Oct 21

Email Aliases and Forwarding Microsoft Office 365 Messages to Another Mailbox

Email Aliases

Microsoft Office 365 makes it easy to create mailboxes. For no additional cost, email aliases can be created and assigned to a mailbox. For instance, sales@domain.com and support@domain.com could be aliases assigned to specific people’s accounts. That makes it easy to maintain a general address that’s assigned to whomever is currently responsible for it.

How to set up Aliases

Before adding an email alias to a user, you must have admin permission to do so.

  1. In the admin center, choose Users > Active users
  2. Select the user > Manage email aliases
    • You won’t be able to see this option if the user does not have a license assigned.
  3. Select [+ Add an Alias] and enter a new alias for the user.
  4. Click [Save changes].
  5. It may take up to 24 hours for the new alias to populate throughout Office 365.

When the email appears in the user’s Inbox and they reply, the FROM address is their email address. The alias is not the FROM address.

This makes it useful to have dedicated mailboxes rather than aliases. Someone can monitor the mailbox and respond from it. With Office 365, it’s easy to have an internet browser with Outlook opened to that account.

Unfortunately, it’s inconvenient to log in to the mailbox, and if it rarely receives emails, it’s easy to forget. It’d be much better to be notified at your regular email address when an email arrives.

Forwarding Email Messages

Microsoft allows you to easily forward your emails from your Office 365 account to another email account on Office 365 or external accounts such as Gmail or Yahoo. It’s very helpful for monitoring mailbox that are rarely used (e.g. webmaster, info, etc).

  1. Sign in to your Office 365 email account.
  2. At the top of the page, choose Settings > Mail.
  3. Choose Forwarding and enter in the email you would like your Office 365 emails to be sent to. There is an option that allows you to keep a copy of your forwarded messages so you can still log into that account and respond to them.

Hope this helps!

For more information on how to use Microsoft Outlook better as a user or developer, visit our Microsoft Outlook Tips and Techniques page.

Jul 01

Microsoft Office365 Exchange Online Service Performance Degradation and SMTP Problems

office365A few years ago, we migrated our email service to Microsoft’s Office365 cloud service. Overall, it’s been very reliable and eliminated the challenges we had hosting Exchange ourselves. It let us get to our emails using Outlook installed on Windows, any internet browser, and smartphones. Office365 also offered other Office product online (Access Web Apps, Excel, Word, etc.), SharePoint and OneDrive Business.

Unfortunately, on the morning of June 30th, we discovered:

  • Delays sending and receiving emails
  • Some emails were bouncing back from recipients who couldn’t validate our Office365 Exchange Server’s SMTP (protection.outlook.com) with our domain name. That meant the Exchange SMTP server was no longer considered a trusted sender of emails from the @fmsinc.com domain.
  • Our use of the Office365 SMTP server to send emails with our Total Access Emailer product was also failing to authenticate against the server

The problems began the evening before. Needless to say, we aren’t happy about this experience which impacted us and our clients using Office365. Reports are that it affects Office365 customers across North America.

exchangeContacting Microsoft, they confirmed problems with the health of their Office365 Exchange Server. Throughout the day, problems lessened but persisted. We hope the problems are resolved soon and that we’ll understand what went wrong once we overcome the immediate crises.

These are the reports we’ve received from Microsoft. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more:


Exchange Online Service Degraded

This is what the Office365 Admin portal shows for Service Health:

Office365Issues

Office365Health


EX71628 – E-Mail and calendar access – Restoring Service

Jun 29, 2016 12:11 PM

CURRENT STATUS

Our investigation determined that an existing transport feature which is designed to expedite the delivery of email messages became degraded, which caused impact to email delivery for a subset of users. We’re bypassing the affected feature to restore service

User Impact

Users may be unable to send email messages through the Exchange Online service. Email messages may appear to be stuck in the Drafts or Outbox folders.

Scope of Impact

A few customers have reported this issue, and our analysis indicates that for most customers, it’s unlikely that many users would report impact related to this event.

  • Start Time: Thursday, June 23, 2016, at 3:00 PM UTC

Preliminary Root Cause

An existing transport feature that is designed to expedite the delivery of email messages became degraded, which caused impact to email delivery for a subset of users

EX71628 – E-Mail and calendar access – Extended recovery

Jun 30, 2016 2:18 PM

Current Status

We’ve developed an additional fix to address the underlying cause of the issue. We’re preparing to deploy the fix to the affected environment to ensure that the issue does not reoccur.

User Impact

Users may be unable to send email messages through the Exchange Online service. Email messages may appear to be stuck in the Drafts or Outbox folders.

