FTGate now offers groupware as standard. An important aspect of groupware is the ability to share folders. Shared folders allow users collective access to mail and an effective way to keep informed and share information. FTGate uses Access Control Lists to restrict access to shared folders, for example you can just allow one or two users to be able to put messages into a folder, but allow a broader range of people the ability to read the what is there.
Why Use Shared Folders?
Put simply, collaboration makes things simpler and more effective. They allow information to be shared in a controlled way. For example, they allow a group of users access to a common mailbox folder so that they can all read and respond to messages within the folder and be able to see what other people have done with messages in that folder, so everyone sees when a message is read, responded to, flagged, etc. Shared folders just make life easier, and the more you use them the more potential you will see.
Shared Folder Access
The mechanism for sharing folders is IMAP (Internet Messaging Access Protocol). To use it you configure mail client accounts to collect mail via IMAP, rather than POP. Alternatively, you can simply use FTGate’s Web Mail. In fact, due to the nature of folder sharing, you can use a mail client and Web Mail and see the same message and folder structure. So if you send a message using Web Mail and have it configured to save sent messages into a sent items folder, you will see the sent message in the appropriate folder in the mail client, i.e. the folders are synchronised.
Uses for Shared Folders
Shared folders have many uses beyond simply letting others see what’s in your inbox:
- File Distribution
- Address Books
- Spam Training
- Quarantine Management
Groups of people, e.g. sales or support staff, can share a mailbox to keep all relevant material in one place, rather than each individual having their own sent items folder, for example.
Network Administrators can use them to distribute files to users on the LAN. The administrator posts a message with the relevant files attached, or link to the files, and all of those with access to the folder can make sure that they have the latest drivers, updates, etc. on their machines.
Administrators, managers, etc. can use them to post announcements to one location, rather than sending messages to every relevant individual.
A folder can accumulate a wealth of information available to all those with access. Here at FTGate Technology we maintain a copy of every support email that we send in a folder that is available for all of the support team to refer to.
FTGate address books can be made available to a mail client so that you can get at contact information easily.
You can use shared folders to effectively train FTGate to identify Unsolicited Bulk Email (UBE) by the message’s content.
The quarantine folder can be accessed as a shared folder so that those who have access to it can look at and recover messages that have been quarantined.