A little bit of an unusual post for me with just a rough post of bullet points I jotted down the other day. With the recent release of Groups in Office 365 I just wanted write down thoughts that I’ve gleaned over the last couple of days from the YamJam, Microsoft Posts, and a brief webcast from Michael Ganotti – http://michaelgannotti.com/ – if for nothing more than my own reference. Just to be clear, this isn’t SharePoint Security Groups, but the recently released Office 365 SharePoint Group Feature. If you don’t have it yet, it’s coming as it is currently still in the process of being rolled out.

So, here it goes:

  • Created as their own site collection instance for security and scalability
    • Can’t access the site collection directly
    • All Group content is accessed through OneDrive for Business
  • “Owner” is the group, not an individual user. If the group creator leaves, everyone can still work with the group, a new admin can be appointed.
  • Currently, subgroups are not an option
  • Yammer Group and SharePointGroups are two different things, further integration is coming
    • My thoughts and speculations: Yammer is slowly going away as Yammer features get rolled into Groups.
    • Along the same lines, I’ve heard speculation about this being similar to the way the aquisition and roll in of FAST search happend with SharePoint.
  • Currently no API or development optoins around groups. Groups are essentially a black box. Stay tuned to Microsoft for further updates
  • PowerShell Commandlets will be coming to manage and work with groups
  • Further integration between Groups and Team Sites will be coming in the future
    Currently if you want to move from one to the other it’s a manual move
  • Yammer = Group Converstions around Documents with Yammer Feed
  • Groups = Share Docs, Calendars and Email (similar to a team site)
  • Anayltics for Groups will be coming in the future
  • In the future Groups will are on the roadmap for availablity in the both the Windows and Mac Outlook client (directly from Microsoft). So yes, the new Office for Mac is still coming even though there has been radio silence about it since the SharePoint Conference back in March. Maybe some updates at TechEd Europe at the end of October?
  • Future Integration with Lync is coming
  • Currently external users can’t be joined to a group (expect to add this in the future, no current timeline)
  • For retention policies, the mailbox and sharepoint components of a group are handled with the native Exchange Online and SharePoint Online policies
  • Currently no workflow is available with a group
  • Currently can’t add content types
  • Group Limits:
    • User can create 250 groups
    • User can be a member of 1024 groups
    • Unlimited number of members in a group, however, only 300 can subscribe (MS is actively working to address this limit)
    • No Limit for number of groups in a tenant, however per tenent limit is 50K objects (DL’s, Groups, etc)

Overall my first impressions is that this is definitely a first wave of Groups as there are several features that I would consider key that are still be coming. To me, it also feels like a bit of confusion about when to use Yammer and/or Yammer Groups, SharePoint Groups and SharePoint Team Sites. It’s all very new and I’m definitely excited to see where Microsoft takes Groups as I can see potential here.

More Information from Microsoft, including a video demo – http://blogs.office.com/2014/09/25/delivering-first-chapter-groups-office-365/

As always, if you have anything more to add or any additional information or clarification on anything above, feel free to sound off in the comments!