Sending email messages with Office 365

OfficeMicrosoft Office 365 is an excellent service for small businesses.  It includes Exchange Online (email), Lync (instant messaging), SharePoint (Team Site) and Office Web Apps.  You can also pay for the Premium service, which includes Office desktop apps, such as Microsoft Excel.  Acctivate can be configured to send email through Office 365.

1. System Requirements

Office 365 requires an SMTP connection that supports TLS encryption.  This level of encryption was not available until Acctivate version 9.0.  Furthermore, Office 365 requires that each user supply their credentials when sending email.  Again, email settings per-user were not added until Acctivate version 9.0.

Please upgrade to Acctivate 9.0 or later for compatibility with Office 365 email.

2. Configure Acctivate email settings for Office 365

First, you may want to configure a shared “company” email address that can be used by all Acctivate users to send email.  This is something to consider, but it is optional.  It is recommended that you leave the default Company Email Settings as Microsoft Mail, then skip to Step 3 to configure the email credentials for each user.

  1. Log in to Acctivate as a user with Admin permissions (e.g. SYS)
  2. Open Configuration Management from File menu
  3. Expand the Company folder on the left and click Company Info.
  4. Click Edit on the Toolbar
  5. Select the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol option (bottom-right)
    • SMTP Server: [ smtp.office365.com ]
    • Encryption: [ STARTTLS ]
    • ] Authentication Required
    • Username [ CompanyAccountOffice365Account@YourCompany.com ]
    • Password [ CompanyAccountOffice365Password ]
  6. Click Save on toolbar
  7. All users should restart Acctivate before sending email

3. Set up Email Accounts for Each User

Microsoft has placed some restrictions that makes it difficult to send email from alternate email addresses.  By default, outgoing email must be sent from your Office 365 account email address (e.g., yourname@yourcompany.com).  Acctivate stores the Office 365 credentials for each user.  When using this setup, each user must use the email address setup in Configuration Management. For example, bob@example.com cannot change the FROM address to mary@example.com when logged in as Bob’s user. The email server will shoot back an error about the user not having permission to send from that email address. You will need to set up the Email credentials for each user.

  1. Log in to Acctivate as a user with Admin permissions (e.g. SYS)
  2. Open Configuration Management from File menu
  3. Expand the User folder on the left and click User Information
  4. Click Edit on the Toolbar
  5. Select the User in the Acctivate Users list
  6. Verify the Email Address matches the Office 365 account for the user
  7. Change the Email settings to Personal
  8. Scroll down and select the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol option
    • SMTP Server: [ smtp.office365.com ]
    • Encryption: [ STARTTLS ]
    • ] Authentication Required
    • Username [ UsersOffice365Account@YourCompany.com ]
    • Password [ UsersOffice365Password ]
  9. Repeat for each User
  10. Click Save on toolbar
  11. All users should restart Acctivate before sending email

Office365SMTPEmail

4. Configure Group Email addresses

Acctivate should now be ready to send email messages from your company Office 365 account and/or each user’s account.  However, you still may want to configure a group email address (e.g., sales@yourcompany.com).  This is useful for email templates for Sales Orders, Purchase Orders, etc.

Microsoft has documented how to set this up.  Please refer to the Send email from another person’s mailbox or from a group in Office 365 Guided Walkthrough

Troubleshooting Tips

If you run into an issue where Acctivate begins timing out and/or crashing after following the above steps please review the following.

By default SMTP sends and receives message via port 25, some IPs will block this port due to the high amount of viral traffic that is generally received/associated with that port (It is the default after all).  To get around this block try changing the SMTP port used by Acctivate  to either 587 or 465.  You can do this by adding either :465 or :587 to the end of the SMTP address (ex. smtp.office365.com:587)

Posted in Email - Last modified on September 28, 2016Brian Sweat
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