With the evolution of business goals and team structures, your sites and content that lives within them must evolve. The ideas must bud and flourish instead of becoming rigid and stale. With the rollout of new Hub Site feature for SharePoint online, we can see distinctive use-cases being clarified on, how it can be utilized. From grouping sites to replacing the traditional Intranets and testing the ready-made SharePoint Intranet solutions available in the market.
In this article, we take a look if these extraordinary features delivered by Hub Sites offer out of the box, whether it, being a traditional Intranet replacement can truly stand out as a challenge for the in-a-box items.
What are Hub sites and what you get?
Hub Site is featured as a site that can be used to pull numerous team and communication sites together. This unites every one of these sites to roll up news and activity. Earlier in SharePoint, when we needed to aggregate the content from different sites, we had options of using web parts like content query web part or content search. They used to lie as a small section of your page. Hub Sites are much like a consistent navigation structure, a common search across all the sites with look & feel. In a way, hub sites offer a great option to unite and sort out ideas, teams, divisions or various business units.
The SharePoint mobile app would also get an update to locally provide hub sites and their pages, all the features that a hub site offers and smooth navigation between the related sites.
The administrator makes another Hub Site from SharePoint Admin Center or utilizing PowerShell. Site administrators of Team sites and Communication sites can connect their site to the hub site. Different hub sites can be made in one tenant. You can connect your team site or communication site to just a single hub site.
The other portion of the story
Despite the fact that hub sites offer awesome features, there are few voids or an alert that we have to know before rolling out inside your organization for better ease of use.
1. Communication sites still do not have the adaptability of publishing sites with regards to content distribution and administration part is considered
2. The same set of data is displayed on the hub site and in the individual team site or communication site which makes the data redundant for the users.
3. With multiple hub sites, and not able to attach one team/communication site to more than one hub site, you may need to truly look how well the hierarchy holds good in your organization.
4. In case you are using a classic team site (a lot of sites are om), the navigation will be seen only on the modern pages.
5. If you have a SharePoint multi-geo setup, then just the sites in the same geolocation can be attached to a hub site (extremely an issue for huge organizations)
6. The governance of the hub sites is something you have to truly look in to. When users associate their sites, it does not affect the permissions of either the hub site or the related sites. It’s imperative to ensure that all users you permit to associate sites to the hub site have permission to the hub site.
7. We are yet to know when hub sites will be available for on-premise. How hybrid situations would be is also a query. So if you are on-premise you are on a long wait.
So returning to the queries we had in the beginning:
Hub sites are really an awesome leap for the small teams to unite their multiple sites isolated in their workplace. Consider a sales unit spread crosswise over areas having one team site for each area. Hub sites would be great for them consolidating the business sites, seeing news across various locations, looking for content and ready to navigate to various sites effortlessly.
Are hub sites a substitution for the traditional Intranets? It will be simply a ‘NO ’ at least for the time being. As Microsoft claims hub sites as, “another building block of the SharePoint intranet”, they will be a part of your intranet and there is no need to replace them for now. Yet, hub sites are going to fill the gap that was there in Microsoft SharePoint development for quite a while. We have to sit tight and look for future releases to see how hub sites shape the business and help enhance our digital workplaces.
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