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Exchange Online For Microsoft Office 365 - Part II

In part I of Exchange Online For Microsoft Office 365 we looked at the services offered by Exchange Online along with the options to access Exchange Online and the different version of Outlook that are supported. In the final edition of this two part series, we will look at Email options, Contacts & Directory, Calendar and Voice & Fax along with a few security options.


Exchange Online supports delegation of access through, which users can send emails on behalf of someone. This scenario is particularly useful in manager assistant scenario where access can be delegated. The other option is the send as permission, which enables users to send email from another mailbox as if they were the owner of that particular mailbox. With Exchange Online administrators also have the option of configuring Catch-all Mailbox which will receive messages send to the email addresses that do not exist on the domain. Similar to the Rules option available on outlook, Exchange online allows users to create rules based on different criteria and make decision as the email arrives. Last but not the least, users have the capability of having multiple email accounts connected through to one account through the Connected Accounts option.

Contacts & Directory

Distribution group (opens in new tab) is a list of users, contacts and other distribution groups that are available within the company. Through distribution groups, messages can be sent out to multiple users with ease. Distribution groups are different from the local contact lists available to outlook users and they can be created through the control panel of Exchange Online for Office 365. There are 4 different types of distribution groups that are supported including: Restricted, Dynamic, Moderated and Self-service.

Other options in regards to the address list include: Global address list, Custom address lists and External Contacts.


Out-of-office replies can be sent automatically to incoming messages, which is done by Exchange Online on behalf of the users based on the calendar options set by the user. Users have the ability to set different out-of-office replies for internal and external users. Mailing list awareness allows Exchange Online to block automatic messages being sent to external users. Exchange Online also supports Federated Calendar Sharing which enables users within the organisation to check on the availability of their colleagues. iCal Calendar sharing is also possible.

Voicemail & Fax

Unified messaging i.e. Hosted voicemail (opens in new tab) is supported and under this Exchange Online provides Call answering (voicemail), Dial-in User Interface to Exchange (Outlook Voice Access) and Dial-in interface for callers (Automated Attendant). Hosted Voicemails allow organisations to connect on-premises phone systems to voicemail service which would enable the users to access their voicemails through Outlook, Outlook Web Access or mobile phones. Inbound Fax is supported through SMTP users would receive their faxes directly via Exchange Online. Outbound Fax is not supported and the use of third party services is required for this functionality.


Exchange Online for Microsoft Office 365 (opens in new tab) provides Antivirus and Antispam protection to the users through Microsoft Forefront Online Protection and Microsoft Forefront Protection for Exchange Servers. Incoming, Outgoing and internal messages are protected from malicious software transferred over email.

Exchange Online also supports Information Rights Management with the following features:

- Support for IRM in Outlook Web App and Exchange Active Sync

- Protected Voicemail

- Journal report decryption and Outlook Protection Rules

Many of the options we have discussed above are not available in Office 365 Beta and will be included by Microsoft as and when the paid subscription service is launched.

This marks the end of the two part series of Exchange Online (opens in new tab) for Microsoft Office 365

Ravi Mandalla was ITProPortal's Sub Editor (and a contributing writer) for two years from 2011. Based in Ahmedabad, India, Ravi is now the owner and founder of Parity Media Pvt. Ltd., a news and media company, which specializes in online publishing, technology news and analysis, reviews, web site traffic growth, web site UI. Ravi lists his specialist subjects as: Enterprise, IT, Technology, Gadgets, Business, High Net Worth Individuals, Online Publishing, Advertising, Marketing, Social Media, News, Reviews, Audio, Video, and Multi-Media. He has also previously worked as Dy. Manager - IT Security at (n)Code Solutions.