Office365 / OWA Grumble #1

I don’t do a lot of grumbling about Office365/OWA simply because I’ve been using it for long enough now that the frustration and disappointments I felt when transitioning over have mostly passed and I don’t want to open old wounds.  There are still issues, no doubt. But I just haven’t taken the time to document them all here.


But since this is a new finding (to me) I figured it’s only fair to give it some screen time.


Issue: Office365/ OWA (web app) – Utilizing a Shared Mailbox when that mailbox is NOT listed in the public directory doesn’t work.


We have a shared mailbox that we granted a couple employee’s access to.  This share/scenario has been in effect for some time now without issue.

The designated employee’s have no problem adding/retrieving mail from the shared account when using Outlook 2013.

However, we’re looking to move away from the Outlook 2013 client (and sometimes it’s not an option) and instead are focusing on using OWA in the browser.

Following the instructions on adding a new shared resource /opening a different mailbox doesn’t work.  The shared item doesn’t come up and OWA just gives the error “no match was found”.  I presume this is because it’s searching the directory.  But we don’t have (or want/need) this shared resource cluttering up our directory. The people that need access to it can handle entering in the information and don’t need to “search” a directory to find it.

The shared address is only used for digital faxes that we receive. Faxes sent to our internal fax server are forwarded to this address.  No users should be sending mail to it directly, so having it in the directory is unnecessary and only likely to cause confusion.

The people who have permissions to the mailbox only need to be able to check (and forward) the mail to the appropriate people.  They don’t send from the address either.

They can achieve all of that fine in Outlook, but none of it in OWA.


A confirmation with an online Support Rep ended with them admitting that’s how it works and suggesting that we add the address to our Public Address book as a workaround.


Seriously? Clearly this is a deficiency if the OWA web app.  It works just fine (without the need to compromise it with a “workaround”) using a mail client such as Outlook 2013.




A quick couple of thoughts has me thinking about how to put it in the addressbook but limiting who can actually send mail to the address.  But that’s still a lousy “solution” since it still clutters our address book and requires advanced configuration just to achieve any results.

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