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Modernize your SharePoint team sites by connecting them to new Office 365 groups

SharePoint powers content collaboration in Office 365. At work, it is important for every team member to streamline efforts and stay on the same page. Group-connected SharePoint team sites provide a central location to manage team files, input and connect to important data, and share timely news. With insight into what drives the most engagement and value, people can course correct and optimize for greatest impact.

 

Users have been adopting modern SharePoint lists and libraries and creating modern pages. And now it’s time to bring the full power of SharePoint and Office 365 to all your sites. We’re excited to announce that you can now further modernize your existing (classic) sites by connecting them to new Office 365 groups.

 

Connect SharePoint sites to new Office 365 Groups.gifIt is easy to connect your existing SharePoint site to a new Office 365 group. [30-second looping GIF]

This connection also allows you to associate your site to a SharePoint hub site now that it has a modern home page, and the site will look and function better via the SharePoint mobile app.

 

Connect your existing SharePoint sites to a new Office 365 group

You can connect your site to a new Office 365 group from the user interface site-by-site, which might be good for smaller environments. However, larger customers often want to offer a consistent experience to their users, and therefore want to perform a bulk operation of their sites. Last month, we made tools available for admins to connect existing sites to new Office 365 Groups.

 

Being able to connect an Office 365 group to an existing SharePoint site is important if you want to modernize that site and provide additional group capabilities to all team members. In addition to using modern pages, lists and libraries already available in your classic sites, once you have connected your site to an Office 365 group, it can benefit from all other shared group-connected apps such as Outlook for a group inbox and calendar, Planner for task management, Microsoft Teams for real-time, persistent chat, and more.

 

Now, we are expanding this capability to site owners directly from the team sites they own and manage.  When enabled in your environment, it’s easy to get started.  As a site owner, you can initiate the group connection by selecting Connect to new Office 365 Group from the upper-right site gear menu. Note: if this does not appear, either your tenant does not yet have this capability as it takes several weeks to roll out to all customers, or you are not a site owner of that site.

 

Connect-existing-SP-site_to-new-Office365_001.pngFrom an existing (classic) SharePoint site, select "Connect to a new Office 365 Group" from the upper-right gear icon menu to start the process.

This will launch an experience that will guide you step-by-step through the group connection process, where you provide details for the new Office 365 group, including name, email address, members and owners.  Upon completion, you will be presented with a new, modern home page created for your site with a new, editable page with new web parts to get you started– including a site activity web part that highlights relevant content actions occurring within your site. The page also includes a new link to the group’s inbox in the left navigation and a header with relevant group information and membership. Plus, when you hover on the team site name at the top, you will see the new group card that gives quick access to other apps and shows more about the group and what’s happening beyond the site.

 

Rest assured that all your previous content remains in the site, and a link to the previous home page is also added to the site’s navigation. No site left behind, AND no content left behind. Just moving forward!

 

Connect-existing-SP-site_to-new-Office365_002.pngAfter stepping through a few wizard-driven steps to add members and owners and adjust settings if needed, you'll be presented with an updated site connected to Office 365 group apps.

Beyond your content, all existing permissions in the site remain the same as well.  This ensures that anyone that had access to resources in the site will continue to have them once it is group connected.

 

 

Connect-existing-SP-site_to-new-Office365_003.pngThe updated Site permissions experience is available to site owners from the upper-right gear icon menu to allow inline management of site permissions and invite others to collaborate.

 

Get started today!

There is no reason to delay. Start your modernization journey now.  Get the most out of the power of SharePoint and Office 365 Groups to boost people productivity across your company.

 

SharePoint powers content collaboration for the modern workplace, enabling teamwork with team sites connected to Outlook, Microsoft Teams, Planner and more. Whether you call this ‘site modernization,’ ‘groupify’ or ‘no site left behind’ - start connecting your existing SharePoint sites to new Office 365 groups today! You’ll jump for joyify for sure.

 

Thanks,

Mark Kashman and Tejas Mehta, SharePoint team - Microsoft

 

FAQs and additional, related resources below…

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How can I expect connecting existing SharePoint sites to new Office 365 Groups to roll out to Office 365 customers?

A: The ability to connect existing SharePoint sites to new Office 365 Groups Communication sites will begin to roll out to all Targeted Release customers this week, and will be completed within 2–3 weeks. We then are targeting end of July 2018 for complete worldwide roll out into production.

 

Q: What types of sites can I connect to new Office 365 Groups?

A: You can connect top-level site collections that use the team site web template (also known as STS#0). You cannot group-connect subsites.

 

Q: What permissions do I need to have to connect my existing site to a new group?

A: Site collection administrators of the existing SharePoint site have the appropriate permissions to initiate the group connection process from the upper-right gear icon menu.  Global admins can use PowerShell cmdlet or API tools as well.

 

Q: What if my site has items with unique permissions?  Do they change?

A: The group connection process does not change permissions on items with unique permissions. 

 

Q: Can I limit the availability of this feature to just my global admins?

A: Yes, there is an admin setting that lets you control whether this feature is available for site administrators from the gear menu.

 

Additional resources

14 Comments
Frequent Contributor

That's great @Mark Kashman.

