Updated capabilities for SharePoint Page Transformation

SharePoint team

SharePoint Online is continuously evolving and improving, which is a great thing for you as a consumer of the service. One of the key features is the availability of modern sites, which are modern (Office 365 group-connected team sites) or communication sites, combined with improved functionality that can be consumed from a beautiful, responsive, modern user interface. To learn more about modern checkout the SharePoint classic and modern experiences article and get inspired by the SharePoint Look Book or simply provision these modern sites in your tenant using the SharePoint Online Provisioning Service.

All of this is great, but you might ask yourself, I have lots of classic sites…how do I bring them into the modern SharePoint world? The answer is (in-place / cross-site) modernization: you can fully transform (or “modernize”) a classic site team sites into modern, optionally Office 365 group-connected, sites by following the SharePoint modernization guidance. Check out the Modernize your SharePoint pages blog post to learn more about the page modernization basics.

A key part of modernizing your sites is transforming your classic pages into modern client-side pages. This transformation is possible using the SharePoint PnP Modernization framework, which is a .Net library that you can use via either .Net codePnP PowerShell or the Page Transformation UI tool.

June 2019 updates for page transformation

The key new capability in page transformation is the ability to also modernize publishing pages, next to the wiki and web part pages which were supported from day one. Whereas page transformation for wiki and web part pages typically happens in-place, publishing page transformation always happens cross-site. In a typical publishing portal modernization, a new information architecture is designed for the modern portal consisting out of communication sites, hubs, site page content types, page templates…Check out the Modernize classic publishing portals article to learn more about publishing portal modernization.

Below list contains the main features of publishing page transformation:

  • Page layout specific transformation due to the possibility of using a page layout mapping which:
    • Specifies how the modern page header must be defined (background image, tag line, …)
    • Allows you to specify which content type to use for the modern page and which of the fields from the source page are copied over. You can also specify which of the fields need to be shown as page metadata via the Page Properties web part
    • Defines which “content” fields will be added as content on the modern page, typical publishing fields like images, rich text and summary links are supported. The page layout allows for flexible placement of the content, simply specify the row, column, and order
    • Makes it possible for “fixed” page layout web parts to be added: you can define web parts that appear in the classic page layout file as web parts in the page layout mapping file
    • Define the web part zones that are added to the classic page layout, by specifying a row, column and order you can control where the web parts in these zones are inserted in the modern page
  • Tools to generate page layout mapping files based upon analysis of your existing classic page layouts
  • Basic URL rewriting helps to create modern pages that point to content in the modern site collection

Does this also work for on-premises portal modernization?

Yes, it does! The June 2019 release introduced a preview capability that allows you to connect to your classic on-premises publishing portal as source site while the modern pages are created in a communication site into SharePoint Online. Using this approach there’s no need to first fully copy your classic portals to online first, you can simply read the classic publishing pages and create modern equivalents for them in SharePoint Online. This feature is available via PowerShell and via .Net.


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