Global Navigation: Connecting SharePoint On-Premises And Online

Moving from SharePoint on-premises to online is more than just lifting and shifting your documents. For many companies, it represents an opportunity to improve practices for collaboration, sharing, and records management.

The key to a successful SharePoint migration is consistency. Throughout this process, your team needs to trust that they can find the information they need. You can achieve this by implementing a SharePoint global navigation before your move. Even if you’re not planning on moving to SharePoint Online, having a SharePoint navigation system helps your team find what they need fast. It can even increase adoption of SharePoint and other tools internally.

In this blog post, we’ll review three ways you can use Navo to simplify your SharePoint navigation for a smooth migration process.

Global Navigation in SharePoint

Global navigation in SharePoint refers to a menu that spans across your site collections. The options for global navigation in SharePoint Online are limited, and relatively non-existent in SharePoint on-premises. This gap is typically filled with custom code maintained by developers on staff or through expensive third-party systems.

Managed metadata term sets give you the ability to create navigation that becomes contextual to each user. However, it does not work on group-connected SharePoint sites. It also requires manually applying the navigation to every site.

Hub sites offer a drop-down menu option that is managed from one place, but it’s not actually global navigation. A site needs to be associated with the hub to receive the menu, and each site can only be associated to one hub. There is no global hub site.

Custom code is always an option for SharePoint Online and on-premises. However, it requires a developer to create, support, and maintain code on an ongoing basis and is limited in functionality (and often in user experience and design).

Global Navigation with Navo

That’s why we created Navo. Navo allows administrators to quickly build a company megamenu and display it on any SharePoint site in your tenancy. It’s managed from one easy place with a drag-and-drop editor and design functions to help match your internal branding. The best part? Navo can be added to your on-premises environment as well as your SharePoint Online classic and modern sites. End users will experience consistent navigation while you migrate, change, and update sites behind the scenes.

There are three key uses for our on-premises version of Navo:

  • Your organization is using SharePoint on-premises with no plans to move online and is looking for a global navigation tool for your on-premises collections.
  • Your organization is using SharePoint on-premises and is not planning to migrate those sites online. However, any new sites will be created in SharePoint Online. You’d like a global navigation system that can bridge your site collections together.
  • Your organization is actively migrating to SharePoint Online and needs a global navigation to limit the need to communicate changes as workloads get shifted.

We’re Using SharePoint On-Premises And We’re Not Leaving

Hey, that’s OK! We’re not here to convince you to leave your on-premises environment. However, we know that the options for global navigation on-premises are slim-to-none. Navo for SharePoint on-premises allows you to create your global navigation online using our drag-and-drop editor. Once you’ve created your navigation, export our custom code to add to your SharePoint environment and viola! Seamless, global navigation for your whole team.

Navo for SharePoint On-Premises

We’re Using SharePoint On-Premises And We’re Adding Online

We love that you’re planning on adding new sites and content to SharePoint Online! And we love that Navo provides a bridge between your on-premises and online site collections. Your team will experience a consistent navigation without worrying about whether they’re on an on-premises or online site collection. Create your menu using our drag-and-drop editor and quickly deploy to all of your classic and modern sites in SharePoint Online using our tenant wide mode.

QUICK TIP: You can also select individually which sites you want to deploy Navo to!

Create your organization menu with our easy drag-and-drop editor

For your on-premises menu, you’ll export a file (in JSON format) to upload into your SharePoint on-premises environment. Your team will never notice the difference when navigating between on-premises and online!

We’re Migrating to SharePoint Online

Yay! SharePoint Online has tonnes of great features (including security trimming) that make it worth the move. Migrations offer a great opportunity to modernize your systems, update procedures, and ensure you’re complying with security and resource management best practices. But migrations can be tricky for reasons beyond their technical nature. Your team may be left feeling lost, unsure of where to find the tools and information they need. Determining which sites should be accessed on-premises or online can be confusing and frustrating. Adding global navigation to your migration plan can help ease a lot of your migration stress!

Apply your company navigation to SharePoint On-Premises and Online

Use Navo to bridge your SharePoint on-premises and online site collections so that your team has a consistent experience when moving between your tools. You’ll build your menu system online and export our custom code into your on-premises SharePoint environment. As sites are moved to the cloud, you’ll update the links in Navo. That way your team sees the same menu label and icon, but they are directed to the shiny new SharePoint Online site. Once all your on-premises sites have been replaced, you can retire that tenancy without worrying about team members who might still be trying to access old sites.

Check out Navo in Microsoft Teams, as a Chrome and Edge extension, and on your desktop and mobile browser!

DID YOU KNOW you can access Navo from Microsoft Teams, as a Chrome and Edge extension, and on your desktop and mobile browsers too!

Setting Up Navo On-Premises

Setting up Navo on-premises is easy! You’ll use our drag-and-drop editor to create your navigation menu in just a couple of steps. When you’re finished, automatically apply your menu to all of your classic and modern sites online using our tenant-wide mode or pick and choose the sites you want to deploy to.

Next, you’ll export our custom script into your on-premises tenancy to implement your new global navigation menu with no coding required! Users can move between SharePoint on-premises and online without saving bookmarks, copying links, or opening multiple tabs.

The benefits of global navigation are endless, whether your planning a migration or not! Your team will get a fast, reliable way to access the tools and information they need, saving time and frustrations. Give your team a consistent navigation across all of your SharePoint site collections with Navo!


Frequently Asked Questions

What version of SharePoint on-premises do you support?

We provide solutions for SharePoint 2010 and up.

Does this mean I need an Office 365 account?

Yes, whether you’re using SharePoint on-premises only or a combination of on-premises and online, you will need at least one Office 365 account to build your navigation in Navo. This account gives you access to the online drag-and-drop editor and code export functionality. If you have no plans to use SharePoint Online in any capacity, simply create a single user tenancy for access to Navo.

Does Navo include security trimming?

Yes, Navo includes security trimming for SharePoint Online. However, Navo cannot provide the same security trimming for on-premises systems. Click here for more information.

Can I customize our navigation menu for our company branding?

Yes! Choose a style that compliments your menu structure and add your company logo and colours to match your organization’s branding.

Does Navo work across all types of SharePoint sites?

Yes, Navo can be applied to your on-premises sites as well as your classic and modern sites in SharePoint Online. Navo links all of your site collections together and works both on Team and Communication sites.

Can Navo be toggled on or off selectively for sites?

Yes! You can choose to deploy Navo to all of your sites, or selectively turn Navo on for specific sites online. In your on-premises environment, you can control which site collections Navo is deployed via PowerShell.

Does Navo include version history?

Yes, you can store up to five drafts of your organization’s navigation in the editor. You can also export your navigation menu for backup or to store versions beyond the latest five.

Can you search the menu?

Yes! Start typing in Navo search to find what you’re looking for even faster.

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