How to view E-Mails in SharePoint

Finally you have managed to store your e-mails in SharePoint (hopefully by using SOXS – the missing link betweenSharePoint and Outlook), now, how are you supposed to view them?

You know that situation: You are looking for a certain e-mail or want to have a quick scan about what was discussed during your absence and click the emails one by one and read them in the preview pane.
Works fine as long as your email resides in Outlook.

Now you have a SharePoint Site to store all the content including e-mails related to a project or a case in one place to share it with your colleagues. Good idea! But how are you going to read e-mails, once they reside in SharePoint?

Here are the Out-Of-The-Box solutions for reading the content of emails in SharePoint:
There are none!

Seriously! No kidding!

Microsoft has left a gap between Outlook and SharePoint (see also: Howto manage e-mails in SharePoint for Project Management).
This is what happens, when you click on an e-mail in SharePoint:

  1. The Internet Explorer (IE) asks you, if you want to open or download the file (first click)

  2. When you choose “open”, the e-mail will be opened in Outlook (second click).

  3. Now the active application is Outlook and you have left SharePoint.

  4. If you want to read another e-mail, you have to close the window of the opened e-mail (third click)

  5. and switch back to SharePoint (fourth click).

  6. Then you have to find the line, where you have opened the previous e-mail and choose the next one.

And so on…
Pretty cumbersome, huh?
I feel, this is just the opposite of user-friendly.
As a result, the users may refuse to store their e-mails in SharePoint, because it is just impracticable. And this will jeopardize your efforts to make SharePoint the one-place-store for all your files.
This is where the SharePoint EmailReader comes in…

The solution for reading e-mails in SharePoint

The SharePoint EmailReader enables you to open your e-mails with just one click and without leaving SharePoint.
When you click the icon of an e-mail, the e-mail opens in a hover panel within the Internet Explorer (or whatever browser you use to work with SharePoint).
You don’t leave the focus of SharePoint, you don’t even leave the line in the library.
If you want to open the next e-mail, you just click on that’s icon. It will be loaded into the same hover panel, replacing the previous one.
So, no hassle with lots of pop-ups either.
When you click somewhere outside the hover panel, it’ll close automatically.
This is what I call a one-click-solution!
The EmailReader speeds up working with e-mails in SharePoint, so supports your efforts of creating a one-place-store for all your information.

View Email in SharePoint 2013 search

With SharePoint2013 Microsoft introduced the preview of search results in a hoverpanel.
You just move the mouse over an item of your search results and SharePoint displays its content in a small window called hover panel. You can hardly read the content, but it gives you a rough idea, if this item is what you where searching for.
It is a nice feature we missed for a long time.
But guess what happens, when you move the mouse over an e-mail item in your search results?
No kidding (again)!
The SharePoint 2013 search hover panel doesn’t support e-mails! No MSG-Files, no EML-Files.
But luckily, the SharePoint EmailReader is a remedy for that too:
The SharePoint EmailReader allows you to read e-mails in the hover panel of a SharePoint 2013 search result!
  Emailreader Search
With the SharePoint EmailReader we provide a result type for e-mails. The SharePoint administrator just has to configure SharePoint 2013 search to use this result type when displaying an e-mail.
Again: A small thing, but with a big effect.
Sometimes, SharePoint appears to me like a racing car with bicycle tires. It may roll, but it won’t win a race, because it can’t bring its power onto the street.
With SharePoint it got very powerful features, but it often lacks that tiny little bit that brings its power to the users.
The SharePoint EmailReader adds a tiny but very useful feature to SharePoint.
It is a small one time investment, which may pay itself off within only one or two days.

By the way: The EmailReader also works fine with Safari on IPad. See here for its features and compatibility.