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.
It is easy to connect your existing SharePoint site to a new Office 365 group. [30-second looping GIF]
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.
From 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!
After 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.
The 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.
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.