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Office 365 Update To Bring 'Modern' Improvements to SharePoint

A new Office 365 update will change how SharePoint Online end users create Team Sites and Communication Sites.

According to a Microsoft announcement last week, end users will be getting the ability to create so-called "modern" sites, even if they don't have the permissions to create Office 365 Groups.

Under Microsoft's current modern SharePoint Online scheme, Office 365 Groups get created automatically by default for end users when they create a Team Site or a Communication Site. However, if an IT department has disabled Groups creation permissions for those end users, then they can only create so-called "classic" SharePoint sites under the current scheme. Classic site creation doesn't automatically create an Office 365 Group.

Microsoft plans to roll out an Office 365 update starting in late July that will alter that behavior. It'll permit end users to create modern sites in SharePoint Online despite lacking Groups creation privileges. This new behavior will get delivered to Office 365 "targeted release" test users this month. Worldwide product rollout of the capability is expected to arrive by the end of August.

Another change that will get delivered with this Office 365 update is the ability of end users to select the default language of a SharePoint site they are creating. Microsoft offers a choice of 50 different languages. With the coming Office 356 update, end users will be able to select a default language for a site that's "different from the organization's default language set at the organizational level," Microsoft's announcement explained.

IT pros also will get some new capabilities with the coming Office 365 update. They'll have enhanced controls over site creation by end users, with the ability to enforce modern or classic options. They'll also have control over whether end users can create Subsites or not. Microsoft advocates using the new Hub Sites feature instead of using Subsites. However, the Subsites feature will continue to be supported, Microsoft suggested.

Classic SharePoint sites have an older user interface versus modern SharePoint sites. Modern sites are said to be easier to use and will display better in browsers used on mobile devices. Sites, Lists, Libraries and Recycle Bins are all typical SharePoint Online elements that have a modern user interface, according to a Microsoft document.

SharePoint users can have a mix of classic and modern elements. It's possible to transform pages to the modern interface, but it can be tricky because there's not a one-to-one mapping of features.

About the Author

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

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