 

A few questions:

 

  1. When do we get to have group members' permission as "contribute" to the site instead of "edit". This is a pain point. Anyone ends up fiddling with, tinkering and changing any page including the home page (either inadvertently by trying out the edit button, or intentionally to put their point). Our users want only the owners to be able to create, edit, or delete site pages (or designated multiple owners). Not every member of the group.
  2. Related to above - not sure then how news would work? News is pages. Can news be in a separate page library of its own, so that it's easier to manage permissions. Then members could then create/edit/delete their own news pages and not other's. And this will also help us having a specific content type associated with that library solely for news applying managed metadata which could be separate from regular site pages which may not really require metadata. The whole "promotedstate=2" is hidden anyway.
  3. How do we get to assign "visitor" / "read" permission to everyone on a private group's connected site? When we use the "site permissions" right-pane to share "everyone" with "only this site", that is added to the "visitors" group and everything works fine. But, after a few days that disappears and suddenly everyone gets access denied. Our use-case is that although some documents, collaboration and other activities of the group are private, but they may want to keep the site open for all to visit and read. Specific libraries and lists will then override inheritance and be available to only group members. Something like a hybrid between a team-site and a communication-site. 
  4. How do we select a particular managed path (teams or sites) for admin created modern sites? Our use-case being, for example IT has its team site for internal collab, but wants to have a communication site with the same name for wider dissemination. So, the path "teams" would make sense for the team site, and path "sites" would make sense for the comms site.
  5. How can admins create a modern team site without necessarily being forced to create an O365 Group behind it? Our use-case being, there are several sites that require fluid permission sets with lots of lists and libraries having unique permissions. Nested security groups works best in such cases. Moreover, our users don't want to clog up their Outlook with tens of groups when they don't need to converse at all. Yes, I could go with a classic site, but then it still would be "classic" which at some point in near future may get deprecated. The road-map is clearly modern, isn't it? We want to look ahead, but with flexibility.

 

 

Senior Member

Hi, thanks for the news.

 

What about the subsites?

Where do they go when we connect the top level site collection to a new office group ?

 

Thanks

Senior Member

When we connect existing SharePoint Team site to the O365 Groups, then do we get one more SharePoint Site which is associated to O365 group apart from the one SharePoint site which we are connecting?

Microsoft

Hi @prashant k No. The existing site becomes the group's site - so only one site, and it gets updated. The value is that it is brought forward with existing value and gets added value by connecting to Office 365 groups and associated apps. 

Microsoft

Hi @Matthieu SERVIEN. The susbites remain intact and still will be a part of your team site. And to be clear, the main page of each subsite will remain untouched, aka, it will not get modernized, but remain within the modern site.

Senior Member

I would also agree with 

 

 

Regular Visitor

We have recently migrated from OnPrem to SPO, and are using AD groups to permission our sites.   What happens to those permissions when we connect to an O365 group?

New Contributor

Good news. Thanks for sharing.

 

Agree with @Abhimanyu Singh and others and we have the same concerns.  

 

And what happens to the primary/secondary Site Collection Admins? Do they still show as Site Collection admins somewhere, and can be reported in a report? This is important as they are the contacts for a site and have roles and responsibilities in managing a site collection. Too many site owners is problematic for RnR.

 

Regards

mk

 

New Contributor

Hi @Mark Kashman, thanks for this information and the additional rescources. There is just one point I am wondering about: if there is an O365 Group naming policy in place, will the groupify process follow this naming policy? Thanks for clarifying this!

New Contributor

Looking forward to hear some feedback from @Mark Kashman on this. 

 

But we have this O365 Group Naming policy in place now  to add a prefix to the name of the O365 Group, and when a modern team site is created it adds that prefix to the name the modern site and to the URL of the site. This is really annoying, and that prefix or suffix what ever is used for O365 Group naming convention should not be added to the site name and URL.

 

Hi @Mark Kashman,

 

I was under the impression that we'd be able to convert/connect our tenant's root site collection, however I get the following message when using the Set-SPOSiteOffice365Group cmdlet to do so:

 

Set-SPOSiteOffice365Group : The root site collection for this tenant cannot be connected to an Office 365 Group.

 

Is connecting the root site collection allowed or am I misunderstanding?

Contributor

Is there any ETA on connecting an existing SharePoint team site to an existing Office 365 Group?

Regular Visitor

When we use the "site permissions" right-pane to share "everyone" with "only this site", that is added to the "visitors" group and everything works fine. But, after a few days that disappears and suddenly everyone gets access denied.

@Abhimanyu Singh Are you still having this happen and/or have you come across a solution?  Just came across this issue and can't figure out why those permissions are disappearing.

Frequent Contributor

@Jordan Aaberg Strangely the issue went out on its own! I've been watching a couple of sites, and suddenly the issue seems to be resolved. I don't really know how or when exactly, but as of now the "visitors" group is persisting with the "everyone" membership. I am keeping my fingers crossed, because I haven't heard back from @Mark Kashman or any one from the team on the 5 issues/requests I mentioned above. Can't rely on anything for sure, unless there is some confirmation of sorts from Microsoft.