SharePoint Server 2016 Beta 2 Hybrid Scenarios

SharePoint Server 2016 Beta 2, released on November 18th, 2015, introduces several new hybrid capabilities that drive end-user familiarity and provide further abstraction of Office 365 when coexisting with SharePoint on-premises to include a new hybrid extensible App Launcher and profile redirection.

Extensible App Launcher

The App Launcher is a familiar feature in Office and it’s now been extended to SharePoint Server 2016. The App Launcher provides a common location to discover new apps and navigate SharePoint on-premises and Office 365.

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The extensible hybrid app launcher is designed to help you get to your Office 365 apps and services from SharePoint Server 2016 Beta 2.  The extensible App Launcher is enabled when enabling hybrid Team Sites and/or OneDrive for Business, once you enable this feature, you’ll see the Office 365 Delve and Video apps, along with your custom Office 365 tiles, appear in your SharePoint Server 2016 Beta 2 app launcher.

The Extensible Hybrid App Launcher is a SharePoint Server 2016 Beta 2 feature that requires Office 365 functionality which is scheduled to roll out during December 2015 and January 2016.

Learn more about the Extensible App Launcher at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=715519.

Profile Redirection

Profile redirection is a component of the hybrid Team Sites feature introduced in SharePoint Server 2013 Service Pack 1.  Profile redirection, in a hybrid Team Sites configuration redirects cloud (hybrid) users to their profile in Office 365 powered by Office Delve ensuring hybrid users have a single place for their profile information.

Learn more about Profile Redirection at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=708802.

Hybrid Team Sites

Hybrid Team Sites provides a solution to help hybrid users reconcile and rationalize site membership and discovery across SharePoint on-premises and Office 365.  For example, if you're a member of several team sites in your organization, you may want to start following them for easy access.  When you follow a team site, it gets listed on your Sites page.  When you follow sites, you can quickly navigate to libraries on these sites from OneDrive for Business or the Sites tile on-premises or in Office 365.

When a user follows a site, a link to that site is added to the user's Followed Sites list. If you're using both SharePoint Server 2016 Beta 2 and SharePoint Online, your users will have different followed lists for sites in each location. Hybrid sites features consolidates the information from both locations into the SharePoint Online list in Office 365.

Learn more about Team Sites at https://technet.microsoft.com/library/mt346108(v=office.16).aspx.

OneDrive for Business

In SharePoint Server 2016 Beta 2, you can redirect users to OneDrive for Business in Office 365 when they click OneDrive or Sites in the navigation bar. This is known as OneDrive for Business hybrid.

With this feature, no matter where they are, users can quickly access their documents and any information that they choose to sync from their SharePoint sites. This best-of-both-worlds approach lets you keep your key business information in your own environment while allowing users the flexibility to access their documents from anywhere.

With this feature, you can continue to use your on-premises SharePoint farm while providing your users with an easy way to store, share, and collaborate in the cloud with OneDrive for Business in Office 365.

Learn more about hybrid OneDrive for Business at https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn627523.aspx.

Search

SharePoint Server 2016 Beta 2 provides two discrete hybrid search scenarios, Cloud Hybrid Search introduced in August 2015 to SharePoint Server 2016 IT Preview and SharePoint Server 2013, in addition to the classic federated hybrid search scenario, introduced in SharePoint Server 2013.

Cloud Hybrid Search

The Cloud Hybrid Search scenario represents the next generation in hybrid search and discovery.  With the cloud hybrid search solution, both your on-premises and Office 365 crawled content is unified in a search index hosted in Office 365.  When users query your search index in Office 365, they get search results from both on-premises and Office 365 content.  The content metadata is encrypted when it’s transferred to the search index in Office 365, so the on-premises content remains secure.  You configure search in Office 365, except for the crawling set-up, which you do on SharePoint Server.

Learn more about cloud hybrid search at http://connect.microsoft.com/office/SelfNomination.aspx?ProgramID=8647&pageType=1.

In SharePoint Server 2016 Beta 2 a Cloud Search Service Application can be created in SharePoint Central Administration; however, onboarding requires running the onboarding script that can be downloaded via link above. 

Federated Hybrid Search

Federated hybrid search is a hybrid search scenario in which a query issued by a user is federated or distributed across on-premises and Office 365 returning a set of results from each location as discrete entities.  In a federated hybrid search scenario on-premises crawled content is stored on-premises in the search index and Office 365 content in the search index in Office 365 with no affinity between the two data sets.  Federated hybrid search can be configured in inbound, outbound, or bi-directional hybrid topologies.

Outbound

User searches from the SharePoint Server 2013 Search Center display hybrid results. This is called outbound hybrid search. For information about how to set up outbound hybrid search, see Display hybrid search results in SharePoint Server 2013.

Inbound

User searches from the SharePoint Online Search Center display hybrid results. This is called inbound hybrid search. For information about how to set up inbound hybrid search, see Display hybrid search results in SharePoint Online.

