Online all the time, anywhere with anything
Call Us: +46 8 50003170

Big SharePoint news announced, renaming url for Office 365

Microsofts Bill Bear (Senior Product Marketing Manager SharePoint) wrote on the site uservioce that the development team have started to work on the most reguested feature.

First some background to the issue, when a customer creates an Office 365 tenant they get a domain under the huge Active Directory in Azure. The domain will be contoso.onmicrosoft.com if the customer enters contoso as the company name. In the beginning of Office 365 the customer received everything that was enterred into the Company name box of the registration form. I have customers who have their full legal name as domain.

For most companies this has not been an issue as they start with driving only on the first gear with Office 365. They use Exchange Online for email and the Office client, perhaps they use Skype as well. The challenge starts when they start to use OneDrive for business and SharePoint, the name before .onmicrosoft.com is the name for SharePoint and OneDrive. For Contoso the name would be contoso.sharepoint.com and contoso-my.sharepoint.com. This name can not be changed, so if you put in the whole legal name the url csn be extremely long. If we would have done it for our company the link would have been netintegrateswedenab.sharepoint.com.

There is another challenge with this that partly got solved in fall of last year, the total url-length used by 260 characheters for SharePoint including the SharePoint path. For Contoso this would mean that 23 charachters would be for the SharePoint URL and for us if we would have used the url above 36 characters. Thankfully did Microsoft extend it for SharePoint Online to 400 charachters.

The main challenge I have seen is for companies who setup an Office 365 tenant with a test-name and then put it into production and of course for companies who merge or change their legal name. At present the only way to perform the change is to setup a new tenant of Office 35 with the correct name and mograte all data, emails, SharePoint and all other features that have been used. With the use of Teams and Groups this is a mission impossible.

Customers who want Microsoft to consider making changes are recommended to add their requests at Uservoice for SharePoint that is at this link, if you choose Sites and Collaboration section you see that at the top is the renaming of Site Collection URLs, at writing 1432 have voted for this to be changed. On January 3rd did Bill Bear enter the welcoming news that the team has started the work.

This does not mean that it will be fixed very soon, I imagine we will not hear anything definite of dates until some of the conferences in May or at Insire in July or even Ignite in September.
For organisations that have this issue that they need to change the url now the only option is to setup a new tenant and migrate the data. For those that can wait the change will come.

To clarify on some of the comments on the post at Uservoice.

  • This is only valid for SharePoint Online, for SharePoint server the url have been able to be changed for a long time.
  • It will include OneDrive for business as that shares the url, and of course sites for Office 365 groups and Teams.
  • The date is not posted when this will be rolling out, stay tuned for further updates.

For those that want to add requests I urge you to look at what is already posted and votes are coming in on to join and vote for the changes you would like. I have voted for one that I know many requests, handling of Outlook attachments in SharePoint. I know and are myself using a 3rd party Outlook ad-in by the name of Harmon.ie that works OK, no software is flawless and I don´t like Office plugins as they may cause problems of starting the office application.