During the latest Ignite event, a ton of SharePoint features were announced. The announcement that really stood out for me personally, is the SharePoint Hub Site. This is the next step in providing an out-of-the-box Intranet and Communication Portal within Office 365 empowered by SharePoint.
June of this year, SharePoint Communication Sites started to roll out. This provided us with a site template to quickly set up an Intranet and Communication Portal. I have written a couple blogs about SharePoint Communication Sites. Since writing these blogs, I have been lucky enough to support customers setting up portals with the Communication Site. Believe it or not, within a couple of hours a portal can be up and running. One condition is the availability of content such as text, pictures, and documents. This is really a huge step up compared to previous projects where setting up an Intranet Portal could take a very long time.
Modernized Team Sites have been around a bit longer. The modern experience provides businesses with the following features:
- User-friendly document libraries and lists
- Responsive design
- Beautiful and interactive pages
- New Web Parts
- Integration with Microsoft’s native SharePoint App
All the features result in the SharePoint Team Site being an incredibly powerful template for collaboration scenarios. Did I also mention the integration with Office 365 Groups?
Although I have been very positive about Communication and Team Sites, there was something missing. Imagine, you create multiple Communication and Team Sites. There is a Communication Site for each department for publication purposes. There is a Team Site for each department to collaborate with team members. There isn’t an option available to connect all these sites together. That’s a shame because all these sites form an integral part of a modern workplace for companies. This is where SharePoint Hub Sites step in.
A SharePoint Communication or Team Site can be promoted to Hub Site. Through the site settings of other sites, you select the corresponding hub. What happens next is fantastic:
- All the news and events are rolled-up within the Hub Site. This allows the users to easily stay up-to-date on the latest news and events within one central location.
- A search scope is created, allowing users to directly search for content within all the connected sites.
- The top navigation of the Hub Site, managed navigation that is, is pushed to all underlying sites.
- The look, feel, theme and logo of the Hub Site are automatically pushed to all underlying sites.
I can’t wait to get my hands on this new template. Unfortunately, we must wait until next year. Click here to read the official Microsoft statement.