Inboxes


Inboxes accept files from people who are not registered users on your site. There are two ways you can allow your counterparties to submit or send their files to your inbox: either by uploading files via web portal or by sending an email with attachments. The same inbox can accept files through web and through email.

Use cases for inboxes include things like accepting contest applications from the public, allowing customers to easily send you photos, collecting form submissions, collecting files though emails, and many more.

Inboxes can be customized with a registration form, and can also be emailed to specific recipients. When emailed through your site, the email recipients will receive a link to upload the files. Alternatively, you can communicate your inbox URL or inbound email address of your inbox directly to your users or even publish the inbox link or email address of your inbox in your public facing website or your intranet portal.

Inboxes vs User Accounts

Inboxes are intended for use cases where the user of the inbox would not be a regular user of your site. Each inbox exists on its own, and each inbox session is treated independently. As a result, visitors will not be able to see other files in the Inbox, including files they may have uploaded in a previous session. If you require visitors to interact with files after uploading, you should instead create User accounts for those visitors.

Creating an Inbox

Site administrators and users who have admin permissions for a folder can create an unlimited number of inboxes associated with a folder, allowing a custom URL and description for each Inbox use without changing the folder structure for storing the files. You can configure these inboxes in the settings for a folder or on the Inboxes page. If you wish to have other inboxes of the same type with the same or different folder associations, you can easily generate clones of any existing inboxes. This can be achieved by using the Clone option from the Inboxes home page.

Once an inbox has been created, you can access it by clicking the hyperlinked Inbox key. You can also click the buttons for accessing the link directly or copying the URL to your clipboard. If you enabled the Allow uploads to this inbox via Email setting, you can also copy the email address of your inbox to your clipboard.

Inbox Settings

Your site provides settings to customize the behavior of each individual inbox.

The Inbox title setting is the name for the Inbox, displayed to users when viewing the Inbox. The Inbox key setting determines the URL of the Inbox. By default, this is populated with a value similar to your Inbox title, but you can modify this to be anything you wish. The Inbox key value must be unique to your entire site - you cannot create two different inboxes with the Inbox key of photos, for instance, as both inboxes would point at the same address https://SUBDOMAIN.files.com/u/photos.

Settings for uploads via Web

Some of the Inbox settings change how the web page looks when a visitor accesses your Inbox URL. If you enable the Show on login page setting, a link to this Inbox is displayed on the site login page. The Inbox description is an optional description for your Inbox. This text is displayed when your recipients access Inbox. The Help text is optional, instructional text that will be shown to people who are viewing this Inbox and preparing to upload files.

Some settings determine what steps visitors must follow before being allowed to upload. The Clickwrap setting lets you associate an agreement that visitors must agree to before getting access to the inbox. The Require password setting can be enabled to force visitors to provide the password you specify before being granted access to this Inbox.

Registrations allow you to track who is accessing your Inbox, and each Inbox provides settings to control how this works. The Require registration option forces visitors to provide their contact information before being granted access to this Inbox. The Custom form setting lets you attach a customized registration form to the Inbox, and allows for advanced auto-organization of the files that are uploaded.

To automatically organize files uploaded by your visitors, preventing different uploaders' files from commingling, you can enable the Separate submissions into subfolders setting. When the setting is enabled, each time a visitor access your Inbox and uploads files, those files will be placed into a newly created folder.

When both the Separate submission into subfolders setting and the Require registration setting are enabled for an Inbox, the Subfolder name template setting can be used to specify how the automatically created subfolders should be named. You can provide a combination of text and placeholders representing the information from the registration form to name the new folders, but you cannot use special, reserved or restricted characters. By default, the subfolder name template will be set to "{{email}}", and the email address provided by your Inbox visitor will be used as the name for the subfolder their uploaded files will be placed in. If you leave the Subfolder name template setting blank, subfolders will be given a generic, numbered "Submission" name (Submission 1, Submission 2, etc.).

The Disable folder uploads setting is useful when you want to restrict your inbox for files only. When it is enabled, visitors cannot upload folders to the inbox.

Settings for uploads via Email

Your site provides settings that affect whether and how an Inbox handles incoming emails. The setting to Allow uploads to this inbox via email must be enabled in order for your counterparties to send email to the Inbox. Once this setting is enabled, a unique email address is generated and displayed for this inbox. By default, anyone with this email address can submit or upload files directly to this Inbox by forwarding email attachments or sending files to the email address using their own mail client.

There is no way to collect any registration or authentication information from inbound email, so the Require password setting and the Require registration setting must be disabled to enable Allow uploads to this inbox via email for an Inbox.

