At Ignite 2017, we announced numerous innovations to SharePoint that help you work better together, to provide consistent access to content from across Office 365, the ability to see how sites and content are bring used, plus new admin capabilities to provide consistency across sites – all brought to the user on their device of choice via updates to the SharePoint mobile apps.
At work, it is important for every team member to streamline efforts and stay on the same page, especially when they are on the go. SharePoint team sites provide a central location to manage team files, input and connect to important data, and share timely news. And with insight into what drives the most engagement and value, people can course correct and optimize for greatest impact.
Let’s dive into the details.
Every group will have a unique approach to how they work and what works best. Some will be email-centric, some files-centric and some oriented around chat. And because all groups in Office 365 are backed by SharePoint team sites, all content resides in a content service (SharePoint) that is easy to bring into a discussion, to share and to access.
View SharePoint pages and news articles within Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft Teams is the hub for teamwork where groups that actively engage and are working on core projects can connect and collaborate. And in conjunction with SharePoint, groups keep content at the center of teamwork, making files, sites and all types of content easily shareable and accessible across teams. Beyond files stored in SharePoint document libraries, now you can access the dynamic, data-driven pages and news articles and surface them right in the context of your work in Microsoft Teams.
It is now possible to manually add an important page or news article as a unique tab in a Microsoft Teams channel. The page itself lives in the appropriate SharePoint site, and is surfaced in context where it needs to be a part of the chat. Simply select your page, choose if you want to post to a channel about this page, and click Save.
If there is a more consistent need for an always-on connection to all published team news, it’s possible to connect all news articles to appear as unique threads within the default channel chat experience.
Bring Office 365 group content and resources to your SharePoint team site
By default, SharePoint team sites are connected to Office 365 Groups for consistent membership and access to related apps like a share inbox, calendar and OneNote notebook. It is now easier to refine how Office 365 group apps and controls are brought into the SharePoint team site experience.
You can quickly edit the team site left-hand navigation to include links to the group’s Conversations Calendar, Notebook, and Planner.
Click Edit, hover between two navigation items and click the + icon to Add a link to Choose an option.
Beyond team site navigation flexibility, you also can enhance the team site home page, or pages and news articles within the team site, with new Office 365 group-related web parts, including Connectors:
Connectors – we will begin to bring in the value of Office 365 Connectors that provide connection to numerous third-party services like Facebook, Bing News, Jira, GitHub, Stack Overflow and up to 100 existing connectors – with more coming over time. Note: connectors web parts are only available for use within group-connected team sites.
You can now connect an existing SharePoint team site to a new group in Office 365, to improve your team’s productivity with the content and resources of an Office 365 group, including:
The site retains its URL, settings and permissions site owners, members and visitors can work without interruption. While existing pages are not automatically updated, you can begin modernizing your team site already, today. You can create new pages and even make one of the new pages the home page of your site.
We suggest properties based on your current team site. Here’s a look at what happens:
When you connect a site to Office 365 groups, a new group is created. Group owners and members are suggested based on your existing team site's membership. You can add or remove people from the group. Of course, you can update group membership at any time.
Group membership is managed separately from site membership, but group members always have access to the team site. You can continue to add users to the site’s owners, members and visitors group to give them access to the site without granting access to other group resources.
The Site usage page gives site owners a view of information that shows how their users are interacting with a site. For example, site owners can see the number of people who have visited the home page, how many new items were added to your site, and a list of files that have received the most views.
We are announcing additional insights at the site level (most viewed and most unique viewers, trending content, historical views), and at the page level (the number of comments and likes, plus views and viewer counts). Views and Viewer counts for SharePoint pages will be available on each page and everyone with view permissions can see this.
Take your intranet with you to stay connected and informed about important content, news, sites and people while on the go – for those in-between moments. You can easily get back to what’s relevant to you, alongside powerful search capabilities to find what you need, plus provide feedback via comments and likes – all to keep work moving forward.
Introducing the new Me tab with the SharePoint mobile app
Sometimes it IS all about YOU 😊. The Me tab within the SharePoint mobile apps delivers a single place to catch up on important things going on around you – one place to find recent files, lists, pages, and news posts. You can easily pick up where you left off, and using the Save for later gesture - save news, pages, and files for later.
