How Teams and SharePoint Work Together
Welcome to Day 9 of PixelMill’s ’12 Days of Microsoft Teams‘ series! Let’s just put it this way: today’s tip knows its calculus. Enjoy!
As SharePoint experts, we’re constantly looking for unique ways to increase user adoption and streamline collaboration. Microsoft Teams (Teams) powered by SharePoint brings many opportunities to both initiatives.
SharePoint + Teams 4Ever
Let’s start by looking at how they work together.
Simply put, SharePoint empowers Teams. Every team in Teams gets a site collection in SharePoint, and each channel links to a specific document library folder within the Documents library in that site collection. You can create a file directly in that folder in Teams, and if you create a file in SharePoint, it will surface in Teams as well.
Sharing is Caring
When sharing a link to a file in Teams, you will be given two options, a Microsoft Teams link or a SharePoint link. Essentially, they are both taking you to the same location, but the Teams link surfaces the file stored in SharePoint in the Teams app where you can continue to collaborate on a document in your collaborative workspace (Teams).
That being said, this feature is pretty underwhelming without multi-window pop-out capabilities. If you’re working on a document in Teams and someone messages you, you’re forced to leave the document and click into the chat. Thankfully, Microsoft will be delivering multi-window pop-out functionality soon.
Chats vs. Channels
If you share/store files in channel conversations, they are stored in SharePoint. However, if you are in a direct/private chat and direct chat, those are stored in OneDrive.
Files shared in Chat = OneDrive and automatically shared with those in the chat.
Files shared in Conversations in Channels = SharePoint and are shared based on permissions of that Channel.
Lists, and libraries, and pages, oh my!
SharePoint’s bread and butter is file storage, but other capabilities integrate well with Teams too. Lists, libraries, and pages can natively surface directly in Teams. You can link directly to the list in a tab in Teams and Surface a channel tab of that link.
Extend Teams by building Teams apps using the SharePoint Framework (SFPx). Build a SharePoint Framework webpart, and surface it as an app directly in a Teams channel tab.
As of now, there’s no out of the box way to pull Teams channels, conversations, and chats directly into SharePoint. Sure, you can link to it, but it’s not the same.
How to use them together:
Consider building your custom assets, lists, libraries, webparts, files, and bringing that data directly to your channels via tabs. As the new Productivity OS, Microsoft Teams removes the need to leave the platform and pull up a web page to get there. Just go to Teams, search for the channel you need, link to tabs (navigation) lists, libraries, custom webpart you have for that project (dashboard, or integrating with LOBs for Project X), custom pages (news roll up for the project) and now your team can access it right in their productivity platform. Essentially, tabs become your navigation, so you don’t have to remember where they all live.
Create with Consistency!
As you can see, the possibilities are nearly endless, but you need to think through what is important, how to surface it, is it consistent? Ensure consistency through governance. A Teams template can help! Check out Day 8 for a rundown on Teams Templates.