Office 365 Groups
You can use Office 365 Groups, or simply Groups, to quickly band together with co-workers to collaborate without the administration responsibilities that come with a SharePoint site. Groups isn’t part of SharePoint Online. It’s actually a feature in Exchange Online, but it uses SharePoint Online capabilities, such as OneDrive for Business for storing group files and the OneNote notebook.
When you create a group, you automatically get a place for a conversation, a calendar, a location to store shared files, and a OneNote notebook.
Groups can be either public or private:
- In a public group, anyone in your Office 365 organization can participate in conversations, share files, and view the calendar.
- In a private group, only members of the group can access conversations, files, and calendar.
To create a group, you start from Exchange Online, not SharePoint Online. Here’s how:
- Log on to the Office 365 portal.
- Click the app launcher from the Office 365 navigation bar.
- Click the Mail tile.
- From the left pane, in the Groups group, click the + sign to create a new Group (as shown).
- Enter the required information then click Create.
- Add members to your group by name and then click Add.
Your Group will be created and the members will receive a welcome email.
Yammer and Groups address similar needs for a feed-like communication platform. Groups has some advantages over Yammer: a shared mailbox, calendar, and a place to share files. Groups also integrates with Planner, a visual task management tool recently added to Office 365. However, there are plans for Groups and Yammer integration in the future.