At work, people often participate across five or more groups. It becomes important for everyone involved to streamline their efforts and stay on the same page. With SharePoint team sites connected to Office 365 groups, every group gets a team site, and team sites you create from SharePoint home in Office 365 create a connected group. Over the last year, we modernized SharePoint team sites to increase usability. Today we announced additional enhancements that further unify collaboration experiences in Office 365, including the ability to:
Amplify your news and information via integration with Microsoft Teams & Office 365 Groups. (coming soon)
Personalize your team home page and site throughout with new theming and templating options. (coming this Summer)
Connect existing team sites to Office 365 Groups to standardize membership management and bring additional capabilities inline like the group’s calendar, Planner, and conversation. (coming later this year)
Amplify your news and information via integration across Office 365
With the connection to Office 365 Groups, SharePoint team sites can become a configurable dashboard for your team to show the group’s calendar, Planner for task management, and conversations in a shared inbox or Yammer feed. You can configure the team’s home page to highlight the most relevant content, and add links to group resources to the left navigation of your team site, to streamline navigation and enhance discovery of all your group’s collaboration tools.
Socialize and discuss SharePoint news in Microsoft Teams
SharePoint team sites and Microsoft Teams are connected to the same Office 365 Group, so they share a common list of members, and a common set of files stored in SharePoint. It’s easy to start a group chat about a news post by simply pasting a link to the article into chat stream. We’ll be adding rich previews of SharePoint content, to drive engagement and encourage discussion. And you can be confident that the news post, and your chat, will be available for every group member to read and contribute to as needed – no matter when they join the team and the conversation.
A link to a SharePoint news item renders a preview of the image, title, preview text, date and author.
Show your group’s calendar on your SharePoint team site
As team members organize their work schedule in the group’s shared calendar, you can increase the visibility of upcoming and past team meetings on the site’s home page. The Calendar web part displays the full list right alongside team news, documents, people and more. And members can add one-time or recurring meetings into the group’s calendar from within Outlook.
The group Calendar web part in edit mode side-by-side the News web part.
Streamline navigation to group resources across Office 365
You can now include links to Office 365 Group applications in the site’s left-hand navigation. Simply click Edit to modify the site’s navigation inline. With just two clicks, you can add the group’s conversation, calendar and Planner. It’s also possible to add links to any content or site, and to create menus that contain links by clicking “Make sub link”.
Adding group apps and custom links to the left-hand navigation.
Manage the look-and-feel of your team site with theming and designs
You own and manage your site, so make yourself at home and make it yours! We are updating the way we apply custom styling and colors to SharePoint sites and providing you the ability to use custom designs.
Site Theming | As a site owner, you’re just a few clicks away from seeing the themes your IT administrator has made available to your organization, and to quickly see preview a new theme on your site. Simply click Change the look, preview the various theme options in real-time, and when you find the one you like, and click Save. The new theme applies and is visible to all members.
Choose from six default site themes.
Site templates | We’ll also be making it easier for SharePoint administrators to control and expand design choices available to users when they create their team sites from SharePoint home in Office 365. This means that when you click Create Site, you will have the option to pick the specific site design that matches the needs of your team, whether that’s SharePoint’s default design or a custom one built by your company.
Pick a design for a new team site in the Choose a design menu. Team site is the default site design provided by Microsoft. The Research & development project is a custom design at Contoso Adventure.
Connect existing team sites to Office 365 Groups
After providing every Office 365 group with the full power of a SharePoint Online team site, and giving every new team site a group, we want to ensure that existing team sites get the modern user experiences and can benefit from groups and team sites linking.
Today, document libraries and lists have been modernized in all SharePoint Online team sites, even ones not yet connected to Office 365 Groups. You, too, can create a modern page in an existing team site and make it your home page if you wish (create your page and save it, then go to the Pages library, right-click and select Make homepage).
Later this year, we will let you connect an existing SharePoint team site to an Office 365 group, bringing the full power of Office 365 Groups collaboration to your team site.
A simple wizard menu to connect an existing SharePoint Online team site to an Office 365 Group.
The new site will retain the existing URL, settings and permissions so that it’s easy for site owners, members and viewers to keep working without interruption. And the new site will benefit from a group conversation, calendar, planner and more.
While we won’t automatically convert existing pages to the new user experience, 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.
Work together and stay connected
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When will I see the new team site enhancements in my Office 365 environment?
A: The various team site innovation will come in phases to Office 365 First Release customers, and then continue to full, worldwide production rollout. The Microsoft Teams news preview integration is coming later this year. The ability to personalize your sites will be coming this Summer. And the ability to take existing team sites in SharePoint Online and connect them to Office 365 Groups will come later this year.
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.