Send O365 email using ColdFusion and Microsoft Graph

October 24, 2023

With SMTP Relay being increasingly phased out within Office/Exchange 365 I decided to migrate some of our application email to Microsoft Graph.

In order to use Microsoft Graph API to send email you’ll need to have an Exchange 365 account and a licensed user/inbox.

To access the Microsoft Graph API your program will need to authenticate itself using OAuth.

The first step is to register your application in Azure AD.

Open the Azure AD Portal:

Click App Registrations.

Azure AD Portal

Click New registration.

New registration

Enter the Name of your application. Leave everything else default.

New registration defails

Click Register.

After registering your application, write down the Application (client) ID and the Directory (tenant) ID.

App Information

We now need to create a “secret” for generating OAuth access tokens.

Click Certificates & secrets.

App Information

Click New client secret.

Certificates & Secrets

Enter a Description and select an Expires value.

New client secret

Click Add.

Write down the Value immediately because it will only be displayed once.

Client secret

Now we need to assign the app the appropriate API permissions.

Click API permissions.

API permissions

Click Add a permission.

Add a permission
Select Microsoft Graph.
Microsoft Graph
Select Application permissions.
Application permissions

Search for Mail and select Mail.Send.

Add permissions

Click Add permissions.

An administrator will need to grant the permission for the entire organization.

Grant permission

Click Grant admin consent for <YOUR ORGANIZATION>.

Once the permission has been granted you should see a green check.

Granted permission
NOTE:  This process can take some time

To limit this permissions’ mailbox access we need to create an application access policy.

This can be done using the Exchange Online PowerShell module

Set the PowerShell Execution Policy:

Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned

To install the module:

Install-Module -Name ExchangeOnlineManagement

To start using the module:

Import-Module ExchangeOnlineManagement

Connect to Exchange Online using an administrator account:

Connect-ExchangeOnline -UserPrincipalName <USERNAME>
NOTE:  Connecting using an account that is not an Administrator will result in PowerShell error messages

Create a mail-enabled security group which we can apply the application access policy:

New-DistributionGroup -Name "MyEmailApp" -Alias myemailapp -Type "Security"

Create the application access policy using the Application (client) ID:

New-ApplicationAccessPolicy -AppId <APPLICATION_CLIENT_ID> -PolicyScopeGroupId <GROUP EMAIL ADDRESS> -AccessRight RestrictAccess

Add the mailbox you want to send from to the group:

Add-DistributionGroupMember -Identity MyEmailApp -Member <SENDER_ADDRESS> -Confirm:$false

Now that the application has been registered and the appropriate permissions have been granted we can start interacting with the Microsoft Graph API

First we need to get an access_token.

httpService = new http(
     url = "",
     method = "POST"

     type = "body",
     value = "client_id=<APPLICATION_CLIENT_ID>&<CLIENT_SECRET>&grant_type=client_credentials"

results = httpService.send().getPrefix();

The results should look like this:


The Filecontent key should contain a JSON encoded string:

     "access_token": "<ACCESS_TOKEN>",
     "expires_in": 3599,
     "token_type": "Bearer",
     "ext_expires_in": 3599

The expires_in value is the time in seconds until the token expires.

You can reuse the same token for subsequent Microsoft Graph API requests until it expires.

Using the the access token we can now send an email using the sendMail API endpoint:

filecontent = deserializeJSON(results.filecontent);

httpService = new http(
     url = "<SENDER_EMAIL>/sendMail",
     method = "POST"

     type = "header",
     name = "Authorization",
     value = "Bearer #filecontent.access_token#"

     type = "header",
     name = "Content-Type",
     value = "application/json"

body = {
     "message": {
          "subject": "Your subject",
          "body": {
               "contentType": "Text",
               "content": "Your message content"
          "toRecipients": [{
               "emailAddress": {
                    "address": ""
     "saveToSentItems": false

     type = "body",
     value = serializeJSON(body)

results = httpService.send().getPrefix();

The results.Statuscode will show 202 Accepted if the email was sent:



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about me

An information technology professional with twenty four years experience in systems administration, computer programming, requirements gathering, customer service, and technical support.