Most of us who work on Microsoft SharePoint can safely agree that Microsoft is pushing its customer base towards SharePoint online. However, the fact is, as long as the demand for on-premise version of SharePoint continues to exist, it is likely that they will not stop the release of the on-premise version. For most companies using on-premise SharePoint, the major focus is to work with content management features with Office 365 capabilities.
Microsoft’s vision for cloud inspired experiences for SharePoint is to extend capabilities of its on-premise and online into a connected hybrid experience. Office 365 provides features that are beyond SharePoint’s storage facilities. Sync with One-drive for business to email storage, it gives ready-to-use user experiences. So, it is becoming inevitable to have a version which will have both the features and capabilities of SharePoint and Office 365.
What exactly is `Hybrid’?
To put it in simple words, a hybrid SharePoint environment is integration between the on-premise SharePoint server and the Office 365 environment. This will help companies to take their first step forward to experience cloud-based functionalities. A hybrid environment will help users to get started on a cloud environment and connect to their respective content/resources whenever the same is required. This will enable users to have a more seamless user experience in terms of the two environments. The end user is not really bothered where his contents reside in SharePoint as long as it is safe and cannot be tampered with. With this hybrid feature, search results can be consolidated between SharePoint and Office 365.
Overview of Hybrid Integration
- Search Feature – Once the Hybrid Search is configured in the SharePoint environment, the search results from SharePoint on-premise and Office 365 will be combined and shown. Searching documents across both the platforms will be easier and quicker compared to earlier SharePoint version where this option was not available. Hybrid Search can be configured to have SharePoint online users to query and search the contents present in the SharePoint server. In the same way, SharePoint on-premise users can search and query their content, present on Sharepoint online and also search and query in Office 365 and SharePoint on-premise.
- App Launchers – The App launcher feature that was in SharePoint online and Office 365 has been introduced in SharePoint on-Premise to enable users to have a seamless user experience when moving from one version to another. Once this feature is enabled, users can easily view the Office 365 apps such as Delve, video apps and so on in the SharePoint server app launcher. The Hybrid app launcher will have the same look and feel and reduce users to either bookmark or search for the links to navigation from SharePoint to Office 365 apps.
- User Profiles – User profile information will be stored in both SharePoint server and Office 365. When a user wants to edit or view his information that user will be redirected to his profile in Office 365. This will enable users to have to his information in one place. These users will be called Hybrid users and their profiles as Hybrid profiles.
- Following Sites – Following sites and pages in the SharePoint server and online version have been consolidated and will be displayed in the same place. This will help uses to navigate to sites that are followed on both versions with ease.
- OneDrive – Links to OneDrive have been provided to enable users to see the contents of the drive folder and share their contents present in OneDrive for Business in SharePoint server.