SharePoint Online FAQ

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Q: I use SharePoint on-premise for my day-to-day work. Do I have to do anything?

A: If you use SharePoint on-premise (the current version of SharePoint), but don’t manage a SharePoint on-premise site, you will still be impacted by the move to SharePoint Online. New SharePoint Online sites will have different URLs from SharePoint on-premise sites, so your bookmarks and links will need to be updated. The functionality will change too - please see the Benefits of SharePoint Online on the main page.

Q: Will I be able to use Nintex on SharePoint Online?

A: Nintex will not be available for SharePoint Online, as it is a third-party product that is additionally charged for. Microsoft tools such as Power Automate (was previously called Microsoft Flow) can replace functionality currently provided by Nintex, and are included in the licence cost.

Find out more about Power Automate on our page of Technical Information for SNAs.

Q: Is SharePoint Online hosted in a data centre which is ISO 27001 accredited?

A: Yes, please see this Microsoft document on ISO/IEC 27001:2013 Information Security Management Standards. It will also be audited annually.

Q: Will there be any provision for site customisation and branding?

A: There is much greater scope for easily customising and branding SharePoint Online sites "out of the box", without needing to be able to code these changes.

Q: How does SharePoint Online integrate with other Nexus365 services?

A: SharePoint libraries and lists can be added to Microsoft Teams (as tabs in channels) so that content can be shared between the two services. Items can be moved or copied between OneDrive for Business, Microsoft Teams and SharePoint Online. Microsoft Forms can be added to SharePoint pages (as can the results pages) and PowerAutomate / PowerApps can both be surfaced in, or connect to, SharePoint Online to trigger workflows or allow customisable forms for lists and libraries. 

Q: Can I use SharePoint Online to store large data files?

A: Technically yes, you can, but this is not the preferred option at the University. There are several other storage facilities available, such as RFS and Digisafe, that are better suited for storing large data files.

Q: Should I use Mosaic or SharePoint Online for my intranet?

A: Content in SharePoint Online is, by default, locked behind SSO, and you can choose which groups of people can access it, which makes it suitable for an intranet which is only accessible to a certain group of people at the University. You are not recommended to use Mosaic for large amounts of content that need to be kept behind SSO - please see the SSO guidance for UAS editors for further details.

Q: Will external collaborators (those without an SSO) be able to access a SharePoint Online site?

A: Yes, you can give access to SharePoint Online sites to external users. When you initially request a site, you will be asked if you want this switched on or off. If you have it switched on, then you can have external users access the site. External users no longer require a temporary separate external account or a virtual card to access the service. Instead they can now collaborate or read content using their own accounts in line with OneDrive and MS Teams. There’s more about external sharing on the Technical information for SNAs page.

Q: Can I use PowerApps Forms for SharePoint Online?

A: Currently PowerApps is out of scope for support within this project pending a decision from Microsoft about PowerApps licensing costs and restrictions.

Q: Is it ok to store confidential information such as payment card details in SharePoint Online?

No, payment card data should not be held anywhere in Office365, including in SharePoint Online. For further information regarding handling card payments, please see the taking card payments page on the Finance website.

Q: How much storage will we get on SharePoint Online?

A: Each SharePoint Online site will have 1TB of storage, the same as each Teams site. This is considerably more than is currently available in SharePoint on-premise, which only offers 25-100GB for an entire site collection, including all of the subsites in the hierarchy.

Q: Will the permission structure be different in SharePoint Online to how it is now?

A: Permissions will be slightly different in SharePoint Online and it will be much easier to see what has been shared with whom. We will encourage people to use SharePoint groups and Office365 groups to control access to sites and content.

Q: What will the structure of SharePoint sites and sub-sites look like in SharePoint Online?

A: SharePoint Online consists of hub sites and standalone sites. We will encourage people to move away from hierarchical structures and sub-sites and use this new hub-style network. For more information on Hubs and Sites please read this Microsoft article on Information architecture in modern SharePoint.

Q: Why do I need to complete a DPIA (Data protection impact assessment) before requesting a site?

It is not currently mandatory to complete a DPIA, however, it may become so in the future. In order to establish whether or not you need to complete a full DPIA (for processing personal data that is likely to result in a high risk to individuals) you should complete a "DPIA Screening Assessment" to consider the risk connected to the content before your site goes live.

You can find out more, and download the DPIA Screening Assessment, from the Compliance website. If you are provisioning a number of sites at once, contact us to provide you with a spreadsheet format.

Q: How many Business Owners and SNAs can I have?

A: We recommend that you have at least 2 SNAs and 1 Business Owner, although you can have more.

Q: Who will be moving sites over? Is it me or is it IT Services?

A: The expectation is that creating new sites in SharePoint Online and moving any existing documentation will be done by Site Collection Administrators (SCAs) and site owners. IT Services will be providing guidelines for this.

Q: We have a SharePoint on-premise site but the Site Collection Administrator (SCA) has left and didn’t hand it on, how do we regain ownership?

