Blog

Here at Innoppl, we create world class websites and mobile apps for businesses of all sizes

Should You Move To SharePoint Hybrid?

Should You Move To SharePoint Hybrid

Since it was launched in 2001, SharePoint has been gaining more and more traction as a web application platform. Its latest avatar, SharePoint 2016, has several user-friendly, improved features that lend themselves to elaborate customization. Recently, SharePoint Hybrid has been getting a lot of attention. So, here’s the question: How will SharePoint Hybrid benefit you?

Before diving into the benefits of hybrid deployment, here’s a broad glimpse of what SharePoint consists of.

SharePoint’s Components:

Broadly, SharePoint can be split into:

  1. Windows SharePoint Services (WSS)
  2. Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS)
  3. Microsoft Search Server (MSS)

WSS provides basic functionality: Check-ins and check-outs, email alerts, calendars, etc.

MOSS builds upon WSS, providing collaboration, resource management, document management and other features. All the data is in a SQL database, and MOSS enables user interaction with the repository.

MSS is basically an enterprise search engine with complex search and indexing functionality. It can be integrated with a MOSS-driven web interface.

As a user, you’re also probably familiar with the amazing features of SharePoint:

  • RSS feeds
  • Social networking
  • Content query
  • Web services

And so on. What you probably don’t know, however, is that moving to SharePoint Hybrid will add even more value to your web-based activity.

Exactly what does ‘Hybrid’ mean?

Just like any other software, SharePoint can be used in the following ways: On-premise on enterprise hardware, or through cloud-based implementation. With SharePoint 2016, a third way has emerged that has gone down well with enterprises: IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), also known as Hybrid Deployment.

Essentially, SharePoint Hybrid introduces additional cloud-based features that enterprises using on-premise SharePoint can make use of, in what Microsoft has dubbed a “cloud-accelerated experience”. For example, Office Delve and Office Graph are not available on SharePoint’s on-premise version. These can only be used through the cloud.

What can hybrid deployment do for you?

In terms of commercial viability, moving to cloud is pretty much a no-brainer. It helps enterprises set up websites and fully functional web-based systems with a fraction of the cost involved in on-premise maintenance. However, a compelling reason for low cloud adoption rates is that most companies just don’t trust the cloud enough to have their data in there.

This can change with hybrid deployment. If you were to adopt an IaaS model, you get the following:

1. Hybrid Search

Hybrid Search is one of the most important features that hybrid deployment of SharePoint presents. Users who have both on-premise and online versions of SharePoint need to search both versions for documents that they have saved. There are two types of search options:

a. Federated Search

The documents are divided, ie. The SharePoint on-premise files show up during on-premise searches, and the online files during online searches.

Users can also see results from the “other” system in a result block on the SharePoint search results page. One big con with this search though is that users don’t get mixed results, and can only see a maximum of ten at a time.

b. Cloud Search

This feature was introduced this year.

This search method puts the index for on-premise searches into Office 365, and merges it with the SharePoint online searches index. Since search results come essentially from the same index, the best results are shown in order, irrespective of their address.

The one con with this option is that users are limited to SharePoint’s search customization capabilities, which means that they forfeit the Content Enrichment web service, among other things. Besides, the price may increase based on the number of files on premise.

2. Hybrid Sites

This presents three different features:

a. Following Sites

This lets users ‘follow’ sites – both in the on-premise and online versions. All of the sites that users have followed will appear under a common tab, marked SharePoint, in Office 365. This means users can find all the sites they follow in one common place.

b. User Profile Redirection

Users who are using both the on-premise and online version have two profiles: MySite(on-premise), and Delve (Office 365). When users click on their name in SharePoint, they are taken to MySite, and when they click n their name in Office 365, they are taken to Delve.  Maintaining two profiles can be a nuisance.

This is solved when Hybrid Sites are enabled. Irrespective of where users are, when they click on their username, they will be taken to their Delve. This way, users maintain just one page.

c. App Launcher

Users can add extra tiles to their SharePoint app launcher using the extensible app launcher. When they add an image to their Office 365 launcher, it automatically gets updated on their SharePoint app launcher as well.

3. Hybrid OneDrive:

Microsoft’s enterprise cloud storage, OneDrive for Business, has already become really popular with Windows 7 and 8 users. It is Microsoft’s cloud offering. Users can create Word, Excel, PowerPoint or any other Microsoft office documents, and upload them directly to OneDrive. No hard disk space issues, no virus troubles, nothing.

With hybrid deployment, Hybrid OneDrive for Business can be configured to have users’ OneDrive for Business in SharePoint, instead of just storing it in a personal datacenter. This way, users can store files without worrying about backup, and they can also access the files from anywhere, without connecting to the company’s VPN.

Our Locations

Head Office (Dubai)

P.O. Box 238605, 1st Floor, Office # P-05,
Bay Square, Building Number 7,
Business Bay, Dubai (U.A.E)

+971 58 516 5922

Saudi Arabia

With headquarters in Jeddah, we provide digital solutions to help succeed your business!

+971 58 516 5922

Abu Dhabi

Give wings to your business in Abu Dhabi with the latest technology offerings from Innoppl!

+971 58 516 5922

Head Office (USA)

7000 Central Parkway,
Suite 220, Atlanta,
GA 30328

+1 404 788 6332