Documentation Library

Search for information on Hornbill Documentation.


{{docApp.searchResultFilteredItems.length}} results for "{{docApp.currentResultsSearchText}}" in {{docApp.searchFilterBySpecificBookTitle}}

Have questions about this site?

What is this site?

  • This website is Hornbill's new product documentation website and is currently under development.
  • It is intended that all existing and future public-facing documentation we produce will be available to search, browse and share.
  • Hornbill's current documentation is available at Hornbill Wiki but over time this content will be migrated to this documentation site.
  • Please feel free to have a look around at any time.

Why has Hornbill created this site?

  • Hornbill's products have moved on considerably since we introduced it almost 10 years ago. At the time, the MediaWiki tool was sufficient, but we have outgrown it.
  • Our customers are more enterprise focused and more self-sufficient than ever before, so for 2023 and beyond we have established a new documentation platform and team to drive our documentation initiative forwards.
  • We are aiming to deprecate the use of Hornbill Wiki for most Hornbill related documentation.
  • We want to enable our growing partner network with product resources and information, documentation beyond our Wiki approach is required.
  • We could definitely do with some help, and may even pay for some! If you have domain knowledge and would like to help, please check out our Hornbill Docs Contributor Guide and contact the Hornbill docs team at

What will this site be good for?

  • Community contribution will be facilitated, encouraged, and most welcome.
  • High quality documentation, will be kept up to date as rapidly as our products evolve.
  • Real-time content search and discovery.
  • Articles organized into books, books into libraries, creating a more natural and logical structure to our documentation.
  • Legacy API documentation and various other documentation sources will all be consolidated into a single unified documentation system.
  • Documentation available in browser as well as printable/viewable as PDF on demand.
  • Personalized documentation experience, allowing dark/light mode, article subscriptions, social media sharing and other useful features.
  • Almost all publicly available documentation on will be open-source and available to fork on GitHub, allowing customers to derive their own custom documentation around Hornbill products should they wish to.

What is the timeline for this site?

  • We have taken the decision to publish and make available early, there is very little content at this time.
  • As and when we have completed/usable documentation, it will be published here.
  • We have a host of additional features we wish to add over time, so please watch this space.
  • We expect most of our existing documentation should be reviewed/migrated to over the coming months.
  • The documentation project will be ongoing, will continue to expand, evolve and improve day-by-day.

{{docApp.libraryHomeViewProduct.title ||}}


  1. {{book.title}}

{{group.title ||}}


  1. {{book.title}}


Shared Mailboxes

Shared mailboxes are created to allow a group of users to share a single mailbox for both outgoing and incoming emails, all using a common email address.


The first two shared mailboxes are free, but any more mailboxes are subject to an additional monthly subscription charge.

Before you begin

  • At least one user created role needs to be available. User created roles are used to provide access between users and a shared mailbox.

Mailbox Details

This is where the basic details of the mailbox are specified:

  • Mailbox Name
    This is used to reference the mailbox within the Hornbill Platform when there is a need to specify a mailbox in certain application settings. Once the mailbox is created this cannot be changed.
  • Display Name
    This is what the recipients of email will see when they receive an email from Hornbill. This can be edited at any time.

Adding an Inbound Mail Service

This tab is where we tell Hornbill where it will retrieve email messages. Remember, in a typical setup, email messages are not sent directly to your Hornbill instance but are retrieved periodically from a mail account that will reside on your organizations mail exchange. The information Hornbill needs is as follows:

  • Service
    The protocol that Hornbill will use to retrieve the messages. Hornbill supports POP3 or IMAP4.
  • Server
    The name or IP address of the mail server where the mail account is located.
  • Encryption
    The encryption method used in the communication between Hornbill and your mail server.
  • Port
    the port over which communication will take place. this will be dictated by the encryption method and Protocol used.
  • Username
    The mail account username.
  • Password
    The mail account password.


