How to Use Discussion Board Plus with Outlook 2010: User Tips and Tricks

NOTE:  For an alternate configuration method, please see this post.

One of the best features of Discussion Board Plus is its ability to smoothly integrate with Microsoft Outlook.  This includes the ability to create new discussion board posts, reply to posted discussion posts, and forward posts to the discussion board.  In this article, we will show you how to adjust your settings to allow Discussion Board Plus to interact with Outlook 2010, as well as some of the neat features that can be used
once your email settings have been configured.

Configure Incoming E-mail Settings

Go to a Discussion Board Plus list of your choosing and verify the Incoming e-mail settings in List Settings Under the Communications group, you should not see a hyperlink to Incoming e-mail settings, only a hyperlink to RSS settings.

To configure the group so that the Incoming e-mail settings hyperlink is displayed, you will need to complete the following steps:

Step 1:

Make sure that the Mail Server is already configured on your SharePoint farm.  If it is not, Microsoft TechNet provides a great tutorial and instructions on how to Configure outgoing email for SharePoint Foundation 2010.

With your Mail Server properly configured, you can begin going to Central Administration > System Settings > Configure incoming e-mail settings

Click the OK button when you see the following dialog box.

When prompted, select the following configuration settings:

Make sure that the E-mail server display the address that you use (in this case, we’re using the email address a6.com) was created in the Drop folder on Exchange2010 server.

In the event that you have not configured your Drop folder, Microsoft TechNet also provides a great tutorial and instructions on how to Configure the Drop Directory.

Step 2:

Go back the Discussion Board Plus List Settings. You should now see a hyperlink to Incoming e-mail settings under Communications.

Click the Incoming e-mail settings hyperlink to configure your e-mail settings. For the E-mail address in the Incoming E-Mail section, make sure to select the following options:

Return to the Discussion Board Plus List Settings. You will see that the E-mail address which you entered above is shown under List Information. Create a Discussion Thread in
Discussion Board Plus

Now that your Incoming e-mail settings have been configured, you are ready to use Microsoft Outlook to send mail in order to create a Discussion Thread in Discussion Board Plus.

To begin, you will need the email address that you established in Incoming E-mail in the List Settings above (i.e., DBPlus@a6.com).

Next, open a new mail and complete the following:

  • Enter the email address into the To: textbox
  • Enter the Title that you would like for the thread in the Subject textbox
  • Enter the Body text for the thread in the body of the email
  • Click the Send button to send the email

Go to the Forum site on your Discussion Board Plus site.  You will see that the new thread you created via email above has posted to the forum. Note that the steps detailed above can be completed using any technology where you have your Microsoft Exchange inbox configured.  This includes your iPhone, tablet, Android smartphone, and more!

Reply to a Discussion Thread in Discussion Board Plus

To begin, go to your Sent Items folder and double-click on the previously sent thread.

Click either Reply or Reply All.

In your email reply, make sure that the email address listed in the To: textbox is the email address of your Discussion Board Plus email.

Enter the text which you would like to use to reply to the discussion board thread in the body of the email.  Once finished, click the Send button.

Return to the Forum site on your Discussion Board Plus site.  Refresh the page (you will need to wait for a timer job to run). Once finished, the reply you created via email above will
appear in the discussion thread (please note that it may take a minute or two for the timer job to run).

Forward a Discussion Thread in Discussion Board Plus

To begin, go to your Sent Items folder and double-click on the previously sent thread.

Click Forward.

In your email forward, make sure that the email address listed in the To: textbox is the email address of your Discussion Board Plus email.

Enter any text which you would like to be included in your forward in the body of the email.  Once finished, click the Send button.

Return to the Forum site on your Discussion Board Plus site.  Refresh the page (you will need to wait for a timer job to run). Once finished, the forwarded message will appear in the discussion thread (please note that it may take a minute or two for the timer job to run).

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