A: Go to the IT Services Help website, click on “View requests” then “Help Request Form” and create a new request to change the ownership, or email Help at IT Services. Please include the following information:

  • Name and email of the new SCA
  • Which SharePoint site you are asking this for
  • Who will approve this request (a senior administrator as detailed in the SharePoint Service Level Description, under "Summary of Client Responsibilities")
  • Name of the SCAs you want to remove

Q: We have a SharePoint on-premise site that we’re not really using and we’re happy to delete it rather than move it to SharePoint Online. How do we do that?

A: Contact your Site Collection Administrator (SCA), who can delete sites and sub-sites. If you aren't sure who your SCA is, look at the Oxford University SharePoint site listing. If you are the SCA, this article has some useful instructions about how to delete sites in SharePoint.

If you can't proceed using this route, you can submit a request via the IT Services Help website. Click on “View requests” then “Help Request Form” and create a new request to delete the site, or email Help at IT Services. Please include the following information:

  • Which SharePoint site you would like to delete
  • Who will approve this request (a senior administrator as detailed in the SharePoint Service Level Description, under "Summary of Client Responsibilities")

With SharePoint on-premise, there is a difference between a "site collection" and a "sub-site". Sub-sites within a site collection can be deleted by the Site Collection Administrator (SCA).

NOTE: Deletion of site collections cannot be undone. Please make sure that the SCA or Site Owner has transferred all required material from a SharePoint site collection before deleting it.

Q: Are there any GDPR or data privacy issues around moving content from on-premise to SharePoint Online?

A: SharePoint Online is GDPR compliant and the same data privacy governance and best practices will apply to SharePoint Online as to other parts of the Nexus365 Service. Consideration should also be given to the appropriate guidance on retention of data, such as the University’s advice on retention schedules for student and staff data.

Q: Should I move content from my existing MySite or OneDrive on-premise to SharePoint Online?

A: If you previously used MySite or OneDrive on-premise, these are your your personal sites. Moving materials from them to your OneDrive for Business instance in Office365, or in the case of sites built in MySite, to SharePoint Online, is therefore your responsibility. If you require help in moving from MySites to SPO, you should contact your Site Network Administrator.

Q: When will the current on-premise SharePoint be turned off?

A: SharePoint on-premise will be turned off after the content of all sites has been moved to SharePoint Online. A final, hard deadline will be when SharePoint 2013 (the current version of SharePoint running on-premises) goes out of official Microsoft support in April 2023.

Q: When do I have to move my SharePoint site over?

A: SharePoint Online will be available from 23 November 2020. Site owners may wish to move content from straightforward sites as soon as they have a presence in SharePoint Online, whereas site owners of more complicated sites may need to undertake additional investigation in order to determine the best approach.

Q: We’re planning to do some new work on our SharePoint on-premise site - should we wait until SharePoint Online is available before making any further changes?

A: This is up to you, but please bear in mind that any work done now will most likely need to be replicated on a SharePoint Online site.

Q: I currently have a site on WebLearn, do I need to move this to SharePoint Online?

A: We are encouraging all WebLearn users to move from WebLearn to other services offered by the University, such as Canvas and SharePoint Online, as WebLearn is wound down with the intention of decommissioning it in the near future. The SharePoint Online project team plan to offer guidance on setting up new SharePoint Online sites to help with this process.

Q: We use SharePoint to manage committee minutes - will this functionality be available in SharePoint Online?

A: The "Oxford Committee" SharePoint site template is currently used by approximately 200 sites to manage and administer their committee activities using calendars and document libraries. It is the only predefined template available to users. It will be redesigned in SharePoint Online and available to users before the end of 2020. It is intended that all the functionality available in the existing template will be available in the new SharePoint Online Committee Template. Guidance in transferring over to the new committee template will be provided. Consideration should also be given to the appropriate guidance on retention of data, such as the University’s advice on retention schedules for student and staff data.

Find out more about the new Committee template in SharePoint Online on the project website.

Q: Will future Committee meetings in SharePoint be automatically moved over to SharePoint Online?

A: You will need to copy the line items from the old calendar to the new one, which should be relatively straight forward to do. We will be testing this functionality shortly and will provide more detailed guidance on how best to do this.

Q: Do you know if we will be able to move entire folders in the committee site across in one go, or will we only be able to move individual documents one-by-one?

A: That should be possible. We will be testing this functionality shortly and will provide more detailed guidance on how best to do this.

Q: How do I move the contents of my Committee Site on-premise to the new Committee Site in SharePoint Online?

A: There is no way of automatically moving content to the new Committee site, or applying the new template to the old site. The data that you wish to move across, such as documents, folders and lists, will need to be moved between the two sites. For this, please refer to the QRG - Moving data between SharePoint on-premise and SharePoint Online [coming soon] for the available options.

Once any documents have been moved you will also need to reassign any metadata on the new Committee site. For example, the linked calendar tag. You could also consider whether you could archive the on-premise Committee site and start with a new Committee site at the start of the academic of calendar year if this is appropriate.