Anita Fritz

Saving Outlook Emails to SharePoint with No Prompting for Metadata


Key success factors for managing emails in SharePoint are:

  • drag and drop to save
  • no prompting for metadata

You can achieve this by using either MacroView Message or MacroView DMF as the user-friendly front-end to SharePoint.
These products:

  • Have excellent integration between Microsoft Outlook and SharePoint (Online and on-Premises)
  • Automatically select an Email content type
  • Automatically record the attributes of the email as metadata

They can be configured to record in your existing metadata columns.

Make saving of emails to SharePoint as easy as saving to Outlook folders

When a user saves an email to a private or public folder in Outlook they simply drag and drop from the InBox or Sent Items folder to the private or public folder – they are not prompted for any additional details.  So when an organisation introduces SharePoint as the new way of managing emails it’s not surprising that a key success factor is that email saves should still be via drag and drop and that there should be no prompting for metadata.

In other words if you want to ensure user adoption when SharePoint replaces Outlook folders you need the recording of email attributes such as To, From, Subject, etc. to be fully automatic.

MacroView Message and MacroView DMF are specifically designed so that saving of Outlook emails to SharePoint is as easy as saving Outlook emails to private and public folders in Outlook.

The MacroView user can do the save by dragging and dropping to a document library, document set or folder that is displayed in the MacroView pane located on the right side of the Outlook Mail window.  In addition, MacroView is designed to automatically record the attributes of the email as metadata in the destination area without any prompting of the user.

This YouTube video shows MacroView DMF saving emails to Office 365 SharePoint Online. The experience is the same when saving to an on-Premises SharePoint Server, using MacroView DMF or MacroView Message.

How Zero-Prompting Works

MacroView DMF and MacroView Message achieve this zero prompting in two ways:

1) If the destination area in SharePoint contains multiple content types, MacroView will automatically select an Email content type (if it is available).  The MacroView software can be configured to select a content type with a different name – e.g. Correspondence or Email Message.  The main thing is that the MacroView user does not have to choose a content type.

2) The MacroView software will automatically record all the non-personal attributes of the email in corresponding metadata columns in the selected content type, if those corresponding metadata columns are available.  The non-personal attributes include To, CC, BCC, From, Subject, Conversation Topic, Attachment Count, Importance, Sensitivity and Email Message ID.

By default, MacroView DMF and MacroView Message will look to record the To attribute of the email in a metadata column with the internal name mvTo; the From attribute in a metadata column with internal name mvFrom, etc. The MacroView software ships with a site content type (called Email) that contains metadata columns corresponding to all the non-personal attributes of Outlook emails.  By including that Email site content type in your SharePoint document libraries you will see the automatic metadata recording happen as you save Outlook emails.

MacroView DMF and MacroView Message can be configured so that they record email attributes in metadata columns with different internal names. For example the To attributes in a metadata column called Mail_To; the From attribute in a metadata columns called Mail_From, etc.  This is great news if you already have existing document libraries with metadata columns that are not those that MacroView uses by default. This configuration is at no additional cost – to arrange this configuration contact MacroView Services.

If the destination content type contains metadata columns that MacroView Message and MacroView DMF cannot record automatically, the user will be prompted to supply values for those columns. However as you design a SharePoint email store you should keep in mind that end-users regard zero-prompting as emails are saved as a major plus.

Other Ways to Boost User Adoption

There are many other ways in which MacroView Message and MacroView DMF help to ensure user adoption when SharePoint Online or on-Premises replaces Outlook folders for managing emails. These include:

  • The Email Search panel allows metadata that is captured automatically as emails are saved to be used when you need to find an email that has already been stored in SharePoint.
  • The MacroView user can save emails in bulk – e.g. by selecting 100 emails in Outlook and dragging and dropping them to an area in the MacroView pane. The save is performed in the background so that the user can continue working in Outlook while the save proceeds.
  • The MacroView software can be configured so that saving an email to SharePoint creates a copy in SharePoint or alternatively moves the email to SharePoint (i.e. deletes it from the Outlook folder once it is saved in SharePoint).
  • The files that are created as emails as saved are automatically named to prevent duplicate copies of any one email in any one area of SharePoint – no matter how many recipients attempt to save the email.
  • Excellent handling of attachments – MacroView DMF and Message have options to have attachments split off and saved separately, in addition to saving the email complete with all its attachments. Metadata is captured for attachments based on the definition of content types in the destination SharePoint area.
  • An Emails view that allows emails to be grouped by Conversation when a user sorts by Subject – i.e. the same sort ordering as the user would see in an Outlook InBox or Sent Items folder.

More Information

For more information about how MacroView Message and MacroView DMF facilitate the management of emails (and other files) in Office 365 SharePoint Online or in an on-premises SharePoint Server contact MacroView Services.