Best Practices: SharePoint Integration

Note:

This article provides best practices for using the SharePoint integration. For setup instructions, click here

 

Simpplr provides a seamless integration with Sharepoint, to allow you keep SharePoint as the single-source of truth for files, and display those files in Simpplr to streamline the user experience so they have one place to find the content they need. Our SharePoint integration allows you to:

  • Attach SharePoint document libraries (i.e. folders and files) directly to Simpplr 
  • Share files with users easily within a few clicks
  • Edit files within SharePoint and be confident that users are accessing the most up-to-date version in Simpplr

Simpplr respects SharePoint permissions and only displays files users have access to in SharePoint

Enablement 

The SharePoint integration starts with your System admin and requires minimal setup. The Application manager is responsible for enabling the SharePoint integration to the intranet by going to Manage > Manage application > Integrations

Once the integration is set up, each user must enable SharePoint in their user profile to access files. This ensures each user is authenticated.

A Site owner will enable the SharePoint integration on a Simpplr site after they have first authenticated SharePoint in their profile settings. Within site setup, there is an “External Files” option, where a Site owner configures which external file storage system will be leveraged on the site.
External_files_SP_integration.png

 

Depending on your SharePoint’s folder and file structure, the Site owner will then select which document library will be connected to the site. Let’s say we decide we want to connect the following document libraries to Simpplr Site 1, where each library has 4 folders and 20 files: 

  • SharePoint Document library A
  • SharePoint Document library B
  • SharePoint Document library C 
  • SharePoint Document library D

Scenario: Simpplr Site 1 is public and SharePoint document libraries A-D are public in SharePoint. Simpplr’s federated search will include results from connected SharePoint document libraries (i.e. folders and files) from Simpplr Site 1. It's important to note that permissions set in SharePoint are respected in Simpplr. If a file in document library A is public to everyone in the company (i.e. employee discounts), and the file has been connected to a Simpplr Site 1 via the SharePoint integration, then those who leverage the search term, “discounts” in Simpplr search, should see the SharePoint file as a result. 

Comparatively, let’s discuss what happens when SharePoint document libraries are restricted in SharePoint. Hypothetically, let’s say we decide we want to connect the IT team’s following document libraries to Simpplr Site 2. 

  • SharePoint Document library A
  • SharePoint Document library B 

Scenario: Simpplr Site 2 is private and document libraries A-B are restricted to the IT Team. If files are restricted to a certain audience in SharePoint, like IT process documents reserved for the IT team only, and those files are connected to Simpplr Site 2, then only the IT team will be able to view the files in Simpplr. For files that are restricted in nature in SharePoint, we recommend to either create private sites for said audience in Simpplr, or not connect restricted/private files to Simpplr in its entirety. 

 

Recommendations

When thinking of your SharePoint integration strategy, it is important to organize your file folders in a way that is consistent with your Simpplr sites. If you have public facing sites, you should organize your folders and associated files in a public fashion, so that once you connect your SharePoint site and document library to a Simpplr site, everyone can view the connected files. 

Simpplr recommends you:

  • Map out audiences to your Simpplr architecture. Ask yourself: who will have access to this site and will this site be public or private? 
  • Create SharePoint sites with the same naming convention as Simpplr sites (i.e. “Leasing” Simpplr site = “Leasing Simpplr” SharePoint site. By having “Simpplr” in the naming convention in SharePoint, you can easily audit what document libraries are connected to Simpplr vs. what document libraries are not connected to Simpplr. 
  • Merge folders/files that you want available in Simpplr into the “Simpplr” SharePoint naming convention site, housed under a document library that you will connect to Simpplr. 
  • Organize your folders with naming conventions that make sense to the End user within your SharePoint site. These naming conventions will be visible to those who have access to them. See photos below as an example from our Simpplr demo org. Here we've connected our “Policies” document library from SharePoint to our HR Simpplr site. 

In Simpplr:
SP_file_sample_1.png

In SharePoint:
SP_file_2.png

 

  • Keep updates to SharePoint files in SharePoint; updates to connected folders/files will appear in Simpplr through the integration. 
  • Keep file collaboration in SharePoint. 
  • Attach integrated SharePoint files to Simpplr pages. Leverage Simpplr’s content governance to ensure important resources are reviewed and validated by Site managers or Content managers annually in Simpplr.

 

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