What Can You Do with My Sites (SharePoint Online) and Office 365? | Information Technology | University of Pittsburgh

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What Can You Do with My Sites (SharePoint Online) and Office 365?


Pitt Information Technology provides Office 365, a powerful set of online services that encompasses email, calendaring, file sharing, video, collaboration tools, and more. Pitt Email (Outlook) is part of the Office 365 platform.

My Sites (SharePoint Online) is included with Office 365. It allows students, faculty, and staff to create collaborative websites that can be used to share files, assign tasks, start blogs, and build workflows. Microsoft SharePoint Online is a powerful set of tools that allows you to create, share, and collaborate more effectively. My Sites (SharePoint Online) is available at no cost to anyone with a University Computing Account. You can get started right now at pitt.sharepoint.com or at My Pitt (my.pitt.edu).  

What can you do with My Sites (SharePoint Online)? Almost anything you'd like.

Create Collaborative Websites

Create sites that you can use to store files, collaborate with others, create tasks, manage schedules, build workflows, or start a blog. You can share your site with others, even people outside Pitt.   

In addition to personal My Sites, faculty and staff can request SharePoint site collections to facilitate collaboration for their department, team, or project.

Request a site collection.

Detailed Help: My Sites

Getting Started My Sites

Your Profile



Follow People and Sites

Document Libraries

Share Documents




Detailed Help: Site Collections for Faculty, Staff, and Departments


Store, Sync, and Work Together on Documents

SharePoint includes OneDrive for Business, which allows you to store up by 5 TB of files in the cloud. You can easily access the files across all of your devices. You can share your documents with anyone, and you can use sync to work with your files while you're offline. You can even work together on the same document at the same time, chat right from within the document, and easily revert to previous versions whenever you need to.


Use Office on Any Device

Office Online gives you access to Office products like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, in the cloud. You can create and edit Office documents from anywhere on any device. In addition, Office ProPlus provides mobile versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Apple and Android devices. It is available to all students as well as to all faculty and staff in departments with Microsoft campus agreements.   

Detailed Help: Office Online

What Types of Data Can Be Stored on SharePoint?

Learn more about the types of data you can store on My Sites (SharePoint Online)

Choosing the Right Collaboration Tools

SharePoint is a collection of many different tools that can be used in a wide variety of ways. Because SharePoint is so robust, some of its capabilities overlap with Pitt IT's already rich set of collaboration services. If you aren’t sure which tool best meets your needs, the comparisons below might help you decide.

Personal Websites (SharePoint and Andrew File System)

You can create your own personal website and host it on either SharePoint or the University’s Andrew File System (AFS) space.

SharePoint may be better if... AFS may be better if...
You prefer to use drag-and-drop tools to build your site You don't mind doing some coding
You plan to use different types of content (e.g., documents, videos, blogs) You plan to host only HTML content
You don't mind requiring people to log in to view your site You want anyone to be able to view your site without logging in


Departmental Websites (SharePoint and EWI)

Departments must host their websites on the University’s Enterprise Web Infrastructure (EWI). However, SharePoint will allow departments to create and host site collections that can be used for team, project, department, or school-wide collaboration.

SharePoint may be better if... EWI may be better if...
You do not have in-house expertise to build your own site, or prefer to use drag-and-drop tools to build your site You plan to use and support your own custom Content Management System (e.g., Drupal, WordPress, etc.)
You are creating an intranet You are creating a public site
You plan to require people to authenticate to view your site You want the option to make your site available anonymously


Cloud Storage (Box and OneDrive)

My Sites (SharePoint Online) includes OneDrive. You can store files in the cloud so that you can access them from anywhere on any device. Box (pitt.box.com) offers the same service. Both allow you to share files with others so that you can work together collaboratively.

OneDrive for Business may be better if... Box may be better if...
You want the ability to edit documents from a web browser You plan to edit documents within an application (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint
You want to work with others to edit the same document at the same time You want to edit with others but don't need to work simultaneously on the same document
You want better integration with Office 365 You want an easier-to-use interface
You have a resource account or sponsored account  
  You want a rich collection of third-party apps
  You want to be able to use alternative file transfer methods, like FTP


Video Hosting and Sharing (Office 365 Video and Lecture Capture (Panopto))

You can upload, manage, and share videos using Office 365 Video, which is included with My Sites (SharePoint Online). Or you can choose to use the University’s Lecture Capture service, which is powered by Panopto. Both enable to you to specify who has access to your videos.  

Office 365 Video maybe be better if... Lecture Capture may be better if...
You do not need to edit videos or plan to use another editing tool You plan to edit videos using the Lecture Capture (Panopto) editor
  You plan to create multi-camera videos, do live webcasting, or capture screen recordings
  You plan to integrate videos into your CourseWeb courses
You would like your videos to integrate more easily with SharePoint and be discoverable throughout Office 365