SharePoint is a web-based document and information management system that integrates with Microsoft Office. SharePoint uses pages and web components, similar to WebPress, to organize content. Before Missouri State switched to Office 365 Education, some departments housed their documents on SharePoint sites to create an intranet for employees. Now that we use Office 365 for Education, SharePoint Online is included with each faculty and staff member’s subscription.
As Microsoft describes it, SharePoint Online (also referred to as SharePoint 2016) is a cloud-based service that helps organizations share and collaborate with colleagues, partners, and customers. With SharePoint Online, you can access internal sites, documents, and other information from anywhere—at the office, at home, or from a mobile device. Here at Missouri State, SharePoint Online is integrated with our Office 365 Education subscription. Office 365 Groups utilize SharePoint Online without the need for users to manage an actual SharePoint site, but if your department or team is interested in creating and managing a full SharePoint site (beyond what Office 365 Groups can offer), you can contact User Support via the Help Desk to request a SharePoint site be set up; you can also request that your Office 365 Group be deleted once you transfer to a full SharePoint site if you no longer want or need to use the Group.
Office 365 Groups and SharePoint Online
If you’re a member of an Office 365 Group, you may have noticed that your Group files are stored in SharePoint. This can be a little confusing because the University uses OneDrive for Business as its cloud storage system, but when you access your Group files the top of the page says “SharePoint." SharePoint Online is where all Office 365 Groups are housed; by using SharePoint Online, Office 365 Groups are integrated with other Microsoft applications like Delve, Sway, Planner, and Yammer. This means that users can access their Group documents from both OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online because Group files are stored on SharePoint servers rather than OneDrive servers. Users do not need to update or maintain their Group SharePoint sites; this is an automated process, and SharePoint Online simply serves as an access point for Office 365 Group features.
Computer Services does not currently offer training classes for SharePoint Online; however, there are many training options on the web. Listed below are just some of the resources that will help you get started with SharePoint Online:
- Microsoft SharePoint 2016 - A webpage that offers a good overview and description of SharePoint 2016/Online and its features.
- SharePoint Online Essential Training - Offered by Lynda.com, this training can be completed as part of the free trial to Lynda’s subscription service. The Greene County Library also offers Lynda’s service for free to library card holders.
- Microsoft SharePoint Enterprise Content Management - A free training course offered by edX that focuses on best practices for setting up new projects and organizing content.
- SharePoint Virtual Summit - You can watch the video from the livestream of this year’s summit to learn more about SharePoint and its features. Register to watch the video.
- SharePoint Online Training - Videos and tutorials provided by Microsoft for those just beginning to work with SharePoint Online.
- Microsoft SharePoint 2016 - This is a series of paid courses ($49/course) offered by edX for moderate to advanced users.
- SharePoint Permissions - A document provided by MSU Operations and Systems about setting permissions in SharePoint Online.