Office 365 Training Series: How To Plan And Configure SharePoint Online
SharePoint is a cloud-based service that helps internal colleagues and partners collaborate and share data. It has gained immense popularity amongst organizations as it allows employees easy access to documents, sites, and other information; irrespective of their geographic location.
To configure SharePoint within your organization, you need to devise a plan that will help you to manage sites with the objective to broadcast as well as collaborate. Following are a few basic steps that will help you plan and configure SharePoint online:
- Setting up the SharePoint environment with the help of the SharePoint and global admin.
- Managing users and planning sites with the help of site-collection and SharePoint admin.
- Planning the content and organizing the site with the help of all the stakeholders and site-collection admins.
- Customizing the site with the help of developers, SharePoint admin, and site owners.
Learning about SharePoint Online
Collaborating with multiple employees that are spread over different locations brings with it several challenges in terms of connectivity and data-integrity. With the passage of time, SharePoint has become one of the most famous platforms of collaborative effort that facilitates, and makes the following things possible:
- Channeling with partners.
- Promoting communication.
- Sharing data, documents and information
To get started with SharePoint, all you need to do is make an account at the Office 365 site and get a subscription. If you are a professional or an SME owner, you can opt for the P-plan, which can cater to 50 users. On the other hand, if you work for an MNC or large enterprise, you should opt for the E-plan, as it can accommodate more users and has higher functionality. If you are not sure about which plan you should opt for, it is recommended that you read this blog by SharePoint.
After you have registered at the website, your next step is to go to the Admin Overview page in the portal that is home to all the administrative tasks. Some if these tasks include unified communication services as well as domains and user management. It is also responsible for licenses and subscriptions of Office 365 services.
Planning how to Deploy SharePoint
It is important to have a deployment plan in mind. Here are some of the questions that you will have to consider while doing so:
- Do you plan on replacing on-premise installations with SharePoint online?
- Do you want to give administrative privileges to other users?
- How many of your employees will be using SharePoint?
- How much data do you want to migrate to SharePoint, and what kind of data is it?
If you already have a domain, you can use it with Office 365 services, but if you want a custom domain, you will have to select it from domains in the management section. In the ‘Add a Domain’ space, fill in the relevant information and click Next. The next step would be to verify the information, which takes around 10 to 15 minutes. After your information will be verified, you will have the instructions to configure the rest of the DNS records.
Thanks to SharePoint, you can assess and manage several members. If you want to add members, simply go the Users section on admin overview, and add the members manually. You can customize user attributes at ‘Add, Edit or Delete Properties for a User Profile’. If you want to add numerous users, you can do so by importing a CSV file that has user information. If your company opted for the E-plan, you have the flexibility of using Active Directory Synchronization. You can also use the Single Sign-On (SSO) functionality, which is powered by Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS). SSO gives its users access to various resources as well as additional capabilities. Following are some of the prerequisites to using SSO:
- You need to have at least Windows 2008 with native mode or mixed functional level.
- You will have to deploy AD FS 2.0 on Windows 2008. If the user is not on premises, you will have to use a proxy.
- You need to have a Microsoft Online Services module.
- You need to install all the updates that Office 365 offers.
Once all these requirements are met, you can easily configure SSO as well as Active Directory synchronization.
Next, find out how you will give permissions to your users. You should know that the permission levels represent collections of permissions. If you allow the users to read permission, they will only be able to view specific items at SharePoint Online. It is recommended that you don’t give direct permissions to users since it makes tracking difficult. It is recommended to give permission to a group. If you want to create a security group, you simply go to the Admin Overview page and give permission from there. SharePoint allows you to upload custom solutions that can be run at a site-collection level.
Once you have your subscription, you can easily use SharePoint online and make it simpler for your employees to collaborate with each other. If you would like to learn more about SharePoint, it is recommended that you enroll in Office 365 training.