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Microsoft 365

Automate OneNote staff notebook creation and more with new API

We are excited to announce the launch of the new OneNote Staff Notebook API for Office 365! Since the launch of OneNote Staff Notebooks last year, the only way to create staff notebooks was through the OneNote Staff Notebook app. Thanks to all the feedback we’ve received from school leaders, teachers and IT admins, we made it possible to now create OneNote staff notebooks programmatically as well. What this means is that IT admins, Microsoft Education partners and others can automate the creation and updates of OneNote staff notebooks across a school or district. This allows for large time savings and efficiency for teachers, as well as school IT staff. Read the MSDN article on the OneNote Staff Notebook API for in-depth instructions.

What does the API do?

Anyone familiar with the existing OneNote API for Office 365 will find themselves right at home with the OneNote Class Notebooks API for Office 365. Like the OneNote Class Notebook Office 365 app, the only requirement for teachers is that they have an Office 365 faculty license and their OneDrive for Business is set up.

Suppose you are the IT admin of your school. Wouldn’t it be great if teachers came in on the first day of the new semester and found a OneNote staff notebook created for the school staff? With the new OneNote Staff Notebook API, you can do just that! If you have the rosters of your school staff, all you need is a simple script that calls the OneNote Staff Notebook API to create a staff notebook with the proper people pre-added.

You can create staff notebooks via the API in the following locations:

  • Notebooks on OneDrive for Business
  • SharePoint site notebooks
  • Unified group notebooks

OneNote Staff Notebook API additional resources:

Additional scenarios for the Staff Notebook API

  • New Staff Leader-Only section group—The Staff Leader-Only section group is a private space where only the staff leader can see what is inside—staff members cannot see anything. This API allows Staff Leader-Only section groups to be provisioned by the new Staff Notebook API, or you can also add a Teacher-Only section group to existing staff notebooks.
  • Collaboration Space lockdown—This allows the Staff Notebook Collaboration Space to be locked down as read-only to disallow any staff members from editing. This permission API allows the lockdown of the Collaboration Space as read-only but also allows the ability to easily unlock it.
  • Permissioned groups within the Collaboration Space—This is the ability for a staff leader to create specific sections in the Collaboration Space that are assigned to specific staff members. It also allows sections to be completely hidden from other groups if that is desired. For more details, refer to our MSDN docs.
  • Content API—Some schools are looking for the ability to mass-deploy materials into the content library of staff notebooks. With this new Content API, OneNote sections can easily be provisioned along with new staff notebooks. The first iteration of the API allows for .ONE section files to be inserted into the Content Library, and in the near future, the API will also allow using public notebooks that live on In addition, this new Content API allows an IT admin or partner to customize the Welcome section, default Content Library section or the default Collaboration Space section.
  • Option to not send email when creating a staff notebook—When using our new Create Staff Notebook API, you can now specify whether or not to send the Welcome Email message. This helps cut down the spam mail when automating lots of staff notebook creations.

Partner opportunities

With the new API, we envision lots of new ideas and solutions built by our Microsoft Education partners. We have heard a strong demand for new tools and solutions to help schools roll out OneNote staff notebooks, and our partners have expressed a desire to help provide these.

Partners and IT admins can learn more about these updates at the new MSDN article on the OneNote Staff Notebook API for in-depth instructions.

Send us your feedback

We’d love to hear from you any suggestions or questions you might have. Simply drop us a line at

We look forward to hearing your feedback on these new scenarios!

—The OneNote team

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