R.I.P. SharePoint Site Content and Structure (In Office 365)

Right off the bat I want to be clear that if you are not using Office 365, you can stop reading right now as this doesn’t pertain to you.  If you do use Office 365, continue reading.  Now As I’ve blogged about before, it’s a real good idea to stay current on all the changes Microsoft is doing in Office 365 via the Message Center.  I received my weekly update email digest from the Message Center, and I decided to peruse all of my unread messages.  I saw something that almost made me shed a tear (almost ... and they would have been tears of joy). 

By the title you can already guess what SharePoint feature Microsoft is finally killing off – the not-so-beloved Site Content and Structure.  Sign in to the Office 365 Admin site and you can read the Office 365 Message Detail for yourself.  The bottom line:

In September 2018, Site Content and Structure in SharePoint Online is being replaced with native File Move and Copy capabilities.

What Is (Was) Site Content & Structure

Site Content and Structure

Content and Structure was a tool that was activated only when the Publishing Infrastructure site collection feature was activated.  It was available via Site Settings, and it allowed you to do a few different things:

  1. Look like it was from SharePoint Portal Server 2003 for the next 10 years of use
  2. Copy or Move Content to any other destination in the current site collection
    1. Only included Subsites and files – you couldn’t move or copy folders, lists or libraries (or workflows)
  3. Have shortcut links to other things like creating subsites, lists, folders, etc.
  4. Frustrate a lot of people

This was great if you needed to move a subsite from one parent to another, or small amounts of files.  Things started to break down much more beyond that.  You might have also been frustrated when you tried to do a supported thing but had your copy or move options grayed out.

Office 365 Copy and Move

Screenshot of the Choosing a destination when copying a files from OneDrive for Business to a SharePoint site.

Microsoft is telling us they are replacing Site Content and Structure with the new Copy and Move functionality currently available in modern lists and libraries.  When you select a file, the options light up and you can choose to Copy or Move, which opens a dialog to choose where it’s going (OneDrive or another site).  This is nice because it can cross the site-collection boundary. 

BE AWARE: A couple caveats is that it can only be 500meg files or less, and it will only copy the latest version (version history will not be retained). 

I’ll be very curious to see if and how they bring over the ability to move a subsite.  I know it won’t be able to handle group-connected team sites.  Per the announcement in the message center, development efforts are being made and we will see some changes so we will see.

R.I.P. Site Content and Structure

R.I.P. Site Content and Structure

So hold up your smartphone flashlight high in salute to the tool we all loved to hate, that was mediocre at best, and only made us happy one time out of 20.  We barely used you and we won’t miss you.