuration files.

During 2019 we introduced a great new way to deploy those XML configuration files. The new approach removes the need for Administrators to create scripts (e.g. PowerShell scripts) to install configuration files in each user PC.

With the new approach the MacroView Local Service will automatically copy down the configuration files that are relevant to a user from a Central Configuration Location. The copied files then take precedence over default configurations that are installed as part of installing each extension. To deploy a non-default configuration for an extension, an Administrator simply needs to save an XML file (or files) in a folder within a central SharePoint library. Read more…

MacroView Solution Provisioning Tool

The new MacroView Solution Provisioning tool will make installing and maintaining MacroView and SharePoint solutions dramatically easier.

The first application of the new tool has been to streamline the provisioning of the metadata columns and content type that MacroView DMF and MacroView Message use to record email attributes automatically. Thanks to the new tool, organizations evaluating MacroView DMF and MacroView Message can easily see the full power of email management by MacroView.

Administrators no longer need to define these metadata components using the Site Collection Settings, Site Settings and Library Settings pages in the SharePoint web browser UI. Nor do they need to create scripts to roll out designs for a SharePoint document and email store. Instead they can simply right click in the MacroView tree in Browse mode and choose from intuitive menus of provisioning options.

The new Solution Provisioning Tool makes the implementation of MacroView Case and Matter solutions much easier. It has also been used to streamline the installation and configuration of a number of custom solutions for MacroView customers. These custom solutions have their own designs, including use of Managed metadata columns based on custom Term Sets and comprehensive automatic metadata capture based on use of document sets, folders and the Map Folder Name to Field extension.

The new Solution Provisioning tool supports both SharePoint Online and on-premises SharePoint Server. It can be used to create new SharePoint document and email stores, new document libraries with the correct design and also to retrofit MacroView and custom components to existing site collections, sites and libraries.

Behind the scenes the new Solution Provisioning Tool makes good use of Microsoft PNP, which is the de-facto standard for provisioning a SharePoint design.

 

For More Information

Visit the MacroView website, the MacroView channel in YouTube or email MacroView Solutions.