We can move on to more of the integration features, where the focus is on reducing some of the requirement to sign in to the web portals for the different online services. One of the important things to mention here is that the Essentials Dashboard is not trying to replace the need to access the different online admin consoles, that would be a monumental task to undertake, and it would need to be updated constantly to take into consideration all of the changes that get rolled into the different Office 365 services. At this stage it doesn’t seem like the UI or functionality for the following capabilities have changed much in this area versus Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials, but I know a lot of people haven’t seen it in action so I’ll still go through them.


Enabling the integration services populates Storage with SharePoint libraries, and you can see the options have available are Add a library, Manage SharePoint Sites and Refresh.


Once we select the Documents library you can see that in the task pain we can see that tasks related to that library now become available as well.

Taking a look at the Document Library properts you can see that the URL is exposed, and the option to enable document versioning. The other option is require that documents are checked out before they can be edited, which I don’t recommend enabling because this will disable the ability to leverage some of the collaboration capabilities of recent version of Office.


Clicking on the Access tab shows that permissions are being inherited from the parent site, which we can change if we want to customise these permissions.


Next up we can add a new SharePoint Library from the SharePoint Libraries Tasks pane, rather than opening the SharePoint Online administration site.

We just type in a few details, it’s important to note that we only get a small number of SharePoint options exposed to us versus what we can do with libraries inside of SharePoint online.

Again we can see the options to set permissions or inherit them from the parent site.

And that’s all that’s required for creating a new SharePoint Library.


If we go back over to the Tasks Pane and choose Manage SharePoint sites we are prompted that we are about to be redirected to a website.

From there we are taken into SharePoint Online, and the next step is to click on Team Site.

Clicking on Team Site is sitting there ready for configuration, and you can see there is a shortcut on the left hand side for the OEMLibrary that I just created through the Essentials Dashboard.

Clicking on that shows us that this library, as expected, is empty because we just created it.

You can see that the Essentials Dashboard makes it easy to set up the initial libraries, but you will really need to do the bulk of your SharePoint admin tasks inside of SharePoint Online.

That’s it for this post, stay tuned for Part 5 of this series where I’ll start exploring more of the Azure specific integration features.