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What happened to my SharePoint Online templates?

An unprepared organization may find some SharePoint Online features are not the same as the on-premises version.

Microsoft's collaboration application is available as a cloud version, but an enterprise considering a shift from an on-premises SharePoint environment should be aware of some potential issues with a migration.

When creating new content within the cloud service, users may discover that certain SharePoint Online templates that were in previous SharePoint versions are no longer available.

For example, SharePoint Online has removed the Document Workspace, Personalization, Blank Site and Group Work Site templates -- and Group Work Lists feature -- and consolidated that content into the Team Site template. Slide libraries have been removed, though users can still manually import slides from presentations.

All Meeting Workspace templates -- including Basic Meeting, Blank Meeting, Decision Meeting, Social Meeting and Multipage Meeting workspace templates -- have been removed because there are other features more suited to each activity. For example, Skype for Business -- formerly Lync -- handles live meetings, OneNote tackles the notetaking, and various other team or personal sites can be used to share notes. SharePoint Online no longer supports hosting and broadcasting presentations in PowerPoint because Microsoft provides Lync for presentation broadcasting activities.

Other features such as Organization Profiles remain in SharePoint Online, but it has been deprecated. No new functionality has been added, and the feature will likely be removed in a future release. Users can no longer generate barcodes with SharePoint Online and insert the bar codes into Word documents. Organizations that rely on these features should consider redesigning SharePoint Online assets to be less reliant on deprecated features before Microsoft removes them.

The SharePoint Web Analytics feature is no longer available in SharePoint Online because it didn't run well in large enterprise deployments. A new analytics system has been created in the SharePoint Online Search feature. Still other changes in SharePoint Online affect visual upgrades, chart Web parts, Microsoft Visio Pivot Diagrams, custom help and RSS feeds. It's important to review the complete suite of changes and loss of SharePoint site templates to SharePoint Online features and functionality and anticipate how those changes might impact the organization's current SharePoint assets before attempting a migration.

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