Office 365

Office 365 Glossary

Getting help on technical issues can be particularly frustrating and confusing if you aren't familiar with the terminology that relates to the technology.  Here are some frequently used terms associated with Email and/or Office 365, and their meaning.


Essentially, cloud computing is about moving computing tasks off your computer, or off USF's premises.  

On Premise

This term is used to describe services or systems that are hosted locally at USF.  The servers that these systems/services run on are physically housed in one of the USF data centers.

Cross Premises

Microsoft uses this term to describe the interaction between on premise users and functions, and cloud users and functions.  For example, calendar delegation is not support "cross premises".  This means that a user that is using an on premise Exchange mailbox cannot grant edit permissions on their calendar to an Office 365 user.


As it relates to Office 365, "hybrid" is the term that is used to describe an Exchange configuration that includes mailboxes that are hosted on premise, as well as mailboxes that are hosted in the cloud.  The two systems are connected, but administered separately.


Your "client" is whatever you are using to talk to the email server.  This can be a web browser, and app on your mobile device, or a variety of desktop software running on a Mac or PC.  The most common client at USF is Outlook.  When you experience an issue with your email, it may be an issue on the server, or the problem could be with your client. 

Send As

If you are able to send an email and have another email address or display name appear in the "From" field, you have send as permissions for that mailbox.  An example would be a shared mailbox that a department uses to send out mailings because they want the name of the department to appear in the From field, rather than an individual.  Send as permissions on the shared mailbox are required to achieve that result.


Free/busy refers to the ability to view appointment times that are available, or not, on a calendar.  Using various levels of calendar sharing you can set your calendar permissions so that others can see only your free/busy time, or so that they can see full details of meetings that you have on your calendar.  

Cached Mode

Cached mode, also known as offline mode, is a client setting that allows you to work in your mailbox even when you are not connected to the network.  When you are connected to the network, a copy of your mailbox contents is downloaded to your computer/device.  When you are not connected to the network you will not receive any new items, and items that you send will be stored in your Outbox until the next time you connect to the network.  When using cached mode there will be some lag time in seeing changes to the address book, up to 24 hours.

.pst File

A Personal Folders file (.pst) is an Outlook data file that stores your messages and other items on your computer.  It can be used to keep your mailbox size low, so that it runs more efficiently, or for archiving purposes to store those messages that you don't need to see every day, but you aren't ready to delete.  Before the migration to Office 365, we often had to recommend the use of .pst files to keep mailboxes to a manageable size.  Mailboxes in Office 365 now have a 50 GB limit, so it is possible to retain more email in your mailbox.  Before exporting email from your mailbox to a .pst file, keep in mind that .pst files are only accessible using an Outlook client, and are not available when using a web client or a mobile device.