UD Exchange Online: Shared Mailboxes

Overview of Exchange shared mailboxes and delegation

A shared mailbox on Exchange is a mailbox used by more than one person. At UD, these mailboxes are often used for generic addresses for departments, centers, programs, or offices to use in publications, or used so that more than one perosn may monitor and respond to inquiries.

It's important for departmental IT staff to understand, however, that Exchange shared mailboxes are really exactly like a user mailbox, only the user object has been disabled.

When IT creates a shared mailbox (e.g., example-mailbox@udel.edu), they create an Active Directory Security Group for the mailbox (e.g., example-mailbox shared mailbox group). Other users are then added to this group, and the group is granted full access rights to the shared mailbox.

IT Pros should note that delegating an individual calendar access to a shared mailbox does NOT grant all users of that mailbox access to that calendar. Instead, users have to delegate access to their calendar to a shared mailbox group.

Shared mailbox for student workers: An example

The Department of Wizadry employs several students to work at a reception desk in their front office. The students answer the phones and have access to a departmental events calendar and several meeting room calendars. They make appointments for some of these and only view appointments on others. Additionally, several faculty and professional staff members would like the students working at the front desk to be able to view or edit their personal calendars.

IT would do the following:

  1. Create a shared mailbox called WZRD-FrontDesk.
  2. Create a security group called WZRD-FrontDesk Shared Mailbox Group.
  3. Give the above group access to the above mailbox.
  4. Add students employees to the group.

When Outlook is configured on the Desktop computer, the profile specifes the shared mailbox, but students log in with their own credentials (UDelNet ID/password). Users can also log in to https://outlook.office.com/owa/WZRD-FrontDesk@udel.edu using their UDelNet ID and password.

Calendar and meeting room permissions specify "WZRD-FrontDesk Shared Mailbox Group" to have read/edit access as appropriate (i.e., NOT the WZRD-FrontDesk mailbox - it must be a group).

Faculty and staff also specify the group when setting permissions on their personal calendars.


Requesting shared mailboxes

You request a shared mailbox by submitting a request form. To fill out this form from off-campus, log in to the UD VPN. When you request a shared mailbox, you must specify the following:

  • The desired alias (address) for the mailbox (e.g., dept-contact), which will have an address of dept-contact@udel.edu. If a name is shorter than nine characters, it must include a hyphen, as in these examples:
    • dept-contact - Longer than nine characters and uses a hyphen
    • deptcontact - Longer than nine characters but no hyphen
    • my-info - Shorter than nine characters and uses a hyphen
  • The user-friendly name of the mailbox (e.g., "Accounting Department" or "Financial Aid Applications").
  • The UDelNet IDs fo people who need to access the mailbox.

When you are granted access to an Exchange Online shared mailbox, you can configure it for use in Outlook 2016 (Windows and MacOS), and you can access it with a web browser.


Next step: Connecting to Shared Mailboxes