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Microsoft Details Site Creation with SharePoint and Teams

A recent Microsoft demo presentation describes how to create a new Teams Site "modern" page using an existing "classic" SharePoint page.

The demo was the first in a series of Microsoft videos prefacing the SharePoint Conference event, which will take place in Las Vegas in May. Mark Kashman, senior program manager on the SharePoint team, talked about Microsoft's efforts to make Teams and SharePoint Online "better together" in various respects, while Tejas Mehta, a principal program manager for Teams, demonstrated how to create a modern Teams Site page in SharePoint Online.

Updates Coming 1H
No new information was presented in the demo about what to expect at the May SharePoint Conference, which is typically when Microsoft presents its overall roadmap list of improvements. Kashman instead showed slides from the September Ignite conference, projecting a few things to expect in the "first half of 2019."

As for the SharePoint Online sites improvements to expect at that time, these items were listed:

  • Megamenu
  • Use of a central asset library to hold branded images
  • Communication Sites serving at the root for SharePoint Online tenancies
  • Hub Site footers and headers
  • Audience targeting
  • Platform usage insights
  • Fluent design themes
  • Page templates and library updates for site pages
  • User education tools

The "Megamenu" item was described back in January as a kind of menu that shows "multiple levels of hierarchy at once" for a site. It's designed to better display a site's content. However, SharePoint Online users can still opt for the older "Cascading" menu option if wanted.

As for teams and business application improvements coming to SharePoint Online, these items are expected to appear in the first half of 2019:

  • New files experience in Teams
  • Teams channel awareness
  • Navigation and file-picking interfaces getting a common approach
  • Quick editing of Lists
  • Planner button addition to Lists
  • PowerApps custom forms
  • Microsoft Flow triggers for "file analysis, images and cognitive"

Create a Modern Team Site
The demo was mostly oriented to how end users would create a modern Team Site based on the existing classic one. Basically, end users can choose a site template, which lets them create an Office 365 group. The site can be made public, a language can be selected and custom colors and location can be applied. The process will create members in Active Directory. A new homepage will get created as a result. It'll display News, Quick Links, Activity Feeds and rich views of lists or thumbnails, all based on content from the classic site.

After creating the modern Team Site, the previous classic homepage will still exist. It can be found under the Home link on the left side of the new Team Site page. There was no description about how to delete the old classic page.

And that was about it for the presentation. Kashman also talked about the OneDrive and SharePoint Online combination as being "intelligent content management" plus an intranet. OneDrive now supports up to 300-plus file types and can save files on local hard drives via content syncing, making them available when offline. This "Files On-Demand" feature of OneDrive is more fully described for end users in Kashman's "Top-5 One-Drive Tips" article, posted last week. Kashman also touted using the Known Folder Move feature as a way to back up Windows default folders (such as the "Desktop," "Documents" and "Pictures" folders) on a PC to the OneDrive cloud-based storage service, providing access anywhere for end users.

Microsoft's SharePoint Web presentations also include talks on employee engagement (not available on demand at press time), plus an upcoming March 13 talk on transforming business processes. There's also a March 20 talk on accelerating productivity to come.

Developer Updates
A new SharePoint Framework version is expected to be announced by the time of the May SharePoint Conference, according to Vesa Juvonen, a principal program manager for the developer ecosystem at Microsoft, in a Monday SharePoint Dev Weekly talk (said at about 11:00 minutes into the talk). SharePoint Framework is Microsoft's current development platform that's based on various open source tools. Things are moving fast for SharePoint developers and Microsoft needs to improve its SharePoint Framework versioning and documentation, he noted.

Microsoft last week released search client-side Web Parts and extensions, based on the SharePoint Framework and housed as open source code on GitHub. The search Web Parts let organizations build custom search experiences that look like the classic SharePoint model. There are plans to use SharePoint Framework as an extensibility model for enterprise search, too, Juvonen added.

The talk described some developer innovations by Microsoft MVPs. There was a developer tip to add "$select=" to GET queries using the SharePoint and OneDrive REST API to reduce throttling and improve performance. Another tip described creating a SharePoint Framework Web Part to access K2 Cloud workflows, although it's not presently recommended for production environments. Also profiled was a PowerShell script that lets organizations associate the same logo across Hub Sites and associated sites. A Web Part was described that provides a graphical user interface that lets SharePoint Online tenant administrators manage tenant-level properties. Lastly, there was a description of creating Teams from a template, which is at preview.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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