MICROSOFT TEAMS 

FILE MIGRATION, BACKUP AND DATA SYNCHRONIZATION

 

Microsoft Teams brings together people, conversations, and content across Microsoft Office 365 in a structure called Team, which can be e.g. projects or company departments. By providing an integrated experience that links together chat conversations, document storage, meetings, and calendar events in Channels, Microsoft Teams creates a better experience for workgroups to focus on team activities and knowledge sharing.

 

Team members are able to find all information in one place - without the need to switch between the different apps like e.g. OneNote (note taking), Planner (task management) or SharePoint (lists and documents) anymore.

 

Documents or other files on traditional file servers or NAS can be easily synchronized to or from Microsoft Teams with the Layer2 Cloud Connector. Use it for document and file migration, backup, and permanent two-way sync. The tool runs as a Windows Service locally in your network, or on your own Azure Virtual Machine.

 

Keep your team members informed about data changes in 100+ widely used IT-systems and apps without any coding.

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Synchronization

 


Work as usual on your traditional file share or local SharePoint. You can also use your browser or apps to access your work from anywhere and any device.

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Migration

 


Migrate pre-selected documents to Microsoft Teams with flexible and advanced options, such as metadata mapping, or PowerShell automation.

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Integration

 


File sharing is always the first step into a better collaboration. But what about connecting your backend IT systems to Microsoft Teams to automatically keep team members informed about any data changes?

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Backup

 


Stay compliant with Microsoft Teams with a simple but powerful backup to local file shares or your own Azure storage. Make use of your existing backup tools for disaster recovery or project archiving.

 

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Connect your Microsoft Teams step-by-step

Contents

1. Configuring Microsoft Teams

2. Configuring the Layer2 Cloud Connector

2.1 Creating a new connection

2.2 Configuring the Data Entity 1

2.3 Configuring the Data Entity 2

2.4 Running your connection

3. Hints and known issues

3.1 Connection direction

3.2 Bandwidth

3.3 Limit of files

3.4 SharePoint view threshold

3.5 UNC notation

3.6 Domain account

 

1. Configuring Microsoft Teams

Behind every Microsoft Teams channel is a SharePoint Online page. In order to sync files to our Microsoft Teams channel we will need to retrieve the underlying SharePoint Online library URL.

 

The screenshot below shows where to find the URL, copy it as we will need it later for the connection string. 

 

 

teams2

 

2. Configuring the Layer2 Cloud Connector

2.1. Creating a new connection

Create a new connection by using the Create New Connection option in the Actions pane (right-hand side). The new connection will appear at the bottom of the Connection Manager List (left-hand side). Click on your newly created connection to open the connection configuration settings.

 

Choose a meaningful name for your connection and replace the current "New Connection" Connection Title with it.

 

Connections to File Server can be bi-directional. An initial connection should always be uni-directional to assure that both data entities are identical before switching to bi-directional. Therefore, choose Left to Right as Direction. You can change this setting after your initial synchronization finished successfully.

 

Step 1 File Server connection setup

 

 

2.2. Configuring the Data Entity 1

We will now set up our Data Entities. Go to the data entity “Data Entity 1” to open the configuration settings.

 

Choose a Data Entity Title. It is recommended to give your entities meaningful names to maintain an overview when you decide to set up multiple connections.

 

Select the Data Provider for File System from the data provider list. You can search for File System by typing into the selection box.

 

Step 2 File Server integration source setup

 

 

For the Connection String, we need the in step 1 mentioned information. You can copy the below connection string and adjust it to match your gathered information. Use the Verify Connection String option to evaluate if the provided connection string is valid.

 

 

Directory=\\l2nas\Firma\User\csantos\Examples;

 

  • "Directory=path;" this property defines the folder where the files are in you want to synchronize.

 

 

The Select Statement text box is used to define specific data queries, e.g you can filter for specific filetypes. We do not need it in this case. Save your changes by using the right-hand pane option Save Changes.

 

Step 2.5 File Server integration connection string setup

 

 

To check if all necessary columns are received, you can use the Preview Data option on the right-hand pane which will provide you with a pop-up window showing your sample data from your File Server entity.

