Organizational Forms and Office 365

Outlook Templates. Forms. Public Folders. Office 365.

Yes, this article is about adding Organizational Forms to your Office 365 tenant. In all previous versions of Exchange (2010 and before), if you have Public Folders, you had Organizational Forms. This folder was included by default in System Folders. With the new modern public folders, this has been removed as a default folder (no System Folders no Organizational Forms).

How to create the Folder

Let’s start with configuring the folder for the forms to be stored in.

(1) Connect to Office 365 via PowerShell
Using the Windows PowerShell with the Azure PowerShell module we run these cmdlets to connect:

$LiveCred = Get-Credential
$Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri https://ps.outlook.com/powershell/ -Credential $LiveCred -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection
Import-PSSession $Session


(2) Create the Folder:

# Create a Public Folder Hierarchy
New-Mailbox -PublicFolder -Name Hierarchy

# Create the Organizational Forms Library Folder and configure it:
New-PublicFolder -Path "\NON_IPM_SUBTREE\EFORMS REGISTRY" -Name "Organizational Forms Library"
Set-PublicFolder "\NON_IPM_SUBTREE\EFORMS REGISTRY\Organizational Forms Library" –EformsLocaleID EN-US

(3) Grant Permissions
Once you have created the folder, you need to assign permissions to the folder so that people can publish their forms to it:

Add-PublicFolderClientPermission -identity "\NON_IPM_SUBTREE\EFORMS REGISTRY\Organizational Forms Library" -user JohnDoe -AccessRights Owner

After we’ve created the folder and we’ve granted permissions, it is time to work on our forms and publishing them to the new folder.

Publishing a Form with Outlook 2013

Now this is where things get complicated. Instead of a straight forward process for creating a form and publishing it, there is a bit of work to get things going. The reason is that Outlook 2013 cannot publish forms directly. Yes, you read this correctly. Due to a bug or feature in Outlook 2013, the function of Publishing your newly created form to your Organizational Forms library does not work. Outlook 2010 still has this and I will show how to do this in the next set of steps.

(1) Show Developer Tab in Outlook – https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb608625.aspx
(The Developer Tab is needed for showing form creation options)

(2) Click on the Developer Tab and the select ‘Design a Form’:

Forms01a
(3) Select a template type:

Forms02
(4) Create the template from the form below:

Forms03
(5) The Publish the form to your ‘Personal Library’:

Forms04
(6) Give the form a name, select Personal Forms Library and click Publish:

Forms05
After this has been publish to the Personal Library, we can now ‘copy’ it to the organizational forms library.

  • Click on File, Options, select ‘Advanced’.
  • Click on ‘Custom Forms’.
  • Click ‘Manage Forms’.
  • Select the form to be copied and select copy.

Forms06a

Why is this Relevant?

Organizational Forms and Public Folders seem like relics of yesteryear when it comes to Exchange and its messaging system. Microsoft has pushed SharePoint to be the replacement for Public Folders. However the migration path to SharePoint is not as clear or structured. Companies feel that maintaining their PF infrastructure for now is easier than trying to find a more permanent solution for the information stored there.

Further Reading

Add-PublicFolderClientPermission
New-PublicFolder
Set-PublicFolder

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