SharePoint Home Site in Teams
Microsoft Teams has really caught on, and is used by millions of people in their day-to-day work. We use it to chat, to collaborate, hold meetings, and much more. Even though there is a SharePoint site is behind the scenes for every Teams team, there has been more and more of a demand to have SharePoint sites come to you where you are working, inside of Microsoft Teams. Now there is a way to bring your SharePoint home site into Teams, and this functionality is called Viva Connections. We can even set SharePoint to be the default landing page in there! In this post I’ll describe how this works, and there is an hour-long corresponding video at the bottom.
When it comes to the “home site” concept in SharePoint, it does *not* have to be your root site. In my example, I’ve created a brand new site using the communication site template, and it is not my tenant’s root site. My tenant is wonderlaura.sharepoint.com, so if I went to that URL, I’d be on the root site. This is a site with a URL of wonderlaura.sharepoint.com/sites/home_site. The URL can be anything, and doesn’t have to be anything special in order to make the site your home site. You *can* set your root as your home, but I’m just not doing that here. I spent about 12 minutes at the beginning of this demo, talking about the hub site / home site / navigation concepts involved. In the steps below, I’ll put the time in the video at which I do each of these things.
Step 1: Create a communication site that you’ll use as your home site. This can be a communication site that already exists, or it can be your root site, but it definitely does need to be created using the Communication Site template.
Step 2: Run the PowerShell command Set-SPOHomeSite -HomeSiteUrl <siteUrl> The only thing you need to provide in this command, is the URL to your site from step 1.
Step 3: Go to this home site in the browser. Click the Settings gear at the top right of the site, and choose Global Navigation. Turn on global navigation. (I talked about general navigation, hub, and global nav concepts in the first 12 minutes of the video.)
Step 4: In the home site’s permissions, make sure you’ve given everyone permission, who you’d like to be able to get to this SharePoint site. In my example, I just used “Everyone except external users” and gave them Read permissions.
Step 5: Add the home site to Teams by Installing Viva Connections. This is done via PowerShell, using the instructions in Microsoft’s documentation. Use this aforementioned link for their detailed instructions and video. Also, I mentioned it in my video, that there was an error the first time I ran it, so I read Wictor Wilen’s blog, and found the solution there. There are several pieces of information that you’ll need to provide when running this script, such as the URL to your home site, the name of this “app” the way you want it to appear in Teams, a description, and a couple of icons. After the script runs, it spits out a zip file for you, with the same name as the company name you provided when running the script.
Step 6: Upload your new app (zip file) to Microsoft Teams. Start off by heading over to your main Teams admin center. Of course, you’ll need to be a Teams Administrator to be able to get there. Go to the Teams apps section, and click Manage apps.
Click the Upload button, and upload that ZIP file from step 5.
So far, now your new app will be available for people to add as an app, but it won’t be in the left navigation of Teams by default. If you’d like this app (or any of your apps for that matter) to automatically show on the left side, follow these next steps:
Step 7: Set the home site as the top (default) app in the left nav of Teams. In the Teams apps section in Teams admin, click Setup policies.
Select your policy in the list of setup policies. You may potentially have multiple policies defined in this section. The Global (Org-wide default) policy is the one I’m using.
In the Pinned apps section, click Add apps, and select your new app.
Select your app name, and use the Move up button, to move your app to the top, if you’d like it to be the very first, default thing that people see when they open Teams. Notice how odd mine looks, since I didn’t use a monochrome icon, and all the other ones are monochrome.
Now, when they open Teams, everyone in my organization will be taken to the SharePoint home site by default, and it will look like that first screenshot in this blog post.
Here is the associated video:
(Trying to run PowerShell as an administrator on my computer while running a live broadcast apparently doesn’t work well, so about 5 minutes in the middle of this video entail me fixing a couple of things.)
15:34: create site
21:30 run command to set home site
24:30 install Viva connections
37:28 Upload your zipped up app to the Teams admin center
44:07 Move the new app to the top of the pinned apps, in the org-wide default policy
If you’d like see my one hour video about Teams Administration, where I explain some of these concepts in more details, check out my other video: Power Hour: Microsoft Teams Admin & Templates