 

 

Preview data of File Server integration

 

 

2.3. Configuring the Data Entity 2

We are going to send the data to your Microsoft Teams channel. It's required that you set up this library prior to the next steps. Your channel should contain matching columns according to your source entity.

 

Use the left-hand pane to switch to the data entity "Data Entity 2". We will be using the Layer2 SharePoint Provider for this setup. 

 

For more information about the SharePoint provider visit:

https://www.layer2solutions.com/support/cloud-connector-faqs/layer2-csom-sharepoint-ado-net-provider.

 

You can copy the below Connection String which contains the minimum of required properties to connect to your custom SharePoint Online Document Library.

 

 

URL=https://your_custom_sharepoint_library_url/Forms/AllItems.aspx;Authentication=Office365;User=User@domain.com;

 

 

  • "URL=https://your_custom_sharepoint_url/Forms/AllItems.aspx;" this property defines the URL of your custom document library that will be addressed.
  • "Authentication=Office365;" this property will determine the authentication method used. Office365 is the default authentication method to access Microsoft Office 365 / SharePoint Online. This method will not work in case of federation, e.g. ADFS. For further authentication method you can consult the provider specifications linked above.
  • "User=User@domain.com;" this property should describe the user you wish to connect to SharePoint to. 

 

Enter the password that belongs to the user account used in the connection string into the Password field. Save your changes by using the right-hand pane option Save Changes.

 

Step 3 File Server integration target setup

 

 

In the next step, we will configure our mapping settings. Click on the Mappings option on the left-hand pane. If your fields from SharePoint are named identical to the fields from your source system, the Enable Auto Mapping option will match those columns. Disabling this option allows you to match your columns as needed. We enabled auto-mapping in our setup. Save your changes by using the right-hand pane option Save Changes.

 

Step 4 File Server integration mapping

 

 

2.4. Running your connection

To run your connection switch back to the main connection configuration node and use the Run Now Button located on the bottom of the setup page. The Run Synchronization Toolbox will also display the synchronization process. 

 

Step 5 File Server data integration start

 

 

Below is a data preview of the information we have accessed in our source entity:

 

File Server integration ready

 

 

This will be the result in our Microsoft Teams channel after our initial successful synchronization:

 

Finished File Server integration

 

If you want to use a bi-directional syncronization, you can now switch your connection directon after our first initial synchronization run finished successfully. After adjusting the direction, you should check your Mappings settings again because some systems might include read-only columns that cannot be mapped directly.

 

We also recommend to choose a Conflict Resolution that matches your enviroments needs. You can find out more about the different conflict resolutions in our Layer2 Cloud Connector User Documentation.

 

3. Hints and known issues

3.1. Connection direction

As far as tested, this connection supports uni-directional as well as bi-directional synchronizations.

 

3.2 Bandwidth

Take care about bandwidth limitations and Office 365 throttling, especially for the first sync. Estimations are displayed if using the toolbox for first sync. Estimations can change during the sync process, stay patient. You can stop and restart the sync whenever you want.

 

3.3 Limit of files

While there is no hard limit for the amount of files to sync, keep the number of documents per library (connection) as low as possible. To keep 100.000 documents in sync should not be problem, a powerful configuration can do much more. But consider the SharePoint / OneDrive limitations, and your Office 365 plan.

 

3.4 SharePoint list view threshold

Be aware of the SharePoint list view threshold (above 5.000 / 20.000 documents per library). This is not an issue for the sync - but could be an issue for some SharePoint features and apps. Users will still be able to page through a library, use search to find specific files. There can be issues with using specific views, filters, grouping etc. See Microsoft documentation for more details.

 

3.5 UNC notation

If you are using a source path similar to H:\myPath and got a "not found" error, please make use of UNC notation, such as \\myServer\myPath.

 

3.6 Domain account

Note that the sync is processed by the Layer2 Windows Service. If it runs under a local service account, it will not have access to shared drives. You can run under a domain account to fix this issue. In this case you don't need to give access data in the connection string.

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