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SharePoint Online FAQs

Who can get a Sharepoint Online site?

The service is available members of the University and those non-University Institutions participating in the University's EES Agreement.


How much does a SharePoint Online site cost?

It is free of charge at the point of use. The service is included as part of the University’s EES Agreement licence that has already been paid for by the University and participating Institutions.


How do I request a SharePoint Online site?

If you are eligible (see above), talk to your local IT staff. They can create a site for you.


Are there any security and data protection issues?

The University's data is stored in Microsoft data centres in Ireland. Under the G-Cloud initiative, which encompasses Office 365 including Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Skype for Business Online services, Microsoft's cloud platform has been certified as secure enough for the UK Government to store files classified as UK OFFICIAL.

See: Microsoft Trust Centre: United Kingdom G-Cloud OFFICIAL


Will Microsoft have access to my data?

This is an informative post about understanding data privacy in the Microsoft Cloud.


Can I collaborate with people outside the University?

Yes. You can invite anyone with a Microsoft account (i.e login) to share your site.
You can also easily share your site with everyone at Cambridge, if you want to.


Can I create a public-facing website using SharePoint Online?

No. SharePoint Online cannot be used for public facing (anonymously accessed) websites as Microsoft requires all site users to authenticate with a Microsoft account.

How do I enable unauthenticated access?

You can't. This is a Microsoft restriction, not a Cambridge one.

What will my site URL be?

All sites created using this service will begin with the following domain:<sitename>

Do I need to install any special software?

No. SharePoint Online is web-based, so it works on many browsers, devices and platforms.


Will it work on my mobile devices?

Yes. SharePoint Online integrates with Office 365 and is designed to work on mobile devices via a web browser. You'll need to be connected to the internet to access your shared resources.


What end-user support is available?

This service assumes that IT staff and end users are already familiar with SharePoint/SharePoint Online. UIS does not provide training and support for end users, or IT staff beyond help with the creation and deletion of sites using this service.


Does UIS offer any SharePoint Online training?

We offer a course that aims to cover topics that will assist institutions in evaluating SharePoint 2013 or Online for their institutional requirements:

At present we do not offer SharePoint training for site administrators or users, however UIS is interested in gauging the interest in professional SharePoint Online training (and consultancy services for institutions), both for site adminstrators and users. To help us assess the University's requirements, please fill in the feedback form (requires authentication with a University of Cambridge Microsoft account):


Where can I find training in how to use SharePoint Online?

There are many online resources to help you learn about SharePoint Online, such as:


[IT staff] How do I create a SharePoint Online site?

Admin interface (append your Institution's ID):<instID>

Documentation library:

How to create A SharePoint Online site

[IT staff] How do I delete a SharePoint Online site?

Documentation library:

How to delete A SharePoint Online site


Related content
Information for IT staff