Thursday, February 7, 2013

How to setup a SharePoint 2010 list to accept email submissions

This question has actually cropped up often here recently. Both for work and from members of the SharePoint community. Essentially people want to be able to hit an email address and have their contents transform into SharePoint 2010 list objects.

This is actually very easy to configure and setup. The following instructions assume that Exchange is being used. So please feel free to modify "here and there" as necessary.

First, you need to make sure your SharePoint Farm has SMTP enabled. Next, after following the instructions on MSDN do the following (or have your Farm Administrator do the following):

  1. Open Central Administrator
  2. Click on the System Settings heading.
  3. Under the E-Mail and Text Messages (SMS) heading, click on Configure incoming e-mail settings.
    • You may see a few messages if this has never been setup before. The SMTP service must be running on the farm. Refer to the MSDN link above if you need help configuring this.
  4. Under the Enable Incoming E-Mail category:
    • Enable sites on this server to receive e-mail? (Yes)
    • Use the SharePoint Directory Management Service to create distribution groups and contacts? (Yes)
  5. Click OK.
  6. Click on the Monitoring link under your Quick Launch navigation (on the left).
  7. Click on Review job definitions under the Timer Jobs heading.
    • This may take a little bit to render the page as jobs are cleared.
  8. Click on the job Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Incoming E-Mail.
    • You can reconfigure the job timer for emails, if necessary. Please note that if the job doesn't run properly you should check security on your "Drop Folder".
  9. Exit Central Administrator
Next, you will need to configure your List or Library to properly accept emails as added items on the list / library. Please keep in mind you can only do this for the following types of SharePoint lists:

  • Document library
  • Form library
  • Picture library
  • Announcements list
  • Calendar list
  • Discussion board
  • Blog
SharePoint doesn't support if you are using a custom list or something outside what I listed above. To configure your list (or library, which is very similar in settings) just do the following:

  1. In the List use the ribbon to access the List Tools | List | List Settings.
  2. Under the Communications heading you should now see an Incoming e-mail settings option. Click on it. If it isn't there, you need to recheck your settings within Central Administrator.
    • Allow this list to receive e-mail? (Yes)
    • E-mail address:
      • Enter an appropriate address. The @domain.com should automatically be appended with whatever your Farm Administrator has setup on the server.
  3. Click OK.
You should be able to test your settings after this last step. For example, if you send an email to an Announcements list the subject line of the email should appear as the title of the announcement. The body of the email is the body of the announcement.

So there you have it. A very simple way of setting up your SharePoint lists to be updated via email.