Office 365 - Getting Started with Groups
Groups in Office 365 let you choose a set of people that you wish to collaborate with and easily set up a collection of resources for those people to share. You don’t have to worry about manually assigning permissions to all those resources because adding members to the group automatically gives them the permissions they need to the tools your group provides.
When you subscribe to a group, all the email messages and meeting invitations are sent directly to your inbox. But they’re also stored in your group folder. So don’t worry about accidentally deleting something or creating a rule to move mail from your inbox to a private folder. Delete it from your inbox after reading it and know there’s still a copy safely stored in your searchable group folder; in fact, all the messages since the group began are stored in the group folder. Even if you weren’t a member at the beginning, you’ll get to see the full history once you join.
- All groups are assigned an email address which follows this format: firstname.lastname@example.org. Only group owners can manage the group. It is recommended that you use Outlook on the web to manage the group.
- Service Accounts can be members of a group, but they will only have access to the shared Inbox and shared Calendar features of the group. They won’t get the document library, Planner or any of the other capabilities/features of the group.
- By default, when a Group is created, anyone with a UW-Madison Office 365 account can send a message/email to the Group. This can be managed within the settings of the Group.
- If you are member of a group (which is enabled for mail delivery to every member of the group) and send a message to the group, you will not receive this message into your mailbox. It will only be visible in your "Sent Items" folder. This is expected behavior. If you want the message to also be delivered to your mailbox, add your address to the To/Cc/Bcc field. You also have the option to view the message within the Group conversation list.
- Groups cannot be used to assign/set permissions to email folders/calendars (including resource calendars). Security groups can be used to set/assign permissions for multiple users at once.
Types of Office 365 Groups
There are two types of groups:
- Professional Learning Community (PLC)
Two main differences between a standard group and a PLC group:
- OneNote Online Notebook templates.
- Default privacy settings.
|OneNote Online Notebook templates
||Default privacy settings
| Standard group
||Templates are not readily available. Learn how to create a template in OneNote Online Notebook.
|Professional Learning Community (PLC) group
||Templates are readily available to meet the needs of educators.
Public versus private groups
A public group is open to everyone. If you just want to see what the group is doing, all the content and conversations are easy to view. But if the group interests you, you can join it and become a member. In most cases, a public group is your preferred alternative.
A private group is exclusive and only open to its members. The content and conversations are secure and not viewable by everyone. Choose a private group when you are concerned about security and privacy, such as trade secrets or confidential information. Although anyone can see the name of the private group, information is also security-trimmed so it is not accessible from search, links, or in other ways. Joining a private group requires approval from a group administrator.
- Before you can join a group, you need to find it. Fortunately, groups are open and discoverable by default. Both public and private groups have a group profile displayed in a card that includes the name, description, photo, alias, membership, and so on. If this group information is sensitive, you should look at other options instead of using a group.
- Although you cannot participate in a private group that you are not a member of, by default, anyone with a UW-Madison Office 365 account can send a message/email to a private/public Group.
- You have the ability to change a public group into a private group, or a private group into a public group.
How to create a group?
It is recommended that you use Outlook on the web to create a group. Learn more.
How to know if an account is a group?
All accounts that have this format email@example.com are group accounts.
If the account is searchable in the Global Address List (GAL), you will be able to find additional details on the account. You can search for the account using the search feature via the 'People' screen within Outlook on the web. If the account cannot be searched for, then you must contact the DoIT Help Desk for further assistance.
How to manage or interact with a group?
Groups can be created and managed by any Office 365 account. View the following video to see a group in action. At this time, PLC groups can only be created using Outlook on the web. When creating a group via Outlook on the web, you will have the option to create a Standard and Professional Learning Community (PLC) group.
Important: It is recommended that you wait at least 60 minutes after creating, managing members, or deleting a group so that the changes are synced within Office 365.
For more information about how to perform certain actions, such as joining a group, scheduling a meeting on the group calendar, managing group members, etc, review the following document: Learn about Office 365 groups.
Guest access in Office 365 Groups enables you and your team to collaborate with people from outside your organization by granting them access to group conversations, files, calendar invitations, and the group notebook. Access can be granted to a guest—including partners, vendors, suppliers, or consultants—by any group owner.
What happens when a group is deleted
- All data within the group will be deleted, this includes conversations, OneDrive for Business files, Notebooks, Planner, Team, and calendar data.
- A group can be deleted via the 'edit group' screen or via the Planner app.
- A Group can be restored within 30 days of it being deleted. Please see Microsoft documentation on what is restored. Contact the DoIT Help Desk and request the Group to be restored - please provide the Group name and email address.
What clients/devices can I use?
You can interact with a group using many different clients/devices:
- Outlook for the web and Outlook 2016 for Windows/Mac
- Android, iOS, and Windows Phone
- Microsoft rolls out support for Groups to Outlook for Mac, Android, and iOS
- Office 365 - Connectors for Groups
- Office 365 - What are the differences between an Office 365 Group, an Office 365 Security Group, a Contact list, a Google Group, and WiscLists?
- Office 365 - Getting Started with Microsoft Teams
- Office 365 - Make a Group Hidden within Global Address List (GAL) or make Members Hidden from non-members
- Office 365 - Only allow Group Members to send message to a Group