How to Connect Existing Office 365 Groups with a Microsoft Team
Microsoft Teams, I am all in. In a short time, I have really started to enjoy working with Microsoft Teams. I love the integration of all the Office 365 collaboration services; the chat with giphy, memes, emojis, and stickers; and the tabs feature. These beautiful features are possible because of the underlying foundation of Office 365 Groups (Groups). If you create a Microsoft Team, an Office 365 Group is created. You automatically get:
- Modern SharePoint Team Site
- Exchange Calendar & Inbox
- Office Online
- Skype for Business chat & meetings
Pretty sweet, right? But wait a moment! Groups have been around for a couple years and you probably already have multiple Groups within your organization. You don’t want another a duplication right? Find out how to connect a Group to a Microsoft Team.
Passwords Haven’t Disappeared Yet
123456. Qwerty. Iloveyou. No, these are not exercises for people who are brand new to typing. Shockingly, they are among the most common passwords that end users choose in 2021. Research has found that the average business user must manually type out, or copy/paste, the credentials to 154 websites per month. We repeatedly got one question that surprised us: “Why would I ever trust a third party with control of my network?
Connecting a Group
That’s what happens, though. Just take a look. The first screenshot is from an existing Group with a connected SharePoint Team Site:
Clean URL, nice! Imagine I am a different user and have no idea about this existing Group and I decide to create a new Microsoft Team. The following happens:
Ugh! Some random number is added after the name of the Microsoft Team. Not so nice! This isn’t the only issue. Let’s say people start using both Groups. How do people know which one is the original and the one to use? Before you know it, you have a big mess on your hands. The above isn’t necessary. It’s actually very easy to connect a Microsoft Team to an existing Group. There are two requirements:
- You need to be owner of the Group
- The Group needs to be private (you can revert it back to public afterward)
Are you ready? Let’s take a look together. Click the Create team link within Microsoft Teams. The following figure appears:
Click Yes, add Microsoft Teams functionality:
Select the Group and click Choose team. The Microsoft Team is now connected to the existing Group. Great! Wait, before you start running around the room cheering there is one but(there always is one isn’t there?) — Your Group probably contained loads of documents. The following shows what happens when you click the Files tab:
Nooooo! Where did my documents go? Don’t worry. They are still there. A channel in Microsoft Teams creates a folder in the main document library of the SharePoint Team Site. The out-of-the-box channel of a new Microsoft Team is always called General. The main document library now contains a new folder called General without any documents. Are you still with me? There’s no shame in reading this part twice; I had to. Unfortunately, you can’t connect a channel to an existing folder or to the root of the main document library. There is a workaround, though. This is where the power of Tabs steps in. First, click the + symbol:
You have a SharePoint tile available. Click harePoint:
You can copy and paste a URL to the document library or select within Relevant sites:
You have to pick a document library within the SharePoint site. In our case Documents:
The last step is naming the Tab and voila:
All your precious documents are now available under the new tab. You can sit down and relax again.
Creating a Groups Overview
We at Sparked recently switched from classic SharePoint Team Sites and Groups to Microsoft Teams. I decided to make an inventory of existing Groups within our company. This is actually very easy with PowerShell. Please follow these instructions. Launch Windows Azure Active Directory-module for Windows PowerShell and apply the following:
$userCredential = Get-Credential $session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri https://outlook.office365.com/powershell-liveid/ -Credential $UserCredential -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection Import-PSSession $session Get-UnifiedGroup | Export-Csv c:\Export\Groups.csv
The CSV contains all the information you need to finalize the inventory. Good luck and happy teaming with Microsoft Teams!