SPA FAQs & Best Practices

CalNet SPA Help

  1. A CalNet SPA is a CalNet ID. 
  2. A CalNet SPA can become the username for an affiliated bMail account, and it is public.
  3. See CalNet SPA Direct Member vs. Delegated Access for information on how to access a SPA-affiliated bMail account.
  4. CalNet SPAs are used for more than just bMail accounts. CalNet SPAs can be used as a tool for group access to campus services and applications, such as Box or AD. 

Who owns a SPA?

SPAs, their contents/data, and the shared email account are owned by the institution and the primary department (at the time the SPA is created) of the employee who creates the SPA. 

Department managers have the authority to modify membership and/or disable a SPA at any time, and manage the content of the account. Department managers can email sends e-mail) to transfer SPAs to different departments or modify SPA membership.

SPA email accounts will automatically be disabled if there are no active employees in the SPA's direct membership.

How do I access an existing SPA?

If you need access to a SPA, ask the current direct members of the SPA for assistance. 

Department managers have the authority to modify membership and/or disable a SPA at any time. Department managers can email sends e-mail) to transfer SPAs to different departments or modify SPA membership.

How do I create a new SPA?

Staff and Faculty can use the Special Purpose Accounts Admin App to create and manage SPAs: is external)

How do I share my SPA?

There are two ways to share a SPA:

Which one should you use? 

See CalNet SPA Direct Member vs. Delegated Access for more information.

What can I do with my SPA?

SPAs are allowed access to authorized applications such as the bConnected(link is external) suite of services, the bConnected Manage Your Account app, and the CalNet Manage My Keys app. 

How can I find the UID of my SPA account?

SPA owners/Direct Members can find their SPA's UID using the following steps. This is helpful for technologists who need a SPA’s UID to add it to an application, among other uses.

  1. Go to is external)

  2. Next, search for spa-name

  3. There will be 2 results: one is a group, and one is an account

  4. The account will say SP_Account in most cases

  5. Click on SP_Account-name, and the Unique ID (UID) will be listed at the top

How does a SPA show up in other systems?

Your CalNet SPA will display a slightly different name in bMail and in other systems. In Box, for example, the SPA name is displayed, followed by SP_Account. It does not contain "" The bMail address portion appears only in bMail. See the examples below: 

SPA Name Display: Box

SPA Name Display on Box

Spa Name Display: bMail

SPA Name Display on bMail 

How do SPAs appear in LDAP?

Find information on SPAs and LDAP at: People OU - SPA LDAP Attributes

Can I use a CalNet SPA in Active Directory (AD)?


What are the differences between Delegated Access and Direct Members?

Please see CalNet SPA Direct Member vs. Delegated Access for detailed information.

Can I create a mailing list with the same name as a SPA?

Yes! For more information, please visit this knowledge base article(link is external)

Can I add a CalNet SPA to a Mailing List?

Yes! For more information, please visit this knowledge base article(link is external)

How Do I Create a SPA Admin Group?

Creating an admin access group in your CalGroups folder space can help you manage SPA membership easily. Add the admin access group to your SPAs, instead of individual users, and then you only need to add or remove a user from the admin group to impact their membership across all of your SPAs.

An example from a campus department: one person was responsible for creating hundreds of SPAs. Their individual account was in each SPA access group (along with the members who actually used the SPA). Of course, the admin didn’t really need to see all those SPAs in their list given that the SPA was really for the other people. Adding the admin access group allows the creator of the SPA to remove themselves.

Another benefit to using a SPA admin group -- you prevent the SPA-affiliated bMail account from getting canceled if there are no longer any direct members in the group.  This is super helpful when there is turnover in the department.  Overall, using an admin access group is a more department-centric POV rather than an individual POV.

For detailed steps on how to create a SPA admin group, please visit this knowledge base article(link is external).

Can I delete a SPA? 

SPAs cannot be deleted at this time. If you want to stop using a SPA and have us delete it in the future, do the following:

Can I share a SPA Calendar?

To share your calendar with other Direct Members, contact sends e-mail).  It is not possible to share a Calendar with a delegated access role.

Can I set up a bMail alias for a SPA?

You can set up an alias for a SPA-affiliated bMail account by logging in as the SPA and clicking on the accounts link and then Aliases at: is external) 

What is the return address when an email is sent by a direct member of a SPA?

When you send email by logging in to the SPA as a Direct Member, the return address is the SPA bMail Account name. As a user with Delegated Access, when you access the SPA via your own bMail account and send email, the return address is the SPA bMail Account name followed by the notation: "(sent by sends e-mail))."

I tried to create a new SPA but got an "Application Error."

If you tried to create a new SPA but got an "Application Error," first log in to to review your active affiliations and make sure you are currently an employee. Only employees can create a SPA. If you are a current employee and get this error, please email sends e-mail) to report the error.

How do I send an email as a SPA, and not using my delegated access to the SPA?

In order to send an email as the SPA, instead of using your delegated access, please log in to bMail as your SPA. Using this technique, you will be able to send emails from sends e-mail), instead of sends e-mail) (sent by sends e-mail)). 

How do I change the display name of my SPA?

To update a SPA display name, a member of the SPA needs to email with the name of the SPA and the desired display name. 

What is the difference between "spa-" and "group-spa"?

When you search in CalGroups for a SPA, you can now see the account as well as the SPA group. Formerly, you were only able to see the group.

Any user in CalGroups can see a SPA. SPA groups have more restrictions. You can only see the group if you are in the group.  In the screenshot below, search results for “calnet-coordinator” return both the group- and the SP_Account, because the user doing the search is a member of the SPA group.

Examples of Access-related Problems


I see that I can log in by typing "+calnetid" and my passphrase, and then I see a drop down menu of a variety of SPAs I have access to.  Are these delegated accounts or are they the ones I own?  There is an account I am delegated ( sends e-mail)) that doesn't come up in the list, but when I'm in my own email, I see it as a delegated account.  Just wondering how this works! 


The list of accounts you see when you log in as "+calnetid" are the SPAs of which you are a Direct Member. You will not see SPAs for which you only have Delegated Access in this list. You can see a list of accounts you have Delegated Access to by clicking the round person icon (often your photo) at the top right of your bMail screen. You must delegate the SPA accounts to yourself in order to see them in this list.


Is there an 'easy' way to change ownership of a SPA CalNet ID to another person?  Is there a difference between "owner" and "authorizer"?


Since the department owns the SPA, you simply need to add another Direct Member to the SPA to change the "functional owner." Each Direct Member of the SPA has the ability to add and remove other members.

Contact Us

To create SPAs and manage membership, use the Special Purpose Accounts Admin App(link is external)

If you have any questions regarding SPAs, contact sends e-mail).