Waiting to upgrade to a Communications Site?

Microsoft have placed on their roadmap that you can run the following PowerShell command:

enable-spocommsite

to upgrade a classic site collection to a modern site collection.

However, the documentation at:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powershell/module/sharepoint-online/Enable-SPOCommSite?view=sharepoint-ps

reads:

Enables the modern communication site experience on an existing site. At this time, based on early adopter feedback, we have decided to postpone rolling out this feature. We apologize for any inconvenience and will communicate a new schedule via Message Center, once it is available. We expect to have an update in the Q3 time frame

and when you actually try it you get:

image

So it looks like we’ll have to wait a little longer. Hopefully not too much longer.

Use PowerShell to get site storage usage

One of the challenges for IT Pros when managing the online collaboration world of SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business in Microsoft 365, is getting a quick overview of things like storage usage across their environment. In the gold ol’ days you’d just using Windows Explorer or something similar, but in the Microsoft 365 world these tools are not ‘online’ aware.

Thankfully, it is PowerShell to the rescue here again! What you can do is is basically grab all the SharePoint and OneDrive for Business Sites and look at a property called StorageUsageCurrent. Thus,

$sposites=get-sposite
$sposites.storageusagecurrent

will firstly get all the SharePoint sites and then display the storage usage of each in MB. However, that is a bit basic. What you really want is something like this:

image

for you SharePoint sites and and a separate group for your OneDrive for Business sites like this:

image

You might also notice that they are also sorted in descending order, from largest to smallest.

The good news is that I have done all that hard work for you and made the script available in my GitHub repo here:

https://github.com/directorcia/Office365/blob/master/o365-spo-getusage.ps1

The only thing that you need to do before running the script is to connect to SharePoint Online using PowerShell as an administrator.

Don’t forget there are also plenty of other handy scripts in my GitHub repo which get updated regularly. So, make your admin life easier and use what I have already created rather than re-inventing the wheel.

Creating unique file permissions with Teams

Microsoft Teams is a really easy way to share files with others. However, the modern concept with Microsoft Teams is that once you are part of the Team then you have the same rights as everyone else. This generally means that all Team members have the ability to read, write, modify and potentially delete files. This is common across all channels in the Team.

One thing that you really don’t want to do is go into the SharePoint back end of the Teams files and modify the default permissions. If you do, you’ll cause a whole lot of problems. We are expecting private channels in Teams very soon but here’s an easy way to overcome the default common sharing options in Teams by creating a separate area with unique permissions and linking that back into the Team.

image

Firstly navigate to your Team.

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Select the Files tab to the right of Conversations to see all the files for that channel as shown above. These are common files that all Team members have the same rights to.

Select the Open in SharePoint option as shown above.

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This will take you to the location of those channel files in SharePoint as shown above. This location is typically a subfolder with the name of the channel (here General), in a Document Library called Documents

You will need appropriate permissions to complete the process from here. So you will need to be an admin of the Team or a SharePoint Site owner.

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In the top right of the screen select the COG then Add an app from the menu that appears as shown.

image

Typically, you’ll select to a new Document Library and give it a name.

image

In this case, a new Document Library called Final Presentations has been created as shown.

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Once you are at this new location, select the COG again in the top right and this time select Library settings as shown.

image

Select the second option from the second column at the top of the page called Permissions for this document library.

image

Now it is just good ol’ SharePoint permissions configuration.

Typically, you firstly select Stop Inheriting Permissions.

image

In this case, Sales members will be changed from Edit to Read permissions by selecting that group and then the Edit User Permissions button. However, you can configure whatever permissions suit your needs.

image

Make sure you select OK after you have made you changes.

image

Once you have completed the require permissions, you need to return to the Team and link this new location there.

image

Inside the Team, select the channel in which you wish this new location to be linked and select the + icon on the right as shown.

image

From the dialog that appears, select Document Library as shown.

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You can either navigate or input a direct link here. In this case the destination site, Sales, is selected.

image

You should then see the new location you created (here Final Presentations). Select this and then the Next button.

image

Give the new tab a name, which can be different from the location if you wish, and press Save.

image

You should now see the location you created and any files in there as shown above. These items have permissions governed by those set previously in SharePoint but now they are also displayed and accessible in Teams. The great thing is you can link this new location in multiple places and you can link from locations not even in the current Team. As long as users have permissions, they can see and interact with those files based on those permissions.

Hopefully, that is an easy way to create locations for file with unique permissions but still have them accessible for users via Teams.

Need to Know podcast–Episode 209

Our chat this episode is with Mia McIntyre from MiVirtual about here experiences attending the recent SharePoint 2019 Conference. Mia shares her learnings and experiences with one of the big annual Microsoft product conferences as well as few other interesting topics. If you have ever wondered what it is like to attend these sorts of events, then listen along. Brenton and I kick the show off and bring you up to date with all the Microsoft Cloud happenings as well.

This episode was recorded using Microsoft Teams and produced with Camtasia 2019

Take a listen and let us know what you think – feedback@needtoknow.cloud

You can listen directly to this episode at:

https://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-209-mia-mcintyre/

Subscribe via iTunes at:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/ciaops-need-to-know-podcasts/id406891445?mt=2

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ciaops/need-to-know-podcast?refid=stpr

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send us any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.

Resources

@Mia_P_McIntryre

@contactbrenton

@directorcia

MiVirtual

SharePoint Conference

CIAOPS Patron program

Conditional access comes to Microsoft 365 Business

Introducing Microsoft Edge preview for older version of Windows

Mac To-Do beta

Adding the SharePoint starter kit

Disable basic authentication in Exchange Online

Windows Terminal beta

Need to Know podcast–Episode 208

Jeffa is back! Jeff Alexander from Microsoft that is. Jeff is here to talk to about the modern desktop including things like Intune, Identity, Device Management and more. Modern desktops require a modern approach and thinking when it comes to everything from roll outs through to updating, so listen in for all the details on how to jump on board. Of course, Brenton and I give you an update on new things in the Microsoft Cloud so you’ll right up to date after this episode.

This episode was recorded using Microsoft Teams and produced with Camtasia 2019

Take a listen and let us know what you think – feedback@needtoknow.cloud

You can listen directly to this episode at:

https://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-208-jeff-alexander/

Subscribe via iTunes at:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/ciaops-need-to-know-podcasts/id406891445?mt=2

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ciaops/need-to-know-podcast?refid=stpr

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send us any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.

Resources

@Jeffa36

About Jeff

@Contactbrenton

@directorcia

New to Microsoft 365 in May

Adding the SharePoint Starter Kit

Provisioning Microsoft 365 Learning pathways

Get started with Intune

Adding the SharePoint Starter Kit

If you have a look at all the web parts you have available to you in your current SharePoint environment,

image

versus what I have available,

image

You will see that I have quite a few more! The good news is that it is easy to add all these plus a range of additional features using the SharePoint Online provisioning service.

The easiest way to add all these features to simply visit the SharePoint Starter Kit option

image

and use the option in the top right of the page to Sign in as a Global Administrator for your tenant and then select the Add to your tenant button on the right as shown above.

However, before you do that you’ll need to ensure you have completed a few pre-requisites. Firstly, that your tenant is on Targeted Release.

image

You’ll find the setting for that in the Office 365 Admin Center, under Settings and Organizational profile as shown above.

image

You can use the Edit button to make changes to the setting.

If you do change the setting, it may take up to 24 hours for that change to be fully applied to the tenant. Making this change may also affect other areas of your tenant, so I suggest you review the following documentation:

Set up the Standard or Targeted release options in Office 365

Next, you need to ensure your tenant has an App Catalog. To see whether it does, locate the SharePoint Admin console.

image

If you are taken to a newer version of the SharePoint Admin console, as shown above, select the Classic SharePoint admin console option on the left.

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At the “Classic” SharePoint Admin console select apps on the left.

image

Then select App catalog at the top, on the right as shown above.

image

If you don’t already have an App Catalog you need to select the option – Create a new app catalog site and then select OK.

image

It is recommended that you use the following settings here:

Title = Apps

URL suffix = apps

Administrator = Global or SharePoint administrator

Once you have completed these details select OK to create the site.

image

In a short while you should find that you have a new SharePoint Site Collection, as shown above, with the details you just entered.

image

If you already have an App Catalog or you just created one, when you visit that URL you should see a site like that seen above.

The final pre-requisite that you need to configure is some permissions on the SharePoint Term Store.

image

Once again, from the “Classic” SharePoint Admin center, select term store on the left. Then scroll down on the right and locate the Term Store Administrators option and enter you Global or SharePoint administrator in there again.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page on the right and Save the changes.

Now that all these pre-requisites have been configured, return to the SharePoint Starter Kit option:

image

and select the Add to your tenant button on the right.

image

You may see a message about providing permissions, which you should accept. You’ll also see a summary of what will be provisioned as shown above. You’ll basically get all the new features plus three new site collections.

Select Confirm to continue.

image

In a short while you’ll get a number of new SharePoint sites like that shown above that you can explore. Importantly, you also get additional features and web parts across your whole tenant.

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If you return to the App Catalog site and select the Apps for SharePoint option on the left, you will that the SharePoint Starter Kit solution appears as shown. This is the item that delivers all the new features to your environment.

The above sequence is the easiest way to deploy these add on features but what happens if you wish to do this manually and not get the additional demo Site Collections the above deploys?

You’ll still need to ensure the pre-requisites from above are completed (enable Targeted Release, have an App Catalog and modify the permissions on your SharePoint Term Store). Once these are complete you need to visit the sp-starter-kit GitHub repo:

https://github.com/SharePoint/sp-starter-kit/tree/master/package

and download the file sharepoint.starter-kit.sppkg here:

https://github.com/SharePoint/sp-starter-kit/blob/master/package/sharepoint-starter-kit.sppkg

image

You then need to return to the Apps for SharePoint location in the App Catalog

image

and upload the file sharepoint.starter-kit.sppkg here.

image

The file is about 7MB so you’ll need to wait while the file uploads into the library. You’ll the progress as shown above.

image

Once the package has been uploaded, you’ll see the above dialog boxing asking you to Deploy it. Before you deploy, ensure the option to Make this solution available to all sites in the organization is selected.

You may need to wait a little while for the package to roll out to all areas in your tenant. In most cases, this won’t usually be more than a few minutes.

image

You should now see all these new web parts available to you in your modern pages within all sites in your tenant.

Remember that the SharePoint Starter Kit is available in GitHub and will continue to be updated over time. As it is, simply upload the new package into your App Catalog to gain access to the new features.

Using the SharePoint Starter Kit should give now you lots more options when working with SharePoint and all for free!

Your collaboration structure should be wide not deep

In previous articles I’ve provided:

A framework for file migrations to Microsoft 365

and

Processes for file migrations to Microsoft 365

In this article, I’m going to focus on the next level down and how you should be thinking wide not deep when it comes to transforming your data into Microsoft 365.

In essence, structure is not as important as it once used to be. Having layers and layers of directories and sub-directories in a file share was really the only way to catalogue and organise your information in the world of on premises. However, structure becomes far less important in a world where everything is available via search. Think about it, how do you find stuff on the Internet? You search for it. Why then should internal data work any differently?

image

Search is built into Microsoft 365 and now appears at the top of most pages as you see above.

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For example, if I do a search for “bitcoin” then I’m returned results from that location, in this case a list.

image

Not only do I have search, but thanks to the Microsoft Graph and some “AI” magic I can get a feed of my most relevant documents in Delve. I can also see documents others are working on that are also relevant to me and that I have permission to, again all in Delve.

So, the concept of structure is less important than it used to be, especially the deeper you go. It more becomes a case of get it into some major buckets and we can filter and sort from there.

Let’s say that there is an existing on premises folder structure like so:

F:\Finance\customers\abc\2017

F:\Finance\customers\abc\2018

F:\Finance\customers\abc\2019

and so on. How do you ‘transform’ this into the new world of Microsoft 365? Best practices is to start at the top and work down. Thus:

F:\Finance

is going to be the initial bucket. This means that you should either create a Microsoft Team or a SharePoint Site called “Finance”.

Once you have a Microsoft Team called “Finance” then you would probably create a Channel called “Customers”. If it was a SharePoint site then you’d have a Document Library called “Customers”.

Inside the Microsoft Team called “Finance” and the Channel called “Customers” you have a folder in the Files area called “ABC” and so on for each customer.

At this point we have now reached “Robert’s rule of three” maximum structure depth. That means we have a Microsoft Team, a Channel and a folder. We don’t really want to create anything deeper if we can avoid it. This is where “metadata” comes to the rescue. Perhaps, instead of a a single Channel or Document Library for customers, maybe you have a unique library for each? The choice is yours.

If we look at the structure of the source data, we see that is broken out be year. However, we can create a custom column in SharePoint that contains the values of “Year” and use that to ‘tag’ our data. Thus, you create an additional column in the Document Library where the data lives. You specify that the only values allowed in the column are numerical years. You then set that field to the appropriate value for each file.

image

In the above example, you’ll see that I have created an additional column called “Customer” and used that to tag both files and folders.

Thus, metadata allows me to collapse my structure by using tags, which in many ways is what people used folders for on premises. Once I have tagged my data I can easily sort and filter it like so:

image

Here it is “grouped by Customer”

image

Thus, with metadata you can create a much flatter structure because you don’t need all those sub folders. The benefits of a flatter structure is that it is easy to see more of the data quickly and then using the inbuilt filtering tools to get to what you want. Typically, you’ll only be using this filtering technique if you haven’t searched for the data or had it presented to you via Delve. However, for those that still like to navigate a formal structure, it is still possible as you can see.

My best practice is that every time you are considering going more than three levels deep, you should break the data into another Channel or Document Library. Remember, you can create as many Document Libraries as you want in SharePoint and then also link them back into Microsoft Teams if you want. You should be looking to use lots of Document Libraries and keeping them no deeper than a single folder as a rule of thumb.

The other benefits of using additional Document Libraries is that you can have a different set of metadata to describe your information. You can also have a different set of permissions as well as a different look and feel thanks to SharePoint Views. A wide structure in general makes more things visible to people when they go looking, rather than it being buried deep within a folder structure and lost.

Thus, most of your top level folders from on premises file servers will become independent Teams or SharePoint sites. Subfolders below these will become Teams Channels or unique Document Libraries in SharePoint. It is also always better to break deep structures into different Document Libraries and link them back into Microsoft Teams if required.

Remember, moving to Microsoft 365 is about “transforming” data and restructuring it in a ways that users will benefit most. This means keeping it as shallow as possible and using inbuilt tools like filter, sort and search to get to your information rather than constantly navigating up and down deep structures. Services like Delve will also present to you the information you need most times and so you won’t even have to go searching for it. Simply ‘dumping’ data from an on premises file share into a single Document Library is not providing any value or transforming that in any way. If you aren’t going to do that why are you even bothering to move it?

As I have said previously, transformation requires effort, it doesn’t magically happen. However, the point of migration is the opportunity to transform data so that it can take advantage of all the tool Microsoft 365 provides. Also don’t forget that you don’t have to do all of this transformation in one hit. Create the Microsoft Teams, Channels as a starting point at least, then add metadata across the data down the track. Likewise, if you want to make a change down the track you can. That’s the whole idea with Microsoft 365, it is something that will evolve over time as the business does. It is never a once off migration process without future change. Never!

Microsoft 365 gives you the resources and tools to go wide not deep with your structure. Start my replacing some of your sub folders with metadata fields as illustrated above. Doing so will enable your business to be far more productive than it ever was with deep on premises file shares. Remember, moving to Microsoft 365 is about transforming not merely migrating.

Need to Know podcast–Episode 207

We have an interview with Senior product Marketing Manager for Microsoft 365 Business, Ashanka Iddya. There is of course an update on everything from the Microsoft Cloud with a special focus on the recent SharePoint 2019 Conference. Delta synced files, full Document Library fidelity in Teams and more are covered in this episode.

This episode was recorded using Microsoft Teams and produced with Camtasia

Take a listen and let us know what you think – feedback@needtoknow.cloud

You can listen directly to this episode at:

https://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-207-ashanka-iddya/

Subscribe via iTunes at:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/ciaops-need-to-know-podcasts/id406891445?mt=2

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ciaops/need-to-know-podcast?refid=stpr

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send us any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.

Resources

@aiddya

@contactbrenton

@directorcia

Small and Medium Business on the Microsoft Tech Community

SharePoint home sites

New mobile features, interactivity and more announced at SharePoint Conference 2019

OneDrive announcements – SharePoint Conference 2019

Turbocharging Microsoft 365 cloud user experiences

Framework for file migrations to Microsoft 365

Processes for File migrations to Microsoft 365

CIAOPS Patron Program