Office 365 Basics

Occasional Contributor

Hello everyone,


thanks for taking your time to read this. I am just getting started with O365 so if this is the wrong place for my question you might be able to point me into the right direction.

I am playing with an O365 Business Premium Version. This is supposed to be setted up for a small company with around 10 users.


We want a shared storage for everyone where the admin can restrict access to folder by groups and roles. As far as I could see, the OneDrive Cloud is only personal storage for every user in the company. Do I have to use Sharepoint if I want a folder structur used by everyone together?

I was hoping I could simply create all the folders with the admin user and then set up the priviliges like when I am using a Windows Server and Active Directory.

Im sure by now I made a total fool out of myself but every bit of help to get started with O365 is appreciated.




12 Replies

Hey @Florian Maaß,


Don't worry about coming off as a fool, we all started our journey in O365 at some point, and it is a new and confusing world when you come from the rigid structure of on-prem where your applications are much more subscribed.


Suddenly you are in the cloud and there are so many shiny things, and options to play with.


To answer your question, group/company storage is setup and intended to be used in SharePoint. You can either create a document library in there directly, or what I would do in your case is go with a Team. Teams by default create with a files section, that is actually just a document library under the covers. This would give all your users an application they can use to chat, communicate, and share files easily.


OneDrive can be used to do this with 10 users, you would just have to create a folder in one persons onedrive and share permissions out. But onedrive is tied to the user. Say you do this in yours, then you win the lottery and leave, well then the company files by default go with your account when its removed.


As such SharePoint (and by extension Microsoft teams) would be the recommended option here as it is shared group storage, it is tied to the tenant (not a user), and it really does have the best level of controls, permissions, and sharing options.


Hope this helps!

Hey @Adam Ochs,


thank you so much for the quick and detailes reply.

That already helped me a lot.


I got an idea where to look and start now.

Do you have any recommendations for help documentations or tutorials on how to set this up properly?

I haven't managed to find something yet.


Thanks again!


Hey @Florian Maaß,


This guide is great is you are going to try teams, and like i said I am a huge fan of theres. Think of Skype on steorids (in a good way). It does chat, video, screenshare, plus some additional great collaboration options such as the file sharing you were looking for.


Just start on the getting started section of that doc, and it will guide you through what you need to know.


If you just want to stay simple for now, and tackle teams later, this doc will walk you through setting up a document library in Office 365.


Goodluck, if you start getting into it and have any questions, just come back here or shoot me a PM and I will be happy to help!





this is great. Thanks again.

I will work my way through those guides. Right now I'm feeling like it might be a good idea to stay simple for now to get it started and then switch over to teams once I fully understand whats happenning in O365.


Also thank you for the offer of help in the future. I might come back to that! :)



If you are knowing you are going to be splitting folders / permissions up. You need to design your Teams around that. Don't create one Team and expect to split permissions, you will want to design multiple Teams around the permission group of Files. So say you have an HR Folder usually. You would want an HR Team and so on. So think top level files and and folders would be multiple Teams.

You can use a SharePoint document library and have custom permissions per folder but Teams has been the go to since you also get all the other collaboration surrounding your file spaces / Teams. You can also restrict folder access inside of Teams to non owners but it could get a bit confusing if you go in and start messing around with sub permissions on a Team, the idea is that if your in a Team you should have access to everything in that Team.

Hello again,


after looking at sharepoint / O365 I'm getting the feeling that this system is to huge for what I want.

I'll try to describe what I am aiming for and I would like to ask you guys to tell me if sharepoint / O365 / OneDrive is what I want to use for that.


We are a small company with around 10 employees. We need a storage including a structure where different people have access to different folders, files and data. I will have an folder for HR, Sales, Costumers, Projects and so on and the employees form different projects won't be able to access the data of a project they are not involved with. Also we need a new solution for our Mail so O365 seemed like the perfect choice.


What I am wondering about in Sharepoint:

 - It feels uncommon to me to set up some kind of website to enable people to access files and data. It seems way to inconvenient for everyone if they have to up- and download files prior to editing them. Or do I understand something wrong about how Sharepoint works in this matter?

 - Why are the users in O365 not connected to sharepoint? I set up a few users in O365 to test different szenarios. Now that I am trying to set up Sharepoint, none of those users show up. Why were I setting up Groups and Roles for Users if they wont be used anywhere?


