SharePoint Online Plans: Usage Rights

Updated 12/21/2011 with high-level usage rights chart from the most recent service description.

SharePoint Online is offered in many different suites and plans. For this specific blog post I will be focusing on the Office 365 E plan suites and stand alone SharePoint online plans.  The Office 365 E plan suites are for those organizations that have more than 50 users who will need access to Office 365 resources including SharePoint online, Exchange Online and Lync Online.  If you are a smaller organization with under 50 users, the Office 365 P plan suite might be better for you.  You can also purchase SharePoint online separately in both the SharePoint Online Plan 1 and SharePoint Online Plan 2 offerings.  Visit the official Office 365 web site if you need more information on the different plan suites.

The following table outlines the currently published high-level usage rights comparison across user subscription plans for SharePoint Online.  This table is not a complete SharePoint Online feature set list and only outlines the differences in usage rights between the different plans.  This table is part of the Microsoft SharePoint Online Enterprise Service Description document which is considered a living document.  You should always carefully read the latest service description before making any decisions about the Office 365 solution.   Information in the service description (linked above) overrides anything you read on this or any other blog or website.

The table below lists out each of the different available plans for SharePoint online and their corresponding feature usage rights.  Below the table I will point out a few important items and resolve some misinformation that has spread about Kiosk plans.

High-Level usage rights comparison across user subscriptions plans (12/21/2011)

Feature

Partner Access Plan

(external partners)

SharePoint Online Kiosk 1 and Kiosk 2

SharePoint Online E1 and E2

SharePoint Online E3 and E4

SharePoint Online Plan 1

SharePoint Online Plan 2

Can access all team sites by default?

No1

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

My Site

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Enterprise Features (Access, Business Connectivity Services (BCS), InfoPath Forms, Excel and Visio Services)

Yes2

Yes3

No

Yes2

No

Yes2

Office Web Apps

View only

K1 – View only

K2 – View and edit

E1 – View only

E2 – View and edit

View and edit

View only

View only

Adds storage to the company’s overall pooled quota?

No

No

Yes. 500MB per user subscription license

Yes. 500MB per user subscription license

Yes. 500MB per user subscription license

Yes. 500MB per user subscription license

Can be an administrator of tenant, site or site collection?

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

1 – External partners can only access the sites they have been invited to by delegated site collection owners.

2 – Can view and upload Visio diagrams, view and build external lists, build and visit Access-based webpages, build and view embedded Excel graphs and create/publish, fill in and submit InfoPath forms.

3 – Kiosk workers have read-only rights except they can edit web-based and InfoPath Forms only.

For more detailed Microsoft licensing information, please visit the Product Use Rights (PUR) document page on the Microsoft Volume Licensing website.

 

Now that you have had a chance to review the usage rights, I would like to point out a few things that may not be really clear or have been a point of confusion with some of my customers.

First I want to talk about the Partner Access License (PAL) plan.  When you purchase SharePoint Online Plan 1, SharePoint Online Plan 2, or any of the Office 365 E suites you will have the ability to create 50 free Partner Access Plan accounts.  Partner Access Plan accounts are for external partners or non-employees that require read only access to content within one or more SharePoint Online sites.  In the current (12/21/2011) service description it states:

50 PALs are included per tenant. Current “Feature Preview” allows for usage rights of up to 1000 external users without requiring additional PALs. Microsoft reserves the right to charge for additional PALs beyond 50 at the time the next major Office 365 update.

I am not currently aware of when the free feature preview expires so I would recommend that you limit your PAL usage to under 50 users to avoid having to remove PAL accounts or have any additional charges in the future.

The next topic I want to cover is the kiosk plans. It is important to know that it is not possible to purchase only the SharePoint Online Kiosk 1 or Kiosk 2 plans.  To purchase any Kiosk plan you must have already purchased a SharePoint Online stand alone plan (1 or 2) or an Office 365 Enterprise Suite plan (E1, E2, E3 or E4).

The purpose of the Kiosk plans is to enable an organization to deploy lower cost Office 365 resources to users who are not your typical information workers.  These may be individuals who do not have dedicated computers or who do not spend most of their time at a computer.

From an administrative view it is important to note that with SharePoint Online stand alone plans or the Office 365 E plans you are provided an initial 10GB of storage plus 500MB per provisioned user.  The total storage quota is shared across all of your SharePoint users and sites.  When you add Kiosk plan 1, Kiosk plan 2, or Partner Access License users you do not receive any additional storage.  It is possible, however, to purchase additional storage (up to 5TB per tenant, some limitations apply, please review the SharePoint Online service description for more details).

There has been some misinformation floating around about Kiosk plans being read-only plans.  This is really not really accurate and the bullet points below will explain:

  • Both Kiosk plans do allow users to view Visio web diagrams, view external lists, visit Access services sites, and view embedded Excel graphs.
  • Both Kiosk plans allow you to fill in and submit InfoPath forms.
  • Kiosk plan 1 users can only view documents in Office Web Apps. 
  • Kiosk plan 2 users can view and edit documents in Office Web Apps.
  • Both Kiosk plans allow users to upload files to  site.
  • Both Kiosk plans allow users to edit documents using Microsoft Office client software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote).  Note:  The client software is not included in the price of the Kiosk plans and must be purchased separately.
  • Both Kiosk plans do not allow the users to be an administrator of the tenant, site collection or site.

As you can see, if you already have purchased Office 2007 suite or Office 2010 suite you can read and edit documents in a SharePoint site if you are a Kiosk user.  The major difference between Kiosk plan 1 and Kiosk plan 2 is the ability to edit documents using Office Web Apps.

The current retail pricing for Office 365 Enterprise plans begin at $10 per user per month and the Kiosk plans begin at $4 per user per month.   Remember that Office 365 includes Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online.   Visit the official Office 365 web site for additional features and pricing details.  If you have an existing enterprise agreement with Microsoft, please contact your Microsoft sales representative or your licensing reseller for important information about the updated Enterprise Agreement, Office 365 licensing costs, and how you can transition to Office 365.

5 thoughts on “SharePoint Online Plans: Usage Rights

  1. Pierce

    Some of the info above is incorrect.
    A lot of the enterprise features in SharePoint Online are only available in SPO Plan 2, not Plan 1 as indicated above.

    Reply
    1. mphacker Post author

      Thanks for pointing out the issue. That chart was copied from the service description on 11/21/2011 which had it shown incorrectly. I just checked and there was an updated service description since the original blog post. I just updated this post to reflect the changes.

      Reply
  2. MKP

    Could you please confirm if a SharePoint Online Plan 1 User would be able to view and submit browser based InfoPath forms?

    We in the organization are planning to subscribe for 20 SharePoint Plan 1 Users and 1 SharePoint Plan 2 User for creating and publishing InfoPath form on to the portal.

    Appreciate if you could provide the necessary information.

    Regards

    MKP

    Reply
  3. joanne

    hello, I am thinking of signing up for sharepoint online plan 1 for our family to use to manage schedule, share docs etc. Would this plan allow us to centrally store and edit an excel file? i

    Reply

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