The Allow only these senders to upload via email setting limits which email addresses can upload files into the Inbox. With this setting enabled, the uploads to the inbox can be restricted to certain sender email addresses or email domains (example: *@example.com or @example.com). Only the specified senders can upload files to the inbox and all other senders will be discarded by the system. Your list can include up to 10 email addresses or email domains. A site administrator must enable Inbound email authentication for your site to enforce email restrictions. The allowed email addresses or domains will be verified via SPF, DKIM and DMARC to prevent spoofing or other misuse. Emails that do not pass these checks will be discarded by the system.

You can enable the Notify senders on successful upload via Email setting to send an acknowledgment receipt email to the sender whenever a file is successfully stored from an inbound email to the Inbox.

You can use your site to generate emails containing a link to the Inbox for one or more recipients. The Share via Email tab of an Inbox provides a form for sending invitations to up to 50 email addresses at once.

Recipients of Inbox URLs that have been shared via email but who have not yet visited your Inbox will be displayed at the bottom of the Share via Email page for each individual Inbox. A table containing the details of the recipient of the Inbox email will display, containing the Company Name, Note(s), Email, and the sent date.

Emailed Invitations Are For Specific Recipients

Invitation emails that are sent to an address are good for only one person. Every email invitation has a unique link to the inbox, even if you're sending invitations to multiple people for the same inbox.

When your recipient clicks on the link in their email, a session is created and saved in the web browser's local storage. The session is tied to that specific web browser and the email address that received the link. If the same link is visited again from that same browser, they will have access to the Inbox.

If the link is later visited in a different browser (either on the same computer or another computer), the inbox will display an error that the invitation has already been used. Each time the site detects this kind of link reuse, it will automatically generate a new email with a new link and re-send it to the original recipient.

A recipient who receives an emailed link sent from your site can use the same link repeatedly from the same browser without invalidating the link.

Share Groups

Share Groups save you time when you need to invite the same groups of people to different Inboxes. You can store up to 50 recipients as a Share Group, with an optional note for easy reference.

You can create new Share Groups at the time of sending email invitations. After you have entered the contact information to send emails, check the box labeled Save as a new Share Group, then enter a name for the group and an optional note. When you click Send email to finish sending your invitations, all of the recipients will be stored as a Share Group.

When you have at least one saved Share Group, the Share via Email tab of an Inbox will show a field for Choose a Share Group. You can search for your share group by typing the name of the group, part of the note, or even an email address of a recipient in that group. Once you select your Share Group, all of the recipients will be added to the contact forms below.

When you select a Share Group and then make changes to the recipients before sending your Share Link invitations, you can check the checkbox Update Share Group to save all of the changes you have made.

Foreign Language Support

The Files.com web interface supports multiple languages. Currently, Files.com supports 6 languages: English, Deutsch (German), Español (Spanish), Français (French), 日本語 (Japanese), and Português (Portuguese). Inbox pages are presented in your site's default language.

Managing Inboxes

Site administrators and users who have admin rights for at least one folder can view and manage Inboxes, either by accessing the folder settings for a folder, or by viewing the Inboxes page. Inboxes can be deleted in either location. Deleting an Inbox will immediately disable its URL and its email address (if enabled), but will not impact the folder itself, or any files previously uploaded via the Inbox.

Inboxes can be attached to Share Links, allowing a Share Link to provide two-way data transfer. To achieve this, create the Inbox first, then attach it to the Share Link during Share Link creation.

Uploading to an Inbox via Web

Files may be uploaded to an Inbox either by clicking the Upload button and selecting files to upload, or by dragging and dropping files directly onto the page. As visitors upload files, they can see the size and completion status of their uploads. When a file upload completes, the interface will confirm the status to the uploader. To ensure the security of all uploads to your site, Inbox uploads are encrypted with the same high-strength encryption as uploads performed by logged-in users.

Visitors to an Inbox URL can never see the files that others have uploaded, and can only see their own uploads during their upload session. However, users who are logged in to the site and have the appropriate permissions will be able to see the files immediately upon upload.

Uploading to an Inbox via Email

If your inbox has the setting Allow uploads to this inbox via Email enabled, any application or system or users can send files directly to your inbox (or to the folder associated with that inbox) using the inbound email address associated with your inbox. CRM or ERP or HRMS applications like Salesforce, Workday, Marketo, ServiceNow etc. can upload files directly to the inboxes using the email address. Users can forward the emails with attachments to this email address in To or Cc or Bcc fields. The body and the subject of the email will not be uploaded to your inbox or associated folder; only attached files will be uploaded, and files with the same name will be overwritten. However, if your email body contains embedded images or images in the email signatures, those images will be uploaded to the inbox along with the any other email attachments.

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