Microsoft Ignite – Day Two: Long live SharePoint

Sep 27, 2017 | Blog, SharePoint | 0 comments

Yesterday the Keynote and many of the sessions I attended were heavily focussed on ‘Microsoft Teams’. This technology is very interesting and I think it will really add value and benefit many of our enterprise clients. However, this led me to wonder, where does this leave SharePoint?

Today, I’ve been to a number of lectures that demonstrate that Microsoft have definitely NOT forgotten about SharePoint. If you don’t believe me just ask Jeff Teper (CVP – Office, OneDrive and SharePoint).

Furthermore, to show there is much more to come in this space there will be a dedicated SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas May 2018.

In this post I will cover an overview of the announcements on the new templates, features, enhancements, web parts, the SharePoint roadmap and related technologies. Please note some of the features discussed are in preview or released next year, see the relevant roadmap image for further details.

Hub Sites

Hub Sites bring together related team sites and communication sites. Released in Q1-Q2 next year, here are some of the features that we can expect to see being deployed:

  • Roll up cross site news and activity into one place
  • Search across related sites
  • Cross-site navigation
  • Consistent look and feel across sites
  • Sites can be joined and un-joined to a HUB
  • Provides a way to link sites rather than create deep site hierarchies
  • Logo at the top left of a site to show its part of a HUB
    • Communication Sites

      Communication sites are specifically designed for internal company-wide initiatives, campaigns or events. Allowing organisations to distribute their message quickly and efficiently, communication sites will provide configurable templates for the sites and pages that can be created directly through the SharePoint home panel. Here’s the best of what we can expect to see:

      • Create the site directly through the GUI
      • Site Design options: Topic, Showcase or Blank
      • Mobile friendly by default
      • Simple News creation
      • New ‘Yammer’ web part that can be embedded on the page
      • New mobile friendly ‘Events’ web part
      • Yammer on by default (future)
      • Created by users or admins
      • Separator web part to put gaps in the content on the page
      • Web image search directly from the site and on the fly drag and drop cropping within a page
        • SharePoint Enhancements

          Throughout day two of Microsoft Ignite, there was also a significant number of enhancements that were announced for the SharePoint Platform:

          • Preview of 270 file types directly within the browser and growing
          • Card view for Documents in libraries
          • Column conditional Formatting – Apply styling to a field dependent on the value
          • Missing ‘Required field’ document View. Very useful for bulk uploads
          • Preview also shown the same in ‘Planner’ and ‘Files’ within Teams
          • Improved creation of columns
          • ‘Filter Panel’ that replaces Metadata navigation and filtering
          • Improved experience for adding meta data within a document
          • Forms for Excel capability
          • New and Powerful SharePoint Admin page within Office365 (more on this in a future post)
            • New SharePoint App for iOS and Android

              Microsoft have also announced a further move in the right direction for mobile users with the announcement of a new SharePoint App for iOS and Android users. This will include:

              • Slick mobile experience
              • Ability to create tables directly from your phone
              • Interactive maps
              • Comments on content
              • Create news on the go with pictures
              • ‘Saved for later’ feature
                • Multi-Geo

                  One MAJOR detractor to moving to the Cloud has been issues with Data Residency. Microsoft have now finally addressed this with the introduction of Multi-Geo into Office 365:

                  Content can now be housed in a selected Region or Country to meet compliance requirements in:

                  • Exchange Online and OneDrive (In preview)
                  • SharePoint (Preview in 2018)
                    • Multi-Geo is now available in: Australia, Asia-Pacific, Canada, European Union, India, Japan, South Korea, United Kingdom, USA

                      Future plans for Multi-Geo include: France

                      OneDrive

                      Microsoft have also announced some new features for OneDrive, including the ability to:

                      • See and sync all of your files with Files on-Demand (GA)
                      • Preview of 270 file types directly within the browser and growing
                      • Securely share externally without an account
                      • Sync rights managed libraries
                        • PowerApps Forms

                          There have also been some exciting updated in the world of PowerApps forms:

                          • Successor to InfoPath
                          • Works directly within the browser with drag and drop capability
                          • Ability to host Forms on a SharePoint page
                          • Cascading columns! For example, selecting a drop down of Europe then ensures the following drop down only displays countries in that region
                          • Looks a lot like Nintex Forms!
                            • Exciting times ahead for SharePoint

                              As you can see there is an explosion of exciting new features across the board. All of these latest features released by Microsoft can be used in conjunction with a bespoke intranet built on Office (Fresh) or within a Collaboration focussed project to create a hugely rich Digital Workspace for enterprise organisations.

                              Vast numbers of organisations have invested heavily in migrating to SharePoint over the years, so the good news is it’s here to stay and just getting better and better. Hooray for that.

                              About our author

                              Alex Dorrian

                              Alex Dorrian

                              Head of Solutions Architecture | Content and Code

                              Alex is the Head of the Solutions Architecture team at Content and Code. He has been working with SharePoint for the last eleven years. Most recently, Alex is specialising in Office 365 and related technologies with a particular interest in designing and architecting Digital Workspaces and automating business processes for a range of enterprise clients.”

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