To Setup Forwarding from a distribution list to an Office 365 Group

There is not a straight forward process to forward email from a distribution list to an Office 365 Group. You would need to follow these steps in order to do that-

  1. Create a Shared Mailbox.
  2. Add the newly created Shared Mailbox as a member of the distribution list. Doing so would allow the Shared Mailbox to receive email from the distribution list.
  3. Set up Email forwarding in the shared mailbox to forward email to the Office 365 Group. Now there is a point to be noted here, you would not be able to do this in the Exchange Online Admin Center. You would need to use Power Shell in Order to setup forwarding to an Office 365 Group.

Set-Mailbox shared -ForwardingSmtpAddress <EmailAddress> -DeliverToMailboxAndForward $true

Folksonomy, Taxonomy and Keywords

Out of three, I am pretty sure many of you would have not heard of Folksonomy. Before we dive into Folksonomy let’s see what a Taxonomy is? A Taxonomy is a classification system that is used to classify organisms into different categories and sub-categories. The tags which are used for classification are a standard and were created by experts.


Like Taxonomy, folksonomy is also a classification system but with a difference. Here, the tags are created by end-users of an application.

Now let’s come to the third part ‘Keywords’. Let’s see how does this fit in? Keywords in SharePoint are stored in the Managed Metadata term store. They are located under System->Keywords. Keywords in this location are termed as Folksonomy since they are created by end-users. But the problem with this arrangement is that the keywords can only be used within the site for which it is configured. If you need to manage the keywords in a central location so that it can be used in all the sites of the site collection, you would need to move the keywords to a term set. Please Note: Once the keywords are moved to a term set , they cannot be moved back. They are trapped in a sense!

Once the keywords are stored in a term set, they are part of a taxonomy. So, the process of moving keywords to a term set is often called as Folksonomy to Taxonomy.

Synonyms in SharePoint

When we search for something using a search engine we normally don’t enter the exact keywords that would be present in a website or a document. What we actually enter is something that tends to have the same meaning as those keywords or a phrase that would relate in that way.

Search without synonyms would definitely be something that someone does not want to live with! Without synonyms configured, if you don’t happen to enter the keywords that are present in a document or a website you would get 0 results. This obviously would be really frustrating and you might end up pulling all your hair out off your head :D!

Fortunately SharePoint Search recognizes synonyms and it can be configured. In order to configure it, one would need to Import a Thesaurus file to SharePoint using Power Shell. The Thesaurus file basically contains the key with the corresponding synonym, something like this

key, synonym, language

For Example in a thesaurus file an entry would be-

emerges, rises, en

where en stands for English

So suppose a document had a word called as “emerges” and you search for “rises”, you would still be able to retrieve the document from the search results.

Each line is a new entry in the file. And once you are done adding the entries, the file can be uploaded to SharePoint. One must note that if you re-upload the Thesaurus file with new keywords, it would not automatically add those keywords to the existing thesaurus file. It is basically going to create a new file with the keywords that you had planned to add. So, it is always wise to keep a backup of your Thesaurus file in your local hard drive so that you don’t loose your data if you accidentally happen to upload a file with just the new words.