This blog post talks about where Hub sites started and what is possible at this moment. Should you at the end of the post still have questions don’t hesitate to ask me or my colleagues from Portiva.

Take me back to the start

Let’s start at the beginning, last year during the Ignite 2017 the Hub sites were announced by Microsoft. Hub sites are a new building block for your intranet enabling sites, news and activity to be bought together, simplifying search and to create shared navigation and look-and-feel.

But Why?

With the introduction of Modern Team and Communication sites the intranet made a transition from Site collections with a lot of sub-sites to only site collections with pages. However keeping an overview of all the different site collections is a difficult thing to manage. This is where the Hub sites come in, enabling you to join sites together. The workplace has become very dynamic and ever changing, with Hub sites it’s much easier to organize your intranet to adapt to the ever-changing workplace.

Cool, tell me more

Hub sites have become available world wide since last week (7th of May). Check-out some cool features for the hub sites.

  • Cross-site navigation – you’ll be able to add links to other sites connected to the hub to enable easy navigation across sites. Instead of creating sub-sites you can use pages to create new sections on your site, pages can then be Promoted to show up in the menu.

  • Content rollup – Let’s say you have a Sales hub site with a site called “Project site 1″connected to the hub. Someone posts a news item on Project site 1 this news will automatically be shown on the hub site this way people can be kept up-to-date about all the things happening in the Sales department. Not only news is aggregated also site activities are shown on the hub site enabling users to see all the updates on the sites connected to the Hub. Information is collected using search so be patient when changing or uploading a new document. Hub sites are also integrated with the Highlighted content webpart to enable you to show files from other hub sites in places where you need it.

  • Consistent look & feel – Once a site is connected to a Hub it will inherit the Theme from the Hub giving it a consistent look & feel. Let’s say your Hub site has a yellow theme, all the associated sites will get a yellow theme. Below is an example of the theme colors being shown in the connected site. The left site is the Hub site the right one is connected to the hub, see the color of the Edit button how they are the same?

  • Scoped search – find data that resides with in the associated hub sites enabling users to find relevant information quicker in their department or Team.
  • Permissions – Once a site is connected to a Hub it won’t automatically inherit the permissions of the Hub site each site including the Hub site will retain their current permission settings.
  • A new sites overview webpart – This webpart gives you an overview of all the sites connected to the Hub site.

Note: at this moment it’s only possible to have 50! Hub sites in your Office 365 tenant, so think about how you’re going to use them.

  • SharePoint App – The SharePoint app will also support Hub sites, an example is seen below on the right.

 

Hey! What about the admins?

For the administrators there are some cool things to keep in mind.

  • Automatically enable sites that have been created to join a Hub based on site information using Flow and Azure Functions
  • Use the Register-SPOHubSite command to make an existing site a Hub site
  • With the Get-SPOHubSite command you can check which Hub sites are available in your Office 365 tenant.

Conclusion

A great feature to get those sites combined together and give a clear overview of what is going on across the different projects or departments. Connecting a site to a Hub is very easy making it a great option for business users to move theirs sites around when changing teams or projects. I’ve already heard multiple cases where clients are asking for a solution like this. Can’t wait till it’s General available (GA).

References

Provision sites to a hub site: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/dev/declarative-customization/site-design-overview
Creating a Hub site: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/dev/features/hub-site/create-hub-site-with-powershell
PowerShell commands Hub sites: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/dev/features/hub-site/hub-site-powershell
Organize your intranet with SharePoint hub sites: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/SharePoint-Blog/Organize-your-intranet-with-SharePoint-hub-sites/ba-p/174081
Hub site introduction (YouTube): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgeYRrKB5U8

 

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