Using custom site content types and columns in Group/teams sites

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Occasional Contributor

We've been using SharePoint for many years and have developed custom content types and columns. Some of the columns are based upon managed metadata in a master site collection term store. Our processes have centered on the creation of a subsite for each new project. These subsites are based upon a site template that was first created in SharePoint 2003. (I said we've been using SP for a while.)

 

Since we've migrated to Office 365 we've found increasing problems getting our list and site templates to work properly. At the same time, new paradigms in Office 365 for using team sites and now Groups and Teams are revealing what appears to be a better way for us to work. But, we still need our custom content types and site columns.

 

So we have some problems. First, since we're a small company with simple needs, we stopped using a content hub site, instead we merely have a single site collection where our content types, columns and term store resides and into which our project subsites are created. This has mostly worked, aside from the problems with updating our templates.

 

But now Groups and Teams are creating team sites that reside outside our main site collection and have no access to our content types, columns and term store. I'm not even sure where these team sites actually reside so I could possibly create a content hub for their use. In fact, I don't know if we can actually create a content hub that would work within these new use models. And that ignores the challenge of having new group/teams sites make use of our carefully customized lists, libraries, content types and term store.

 

Is my assessment of our challenges a shared reality or am I missing something that everyone else knows about?

 

If there are even marginally straightforward ways to address these issues, can someone point them out?

 

Thanks,

 

 

12 Replies
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You raise some very good questions that I have not seen addressed in any of the recent Ignite presentations or published documents.

 

FWIW, o365 already has a Content Type hub created, (it is hidden) but it is ready to use. It is at /sites/contentTypeHub . @Marc Anderson has a nice article about this at http://sympmarc.com/2014/11/25/hidden-content-type-hub-on-office365-tenants/

 

I would expect that you could add CTs to the hub and then they will show up in the site collections for each Group, but I have not tested this.

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Groups have always had Team Sites (in a Ste Collection each) behind them, but they are accessible now. In theory Groups can progress from ad hoc collections of people into more formalized teams because of this. The real question becomes when you start to impose the formality and how.

 

If you use the Content Type Hub, then all of your structure will be available but IMO the implementation there leaves quite a bit to be dssired. If your Content Types are relatively straightforward and don't change much, it should work ok for you.

 

M.

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Thanks for the pointer to the hub. I'd long suspected that it existed but hadn't a clue on how to find it.

 

Anyhow, I've found it. Now I have to see if I can find a way to migrate my existing content types and columns to the hub.

 

Any suggestions?

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Dean answered my big question - is there a content type hub and how to find it.

 

You're right, implementation is a challenge, especially since it's been over a year since I used a contenttypehub and several years since I set one up :)

 

So now I have to find a way to migrate my existing content types and so forth.

 

And of course, the other big challange and one that's not for me to solve: having group/team sites get created using my customizations. That's a question for the Microsoft Office 365 development teams. I have to assume that all the giant companies who have invested millions in the platform have asked some form of this question already. My small company doesn't have the leverage, just a big mouth.

 

Thanks

 

 

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My favorite tool for stuff like this is Sharegate. I highly recommend having it on hand for lots of things you end up doing with SharePoint. My company Sympraxis is a partner of Sharegate's but I recommend it and we became a partner because we use it constantly. 

 

With Sharegate, you can copy the Content Types from the current location into the Content Type Hub. (I just tested it to be absolutely sure.) You'd then change the Content Types on content in in specific locations to use the centralized versions.

 

Let me know if you need more help...

 

M.

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I'm going to ask about recommendations on this from the product team. Stay tuned...
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You may be interested in some of the demos shown in the recent PnP conference call, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2upGogvwHc

The ability create Groups via code is coming :)
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ShareGate is a good suggestion. We used to use the MetaLogix suite for this kind of stuff, but once we moved from on premises to O365 with a new simplified architecture, we found we didn't need it any more. Also, since we got rid of all on premise servers we didn't have a way to use it or its counterparts.

 

Anyhow, after checking what I had to migrate, I realized that our needs were really simple and I was able to simply recreate the columns and content types we'd actually need within a groups/teams team site environment. So that's taken care of.

 

Next, is the ability to customize group/teams site creation which I know is coming.

 

Thanks for the help so far.

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I have been using the contenttype hub for years. However I am now on a contract with a company pushing Groups, I do not see the contenttypes within the Group Site. :(

 

Am I missing something??

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It should be working but it can take a while 24-48 hours

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Well. I be a ding dong dang. They have indeed arrived. Strange how instant in the standard site collections. many thanks.
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No Worries please mark my anwer as best response