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Sharing and Collaboration

Office 365

Applies to: Office 365

Topic Last Modified: 2014-12-11

Federation refers to the underlying trust infrastructure that supports federated sharing, a method for Microsoft Exchange Online users to share free/busy calendar data and contact information with recipients in other external federated organizations or with users that have Internet access. These include organizations that are also hosted by Exchange Online, or external Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 or Exchange Server 2013 organizations. Using organization relationships and sharing policies, Exchange Online administrators can enable users to send calendar-sharing invitations from Microsoft Outlook Web App or Microsoft Outlook 2010 or later.

  • External Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2013 organizations must configure a federation trust with the Microsoft Federation Gateway as part of configuring federated sharing. Exchange Online organizations don’t have to configure a federation trust—the federation trust with the Microsoft Federation Gateway is automatically created when the Office 365 tenant is created.

  • Exchange Online organizations must configure either an organization relationship or a sharing policy to enable federated sharing.

  • Sharing of the global access list (GAL) or moving user mailboxes between Exchange Online organizations in different Office 365 tenants is not supported in federated sharing.

For more information about federated sharing, see Sharing in Exchange Online.

Email and documents are traditionally kept in two unique and separate data repositories. Most teams collaborate by using both email and documents. The challenge is that email and documents are accessed by using different clients. This usually results in a reduction in user productivity and a degraded user experience.

The site mailbox is a new concept in Exchange 2013 that attempts to solve this problem. Site mailboxes improve collaboration and user productivity by using the same client interface to allow access to both Microsoft SharePoint 2013 documents and Exchange email. A site mailbox functionally consists of SharePoint 2013 site membership (owners and members), shared storage through an Exchange 2013 mailbox for email messages and a SharePoint 2013 site for documents, and a management interface that addresses provisioning and life cycle needs.

Your Office 365 plan must include SharePoint. Site mailboxes require that users have both SharePoint and Exchange licenses.

For more information about site mailboxes, see Site Mailboxes.

Public folders in Exchange Online have been modernized to take advantage of the existing high availability and storage technologies of the mailbox database. The public folder architecture uses specially designed mailboxes to store both the hierarchy and the public folder content. This means that there’s no longer a separate public folder database. Public folder replication now uses the continuous replication model. High availability for the hierarchy and content mailboxes is provided by a database availability group (DAG) in the data center. In Exchange Online, you are limited to 50 public folder mailboxes. Each public folder mailbox also has a maximum storage size. For more information, see the “Mailbox folder limits” section in Exchange Online Limits. Public folder mailboxes have the same message, recipient, and capacity alert limits as regular mailboxes. For more information, see Recipients.

For more information about public folders, see Public Folders.

Shared mailboxes make it easy for a specific group of people to monitor and send email from a common account, like public email addresses (for example, info@contoso.com or contact@contoso.com). When a person in the group replies to a message sent to the shared mailbox, the email appears to be from the shared mailbox, not from the individual user.

  • Shared mailboxes don’t require a separate user license.

  • You must assign an Exchange Online Plan 1 or Exchange Online Plan 2 license in order to enable In-Place Archive for a shared mailbox. After a license is assigned to a shared mailbox, the mailbox size will increase to that of the licensed plan. You must assign an Exchange Online Plan 2 license in order to put a shared mailbox on In-Place Hold.

  • In-Place Archive can only be used to archive mail for a single user or entity for which a license has been applied. Using an In-Place Archive as a means to store mail from multiple users or entities is prohibited. For example, IT administrators cannot create shared mailboxes and have users copy (through the Cc or Bcc field, or through a transport rule) a shared mailbox for the explicit purpose of archiving.

To view feature availability across Office 365 plans, standalone options, and on-premise solutions, see Exchange Online Service Description.

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