As soon as a successful connection is established with the mailbox on your mail server, Hornbill will immediately retrieve all the emails that reside in the inbox. All of these messages will be deleted from the server once they are downloaded to Hornbill. If you have any need for the messages to remain on the mail server, you should ask your mail administrator to implement some rules that duplicate any message sent to this mail account to another folder/location.

Linking an Outbound Mail Route (Domain)

The “Addresses” tab is where we specify a “reply address” i.e. the address that recipients will see when the receive email from Hornbill. This reply address also has another important function within the Hornbill Platform which is to link the outbound mail route to the Shared Mailbox. Prior to performing this step, it will be necessary to configure your Outbound Mail Route, click here here for details.

  1. Click “Add Address”
  2. Specify the alias (this is what forms everything to the left of the ‘@’ symbol in your reply address).
  3. From the pick list select the domain name. This pick list contacts all the Outbound Routes (Domains) you have configured in Hornbill (See the wiki page on Outbound Mail Routing for more detail).
  4. Click “Save”
  5. Mark the check box to the left of the Address, and set this as the default by clicking the “tick” button towards the top right.
  6. A green dot should now appear to the right of the address to indicate that this is the default address.

Mailbox Status

The “Status” tab shows provides an overview of the mailbox folders.

Associated Roles

Providing access to a shared mailbox is done through the creation and association of one or more roles. Once a role is associated with a shared mailbox, users can then be assigned to the roles. A shared mailbox can only be associated with a user created role.

Create a New Shared Mailbox Role

If a role for a shared mailbox has not previously been created, you will need to create a role before you can provide access to users.

  1. Open Configuration and search for Manage Roles
  2. Within the results under Platform select Manage Roles
  3. Click the Create New Role button (located to the top right of the list) and populate the fields as follows:
    • Role ID: Mailbox – (The name of your shared mailbox)
    • Privilege Level: User
    • Type: Security
    • Description: This role will be used to grant access to the (The name of your shared mailbox)
  4. Click on the Create Role button.
  5. In the Shared Mailbox field select the shared mailbox that this role will be assocated with.
  6. Click Save.
  7. Under the Shared Mailbox Rights select the rights that will apply to the users who are assigned this role.

Suggested Rights for a Typical User

This set of rights allows a user to perform all the common actions required to process messages that are received by the Shared Mailbox. It allows a user to view and manage the contents of the shared mailbox.

  • Can Get Folder Properties
  • Can Get message
  • Can Flag Message
  • Can Delete Message
  • Can Add File Attachment
  • Can send message
  • Can Edit Message
  • Can Search Message

Minimum Rights for Sending An Email

This set of rights only allows an agent to send a message from the Hornbill Platform. It does not allow the user to view or process the contents of the shared mailbox.

  • Can Send Message
  • Can Add File Attachment

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Which protocol should I use, IMAP4 or POP3?
    When Hornbill integrates with your enterprise or public e-mail system for shared mailboxes we only use your mail server to transport mail. Once we read a mail message from your server and move it safely into our database we delete the message on the remote server so in this context both POP3 and IMAP4 do the exact same job. If your server supports IMAP4, this would be the recommended using this. IMAP4 is a more modern and flexible protocol that allows for instant mail notifications instead of polling for mail
  2. Why does Hornbill delete mail from my mail server?
    Hornbill stores all emails it receives into its shared mailboxes into a database, once your mail messages and attachments are in our database they are as safe as the rest of your data on our platform. One of the problems with IMAP and POP3 with the mail systems that implement these protocols is there is generally a finite amount of storage available for mail, so the question about how to keep storage use at manageable levels becomes a complication and an administrative overhead, and to combat this, many systems impose storage limits and forced message deletion policies. Another good reason is the technical details of how the IMAP and POP3 protocols are implemented. As data sets become large on your mail system, it takes more and more time and network bandwidth to synchronize between Hornbill and your Mail system. For these reasons it works a lot better and is the maintenance free option to move the messages from your mail server to our platform.
In This Document