Hybrid Scenario Picker

The hybrid scenario picker is a new feature in Office 365 that simplifies the configuration and deployment of hybrid capabilities with SharePoint Server 2013 and SharePoint Server 2016.  You can use the scenario picker wizard to redirect OneDrive for Business to SharePoint Online, and/or to make a Server-to-Server (S2S)/OAuth connection for your SharePoint Hybrid features.

Learn more about the Hybrid Scenario Picker at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=620229&clcid=0x409.

Extranet Sites 

An extranet site in SharePoint is a site that organizations create to let external users have access to relevant content and to collaborate with them. Extranet sites allow a way for partners to securely do business with your organization. The content for your partner is kept in one place and they have only the content and access they need. They don’t need to email the documents back and forth or use some tools that are not sanctioned by IT.

Traditionally, deploying a SharePoint on-premisesextranet site involves complex configuration to establish security measures and governance, including granting access inside the corporate firewall, and expensive initial and on-going cost.

But with O365 SharePoint Hybrid extranet, partners connect directly to a members-only site in Office 365, without access to the corporate on-premises environment or any other Office 365 site. Office 365 Extranet sites can be accessed anywhere.

Learn more about hybrid Office 365 Extranets at  http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=537696&clcid=0x409.

Document Collaboration

Recently a new attachment option has been made available in Office 365. In Exchange 2016, this option, known as document collaboration, allows on-premises users to integrate attachments stored on OneDrive for Business directly in their Outlook on the web clients.

Learn more about Document Collaboration at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=715521.

Get Started with SharePoint Hybrid

SharePoint Hybrid is about connecting best of both worlds, on-premises and Cloud, together and achieve business values through hybrid pillars.

A hybrid solution can help your company get started in the cloud, taking a first step to explore the cloud functionality at own your pace. A hybrid environment enables enterprise users to be connected from almost anywhere to the resources and content they need.

Learn more about hybrid SharePoint at http://hybrid.office.com/.

Simplifying Hybrid Configuration with the new Hybrid Scenario Picker

This month we continued to invest in simplifying the Office 365 and SharePoint 2013 hybrid experience with the new hybrid scenario picker available in the Office 365 Administration Center.

Overview

The hybrid scenario picker is designed to help customers get up and running quickly with in-market and future hybrid scenarios by providing quick access to hybrid scenarios such as OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Sites in addition to programmatically configuring hybrid prerequisites to include Server-to-Server (S2s) and OAuth connections.

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Scenarios

The current hybrid scenario picker experience provides access to two (2) core scenarios supported with SharePoint Server 2013 and the upcoming release of SharePoint Server 2016 Preview.

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SharePoint Hybrid OneDrive for Business – The Hybrid OneDrive option redirects your on-premises My Sites/OneDrive host to SharePoint Online OneDrive for Business. Once the wizard completes, any click of the OneDrive link from on-premises will redirect to OneDrive in the Cloud. The redirection is complete and users may begin moving or syncing files to the Cloud for storage, right away.  The wizard also configures a sever-to-server (S2S/OAuth) connection between SharePoint Server on-premises and SharePoint Online.

SharePoint Hybrid Site Features – The Hybrid SharePoint Sites option configures a server-to-server (S2S/OAuth) connection that allows you to join features of your team site to your SharePoint Online site collection in Office 365.  OneDrive for Business redirection is also configured when you click this option. Note that, depending on what hybrid features you want to use, there may be other steps that you need to complete when this wizard finishes.  For example, if you want to configure SharePoint Server search as a hybrid of SharePoint Online and SharePoint Server on-premises.

Prerequisites

To successfully configure a hybrid Office 365 and SharePoint 2013 experience using the hybrid scenario picker your SharePoint Server 2013 farm should have the August PU installed, ports 80 and 443 should be open for outbound connections, and users synchronized with Office 365 using Azure Active Directory Sync (AAD Sync).

Resources

To learn more about hybrid Office 365 and SharePoint scenarios see also https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj838715.aspx.

Yammer Redirection in SharePoint Server 2013 Service Pack 1

In previous articles I discussed redirecting OneDrive for Business to Office 365 in SharePoint Server 2013 Service Pack 1.  In addition to new functionality that allows IT administrators to redirect OneDrive for Business and Sites pages to Office 365, Service Pack 1 also allows IT administrators to activate Yammer as the default social experience for SharePoint Server 2013.

When activated, the Newsfeed link in the navigation bar is replaced with a Yammer link that directs users to the organizations’ Yammer network. 

Yammer Configuration page in Central Admin

While a simplified Activate/Deactivate configuration is provided in Service Pack 1, proper identity management planning is required to deliver a consistent and integrated user experience.

For organizations with an established Active Directory and identity management infrastructure and practices

Directory Synchronization with Office 365 is a distinct configuration that provides an integrated identity solution for applications within the Office 365 suite with the exception of Yammer.  Integrated identity with Yammer requires a separate implementation of a directory synchronization solution provided by Yammer, Yammer Directory Sync (DSync).

Similar to Directory Synchronization, Yammer Directory Sync (DSync) is a Windows application that automates user provisioning in your Yammer network by querying your Active Directory (AD) host(s).

