APPENDIXA Hybrid On-Premise/Online Solutions

A hybrid SharePoint environment is one that combines an on-premise SharePoint 2010 environment with SharePoint Online. Although both types  of SharePoint environments can certainly be used independently of each  other, there are times when it makes sense to use them together.


This appendix covers  the following topics relating to hybrid SharePoint environments:


•  When  does  a hybrid environment make sense?


•   Design patterns for hybrid environments


•  Planning your hybrid environment


When Does a Hybrid Environment Make Sense?

There are several scenarios in which a hybrid environment can make sense, including the following:


•    Implementing a phased migration approach for migrating existing sites and content to Office 365 (from an existing on-premise environment)


•   Using an on-premise environment to offer functionality to users that’s  not available in the cloud (such as PerformancePoint Services  or Word Automation Services)


•   Supplementing SharePoint Online with heavy customizations or third-party add- ons that must be deployed to an on-premise environment


•    Compliance or security requirements that dictate where data resides


With these or any other hybrid scenarios, remember that you are dealing with two completely separate SharePoint environments, even though a key goal is usually to make them appear integrated to your users. With that in mind, we’ll talk next about some design patterns for hybrid environments.


Design Patterns for Hybrid Environments

One of the challenges of designing a hybrid environment is deciding where the boundaries are and  how much crossover is allowed. Table A-1 lists six common design patterns for hybrid environments. More than one pattern can be used at a time; they are not mutually exclusive.


Table  A-1. Common Design Patterns for Hybrid Environments



Note  See the Microsoft whitepaper, “Designing Hybrid SharePoint Environments,” at for more detailed explanations of these patterns.


Planning Your Hybrid Environment

This section covers  key questions and  considerations involved in planning your hybrid environment. The way your environment is architected and  deployed will depend heavily on the decisions made during the planning stage.



If you want  your users to have a single sign-on experience between your on-premise and  online environments, you’ll need to plan  for and  deploy Active Directory Federation Services  (AD FS) and  the directory synchronization tool. See for more information.


SharePoint Workload Distribution


Part of planning your hybrid environment is deciding how SharePoint workloads (sets of related features) will be distributed between the two environments.

SharePoint 2010 includes six primary feature sets: Sites, Composites, Insights, Communities, Content, and  Search. Part of the reason Microsoft grouped features into these workloads is due to how the features are deployed and  managed, which comes into play when planning a hybrid environment.

Considerations include the following:


•   Some  workloads can run  in both environments simultaneously (e.g., creating sites, pages, and  libraries can be done in both environments at the same time).


•   Some  workloads can run  in either environment, but shouldn’t be run  in both environments at the same time  (e.g., User Profiles  and  My Sites should be deployed only in one environment or the other).


•      Some workloads can (or should) be run  only in an on-premise environment (e.g., PerformancePoint Services  must be deployed on-premise because it isn’t available in the cloud).


For a thorough list of which workloads are available in which environments and  how they can be distributed, see the Microsoft whitepaper, “Designing Hybrid SharePoint Environments,” at


Considerations and  Limitations

Certain considerations and  limitations come into play when planning your hybrid environment, including these:


•  Some SharePoint service  applications—such as the User Profile Service, Managed Metadata Service, and  Search Service—cannot be shared across environments. The whitepaper mentioned in the previous section gives more detailed information about which service  applications can and  cannot be shared.


•    Full-trust code  solutions (a.k.a. farm  solutions) cannot be deployed in Office 365.
Only sandboxed solutions (discussed in Chapter 7) are allowed.


•    Much of what’s exposed through Central Administration in an on-premise SharePoint 2010 farm is not exposed in Office 365 for SharePoint Online. The SharePoint Online administration portal is much simpler than Central Administration and  offers only a subset of the administration capabilities.



•   Much of what  PowerShell offers in an on-premise environment is not available to you in Office 365. For a list of what  is available, see Note that although PowerShell lets you manage many aspects of your Office 365 environment (user  accounts, mailboxes, single sign-on, and  so on), there are no cmdlets for SharePoint Online.