Monthly Archives: July 2015

Custom Site Templates are NOT Recommended for Office 365 Sites

Posted by Jim on July 30, 2015
Office 365, SharePoint 2013 / Comments Off on Custom Site Templates are NOT Recommended for Office 365 Sites

Custom Master Pages, Custom Site Templates and Sand- boxed Solutions are NOT Recommended for Office 365 Sites | Microsoft Trends

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Microsoft is recommending strongly to limit customization such as custom master pages, custom site templates and sand boxed solutions.  There is a general article providing some advice on planning these customization’s here with recommendations on what types of customizations pose the most risk to the sustainability of adopting future changes to the Office 365 user interface.

Recently there was an updated session at the last Teched Europe conference where Microsoft is recommending to avoid using these types of customizations.

Custom Master Pages, Custom Site Templates and Sand boxed Solutions are NOT Recommended for Office 365 Sites | Microsoft Trends

When you start customizing, you’re essentially forking the code from the moment of time when you start building the customization.  As Microsoft adds additional features (which it is doing very frequently), your customization s do not automatically get these features.  In addition, there is no guarantee that your customization s which depend on underlying CSS styles, XML structures, etc. in the Office 365 product will continue to work as Microsoft tweaks these underlying structures.
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The key challenge with creating your own site definitions and web templates is that while they are based on underlying out of the box templates (e.g. a Team Site Template) they do not receive any new features from those underlying templates as they are updated.  If Microsoft adds additional features to those out of the box templates, your custom site template does not receive these features automatically – in effect, your custom site template is now based on a moment in time version of the out of the box site template.  This means your custom template becomes further and further out of the date as Microsoft adds additional features.

So readers take ware the pitfalls of the cloud solution. Clients head the advice and mostly …. Microsoft how about helping out with a solution that we can live with?