Microsoft has confirmed that those enterprises operating its SharePoint Server 2013 within their internal data centres will now have the option of directing site creation instructions from users to the Office 365 services.
The software company is referring to this new capability by the term ‘Hybrid Self-Service Site Creation’. and has indicated that it is fully up and running for any user who wishes to take advantage of it. The new feature is activated when an individual user or organisation opts to download and install the SharePoint 2013 Public Update release that Microsoft put out earlier in the month. That information comes from the SharePoint senior product marketing manager at Microsoft, Bill Baer, who was responsible for announcing the new capability.
It can be taken as read from this statement that this capability is ready to be deployed within an organisation’s production environments. Specifically, the aspect of it that fits the ‘hybrid’ part of the description is where it enables organisations to operate SharePoint 2013 within data centres and run the likes of Office 365 at the same time, with the cloud-based SharePoint Online version of Microsoft’s server. Once it has enabled Hybrid Self-Service Site Creation, the user or company will have the option of letting end users build sites of their own, with SharePoint Online being the service that such requests will go through.
Should it choose this route, the end user in question will put together a group that has a Team Site connected with it and their site creation request is implemented through Microsoft Office 365, by means of an approach Microsoft is calling ‘redirection.’ In his statement to announce the release, Baer went on to say: “New hybrid self-service site creation allows SharePoint administrators to direct users site creations requests to Office 365. This new hybrid capability allows administrators of SharePoint Server 2013 to have the option to enable their existing or new Self-Service Site Creation flow redirect users to SharePoint Online to create a Group (with an associated Team Site).”
He further went on to add that an enterprise’s IT admin will be able to turn this new capability off or on via the Central Administration for SharePoint 2013. An enterprise will also have the option to limit the site creation potential for end users, with the approach offered by the new feature being mainly suited to enterprises that are keen to enable the creation of sites, and want to do so without the need for a process of ‘request and wait’.
Baer concluded by saying that the new capability will be made available for SharePoint Server 2016 too, with this being scheduled to arrive at some point during the latter part of the year. While they wait for this, those using that server will be able to deploy the feature’s ‘hybrid sites’ functions.
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