Microsoft Office 365 – Operational Guide for beginners

Small businesses can save a good chunk of both time and money by using hosted software tools and harnessing the power of cloud computing. Software as a Service (SaaS) makes great sense for small businesses — you only pay for what you need and someone else does the work of data backup, security and updates.

Microsoft recently launched Office 3655, which is designed to meetsmall business softwaree needs. While this might sound like merely an online version of Microsoft Office, the service is much more than that.

“Office 365” refers to subscription plans that include access to Office applications plus other productivity services that are enabled over the Internet (cloud services), such as Lync web conferencing and Exchange Online hosted email for business, and additional online storage with OneDrive and Skype world minutes for home.

Many Office 365 plans also include the desktop version of the latest Office applications, which users can install across multiple computers and devices. The Office 365 plans that are online-only are a great choice for certain business needs, and they are compatible with desktop versions of the latest version of Office, Office 2010, Office 2007 (with slightly limited functionality), Office 2011 for Mac, and Office 2008 for Mac.

All Office 365 plans are paid for on a subscription basis, monthly or annually.

Login to portal and lets take a quick overview of main portal page:

It’s very simple to login office 365, just go to, enter your credential username and password then click sign in, simply you will go to the main page of office365.


In the main page of portal you can see a lot of options to choose as shown below:


  • Outlook: you will enter your email simply it’s an outlook web app (OWA) as on premise exchange.
  • Calendar: It will guide you through your calendar page.
  • OneDrive: it’s a storage cloud feature that enable a synchronization between your local computer storage and Cloud Storage, will discussed later.
  • Word, Excel, PowerPoint and one note drive it’s an office application used through cloud not locally, will not discussed in this guide.
  • Site and newsfeed it’s a cloud SharePoint, will not covered in this guide.
  • Admin: it’s the control panel for administrator to control the whole environment like manage Cloud Users, Mailboxes, Lync, Yammer and SharePoint.1.2 Manage Environment using Admin Page.After click on admin tab from the main page, the main admin page will look like below page, in the lef of page many options appear we will discuss the most important tabs.3

From left pane in the users tab, expand it and select active users, this will show all active users in your environment.

As shown below all active users appear, the status coloum show one of two options: In cloud & Synced with active directory.

In cloud: means that there is no relation between local active directory users in your enviroment and the cloud users, also this mean that you can fully control users through office 365 portal.

Synced with Active Directory:  this means that the users is synced with local AD through Dirsync tool, also this mean that most operation need to be done in the users will be on local AD and Dirsync will replicate the changes to office 365 portal. For more information about DirSync follow this link:

In this guide we will handle the in cloud status, most of operations applied to in cloud users must applied in local AD and Dirsync will take care of replication.


1.2.1 Manage Users from Portal:

In active users tab if you select any user a right pane will appear show an information about the user:


  • Reset Password: from this option you can reset the user password, also it will generate a random password, in case of synced with AD it’s not allowed to do this from portal.
  • Delete: delete the user, in case of synced with AD it’s not allowed to do this from portal.
  • Add to group: to add the user to specific group.
  • Assigned License: you can assign a license to the user.

Reset password option will show below dialog, you can specify the email address(es) that will receive the new password for the selected user, also you can select the second option to enforce user to change the password at first login, finally click Reset password button.


In the result option the new password will appear.


In Assigned License option, select country and License type for the user, then save the information.


After assigned license complete the primary email address will be in status of “ We are preparing a mailbox for this user”


After a while if you select the user again you will note that a new email address is created and shown as below:


Now if you choose the EDIT option after select the user a new page will appear as below:


  • Details: general information about the user in case of synced with AD it’s not allowed to edit the information from portal.
  • Setting: options to assign the user administrative permission in the office365 Portal.
  • License: to assign license to the user.
  • Email Address: will show the email addresses related to the user.
  • Mailbox Permission: to set a specific permissions on user mailbox.

In the setting pane, you can assign a specific user administrative role:


There are five administrator roles for office 365 portal explained as below:


  • Billing admin: Makes purchases, manages subscriptions, manages support tickets, and monitors service health.

NOTE   If you didn’t purchase Office 365 from Microsoft, you can’t make billing changes and therefore can’t be assigned the billing admin role. For billing issues, contact the admin at the organization where you purchased your subscription.

  • Global admin: Has access to all administrative features. Global admins are the only admins who can assign other admin roles. You can have more than one global admin in your organization. The person who signs up to purchase Office 365 becomes a global admin.
  • Password admin: Resets passwords, manages service requests, and monitors service health. Password admins are limited to resetting passwords for users and other password admins.
  • Service admin: Manages service requests and monitors service health.

NOTE   Before global admins can assign the service admin role to a user, they first assign the user administrative permissions to a service, such as Exchange Online, and then assign the service admin role to the user in Office 365.

  • User management admin: Resets passwords, monitors service health, and manages user accounts, user groups, and service requests. The user management admin can’t delete a global admin, create other admin roles, or reset passwords for billing, global, and service admins.

Assign the role if needed and alternative email address then save the changes.


In license tab you can assign a user license as explained before as show below:


In Email address tab you can add another email address for same user as alias:


Select add new and choose the prefix the click save.


In mailbox Permission you can give a delegated permission in specific mailbox.


From the Main page and after select the user if you choose ADD TO GROUP:


After that select the group and click Add.


In Deleted users tab you will see the deleted users and you can restore any users within 30 day, select the user to be restored.


Then use Restore Users.


Now it’s in process of restoring


Successfully restored as shown below:


The restored user will appear in active users tab:


In contacts tab you can add any internal or external contact:


Click the (+) button and fill the needed information then create the contact as shown below:


Shared mailboxes make it easy for a specific group of people to monitor and send email from a common account, like public email addresses, such as or 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 are a great way to handle customer email queries because several people in your organization can share the responsibility of monitoring the mailbox and responding to queries. Your customer queries get quicker answers, and related emails are all stored in one mailbox.

In Shared Mailboxes you can create a share mailbox which will be shared between all users have a permission on it, click the (+) and fill the needed information.


Add the name and email address of shared mailbox and the members whos will have a permission on it to view and send onbehalf as shown below:


In domain Tab, it will show you all domains in your environment and its status as shown below, this topic will not discussed in this guide.


In public website tab, you can create a website for your company in easy way and from templates, below snapshots show a quick overview to start building your company website:





In Subscription tab it show the status of your license:


And in license tab it will show the number of expired and assigned license:



Blogger …

Ahmad Yasin (MCSA office 365, MCSE : Messaging, Azure Certified)

Ahmad Yasin (MCSA office 365, MCSE : Messaging, Azure Certified)

Ahmad Yasin in a Microsoft Cloud Engineer and the publisher of AzureDummies blog. He also hold many certificates in office 365 and windows azure including Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions, Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions and MCSA office 365.

Find Ahmad at Facebook and LinkedIn





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