Create news on Android: Add your own news stories right from your Android device. Simply click + Add from the News section on a team site, type a title, add body text and format it. You can also add image(s) and embed documents. And then click Publish. You and your peers will see the story appear across the news service as a recent story – on SharePoint home in Office 365, within the personalized News tab of the SharePoint apps, and on the team site itself. That’s news reach – ensuring you have an effective, automated megaphone to amplify your news.
Android on-premises: You will be able to log into your on-premises SharePoint Server environment from within the SharePoint mobile app for Android - giving you access to all your sites within your firewall, and if you are leveraging SharePoint Online, the app will provide access to all your sites from both on-premises and online in Office 365. Access SharePoint Server 2013 and 2016 with support for FBA and NTLM.
With great sites come great responsibility and structure. It is the focus of IT and content managers to enable the business to achieve their outcomes while staying in compliance with company guidelines and preferences.
SharePoint hub sites – Microsoft announced SharePoint hub sites that bring together related sites to roll up news and activity, to simplify search, and to create cohesion with shared navigation and look-and-feel; this is applicable to both team sites and communication sites, and it is the role of the admin to create a hub site to enable site owners to join and un-join as the business requires.
Custom site themes and custom site designs – As sites become more organized according to the business, they, too, can better align with the preferred look and feel and structure via use of custom site themes and custom site designs – with a tenant-wide gallery available to ensure each site can be assigned to the right set of themes and designs. It, too, is possible to assign who can pick and use specific designs at the time when they create new sites. Custom site design and custom site themes apply to both team sites and communication sites, and provide you with the flexibility and choice to apply your preferred look and feel, while at the same time give you control for pre-configured layout, page design and pre-populated content.
Files that need attention – It is possible that some files added to or bulk uploaded into document libraries come without required metadata fields filled out. Now it is easy to see if an individual document has incomplete metadata that has been marked as required. And in one click, you can view all files that need attention, aka, filter down to the files that are missing metadata and quickly rectify inline using the information pane.
SharePoint Properties in Office (formerly Document Input Panel (DIP)) – you can now manage metadata stored in SharePoint directly from within the Office client application – within the document itself. This makes it easy for people to fill out required information, and provides content managers a means to highlight required and missing information in context where their users are working.
Additional integration between SharePoint, Teams, and Office 365 Groups is coming as we enable diverse teams to work in the experience that best suits their unique workstyles, without sacrificing power or flexibility. You can take advantage of many of the features listed above soon. Create new Office365 groups from SharePoint home. Connect with your peers using Microsoft Teams, and highlight important updates by authoring and sharing team news.
We want to empower you and every person on your team to achieve more. Let us know what you need next. We are always open to feedback via UserVoice and continued dialog in the SharePoint community in the Microsoft Tech Community —and we always have an eye on tweets to @SharePoint. Let us know.
—Mark Kashman, senior product manager for the SharePoint team
Note: you can now view the corresponding Ignite 2017 session, "Share and work together on the intranet with SharePoint Team Sites" by Mark Kashman and Jeremy Mazner, along with the corresponding PowerPoint presentation. [BRK2207]
Q: When can I expect to see the above-mentioned innovation within my Office 365 tenant?
A: Much of what is mentioned above will begin to rollout to Office 365 First Release customers before the end of calendar year 2017, except for the ability to connect existing team site to a new Office 365 group and SharePoint hub sites – both are targeted to begin rollout within the first half of calendar year 2018.
Q: What roles do Office 365 Groups, SharePoint team sites, and Microsoft Teams all play when used together?
A: Office 365 Groups helps manage the list of team members who work together (group objects are stored in Azure Active Directory (AAD)); members can be a part of numerous groups. They then leverage team sites to manage their content and information by using news, pages, document libraries, lists and business apps. Microsoft Teams comes into play for the team’s ongoing conversation. It’s possible to share a document stored in the team site directly into the chat as a link. Members can also showcase news articles, pages, or the full site from within the tabs of Microsoft Teams channels.
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