At Microsoft Ignite, we heard much about Office 365 Groups. It’s clearer to me now that Groups are not just a group of collaborative tools  that can be self provisioned for a group. Groups are an identity in Azure Active Directory and are going to be used extensively throughout the different services in Office 365. They will help to unify the experiences and make it easy to share, communicate and work together as a group, where ever you are in Office 365.
My observations in the video recording today are of one of these experiences, sharing a file and a Team site with an Office 365 Group.
Now when I share a file, I can enter an Office 365 Group name. I can set the usual View/Edit access permission. The shared file remains in the location you are sharing it from, it’s not copied to the Groups Files.
But it appears in a view of the files call “Shared with us“. This brings together the files that have been shared with the Group for easy access. Members of the Group can open the file to either view or edit and are directed to OneDrive for Business or a Team Site where the file may have been shared from.

Now, as I typed this up I thought I might just try to see if I can share a SharePoint site with an Office 365 Group. It appears I can do this now too. When the site is shared with the Group, as it is with files, a message is sent to the Groups Conversations so all members know the site has been shared with them.
In the video below I demonstrate this using a Team site with unique permissions. I use my demo user Jack Sparrow, who initially cannot access the site. He see’s the usual “Request Access” form. After sharing the site with the OneNote Fans Office 365 Group, Jack sees a message in the Groups Conversations and can access the site.

It’s good to see that sharing with an Office 365 Group is working as demonstrated at Microsoft Ignite. Keep an eye on Groups as more features are turned on to bring the Office 365 experiences together across the difference services.



  1. Since the end users can create the groups. I see the potential for some major issues with group naming. Our business has 6 sub businesses and we all use the same o365 tenant so if HR from company A creates a group called HR, HR from business B or C might not realize what business that group is for. I know there is an option to make a group private, but I think the default is public. I see this as a good tool, but we need some more governance around it.


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