What are the pre-requisites? / How does it install ?
This is covered in-depth within the Add-in deployment guide: Install the Netmail Archive Outlook Add-In
What does it do ?
The Add-in will provide one-click access to a user’s archives from within the Outlook client. It will do this by creating a button on the Outlook ribbon, and optionally a hyperlinked folder.
What’s the difference between the Netmail folder and the button ?
Functionally, they are identical. The button is actually a link to the folder, which is in turn a link to the Netmail Search webpage.
The button will always be visible if the Add-in is successfully loaded, however the folder may be hidden by the administrator. The option to do this is in C:\IISext\webcontent\config.xml on the Exchange server(s). Bear in mind that changing it within that file will apply it to the whole organization, not just a single user.
The recommended practice is to hide the folder and leave the button as the only method to access archives within the Outlook client. The motivations for this are two-fold:
- Microsoft has acknowledged that there is a bug in Outlook which may cause the Netmail folder not to display. This problem is exacerbated by accounts which already have a large number of folders. Restarting Outlook will eventually solve the problem, but this is not a pleasant user experience.
- Users may believe that the Netmail folder is a mechanism by which they can archive their items. Unfortunately items dragged into the folder will actually be destroyed (together with the folder) when Outlook exits and the Add-in is unloaded. Again, this is not a pleasant user experience.
Does it authenticate? How ?
After install, the first time the Add-in is loaded it will prompt for credentials. This are the same credentials used to log-in to Netmail Search (eg. domain credentials). Once entered, the credentials are cached in the registry at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles\Outlook\Messaging Architects.
When the button/folder are clicked, the Add-in will contact the Remote Provider (aka. Netmail Search) and provide the credentials from the registry. If they are accepted, the archives for the user are displayed. If the credentials are rejected then the Add-in will return to prompt the user for new credentials.
How to deploy in Office 365 environments?
The main obstacle is serving up the config.xml from a web server. With Exchange on-prem deployments this file is served by IIS on the Exchange servers, but since this may not exist in an Office 365 environment, another solution must be found. Any web server in the environment may be a substitute, and the corresponding URL can be provided to the Add-in at install-time. Entering that URL into a browser should return the config.xml file.
For example, assume an Apache server at 10.20.30.40 and the config.xml file in a folder \netmail. If http://10.20.30.40/netmail/config.xml opens the file in the browser, then this is also a valid URL for the Add-in installer. In most cases, the Netmail Search server itself can be used to serve up this file. Just place the config.xml in ..\RemoteProvider\WebContent\ and point the Add-ins to http://NetmailSearchIP:8888/
How can I see a Netmail Archive folder in my Outlook if the Add-in is not loaded on this computer?
When the Add-in is loaded successfully it will create a Netmail Archive folder in the user’s mailbox. Assuming it is not configured to be hidden (by the administrator) then that folder will become visible to all mail clients connected to that mailbox, even ones without the Add-in installed. Therefore if a Netmail Archive folder is visible on a workstation which does not have the Add-in, then either the folder was created manually by the user, or another workstation with the Add-in is currently connected to that mailbox.
I installed the Add-in but it’s not loaded when I open Outlook?
This is an environmental issue. Verify the following:
- The installer successfully copied files into the destination directory (usually %APPDATA%\Roaming\Messaging Architects\NetmailArchiveOutookAddin)
- The registry key is pointing to the correct path (\\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\Addins\MPLUSArchive\Path)
- The registry key is pointing to the correct URL (\\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\Addins\MPLUSArchive\URL)
- The workstation has the correct pre-requisites (Install the Netmail Archive Outlook Add-In)