Enabling Excel Survey in SharePoint Online Team Sites

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SkyDrive in SharePoint Online has a new feature called Excel Surveys. Microsoft has blogged and discussed this new feature a fair bit on the Excel Team Blog but also when it comes to Excel Surveys for SharePoint Online. Adding this feature to SharePoint Online keeps parity with the SkyDrive brand being both “SkyDrive Pro” aka My Site for SharePoint Online and SkyDrive for personal use. The question that I ran into and couldn’t find an answer online is: How do I create a survey in a team site within SharePoint Online?

The Default New Document Menu in SkyDrive aka My Site

By default your SkyDrive library already has the Excel Survey enabled so there is nothing you need to do. However, if you try to add a survey to a team site you will find the “Excel Survey” menu missing from the new document screen.

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Default New Document Menu in a Team Site

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The Solution

You can go looking for site features and site collection features but you won’t find any. In fact the solution makes a lot of sense but I couldn’t find it documented anywhere. You’ll need to go to your SharePoint Administration in SharePoint Online and modify the Sharing settings for your site collection. From there you will need to enable “Allow both external users who accept sharing invitations and anonymous guest links”. Once you enable this feature Excel Surveys will become available on all libraries within your site collection.

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Things to be aware of

  • Excel surveys are anonymous meaning that the URL to the survey is not secured by your permissions within the library.
  • By enabling this functionality you will see a new checkbox when sharing permissions called “Require sign-in”. This means your users can now make part of your sites anonymous which may not be what you’re looking for. You may decide to run a survey in an isolated site collection and then export the data and delete the site when the survey is completed.
  • This functionality is only available in SharePoint Online at the moment.
I'm a public speaker and the Chief SharePoint Architect for Eastridge, a Microsoft Gold Partner specializing in SharePoint and custom application development in Winston-Salem, NC. I focus on the SharePoint platform with a specialty in Information Architecture, Publishing and Best Practices.

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