Maybe someone can give me a hint if I am looking at the right solution.

Thanks a lot for the help.

Some of your concerns are off-base. Working in SharePoint does not require you to download files. You can sync the files to your computer so that you can work with them when you don't have access to the Internet (like when you are on a plane) but you don't have to do this. It is very easy to work directly with the files in the browser using the web versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint, or you can use the full version of these products.

The O365 user account ARE used by SharePoint.

Try this, create a Team, add some people, click on the elipses to open the associated SharePoint site, look at the top right (members) and you will see the same people.


As the others have said, don't use OneDrive for company files, use one or more Teams, with the associated SPO sites.

These guides should help


Hello everyone,


I appreciate the help you are providing but I can't make any progress.

The guides are a great ressource when it comes to set this whole thing up but I am failing in understand how sharepopint, teams, O365 and alle the other tools are working together. 


Can someone reccommend any documentation that draws you the bigger picture of how this solutions works. Currently I am clicking senselessly around in the settings, trying to understand the logic. Maybe there is a live demo out there where I can look at a finalized environment or something like that. I need desperately help to get an introduction to this solution.

Thanks again for your patience.





Theres a lot of posted out there explaining this. One I found:

If you have time you can message me if you need help understanding, and ill help you out

Hello there,


I am working with a book for the last two days now and I am getting slowly forward.

Something about the whole concept still confuses me and this might be becaus I am thinking in an outdated way.

Let me try to explain what I am aiming for and maybe someone can explain how to implement that into sharepoint.


I am used to the old file servers where you have a folder structure. I read a few times now that this is not the recommended way to handle documents in sharepoint but I couldn't find another way to provide a working permission system.

I encountered the Teams function in O365 as to big and overloaded with features that we propably won't use anytime soon so we decided to keep it as simple as possible for now. Togeher with the team I created a folder structur where the different departments have different folders in the structur. Obviously different employees of different departments have different permissions to access the folder. Someone from HR shouldn't be allowed to look into the managing director folder. How do I realise this simple logic in sharepoint or is there another solution to this? I hoped at first to solve this with a single OneDrive for everyone with different folder permissions but that doesn't seem to be possible.


Thanks again for the help and please apologise the propably pretty stupid questions.

Hey @Florian Maaß,


Probably the easiest way to do this is to not put all the files together in one location like you would a centralized file server.


Instead, take each group and separate out their folders into their own document libraries. - Introduction to the concept of a document library - how to create a document library


Let me try to conceptualize this a bit for you. Lets say you have a D:\ Drive from a old file server. In the D drive you have 4 folders, you have HR, Marketing, Managing Director, and IT. In your old file server system, you would just have D:\HR\, D:\Marketing, etc, and would do permissions for each folder. In SharePoint, just take the D drive out of the equation. Instead, create a document library for each one.


So Document Library A would be called HR, Document Library B would be called Marketing, so on and so forth.


The document Library becomes the new central tool that you are using to group your users, rather than a parent folder that existed in the main file servers drive, you move to a document library.


Each document library allows you to create permissions as well as folder tree's, and by default have the ability to inherit or do custom permissions all the way down. So you would start by giving everyone who did have access to the HR folder on your file server, access to the HR document library. So inside the HR document library, you could have many more folders and files, and everyone in HR that has access to that document library by default then has access to all the files throughout the folder structure. (Again if you want to make it more complicated you can break this and do permissions a bit more granularity, but the default is that all permissions are 'inherited" down from the folder above it in document libraries).


For most people this is how they have it setup. You then would just have your users bookmark the URL for the document libraries that they use. When they go to save files in their applications, assuming they are O365 versions of office, they will also have the option to save to these cloud locations. So if I am working on a Word document, I can choose to save the file to the HR document library directly from my word application.


Finally if you have someone who REALLY wants to have the look and feel of the old traditional file server, you can map sharepoint document libraries. This is not really how they are intended to be used, so I would recommend having your users try to use the web interfaces, but so you have the knowledge -


Hope this helps!


Hey @Adam Ochs


this helps a lot, thank you.

I will try to set this up and see how far i get.


Thanks a lot!