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For Computer Officers

Where is the data hosted, and how secure is it?

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 Cambridge users' data?

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


Exchange Online’s IMAP is broken and never likely to be fixed. How are you planning to deal with this?

The current Exchange Online IMAP suffers from two issues. The nature of Exchange Online’s IMAP rate throttling can cause some mail loss in bulk actions, and we have observed this when moving large folders. The throttling blocks many of the moves; the email client does not realise, and the email messages are lost. We do not see this when moving folders via EWS (Exchange Web Services, the protocol we are recommending for desktop access). We have also observed errors in Exchange Online's UID allocations, which can cause the expunge operation to delete the wrong message. We don’t know if the IMAP issues with Exchange Online will be fixed.

Consequently, Alpine and unaugmented Thunderbird clients (in particular) should not be used to connect to this service because there is a risk of mail loss when this protocol is used (with these or any mail client).

Does Exchange Online work with the OpenPGP encryption standard?

Exchange Online will successfully deliver simple messages that use OpenPGP, but we have noticed errors may occur when more complex message types (e.g. nested messages). UIS is trying to establish the exact nature of the alleged problems with using PGP and Exchange Online. Some problem reports seem to relate to very old versions of Exchange and very specific implementations of PGP.  We need to find out what the suspected problems are before we can suggest a solution.

Does Exchange Online support Sieve filters?

EOL does not support the use of Sieve filtering, however it may be possible to meet your business need using Exchange Online's Rules and additional options may be available, depending on your choice of email client.

How can Computer Officers check to see who has synced their passwords (recently enough)?

This is only available to staff who are entitled to issue password tokens for an institution.

1. Log in to the password app at
2. Click the Search link in the top right of the page (you need to be a token issuer).
3. Search for your institution using the Find an institution search box.
4. Go to the institution page.
5. Click the Members tab.

This page lists every member of the institution (according to Lookup) and the date of their last use of the pasword app. An entry of "n/a" means they have never used it.

The Blue AD was added to the set of applications synced by the password app at the start of January 2016.

For individual cases, token issuers can view the individual member of staff's password app History.

Can you set up mail forwarding in Exchange Online?

Yes. In the Outlook Web Access client, it's under: Settings > Mail > Accounts > Forwarding.

When will Skype for Business be enabled as part of the Exchange Online project?

Skype for Business duplicates a number of Unified Communications (UC) services already available to everyone at the University. UIS is currently working to integrate these services with the Blue AD.

Are there any plans to get rid of PPSW as an SMTP server?


What happens if a user already has a Hermes account, but an administrator later uses the pre-registration system to request an Exchange Online account for them?

When an administrator completes a pre-registration request and ticks the 'ExOL' checkbox, our system will check to see if the user already has a live Hermes account. If they do, it will not create an Exchange Online mailbox. If the user wants an Exchange Online email account they would need to initiate the migration process themselves.


Can people have both Hermes and Exchange Online email accounts?

If there is a specific requirement for someone to have both a Hermes and Exchange Online email account, this can be arranged, however there are some implications around how and where incoming mail is delivered that the user will need to understand before deciding whether this is the right choice for them. Please contact the in this scenario.