With great sites comes 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. And now you can with the ability to further customize the ‘modern’ SharePoint sites experiences in a repeatable, programmatic way. We are pleased to announce that the ability to create and use custom site designs is rolling out to Targeted Release Office 365 customers.
As SharePoint team sites and communication sites become more organized according to the business, they, too, need to best align with the preferred look & feel and structure via use of custom site themes and custom site designs. And a tenant-wide gallery helps to ensure each site can be assigned the right set of themes and designs by the right people; it is possible to assign who can pick and use specific designs at the time when they create new sites.
Custom site designs and custom site themes apply to both team sites and communication sites, and provide you with flexibility and choice.
Let’s dive into the details.
This week, we'll begin rolling out support for SharePoint administrators to create and upload custom site scripts and site designs–alongside the previously released ability to manage custom site themes (NOTE: site theme configuration and customization is now released 100% worldwide production). Site designs help apply a consistent set of actions, such as setting the site theme, creating lists & columns, recording the new site URL to a log, or even sending an email to a person or group.
The site designs (and themes) are stored in a central, tenant-level gallery and can be applied to both team sites and communication sites. An approved user would see the custom site design as a choice during site creation after they click "Create site" from their SharePoint home in Office 365 after they select their site type. This custom site design is used to run and apply one or more site scripts for additional site configurations after the site is created.
The new site design framework enables customers to create and apply additional site configurations programmatically through and after the SharePoint site creation experience—ensuring sites are configured correctly and consistently. To create and manage these files, you will need to be familiar with using our REST and PowerShell APIs as there is no visual experience available yet. It, too, is possible to leverage SharePoint development Patterns and Practices (PnP) more for complex scenarios; links to documentation and samples follow below.
As a part of the custom site design, you use site scripts to customize how SharePoint sites are being provisioned. To do this, you construct a JSON object (file) that describes the action(s) to be applied when the site is provisioned, or after. You can also start external Microsoft Flows for additional actions, if needed. Site scripts are non-destructive, so when they run (once or again), they ensure that the site matches the configuration prescribed in the script.
Available actions include:
To go deeper into the topic from a custom development perspective, please watch the SharePoint PnP developer webcast “Nov.30th.2017 community call” (link jumps to site design section), and learn more about creating custom site designs with the now available SharePoint site design and site script overview documentation, remote PnP provisioning, and SharePoint site script samples.
Anytime is a valuable time to update your site to a professional look and feel. SharePoint site owners have new options for applying custom color palettes to sites, to make it easier to define and manage themes across site collections. This new capability provides site owners with eight configurable default themes that can be applied to all pages of the site; both within team sites and communication sites. Additionally, custom themes can be created and uploaded to a customer’s theme gallery and made available through the same Change the look panel within each site.
The out-of-box SharePoint site themes meet the latest accessibility standards, with documented guidelines for creating accessible custom site themes.
To learn more about this previous released capability, please review the original release article, “New site theming options for SharePoint sites in Office 365.” And if you to go deeper into the topic from a custom perspective, please watch the SharePoint PnP developer webcast, “Custom themes with modern SharePoint sites;” in addition to documentation on creating and managing SharePoint site themes and use of the SharePoint theme generator tool.
—Mark Kashman, senior product manager for the SharePoint team
Note: you can now view the full, corresponding Microsoft Ignite 2017 breakout sessions:
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