Community Knowledge Base

Sharing Overview

SmarterMail gives users the ability to share several things with other people within their organization. This includes primary resources as well as secondary resources. For example, SmarterMail creates default calendars, contact lists (address books), task areas and more. These can be shared, but any new "folder" you create -- a new calendar, a new tasks area, etc. -- can also be shared, all on its own. For email folders, parent folders can be shared along with any sub-folders created within the parent, or individual child folders can even be shared individually. This all makes collaborating with co-workers within your organization extremely simple, as well as extremely flexible.

SmarterMail also gives domain administrators the ability to create Public Folders. These are domain-level folders that can be shared with users and user groups across the domain. These, then, can be used by multiple people -- such as a Sales or Marketing Department -- for organizing and standardizing a calendar or even tasks.

When sychronizing to a mobile device, or some desktop clients, using protocols such as EAS and EWS, shared items can be available on those devices and in those clients. Each device and client acts a little differently, however, so not every shared resource may be available to you due to limitations of the device/client or even a limitation of the protocol being used. For example, when using the Gmail client on an Android device, there's no way to get shared Tasks. In addition, some clients act differently based on the type of permission given to a shared item. Generally, shared items will sycnhronize if the item is shared with Full permissions, as opposed to Read Only or Availability (for calendars). Clients such as eM Client and Outlook generally reject any share with any other permission type.

Users can share the following areas with other organizational members:

  • Email Folders - parent folders as well as child (sub) folders
  • Calendars - primary and secondary
  • Contact Lists / Address Book - primary and secondary
  • Tasks - primary and secondary
  • Notes - primary and secondary

Domain administrators can configure Public Folders for the following:

  • Calendars
  • Contacts
  • Tasks
  • Notes

That leaves areas like Online Meetings, News feeds and File Storage as the only areas without conventional sharing options. However, both online meetings and File Storage are collaborative by their very nature. So, they can be "shared", just not the same way as contacts, tasks, etc.

Shares, Syncronization and MAPI & EWS

Any client connecting to SmarterMail using MAPI & EWS will have instant access to any shared resources regardless of whether those shares are mapped in webmail. The MAPI & EWS protocols act differently than webmail in that both protocols automatically "see" any resource shared with the user connecting. Therefore, there may be some inconsistency between shares in webmail and in a MAPI & EWS client. While shares are automatic in webmail, there may be instances where a share doesn't show in webmail but it's available in Outlook for Windows that's connecting via MAPI. In those instances, the user simply needs to verify the share is properly mapped in webmail.

Shares via WebDAV

In a broad sense, WebDAV is a network protocol for creating interoperable, collaborative applications. In terms of a mail server, WebDAV is broken down into 2 protocols created for specific features: CalDAV for calendars, and CardDAV for contacts. Both protocols were created for collaborative software, client or server, that need to maintain, access or share specific items. (I.e., calendars and contacts, respectively.)

Both CalDAV and CardDAV are supported by a variety of different clients and applications, as well as web-based services, because they both are robust, and free, solutions for sharing items. For example, some scheduling services can connect to a user's calendar over CalDAV so that a user's availability is known by the service, and any appointments created using the service can be added to a user's calendar.

To share items via either CalDAV or CardDAV, a user simply needs the WebDAV URL for their account. Whomever that link is shared with can then use the link for calendar apps, contact apps, or even email clients so that they have access to any shares made available by the user. To find the WebDAV link, a user simply logs into their webmail account, and navigates to Settings > Account, then copy the link on their WebDAV card.

How to Share

There are a couple of different ways to share items: from within an area itself or from the Sharing page in your user settings. One of the important things to know about sharing is that when you either initiate a share with someone, or revoke that share, those actions are automatic. That means that the other person -- or those other people -- don't have to do anything. They will either see the shared item or it will be removed. The same holds true when something is shared with you, or if that share is revoked: it will simply appear or disappear.

Sharing Individual Folders

Whether you're sharing an email folder, a calendar, a task list, or any other item, the process is essentially the same. The only real difference is that SmarterMail allows you to share individual email folders versus calendars, task folders, etc. which are, essentially, all-or-nothing shares as there aren't any embedded items in those areas. For example, email folders can contain sub-folders, which can then contain their own sub-folders. Calendar and Task folders are self-contained and do not have any sub-folders.