Scope of Impact

A few customers have reported this issue, and our analysis indicates that for most customers, it’s unlikely that many users would report impact related to this event.

  • Start Time: Thursday, June 23, 2016, at 3:00 PM UTC

Preliminary Root Cause

An existing transport feature that is designed to expedite the delivery of email messages became degraded, which caused impact to email delivery for a subset of users.

Next Update by: Saturday, July 2, 2016, at 7:00 PM UTC


EX71674 – E-Mail timely delivery – Service restored

Jun 30, 2016 7:35 PM

Final Status

We’ve confirmed that the remaining message queues have now drained after implementing a configuration change to optimize message filtering.

User Impact

Users were experiencing delays when sending and receiving email messages. Affected users may have received Non-Delivery Reports (NDR) when sending email messages.

Scope of Impact

Customer reports indicated that many users likely experienced impact related to this event. Our analysis indicates that this issue may potentially have affected any of your users attempting to send or receive mail.

  • Start Time: Thursday, June 30, 2016, at 2:30 PM UTC
  • End Time: Thursday, June 30, 2016, at 11:30 PM UTC

Preliminary Root Cause

The infrastructure responsible for processing Exchange Online Protection (EOP) message filtering became degraded.

Next Steps

  • We’re analyzing performance data and trends on the affected systems to help prevent this problem from happening again.
  • We’re reviewing our code for optimizations and automated recovery options.
  • We’ll publish a post-incident report within five business days.

EX71674 – E-Mail timely delivery – Service restored

Jul 1, 2016 12:08 AM

Final Status

We’ve rolled out the fix and confirmed that service is restored. Any meeting requests created during the outage will need to have the conference room calendar removed and readded to book the room.

User Impact

Users that attempted to create a meeting request with a conference room calendar were unable to successfully book a conference room. This lead to conference rooms being booked by multiple resources.

Scope of Impact

A few customers reported this issue, and our analysis indicated that this may have affected any users attempting to use this feature.
  • Start Time: Monday, June 27, 2016, at 6:00 PM UTC
  • End Time: Friday, July 1, 2016, at 2:54 AM UTC

Preliminary Root Cause

A recent update affected the ability for calendar invite requests to successfully book conference rooms.

Next Steps

  • We’re reviewing our deployment and provisioning procedures to help prevent this kind of problem in the future.
  • We’ll publish a post-incident report within five business days.

Sep 26

Free Trial Offers for Microsoft Office 365 on the Cloud

office365Microsoft Office 365 is Microsoft’s new and popular way to license the Office products for online and desktop use. It also includes hosted Exchange for email, SharePoint, OneDrive for shared hard disk files, and the communications package Lync. The cloud based platform means Microsoft takes care of the system administration to update versions, apply security patches, monitor usage, ensure uptime and connectivity, and address hardware problems.

Let Microsoft Take Care of Exchange and Email

If you are still hosting your own Exchange Server in your facility, it’s time to consider outsourcing so Microsoft can worry about the versions, patches, hardware failures, and other maintenance chores. Microsoft will also host it in a real data center with reliable power sources, battery backups, multiple internet trunk lines, and enterprise quality physical security.

If you’re already outsourcing your email/Exchange hosting, Office365 is a wonderful alternative and lets Microsoft deal with the challenges of keeping email up and running 24/7/365.

Includes Desktop Copies of Microsoft Office

If an option includes the Windows copies of Office, you can install on your local machine Office 2013 copies of Microsoft Access, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, Word, Lync, and InfoPath. This lets you have both the online versions of Office and the traditional non-Internet dependent local copy.

Office 365 with SharePoint and Access Web Apps with SQL Azure

Microsoft SharePointWith Office 365, the hassles of hosting and maintaining your own SharePoint site is gone. Microsoft takes care of that for you and lets you create both private and public web sites.

Microsoft Access 2013You can also enable Access Web Apps to create simple database solutions with data automatically hosted in SQL Server (SQL Azure). The data can also be shared with other applications such as the desktop version of Microsoft Access.

Office 365 Options

There are many options based on your situation:

Free Office 365 Trials

Click on these links for free 30 day trial offers (pricing below assumes a one year commitment):

  • Office 365 Enterprise E3 Trial – 25 licenses (Details)
    E3 price is regularly $20/user/month and includes the Office desktop versions. Depending on options, prices range from $4 to $22 per user/month
  • Office 365 Small Business Premium Trial – 10 licenses (Details)
    Small Business options are limited to 25 users in the organization. Premium price is $12.50/user/month, the basic without desktop copies is $5 a month
  • Office Pro Plus Trial – 25 licenses (Details)
    This is the traditional Office on the desktop without the online services. Rather than buying the licenses upfront, Microsoft now offers the ability to pay for it on a monthly basis for $12 and install it on up to 5 machines.

microsoft-dynamicsTrial for Microsoft Dynamics

We are also pleased to extend Microsoft’s trial offer for their Dynamics CRM system

Good luck and let us know about your experiences using Office 365.