 

Sites Page

The Sites page introduced in SharePoint Server 2013 is designed to provide users a unified location to create new sites and view sites they are following.

Managing Sites Page Redirection

Service Pack 1 also includes within OneDrive for Business redirection the option to redirect users Sites page to Office 365.

Example 1 C#

        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            SPSecurity.RunWithElevatedPrivileges(delegate()
            {
                SPWebApplication webApp = SPWebApplication.Lookup(new Uri("http://sharepoint.spc.com.co"));
 
                foreach (SPSite site in webApp.Sites)
                {
                    foreach (SPWeb web in site.AllWebs)
                    {
                        if (web.Features != null)
                        {
                            web.Features.Remove(new Guid("{043C4BDD-9745-441a-A9A7-0BCD9B910319}"));
                        }
                    }
                }
            });
        }

Example 1 Windows PowerShell

This example can be used to deactivate a specific Feature across all sites within the specified Web application.

$webApp = Get-SPWebApplication -Identity http://sharepoint.contoso.com

$webApp | Get-SPSite -limit all | ForEach-Object {Disable-SPFeature -Identity “FeatureName” -Url $_.Url}

The Uninstall-SPFeature cmdlet removes the specified feature definition from the collection of feature definitions in the farm.

Uninstall-SPFeature –Identity

Other Social Capability Considerations

In addition to addressing scenarios such as Following Content you should also consider the management of other SharePoint Server 2013 social capabilities such as:

  • Removing the SharePoint Server social web parts from My Sites and Team Sites.
  • Hiding user interface controls that provide social functionality.

For additional information on replacing the social features in SharePoint Server 2013 with equivalent Yammer features in a SharePoint Server 2013 on-premises deployment see also http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn270535(v=office.15).aspx.

Resources

Add Yammer to the navigation bar for SharePoint 2013 [http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn627521(v=office.15).aspx]

SharePoint 2013 and Office 365 Hybrid

The French philosopher, Henry Bergson, once said “to exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” While the Nobel Prize winner wasn’t talking about the software and services world, the thought is extremely applicable to technology- from development to administration to use. The adoption of, and change to, cloud computing is maturing at a rapid rate…but the move needs to be thoughtful.

At Microsoft we are truly embracing this change through our cloud first/mobile first mantra and we have seen customer interest grow for all of our maturing cloud services, in a very significant way- from IaaS capabilities in Microsoft Azure, to gaming and entertainment consumption in XBOX Live to our productivity and collaboration solutions for Office 365. In all cases, customers love the time to value, cadence of new and helpful features and predictive costs that the cloud computing offers.

However, we also know that the move to cloud doesn’t happen all at once. In Office 365, we have seen incredible interest and growth for all of our services, including SharePoint Online. To that end, we absolutely recognize customers need to balance their desire to adopt SharePoint Online, while still maintaining existing, on-premises, SharePoint Server investments until the time when they can be migrated to the cloud.

For those customers ready to thoughtfully embrace the change to cloud, we are committed to helping you with our hybrid models and tools so you can leverage the Microsoft Cloud to change your business endlessly. We believe the future of work is how we build relationships, share information, and respond to conditions that can change at a moment’s notice, Office 365 is the cornerstone of our response, and with our current and future investments we’re helping to bring you there with as little friction as possible.

For more information and to understand what hybrid scenarios can do for your business see the following resources:

Check out new downloadable content you can share with your organization at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn769084(v=office.15).aspx

Learn more about Hybrid Models with SharePoint and Office 365 [http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj838715(v=office.15).aspx]

Download Hybrid SharePoint 2013 Resources [http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj838715(v=office.15).aspx]

Check back often as we continue to innovate on our hybrid vision to help you realize the best of on-premises and the cloud.

Outbound Hybrid Infrastructure Configuration Made Easy for SharePoint Server 2013 and Office 365

 

Over the past several weeks since we’ve released Service Pack 1 for SharePoint Server 2013 I’ve configured several PoC and demo environments with OneDrive for Business redirection to Office 365 with an outbound hybrid search topology.  Over the course of configuring these environments I found it to be easier to programmatically configure the more complex aspect (outbound infrastructure) and hopefully will be able to share the solution soon…

The solution I put together is a Windows Form (makes it easy to redistribute and iterate upon), simplifies the configuration and scripting of outbound infrastructure (example below).

The root domain is populated at runtime based on the machine (should be a WFE) from where the application is run.

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The application next gets a list of all SPWebApplications on the local SPFarm, creates a list, and populates a combobox.

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The application then takes the Personal Information Exchange (.pfx) certificate to be used for the STS and converts it to Base64 Encoded (.cer).

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The application then creates the Windows PowerShell script necessary to configure the outbound infrastructure for hybrid search.

////TODO Add Syntax Highlighting.

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The next step is the Configure tab which executes the script created in the previous steps and configures the outbound infrastructure.

Looking forward to sharing the solution soon, but any feedback is appreciated.