My name is Steven Lepofsky, and I’m an engineer on the Outlook for Windows team. We have released (to Insiders) support for Outlook 2016’s Cloud Attachment experience with SharePoint Server 2016. We need your help to test this out and give us your feedback!
So, what do I mean by “cloud attachments?” Let’s start there.
The Cloud Attachment Experience Today
Back when we shipped Outlook 2016, we included a refreshed experience for how you can add attachments in Outlook. To recap, here are a few of the new ways Outlook helped you to share your files and collaborate with others:
We added a gallery that shows your most recently used documents and files. Files in this list could come from Microsoft services such as OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, SharePoint hosted in Office 365 or your local computer. When you attach these files, you have the option of sharing a link to the file rather than a copy. With the co-authoring power of Microsoft Office, you can collaborate in real time on these documents without having to send multiple copies back and forth.
Is the file you’re looking for not showing up in the in the recent items list? Outlook includes handy shortcuts to Web Locations where your file might be stored:
And in a recent update, we gave you the ability to upload files directly to the cloud when you attach a file that is stored locally:
Adding Support for SharePoint Server 2016
Until now, Cloud Attachments were only available from Office 365 services or the consumer version of OneDrive. We are now adding the ability to connect to SharePoint Server 2016, so you can find and share files from your on-premises SharePoint server in a single click. We’d love your help testing this out before we roll it out to everyone!
The new experience will match what we have today, just with an additional set of locations. Once setup, you’ll have new entries under Attach File -> Browse Web Locations. These will show up as “OneDrive for Business” for a user’s personal documents folder, and “Sites” for team folders.
Note: If you also happen to be signed in to any Office365 SharePoint or OneDrive for Business sites under File -> Office Account, both sites may show up. The difference will be that the Office 365 versions will have branding for your company. For example, it may say “OneDrive – Contoso” rather than “OneDrive for Business”, or “Sites – Contoso” rather than “Sites.”
You’ll be able to upload locally attached files to the OneDrive for Business folder located on your SharePoint Server.
And, of course, you’ll see recently used files from your SharePoint server start to show up in your recently used files list.
How to get setup
Here are the necessary steps and requirements to start testing this feature out:
- This scenario is only supported if you are also using Exchange Server 2016. You’ll need to configure your Exchange server to point to your SharePoint Server 2016 Internal and/or External URLs. See this blog post for details: Configure rich document collaboration using Exchange Server 2016, Office Online Server (OOS) and SharePoint Server 2016
- You’ll need Outlook for Windows build 16.0.7825.1000 or above.
- Ensure that your SharePoint site is in included in the Intranet zone.
- Optional: Ensure that crawling is enabled so that your documents can show up in the recent items gallery. Other features such as uploading a local attachment to your site will work even if crawling is not enabled. See this page for more details: Manage crawling in SharePoint Server 2013
Once enrolled, any mailbox that boots up Outlook and is configured with your SharePoint Server’s information per step #1 above will start to see the new entry points for the server.
We hope you enjoy this sneak peek, and please let us know how this is working for you in the comments below!