Microsoft Office 365 For Dummies
As with any enterprise software, many different parts and pieces comprise the simple name of Office 365. Getting a handle on all of the moving pieces and jargon can be a challenging task. This guide gives you a quick reference to the products, technologies, concepts, and acronyms that make up the Office 365 landscape.
Working with the Office 365 Suite of Products
The Office 365 product is actually an umbrella term that encompasses four different technologies that have been woven together to provide a seamless solution in the cloud. Use this reference to quickly get a handle on Office 365 and its components as well as their purpose and problems they are designed to solve.
|SharePoint Online||SharePoint is Microsoft’s web platform and is designed to provide communication, consolidation, collaboration, and content management.|
|Exchange Online||Exchange is Microsoft’s email server designed to handle the heavy lifting of managing and routing emails. In addition Exchange handles functionality such as contacts, calendars, and tasks. Users generally use an email client such as Outlook to connect to Exchange.|
|Lync Online||Lync is a communications system designed to provide instant communication and ad-hoc meetings. Lync lets you conduct online meetings by sharing your screen or presentations online with multiple users simultaneously while communicating via voice, chat, and surveys. Lync is integrated with the other products in Office 365 in order to provide instant ability to communicate regardless of what software you are using.|
|Office Professional Plus||Office Professional Plus is the nearly ubiquitous productivity suite used by information workers around the world.|
Understanding Key Components of SharePoint Online
SharePoint contains a massive amount of functionality. The terms and acronyms can be daunting. Use this reference to quickly understand the components of Microsoft SharePoint.
|Site Collection||A SharePoint Site Collection is a top level site that contains other sub-sites. The difference between a Site Collection and a Site is that a Site Collection contains separate security and is isolated from other Site Collections. A Site on the other hand is contained by a top level Site Collection and shares security and other aspects with other Sites within the same Site Collection.|
|Sites||A SharePoint Site is nothing more than a website. At its root SharePoint is a website management system that provides a rich assortment of functionality that can be easily integrated into the SharePoint websites.|
|Document Libraries||A Document Library is a mechanism to store content within SharePoint. A Document Library provides functionality for content management such as check-in and check-out, versioning, security, and workflow.|
|Lists||A SharePoint List is simply a list of data. Much like you would have a grocery list a SharePoint List stores data in columns and rows.|
|Wikis||A Wiki is a specialized website that allows community members the ability to update the content of the web site on the fly. A Wiki is not specific to SharePoint however SharePoint provides Wiki functionality as a feature.|
|Blogs||A Blog is a web log or online journal. A blog provides a forum for people to write communications that can be viewed across the entire organization or Internet. Once a blog entry is posted the content can be commented and discussed on the blog entry page. Blogs are prevalent throughout modern society and SharePoint provides the ability to get a blog up and running in a manner of minutes.|
|Discussion Boards||A Discussion Board allows for online discussion throughout the organization. A discussion board provides a forum for people to post questions and replies that can be viewed throughout the organization.|
Understanding Key Components of Exchange Online
Exchange is often thought of as only being an e-mail server. The Exchange product contains a number of additional components, such as calendars, contacts, and tasks. Use this reference to quickly understand the different aspects of Exchange.
|E-mail is probably the most used for of communication in the modern age. Exchange excels at handling e-mail. You connect to Exchange using an e-mail client such as Outlook.|
|Calendar||If you use Outlook then you are familiar with booking your meetings and appointments on the Calendar tab. Exchange is the actual product that handles these events because Outlook is just the client.|
|Contacts||Having a place to store all of your contacts is critical in today’s connected world. With Exchange all of your contacts are stored on the server and can be accessed to by any connected device. For example, you can use your mobile phone, laptop, home computer, or work computer. You can even connect by using any computer that has a web browser through Outlook Web Access (OWA).|
|Tasks||Unless you have the memory of a savant then you probably work from a task list. When you store your tasks in Outlook you are actually storing them out in the cloud in Exchange. Just like the other aspects of Exchange, your tasks are available from any connected device. Because your tasks are in Exchange, you can add a task on your laptop and have it instantly available on your work computer when you login.|
Understanding Key Components of Lync Online
You can use Lync to communicate in a number of different ways. Lync lets you do everything from sending an e-mail with a click of the mouse to conducting an instant and ad-hoc meeting with people around the world. Use this reference to gain an understanding of the components of Lync.
|Meetings||Lync allows you to conduct instant and ad-hoc meetings. Using
Lync you can share your computer screen or applications so that
everyone in the meeting is looking at the same thing. You can use
features, such as a virtual white board, shared chat rooms,
questions, and surveys.
Lync meeting functionality is integrated tightly with Outlook so that you can create meetings and invite participants on the fly with only a few clicks of the mouse.
|Messaging||Lync allows you to send messages by using popular messaging platforms, such as Yahoo, AOL, Windows Live in addition to internal corporate users.|
|Voice||Lync integrates with your corporate phone system to provide one-click calling as well as other features, such as having voicemails sent to your e-mail and Outlook.|
|Video||Using Lync you can integrate video into meetings and messaging for as close to an in person experience as possible.|
Understanding Key Components of Office Professional Plus
Microsoft Office Professional Plus contains a number of different productivity applications. Some of these might be very familiar to you, such as Word or Excel. Others you may never have heard of prior to Office 365. Use this reference to gain an understanding of the applications of Office Professional Plus.
|Word||Microsoft Office Word is used for word processing, such as creating and editing documents.|
|Excel||An application used for data analysis and numeric manipulation.|
|PowerPoint||PowerPoint is used to create and deliver presentations.|
|Outlook with Business Contact Manager||An application used for e-mail, contacts, and calendaring including scheduling meetings, meeting rooms, and other resources.|
|OneNote||An application used for capturing and organizing notes.|
|Publisher||An application used to create and share publications and marketing materials, such as brochures, newsletters, post cards, and greeting cards.|
|Access||A database application used to collect, store, manipulate, and report on data.|
|InfoPath||An application designed to create nifty and useful forms that are used to collect data from people.|
|SharePoint Workspace||SharePoint is great but what happens when you aren’t connected to the Internet and need to access and work with your website? SharePoint Workspace allows you to take SharePoint sites offline.|
|Lync||When you need to connect with other people Lync is the tool for you. Lync allows you to connect with others by using features, such as instant messaging and conferencing including screen sharing, polling, and shared presentations.|