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Linking Team to Exisiting SharePoint Site

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Highlighted
Todd Purifoy
New Contributor

I know this topic has been discussed by many, but I still cannot get my head around it.  The idea of linking a team to an existing SharePoint site seems SO critically important to me.  The more we use Teams, the more apparent this becomes.  

There are a few workarounds, such as using a link to an existing SP Doc Library, but that doesn't really help us control sprawl.  

Here is an example of how this creates issues for us.  We'd LOVE to have people operate primarily in MS Teams.  Bowever, we have a corporate Intranet that is the starting place for everyone and everything.  It is where all of our company wide documents exist, where many of our existing team documents exist, all our company news, events...etc.

So this disconnect with the TEAMS structure is leaving us with a gap in our workflow, and creates tons of unused resources.

Each department has their own Intranet site.  This includes that department announcements, news, contacts, events, documents, FAQ's...etc.  Let's use Marketing for example.  Marketing Portal is a subsite on the Intranet Root with quite a few FLOWS that process different pieces of information and events for the team members.  They utilize the Doc Libraries for all documents related to their daily work.

If they post news or alerts on the site, they have the option of rolling that news up to the Intranet Home Portal.  So working in that structure is important to allow them to utilize their site to the fullest.

When we create a new TEAM for Marketing, then they get a new SharePoint Site that is disconnected form that Intranet Portal.  I can go link the doc library, but that still puts them in a position to jump between TEAMS and SharePoint depending on the information that they wish to utilize (Calendar, Events ,Announcement etc...).  It doesn't really allow them to have ONE location that they can utilize from either interface.  

I have tried to figure out ways to adapt the Intranet to use the site created by TEAMS instead, but that has been a big fail as well since the Intranet Portal itself is in a different Site Collection.  

It seems so intuitive that you'd be able to connect TEAMS to an existing site.

I found a promising option of creating a SharePoint site, and then creating a GROUP from that site...then connecting a TEAM to an existing Group.  BUT, that only works for root level sites...which none of our Internet Sites are as they are subsites of the main Intranet site.

I am really struggling to figure out a logical way to get TEAMS and out SharePoint sites to play nice and avoid creating double the number of SharePoint sites necessary.

Inevitably, the users end up with files in two places in the current model.  

Someone hit me with the magic bullet of understanding so I can figure this thing out!

Thanks!

12 Replies
I see to problems here as I understand! One is that you are using the old SharePoint model of creating sub sites etc and not using modern sites with office 365 connected teams sites or communication sites , and then use the intranet as a hub site and connect all other etc...

If you had a modern teams site with an underlaying office 365 group, you could connect teams to that!
But I would still see potential issues! Using advanced document management with teams is not a great idea! They would then still have to jump over to sharepoint to work with files and it’s not ideal and it would still create kind of two directions for the users!
Of course it depends on how much of sharepoint features you are utilizing too of course!
Using communication sites for news, info and general static public docs is another idea, then have teams for internal team use!
Yeah as Adam points out subsites is going to be your bane here. Hub sites are the way to build rollup but you said you have it do not sure if you are getting your terms messed up.

If you do have subsites your best option is going to be looking at migrating those out to stand alone sites and building a hub site structure out.

I always design things around permission types. Org access then comm sites. Department, project etc. then I use Teams and their attached SP sites and I’ll even attach those to the hub in some cases.

Anyway know it’s not the answer you want but Microsoft has been preaching not to use sub sites for awhile now. Maybe this was designed before that but your kind of going to have a bit tougher time getting things straightened out.

@Chris WebbHey Chris.  The company uses SPMarketplace Intranet Portal, and that is where the subsite model comes from.  They have custom SPMP webparts that manage the rollups.  

It is pretty slick in many ways, but it is also limiting.  For one, they re-invent the wheel at times by doing things like creating a project tracker that doesn't really take into account technology such as Planner.  Same goes for Teams...they seem to disregard that as a useful tool in the Intranet world, but that is a primary tool for our users.  So figuring out how to consistently provide an experience that allows for the use of Teams in the model is very restricting.  It doesn't always utilize AD for user information, but instead relies on Lists...that too is troublesome, but can be worked around.

Tasks assigned in the portal utilize lists as well, and thus don't notify or sync to the Outlook task lists. 

 

Those shortcomings are manageable, but the Teams integration is problematic.  

They use a subsite model.  I have spoken with them about a hub model and they seem to discourage it.  Some customers have failed trying to do that, although it appears that one has been rather successful.  I believe if we utilized that model, we could use the group conversion method to potentially solve that issue.  I have another meeting with them soon to discuss it.

 

Bottom line is, I need it to play nice with Teams or it really defeats the purpose.  At minimum, it needs to account for Teams in a much more meaningful way.  Teams is a central focus for our users.

You will need to make a additional structure will teams then!
Maybe move collaboration documents to teams instead
I’d look more into ditching this company that’s going to further pigeon hole you into their services :face_with_tears_of_joy:.
:face_with_tears_of_joy: yeah, but a lot of effort and monkey is probably put into this as well, so a smooth transition will probably be a better way

@adam deltinger  What would be the best is if Teams Folders (Dir. structure) could allow for shortcuts to files in a SharePont 'Shared Documents' folder. 

As an Admin, CMO/CTO of a company that has a few non-techie people involved I'd love to keep everyone in Teams; it's simple, all-in-one communications and navigation. I can also direct my staff to SharePoint Sites for other news, information ect. 


The last thing I want is duplicating files, people working on the wrong file, etc... Why can't Teams allow for Shortcuts to folders and files in a SharePoint 'Shared Documents' structure. OR why can't we put a link to a folder or files in Teams 'Files' that direct to the locations of a mapped SharePoint Drive. Think about it... people work on their desktop, having a mapped SharePoint drive right there in the OS that they then navigate to a final designation. OR Why can't we get to the folders/directories that Teams make inside a SharePoint drive? 
Teams Dev's make this simple for users. I'm just setting up a whole new start-up company structure and want to use SharePoint for that. I want Teams to tie into it... not have to have some separate Directory/Folder structure that makes zero sense to a user when they hit File Save as...

Look into the Add cloud services button on the files tab, this lets you link to another library, right inside a files tab, to another library. comes in handy.

@Chris Webb  correct, but that's to the whole 'Shared Documents'  it would be nice to have a specific folder listed instead. 

Example as CMO I'd love to have a team be able to go only to the 'Marketing' folder/Dir. in SharePoint and not the whole 'Shared Documents' they don't need access to IT Dept, Financials, and other things not Marketing. 

Again, if a Folder in SharePoint or specific files could be made into a Shortcut then that shortcut can be put into Teams. Just like how the Windows OS works. Seriously!! How difficult would that be to do MS? SharePoint Dir. structure can work with Shortcuts why can't Teams? 

You can do shortcuts, but only in SharePoint. If they ever release the SharePoint integrated Files tab, we should you would think be able to use the same shortcut link in a library to link to these sub folders like you want.

@Chris Webb 

It would just be good for them to allow 'create shortcut to SharePoint Drive' in the Files part of Teams. Then you point that to the location you want in the SharePoint Dir structure. 

If you use a link (copy link) to a specific folder in a SharePoint Dir. and past that us a browser you get that folder. But for some dumb reason Teams puts it to the main root Dir.  Just bad! 

You could always just link to a Page on the site instead of a library. Then on that page, have a document library webpart which can be filtered down to show a folder. Then add this page as a website to Teams Tab. This might get results you need.