09 February 2017

Office 365 Groups With Auto-Created Collaboration Apps

Office 365 iconThe Office 365 Groups service is included in all subscriptions that have Exchange and SharePoint. Groups can be created in several ways, but in a new article in the Tips section I give an introduction to Groups and show how to create a group in Outlook.

Quick setup of collaboration tools
The most important advantage of using Groups is that you very quickly can have a set of collaboration media organized for a group of people who want to work together, for example on a project. By default all Office 365 users may create groups.

Create an Office 365 group and choose people that you wish to collaborate with. Then the service will quickly set up a collection of resources for the group to share. You don’t have to worry about manually creating or assigning permissions to the shared resources, because when you add members to the group, they automatically get the permissions they need to the tools your group provides.

The group apps
Office 365 Groups iconWhen a group is created, Office 365 automatically creates an inbox for e-mail messages, a calendar, a SharePoint site collection, a Planner site and a OneNote notebook for that group. All group members can reach these apps from their Outlook mailboxes, where a new group entry will be added in the folders list.

The group also gets a ‘Connectors’ feature, where users can connect the group to many different cloud services within or outside Office 365. Any group member can add a service and let filtered information from that service flow into the shared inbox.

Used in multiple apps
You can create a new group from Outlook, as I show in the Tips article and in the demo above, but groups are also created  automatically for several Office 365 apps. You can for example start with Planner instead and have the group created there.

When a user creates a team site from the SharePoint Favorites, a group will be created automatically. The new conversation app Teams, which is still in preview, also build on auto-created Office 365 Groups.

Last month Microsoft released another app that makes use of Office 365 Groups. It is called StaffHub and is intended to help users who don’t work at a desk to manage their workday. StaffHub also makes it easy for managers to schedule work and share information.
Office 365 from Scratch cover
Office 365 from Scratch
All these Office 365 apps and services are described in my next book, Office 365 from Scratch. It has now come to the proof-reading stage, and I hope to release it in a couple of weeks. I will surely come back to you then!

Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions