Modernizing Your Approach to Site Architecture in SharePoint and Office 365

If you’ve ever wondered how to structure your SharePoint sites, you’re not alone. For those that have been doing SharePoint for a while, you may already know that we’ve long had the debate – where do your department sites go in SharePoint?  Are they considered publishing sites or collaboration sites? Or both?  Are they sub-sites or site collections? How can we structure sites so we secure some content and still publish content for others, without making it too complicated?  This concern often leads to a successful intranet build, but prevents true collaboration from occurring in SharePoint. We watch as our HR teams, Finance, and others still resist adding their most secure content into SharePoint (and especially into the cloud!) when we know the file share is no longer the best place for that content.  This issue gets even more complex when we bring Microsoft Teams– which are supported by SharePoint sites – into the picture. I want to take some time to talk through what is no longer considered a good approach, and then provide a replacement, modern approach to site architecture best practices in Office 365.

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Organizing in SharePoint

A common dilemma in SharePoint is “How many lists and libraries are too many?  You’ll be pleased to know that the exactly correct answer is, “It depends.”  Before you send me threatening tweets or comments, please read on!

Would your users prefer going to one place to find the information they’re looking for and sorting/filtering through one large bucket of data or having a list of libraries and lists, with detailed names to look through?

One giant list? Let’s think about that for a minute. I’m not talking about scrolling through a long list of hundreds of files. SharePoint lists and libraries allow us to create views. Views let us slice, dice and surface content in meaningful ways. Keep in mind, views cannot be secured so the One Big Bucket approach only works when security allows it.

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Naming Policies Support for Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365

Teams. We love it. It’s a place where we and our, well… teams, can have focused and topic centric conversations in an interface that also gives us access to the very data we’re talking about. We can edit our files together, chat, have a quick call or even a group meeting, all from within teams. It’s great!

For each team created in Teams, we’re given a SharePoint site collection for storing and organizing the files uploaded in Teams. With that site collection comes an Microsoft 365 group to provide permissions and security.

In one quick and easy step Teams automatically gives us the security and document management features we have come to rely on over the years. It’s pretty good stuff, until we start thinking about, you know, the “G-Word” and the implications of anyone and everyone creating sites and groups.  We do love Teams. We also kind of fear it.

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SharePoint’s Parent-Child Relationship

If you’ve been working with SharePoint for very long you’re already familiar with the fact that SharePoint site collections are hierarchical. Let’s take a closer look at how inheritance plays a large role in that hierarchy.

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Behold, the Nav Bar in Office 365!

Are you tired of sorting through the waffle every time you want to open a different Office 365 app? Well guess what; you don’t have to! There’s a nifty little trick that you can use to pin your frequently used apps to the Nav bar in Office 365.

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PAIT Group Partner PointFire Makes SharePoint Multilingual

PointFire is about to release a signifcant update to their current SharePoint Online multilingual product set. Currently in beta,  PointFire 365 v2  is loaded with multilingual capabilities built right into SharePoint!  If world-wide communication and collaboration is important to your organization, this product provides a user-friendly way to implement a single site that can be shared and managed in many languages.

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