Regardless of how you get to a folder's sharing option, you're presented with the following:

  • Users - This area allows you to share the item with one or more user, and each user you add to the share can have their own permission level. These are:
    • None - This permission acts as a "negater" and is, therefore, only available for users. For example, let's say you have a User Group set up for your Marketing Department. However, you don't want to share Notes with Henry because he ate your piece of cherry pie last week. You add Full Control access to the Marketing Department user group, you'd add Henry's username under Users and set his access to "None". That way, you're sharing Notes with everyone in Marketing EXCEPT Henry as you've negated his permission.
    • Availability - Used exclusively for calendars, this permission means that the user with this permission can see whether a person is available for scheduling purposes, but it doesn't allow for the viewing of a calendar or its appointments/events.
    • Read-only - This means that the user can only view the items in the share (calendar entries, contact lists, etc.), they have no control over editing entries, adding entries, etc. A read-only share would be good, say, for a colleague who needs access to a contact list, but who doesn't need to manage those contacts in any way.
    • Manage - This access allows others to add, edit and/or delete any items within the share. (But, importantly, NOT the share itself.)
    • Owner - This access allows others to rename and/or delete the specific folder that's being shared. Basically, they use whatever is being shared just as if it were their own.
  • User Groups - This area allows you to share the item with groups of users that have been set up previously. When sharing with a User Group, the same permission levels are available EXCEPT for None as that is a user-only permission.

Internet Calendars

Calendars are a little different when it comes to sharing. For example, they have their own permission: Availablilty. They're also unique in that a calendar folder can be shared publicly as an internet calendar, or "web calendar" (commonly known as a "Webcal"). An internet calendar is just that: it is a calendar that can be subscribed to via a basic URL. The URL is either copied from a calendar provider -- sports teams generally have their game schedules available as an internet calendar -- or it's sent out to people via email. SmarterMail gives users the ability to make any of their calendar folders available as internet calendars.

To get your internet calendar URL, do the following:

  1. First, go to the Share Folder modal by either selecting a calendar folder and right-clicking it, or using the folder icon at the bottom, left of the calendar interface.
  2. When the Share Folder modal opens, click on the Webcal tab.
  3. Toggle the setting "Allow others to subscribe to this calendar using Webcal".
  4. The Webcal Shareable Link will appear -- copy this link. (There's a handy copy icon to the right of the URL.)
  5. Save the change.

You can then send that Webcal link to whomever you want, publish it on your website, or do whatever you want with it. And, if you decide you no longer want that calendar shared with the internet, simply repeat the steps above and disable the toggle. The calendar will cease to be shared and will be removed from the calendars of whoever used the shareable link.

Using the Sharing Page

It's also possible to share items using the Sharing page that appears in a user's settings. This page is more than just a way to share items as it gives users an understanding of all of the shares associated to their individual account: what they've shared with others, what's been shared with them, and any Delegation accounts they've set up.

However, using the "Shared With Others" tab, it IS possible to share items. Simply click the New button at the top of the content pane. This opens a new modal and offers the following options:

  • Folder - The type of share you want to create, based on the "folder", or item, you want to share. All of the items you have available to be shared are listed in this dropdown: all calendars, all email folders, all address books, all notes, and all tasks.
  • Users - This area allows you to share the item with one or more user, and each user you add to the share can have their own permission level. These are:
    • None - This permission acts as a "negater" and is, therefore, only available for users. For example, let's say you have a user group set up for your Marketing Department. However, you don't want to share Notes with Henry because he ate your piece of cherry pie last week. You add Full Control access to the Marketing Department user group, you'd add Henry's username under Users and set his access to "None". That way, you're sharing Notes with everyone in Marketing EXCEPT Henry as you've negated his permission.
    • Availability - Used exclusively for calendars, this permission means that the user with this permission can see whether a person is available for scheduling purposes, but it doesn't allow for the viewing of a calendar or its appointments/events.
    • Read-only - This means that the user can only view the items in the share (calendar entries, contact lists, etc.), they have no control over editing entries, adding entries, etc. A read-only share would be good, say, for a colleague who needs access to a contact list, but who doesn't need to manage those contacts in any way.
    • Manage - This access allows others to add, edit and/or delete any items within the share. (But, importantly, NOT the share itself.)
    • Owner - This access allows others to rename and/or delete the specific folder that's being shared. Basically, they use whatever is being shared just as if it were their own.
  • User Groups - This area allows you to share the item with groups of users that have been set up previously. When sharing with a User Group, the same permission levels are available EXCEPT for None as that is a user-only permission.

As you can see, the process for sharing contacts, calendars, tasks, and even email folders is essentially the same and relatively simple: you select the item you want to share, add the users and/or user groups you want to share to, and set the permissions for each. Once you've saved your settings, the people you've shared with will have those items automatically mapped to their users.