When you install Service Pack 1 for SharePoint Server 2013, you can redirect on premise users to OneDrive for Business in Office 365 when they click OneDrive or Sites in the navigation bar. This way, no matter where they are, they can quickly access their documents and any information that they choose to sync from their SharePoint sites without login to company's network. You could also configure the audience targeting to redirect only selected group of SharePoint users in hybrid mode while other users are still on premise.
The move to Office 365 hybrid mode has been a good thing. Even so, a few things caught me during the testing. So I wanted to pass along a list of mismatch functions/features to consider before subscribing to Office 365 for all SharePoint users. Some of the functions/features that have been removed or retired from Office 365 are as designed and I could see good reason behind. However, this might cause some issues if these functions are already used on premise and need to be migrated to Office 365. Here is the list of the mismatch functions/features.
- The “Tasks” link in your MySite has been removed
- SharePoint Tags & Notes has been retired
- Available site template types for sub site creation will be limited
- Available apps could be added will be limited
- Available web parts to add to page will be limited
- Global managed metadata term store might not be migrated
- Other customizations especially server side customizations
Here are the details of the mismatch functions/features for your reference for either end user communication or content migration.
1. The “Tasks” link in your MySite has been removed as described in Microsoft support site - One of the new features in SharePoint 2013 is the ability to have an overview of the tasks assigned to a person. With SharePoint 2013, the source of the aggregation has diversified including now Project Server Tasks, SharePoint Tasks and Exchange Tasks , all these aggregated in the special "tasks" view in each user's my site. There is also a “Sync to Outlook”, so that all your tasks can be accessed within Outlook and be available anywhere, including your smart phone.
The following is a screenshot from on premise, which shows all the tasks that are currently due, or that you’ve marked as important. The tasks can be grouped by source (SharePoint sites, Project Server projects, personal list, or your Exchange mailbox), and can be viewed as a Gantt chart, which is more descriptive than a list of scattered due dates.
We noticed the Tasks link has been removed form MySite and added to the top link. The new Office 365 new Taks link will display the tasks in exchange. If we have not enabled 365 exchange, we might not be able to view aggregates tasks. In additional, the project server 365 is different license and the on premise project server tasks will not be displayed if we do not migrate to 365 project server.
2. SharePoint Tags & Notes has been retired - Tags & Notes button on ribbon still visible but disabled from Office 365. The following screenshot is from SharePoint on premise and the Tags & Notes button is enabled.
The social tags will no longer appear in the tags refiner. . Some other related Tags & Notes feature retired are described in SharePoint online article. Here's what Microsoft recommend as an alternative to Tags & Notes:
- Yammer (see Say hello to Yammer)
- SharePoint newsfeed (see Pick your enterprise social network: Yammer or Newsfeed?)
3. Available site template types for sub site creation will be limited – You will have different site templates when creating sub site on premise and in office 365. The following screenshot is from SharePoint on premise when you creating sub site from MySite. You will see “Community Site” and "PowerPivot site" are available templates. Please note, your SharePoint administrator can configure to hide some site templates.
The “Community Site” site template has been removed from office 365 and you could not create new community site. It would be the similar reason that Microsoft promotes Yammer as an alternative. However, if you have community site created under MySite and you would need to migrate, you have to use migration tool to migrate the content to different site template.
The "PowerPivot site" has been removed from office 365 at this time. Microsoft has come up a new feature named “Power BI sites on Office 365” as an alternative. This new Power BI sites on Office 365 has great feature that have not been implemented on premise. The same concern is if you have PowerPivot site created under MySite and you would need to migrate, you have to use migration tool to migrate the content to different site template.
Office 365 introduced a new site template under “Duet Enterprise” named “SAP Workflow Site”. We have to played around this template but it seems to utilize an SAP Workflow site that aggregates all user business tasks. You can add other Web Parts related to that workflow. This might be a future alternative to the “Tasks” link in your MySite.
4. Available apps could be added will be limited from office 365. This could be changing based on Microsoft 365 releases.
As you can see in the following two screenshots, the apps you could add from Office 365 is different from on premise. This might also cause issues when you try to migrate the content from on premise to Office. If the content is from apps not “supported” on Office 365, you will have migration errors. This could be resolved by converting existing apps to other apps supported by Office 365 through third party migration tool. We might need to evaluate whether we need to deal with such issue.
Here is the screenshot for apps you could add for Office 365. There is limited choices at this time.
Here is the screenshot for apps you could add for on premise. There is much more choices at this time.
5. Available web parts to add to page will be limited. The is understand that Office 365 has different webpart that you could add to your page.
The following screenshot shows the webpart you could add from on premise.
The following screenshot shows the webpart you could add from Office 365. The webpart available from Office 365 is much less. Again, Microsoft is doing great job to enhance the Office 365 as much quicker pace than on premise. There might be more webpart available in the near future.
6. Global managed metadata term store might not be migrated – Managed metadata term is a taxonomy or formal classification system. A taxonomy groups the words, labels, and terms that describe something, and then arranges the groups into a hierarchy. The global managed metadata term store will provide the taxonomy for the whole farm. If some of the MySites are using the global term coming from on premise, it will be displayed blank when migrated to Office 365. We have not done additional research to verify whether there is need to migrate the terms with the content if there is any. This will not be an issue if global managed metadata terms are not used on MySites.
The following screenshot is for Office 365 managed metadata term store. We would need to do future research on the utilization of this managed metadata term store.
7. Other customizations especially server side customizations could not be implemented in Office 365. This is obvious that any customizations you have done on premise may not directly migrated to Offcie 365. Some of the functions provide either by third party or customization might not be migrated and need to be reviewed during the content migration.
The third party tools like Quick Apps for SharePoint this is widely used that might not be migrated. The customized master pages, feature stamping to enable the auditing and version auto enabling will be left behind. We might need to remove these customizations before migrating the content to Office 365.
There might be some other confusions and questions need to be figured out. There will be two separated ‘About me links for both on-premise and cloud. What link will other users (who are not part of Office 365 pilot) be directed to if they click on the People Picker field of an Office 365 user?
As a summary, Office 365 hybrid mode has been a promising and we would need to plan the smooth transition and content migration.