Aug 07

Microsoft Access and Office 2010 Service Pack 2 (SP2) Enhancements and Issues

New Paper: Microsoft Access and Office 2010 Service Pack 2 (SP2) Enhnacements and Issues

Microsoft has released Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Microsoft Office 2010. It includes enhancements to Access, Excel, Groove, Office. Outlook, PowerPoint, Project, SharePoint, Visio, Word, and more.

Read our new paper listing:

  • Links to the Download and List of Enhancements
  • List of Updated Products
  • Microsoft Access Enhancements and Fixes:
    • Microsoft Access Object Issues
    • Repair and Compact Issues
    • Microsoft Excel Related Issues
    • Access Web/SharePoint Issues
    • Windows 8 64-bit Issue
    • Runtime Version
  • Known Issues from Microsoft
  • A Confirmed Bug between MS Access 2010 and SharePoint 2013
  • Additional Resources for Microsoft Office and Office 2010 SP1
May 01

Be Careful Making Appointments on Your Smartphone from a Different Time Zone

Microsoft Outlook Tips and Techniques

When travelling in Texas recently, I received an email for a noon lunch appointment the following week. So I added it to Outlook on my Windows Phone as usual.

Unfortunately, I missed the appointment because when I returned home to Eastern time, the appointment appeared on my calendar as 1 PM (noon in Texas). It was rude, embarrassing, and bad for business.

Read our new paper on why and how to avoid this: Missing an Appointment Set on a Smartphone while in a Different Time Zone

Sep 22

Email Collaboration using Microsoft Outlook and Exchange from a Database Perspective

One of the challenges most organizations face is how to coordinate communications and tasks among team members and external contacts. With multiple people and clients/projects, emails fly in many directions. People with vital information may be unreachable while customers may be providing information to someone in your organization while others who need that information are oblivious. When someone leaves a team or organization, much of their information is lost.

Microsoft OutlookOver the years, we've helped several clients better manage their emails and treat them like a database. We've built solutions that work with Exchange and Outlook to automatically classify contacts, tag emails, and store the information in a Microsoft SQL Server database. The data is presented through a Microsoft Outlook add-in showing all communications with a contact's firm when you create or respond to an email. The data can also be displayed in the Facebook like interface to make it easy for everyone on your team to know what's going on.

There's no longer a need to look in someone else's Inbox since information is immediately shared between everyone who needs to know (even before the recipient opens their message). Searching for messages is quick and easy, and corporate document retention policies can be enforced.

To learn more about this and other innovative activities of our Professional Solutions Group, please contact our consulting team.

Mar 24

Use Microsoft Access with Exchange/Outlook to manage email list removal

Microsoft Access Email BlasterTotal Access EmailerMicrosoft Access Email Microsoft Access

Many organizations use Microsoft Access to manage a list of email contacts. In conjunction with Total Access Emailer from FMS, it’s easy to send everyone a personalized email (such as a newsletter, order notification, or even a recipient’s individual invoice or sales receipt) in a convenient and automated way. Handling undeliverable emails and unsubscribe requests, however, can be tricky.

Read our new tip to find out how…

Jan 15

Total Visual SourceBook 2007 Ships for Microsoft Access, Office, and Visual Basic 6

Microsoft Access ModulesTotal Visual SourceBookMicrosoft Access Modules

Total Visual SourceBook 2007, the most popular professional source code library for Microsoft Access, Office and Visual Basic 6 is shipping with an expanded code base and improved code manager. With 194 modules/classes and over 100,000 lines of code, Total Visual SourceBook lets you add our well written, documented, and tested code into your VBA/VB6 projects royalty-free. Includes full support for Access 2007, lots of new code for Outlook 2007, Office 2007, the web, etc. Learn more about Total Visual SourceBook and why so many developers use and learn from our years of experience creating professional quality solutions:

Oct 16

Save Your Job, Relationship, or Client by Delaying Your Outlook Messages

Have you ever wished you could bring back a message after you press the Send button in Outlook?  Maybe you forgot to add an attachment, or maybe an email came in while you were writing your message that changes what you want to say.

Or maybe you were a bit too hot headed, and that message really should be deleted. No matter what, Outlook offers a feature that I love, which is the abilty to delay mesages in my Outbox for a few minutes. My two minute delay has saved countless blunders.

Here's our Microsoft Outlook tip on delaying messages that describes how to avoid these career and relationship ending mistakes.