Recent SharePoint Updates: Organization Updates

Article Updated: July 11, 2019

Series Introduction

As a Twitter, blog, and M365 Roadmap junkie, I spend a lot of time looking at the new features in SharePoint Online and related O365 technologies. Some of these updates are straightforward and just appear, some require early adopters to use the admin center or PowerShell. I have decided to document a few of the new features and how I implemented them.

This series is in no way meant as an exhaustive list of new features. It’s simply a few of the features that I have tracked most closely and/or have implemented in my tenant.

Your Mileage May Vary

I should preface this with a note that the features I am talking about are in my O365 development tenant. This tenant is set to Targeted release, which means that it’s set to get updates as early as (publicly) possible. You may not see all these features in your tenant (even if your tenant is set to Targeted release, as there is a “random order” applied to the feature deployment). 

I also have used the SharePoint Online Provisioning Service to deploy some sites to my development tenant. I will use some of these in my examples.

Articles in this Series

  1. Recent SharePoint Updates: Organization Updates
  2. Recent SharePoint Updates: Modern Document Sets
  3. Recent SharePoint Updates: Creating a List from a List

Organization Updates

The first group of features I have decided to highlight are a couple of organization features around SharePoint News and Pages.

They are:

Organization Assets

Organization assets are used as common, approved, images that can be used in the context of SharePoint pages. A SharePoint administrator can define 1 or more libraries as organization assets libraries. When defined, the libraries show up under the “Your Organization” heading in the file selector panel, when editing pages.

When using organization assets, the user may be faced with a standard list view. Ensure that you provide training for them to switch the view to Tiles view so they can preview the images.

After change:

Enabling Organization Assets

This one requires SharePoint Online PowerShell and you will need to be a SharePoint administrator to run the commands.

Connect-SPOService -Url https://[yourTenant]-admin.sharepoint.com

[You will be prompted for credentials]

Add-SPOOrgAssetsLibrary -LibraryUrl https://[yourTenant].sharepoint.com/Logos

Note: This command will set the library as a CDN origin. In my tests, I noticed that without explicitly stating the type of CDN, a private CDN was used.

Note: It may take a few minutes for the libraries to appear in the “Your Organization” heading.

I didn’t get “fancy” with the PowerShell commands, but you can also add an icon to your Asset libraries. If you add the -ThumbnailUrl parameter and set it to a valid image, it will appear when showing in the “Your Organization” heading.

Example:

Add-SPOOrgAssetsLibrary -LibraryUrl https://[yourTenant].sharepoint.com/Logos -ThumbnailUrl https://[yourTenant].sharepoint.com/Logos/Assets/AssetThumbnail.png

Organization News

This feature denotes a news source as an authoritative source for news in the organization. Its main function is to ensure that news article titles from authoritative sources are displayed with a block of color to set them apart from other news sources.

I’m not sure if this affects the search ranking of the articles.

Enabling Organization News

This one also requires SharePoint Online PowerShell and you will need to be a SharePoint administrator to run the commands.

Connect-SPOService -Url https://[yourTenant]-admin.sharepoint.com

[You will be prompted for credentials]

Set-SPOOrgNewsSite -OrgNewsSiteUrl https://[yourTenant].sharepoint.com/sites/NewsSiteURL

Value
-----
The organization news site with url "https://[yourTenant].sharepoint.com/sites/NewsSiteURL" is added to list.

Note: It may take a few minutes for the feature to display the color block in the interface.

Note: If you get an error saying, “The requested operation is part of an experimental feature”, the feature is not enabled in your tenant.

Conclusion

These are the first couple of features in this series. I will post other items in this series as I complete them.

Author: Mike Hatheway

I'm a husband, father of twins, and a digital transformation consultant specializing in Office 365. Generally focused on SharePoint, PowerApps, Flow, Teams, and PowerBI. I hold several Microsoft certifications including MCSD: App Builder and MCSE: Data management and Analyics. I work at Bulletproof Solutions.

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