Microsoft Adds Hybrid Site Creation Option to SharePoint 2013

Microsoft this week unveiled a new SharePoint Server 2013 feature called "Hybrid Self-Service Site Creation," enabling organizations running on-premises SharePoint to direct user site creation requests to Office 365 services.

The new capability is "now available" and will get enabled when this month's Public Update release for SharePoint 2013 gets installed, according to an announcement by Bill Baer, senior product marketing manager for SharePoint at Microsoft. Presumably, the announcement signifies that the feature is ready for use in production environments.

The "hybrid" aspect of the feature refers to organizations running SharePoint Server 2013 in their datacenters while also using services such as Office 365 with its SharePoint Online "cloud"-based version of the product. With Hybrid Self-Service Site creation enabled, it's possible to permit end users to create their own sites, with the request going through the SharePoint Online service. Under this scenario, end users create a group with an associated Team Site and the request gets carried out through Office 365 via an approach that Microsoft calls "redirection."

"New hybrid self-service site creation allows SharePoint administrators to direct users site creations requests to Office 365," Baer explained. "This new hybrid capability allows administrators of SharePoint Server 2013 to have the option to enable their existing or new Self-Service Site Creation flow redirect users to SharePoint Online to create a Group (with an associated Team Site)." 

IT pros can turn on or turn off Hybrid Self-Service Site creation using SharePoint 2013 Central Administration, Baer added.

Of course, organizations can also restrict end users from creating sites. The Self-Service Site creation approach is more for organizations wanting to facilitate site creation without a request-and-wait type of process, a TechNet article explained.

Microsoft is planning to bring the Hybrid Self-Service Site creation capability to SharePoint Server 2016 as well. It's planned for arrival in the second half of this year, according to Baer. In the meantime, SharePoint 2016 users can use the "hybrid sites" capabilities, he added. Enabling hybrid sites capabilities apparently involves making certain configuration changes, as described in this TechNet article.

Presumably, an Office 365 subscription is required to use the new Hybrid Self-Service Site option, but the details are hard to find. Organizations that can't adopt a hybrid approach can use an existing "On-Premise Self-service Site Creation experience," Baer indicated.

In other SharePoint news, Microsoft this week announced the release of Cumulative Updates for SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint 2016. The SharePoint 2016 release is notable for including Feature Pack 1, which adds new capabilities to SharePoint Server 2016 that are based on Microsoft's Office 365 innovations.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.


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