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As Solutions Engineers we talk to numerous customers moving in the on-prem world to Office 365. On-premise Exchange, SharePoint, File Shares, along with other applications are usually siloed and managed individually, and also the engineers who use individuals systems have specific ideas of the items a “group” is at individuals systems.

At Work 365, capital-G Groups really are a fundamental service, available across just one tenant, that supports Exchange, SharePoint, Skype, Yammer, and Teams. Sometimes, Groups are managed through the Exchange team sometimes, through the SharePoint team in other instances, through the Identity Management team.

With respect to the team’s expertise and prior experience, there’s some confusion about how exactly Microsoft now uses the word “group.” Because “group” has different meanings with respect to the on-premises stack, let’s go on and break lower the translation from what we should understand about on-premises regarding Groups, and just how this plays right into a new realm for Office 365.

Exactly what is a Group? 

Based on Office 365 and Microsoft, an organization is really a folded-up service of the couple of components which, until Office 365, were separate services. Foremost, an organization exists being an object in Azure Active Directory. Via a feature that Microsoft calls loose coupling, different services could be controlled in the Azure AD level when associated with an organization, including PowerBI, Yammer Group, and OneNote.

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Each time a Group is produced, it’s underpinned with a SharePoint site, that is a Group Template, that also includes a link with Exchange using a Distribution List. An Organization also offers Planner enabled automatically, which resides included in the SharePoint infrastructure. We’ve more details regarding Groups in our Office 365 Groups Playbook.

So, congratulations! If you are accountable for Groups, you’re (partly) accountable for SharePoint and (partly) accountable for Exchange.

Rather of considering an organization being an object that’s produced by these types of services, you need to consider Groups like a service on its own that’s built on other services. Groups is really a cool product Microsoft features that ties together sources from SharePoint, Exchange, and Active Directory.

Some customers place Groups management under existing teams. Some other clients are coming up with new groups of engineers to handle Groups.

Exchange Active Directory Groups 

Should you originate from an Exchange or AD background, then you’re accustomed to believing that Exchange groups fall under two primary groups – Distribution Groups and Security Groups. Distribution Groups distribute messages to individuals within the group, whereas Security Groups grant access permissions to assigned sources in Active Directory.

How This Plays into Office 365 Groups 

All Groups at work 365 possess a distribution list connected using the site. This distribution list turns up within the Global Address list, so naming conventions really matter for that group. It might be the conversation history string for those group people and, via Exchange, both people and non-people from the group can send messages into it. Other Group types  exist, for example Distribution Lists, Mail-Enabled Security Groups, and Security Groups, however these are positioned up individually through the Admin at work 365 Admin Center. Office 365 Groups are suggested by Microsoft.

You will find a couple of kinds of Groups inside of Active Directory (AD):

  • Universal Group: Contains users and groups from the domain within the AD forest
  • Global Group: Contains users, computers, and groups in the same domain but not universalgroups
  • Domain Local Group: Can contain users, computers, global and universal groups from the domain within the forest, any reliable domain, and domain local groups in the same domain

AD Groups and Office 365 Groups are separate entities. Lots of customers originating from on-prem wish to take AD Groups from on-prem making them Office 365 groups. No chance with how Office 365 architects AD Groups and Office 365 Groups. Office 365 Groups would be the successor in lots of ways to AD Groups for such things as File Shares. 


Blog publish: #MicrosoftTeams and #Office365 Groups: To Self-Serve in order to NOT Self-Serve


Remember: Your Workplace 365 Groups all get site collections, Team OneNotes, along with other collaborations services. Unless of course you would like all of your AD groups to create new site collections, distribution lists, and so on . . .don’t instantly make new Groups from your AD groups.

  • SharePoint Permissions Group: SharePoint Permissions groups are where users are assigned permission levels to gain access to content on the given site/site collection. Permissions could be inherited or parsed to the product level for immediate access to individual objects.

(How this plays into Office 365 Groups: SharePoint sites are the backbone of the Office 365 Group. Whenever a user is put into an organization, they’re added as whether member or owner from the creation.)

You may still use traditional SharePoint groups to handle use of classic sites, but Modern sites will depend on Office 365 Groups for security trim.

  • Device Management SCCM (Group): This can be a device management administration interface allowing webmaster to arrange computers of numerous kinds into groups for permissions and access management.

How this plays into Office 365 Groups: It doesn’t. A “Group” Policy Object in SCCM is several managed computers.

  • Google Groups – Google groups are a feature of GSuite which allow you to have threaded discussions for collaboration using GSuite.  You can send an e-mail to everybody inside a group with one address, invite an organization for an event, or share documents having a group.

How this plays into Office 365 Groups: Presently there’s no conversion between Office 365 Groups and Google Groups. Both are aimed toward their particular platforms and let better utilisation of the various features each one has inside individuals platforms.

Hopefully this can help eliminate a few of the confusion according to experience with what groups are where groups ‘re going at work 365!


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