Redirecting My Sites to Office 365

In this post, I would like to quickly share how to direct the My Site links in the On-prem SharePoint farm to Office 365 tenant.

This includes:

  • OneDrive for Business
  • “Sites” the user is following
  • Newsfeeds
  • “About Me”

It is probably very straightforward for admins to redirect the OneDrive for Business and the Sites page.  You simply need do the following:

  1. In SharePoint 2013 SP1 Central Administration site, navigate to Office 365 >> Configure OneDrive and Sites Links.
  2. On the Configure OneDrive and Sites links page, in the My Site URL box, type the My Site URL that you got from Office 365 portal administration.
  3. Specify an audience. Choose Everyone if you want all of your users to be redirected, or choose Use a specific audience, and type the audience name for the audience that contains your Office 365 users.
  4. If you also want to redirect the Sites page in users’ personal sites, select the Redirect the Sites page check box.
  5. Choose OK.

But what about “About Me”?

After the configurations above, you will still be directed to the on-premises My Site host. And if this is the first time, a My Site will be created for the currently logon user on the SharePoint Server farm. Actually, redirecting the link “About Me” is relatively ease as well. Just register a Trusted My Site Host location in the User Profile Service Application.

  1. On the Central Administration Web site, under Application Management, click Manage service applications.
  2. On the Manage Service Applications page, select the User Profile service application from the list of service applications.
  3. On the ribbon, click Manage.
  4. On the Manage Profile Service page, under My Site Settings, click Configure Trusted Host Locations.
  5. On the Trusted My Site Host Locations page, click New Link to add a trusted My Site host location.
  6. On the Add Trusted Host Location page, enter the URL of the trusted personal site location in the URL box.
  7. In the Description box, enter a description for the trusted personal site location.
  8. Optionally, in the Target Audiences box, either type the user names or group names in the corresponding box or click Browse to select audiences by browsing, and then click OK.

The steps above applies when you would like to host the My Sites of a particular group of people online.  If you would like to have all the My Sites to be hosted on SharePoint online, you could simply update the My Site host in User Profile Service Application.

  1. On the Central Administration Web site, under Application Management, click Manage service applications.
  2. On the Manage Service Applications page, select the User Profile service application from the list of service applications.
  3. On the ribbon, click Manage.
  4. On the Manage Profile Service page, under My Site Settings, click Setup My Sites.
  5. Update the My Site Host Location with the URL of the My Site Host on SharePoint online, for example: https://domain-my.sharepoint.com/PersonImmersive.aspx

Please note that the part /PersonImmersive.aspx will make sure the users get to their My Sites directly.  If you only put https://domain-my.sharepoint.com/, the users will be led to OneDrive online instead.  Additionally, in order for the redirection to work completely, you will need to do the following as well:

  • Create an Audience include the users whose My Sites will be redirected.
  • Synchronize user accounts to Office 365.

These topics are not discussed in this post.

Background information:

As Office 365 gains more and more popularity, more and more organization are implementing hybrid model with SharePoint both on-premises and Online. With Microsoft’s announcement on boosting OneDrive for Business to 1 TB, more and more organization would like to adopt Office 365 to provide great capacity for business users while saving IT cost. However, not all the organizations are ready or suitable for hosting their SharePoint environment online completely. Therefore, a hybrid model is the choice of many organizations. Typically, they host their collaborative and publishing sites on-premises for security, compliance reasons or for the flexibility of customization, while My Sites and social features are hosted on Office 365 so they could benefit from large storage capacity as well as up-to-date social features that Microsoft offers.

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