Saturday, September 07, 2013

New Outlook WebApp Features - O365

Microsoft Team continue to work towards user experience for its O365 customers and now it's time for one more new feature addition which is a great add-on for everyone who was long awaited to use this cool feature of managing calendar delegate access and folder permissions on the fly without the need of outlook client by making it possible using the new Outlook WebApp.

This great new feature is now added to the O365 Environment and in the progress of roll-out to the tenants.

More information is provided in the Office 365 Technology blog article below

Configuring delegate access in Outlook Web App

Additional Bytes

"This add-on provides Organizations some breathing time to upgrade the Outlook client from 2007 to higher version in one aspect". Not sure why I said this quote read below to know more...

Let's review the current situation in the O365 Environment where we don't have this new feature implemented for the Tenant and the actual case how the Environment was before Microsoft introduced this new enhancement and using Outlook 2007 client.

Outlook 2007 is still supported with O365 but most of the features will not function properly and users will have reduced experience with this client compared with other higher clients. And one such reduction is, "Sharing calendar and Managing Calendar permissions using Outlook 2007 client is not possible post O365 Service upgrade" and users need to use their Outlook WebApp or higher clients to share and manage calendar permissions.

Refer this MS Article :

Being said the above reduced functionality there is one more glitch, though user is able to share the calendar successfully with Outlook Webapp managing the advanced permissions level post sharing is not possible i.e. in case user want to grant access like editor which is possible only through outlook, Also while sharing the calendar user does not have option like selecting editor access as it is available now with the new feature.  (Refer the pic below)
At this stage user will still require the help of the outlook client , And will need to seek for some other machine that has a higher version of Outlook client and configure a  new outlook profile there and manage permissions, this is not a ideal solution. One day or another user will come back to management on all these impacts together during the Survey and rates a poor End User Experience.

Also it is not easy task for upgrading a MS-office package from the current version to higher version immediately as it not only involves deployment head ache there's a huge cost and Project planning involved.

Finally, As stated above this new enhancement in the "Outlook Webapp" is a great add-on for the O365 Organizations that still use Outlook 2007 client where in it  has brought an alternative way of overcoming the current problem by having the options available for calendar management with in WebApp. Thus, we are reducing one of the impacts in the Environment.

To add to this furthermore, If a user plans to grant access to another user as a delegate he needs to look out for Outlook and now its possible through Web Mail so in one way user will be quite happy with this feature.

There are other more great features that a user will receive post upgrading the Outlook 2007client to either Outlook 2010/2013 in general upgrading MS-Office Suite. and Organizations should plan over this upgrade path soon as the day is not too far.

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