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I am commencing a migration project to transfer 2013 sites into the classic teamsite environment

I have asked our Microsoft account manager how long the 'classic' environment will be available for. I have tried to do some research, but unable to locate any specific information.

Is there a roadmap or release specification and a overview of what is likely to replace it

TIA

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The classic team site environment will coexist with the modern team and communication site. It will not be deprecated. Its not going anywhere.

You can still do that masterpage, page layouts etc stuff in classic sites with publishing features.

However, all the sexy and new features along with first party Microsoft webparts will be available on these modern sites and site pages only.

Microsoft has introduced new modern team and communication sites for SharePoint Online. You can check the links below. They are very good indicator of what is coming up/developing in the near future.

Besides that, there is another model of developing webparts/extensions to customize these modern sites called SharePoint framework.

References -

Customize Modern sites

Modernize classic site

New capabilities in SharePoint Online team sites including integration with Office 365 Groups

SPO Modern team sites

SPO Communication sites

Getting started with SPFx

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There have been a number of statements that the "Classic UI" is not going away. See the last paragraph here:

https://dev.office.com/blogs/update-on-modern-document-libraries-and-extensiblity

Things to keep in mind...

  • There are many features that don't currently work, or don't work well, in the Modern UI. You will be using parts of the Classic UI for quite a while.
  • It will be a long time before all users give up on Classic only features, upgrade to a replacement in the Modern UI or get a existing Classic feature is finally implemented in the Modern UI.
  • Classic UI development, improvement and bug fixes are on the "back burner", if even a consideration, going forward. I.e. you will eventually have to move to the Modern UI.
  • All of the cool and new features will be in the Modern UI. To use them, that page or site will have to be using the Modern UI.
  • We don't own the "cloud", we are just a Tenant. The "owner" of the service will do whatever they want. There will be some Classic features that we will need to give up, because they are no longer there, or because we want a consistent user interface for our users.
  • You can delay the impact of leaving the Classic UI by staying on-prem, but you will eventually need to upgrade. (Think back to SP 2013 as see if you want to have been stuck there.)

Bottom line, we will be in a mixed UI environment for a quite a while.

(All of the above is just my personal opinion...)

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