You’ve probably noticed in the last few days, the entire SharePoint Community has been on pins and needles waiting to hear what innovations Microsoft has come up with in the short term and through end of 2016.
I had the privilege to attend the event in San Francisco. The event was held at The Village, the perfect venue for this kind of event. Below are some of my notes on what was communicated.
The Focus on Four Areas of Innovation
#Simple sharing on any device
This quarter, Microsoft will be rolling out four new capabilities which include:
- Access to SharePoint Online Doc Libs and O365 Group files from OneDrive mobile app
- Discovery of documents from both SharePoint Online and SharePoint on-premises
- Ability to copy files from OneDrive to SharePoint within the OneDrive web experience
- Windows Universal app for OneDrive
Microsoft also shared other capabilities that would be delivered within the 2016 calendar year, these include:
- Document analytics in OneDrive. Imagine having insight into document usage, reach and impact!
- Sync SharePoint Online Document Libraries (lots of folks asking for this one) with the new OneDrive sync client
- This one is huge – mobile access to SharePoint Document Libraries in on-premises farms!
- Ability to copy files between OneDrive and SharePoint via the web user interface
I am very excited for all of the upcoming features and capabilities. I am especially interested in the mobile app for SharePoint that would allow me to access my on-premises SharePoint document libraries.
The Intelligent Intranet, Modern Team Sites, Publishing and Business Apps
SharePoint mobile app --your intranet in your pocket
Microsoft is releasing a new SharePoint mobile app on all major marketplaces including iOS, Windows and Android. In the past we’ve seen an attempt to bring our intranet to our mobile device, but it wasn’t quite right, that is until now!
This new mobile app looks very promising and will allow for full-fidelity access to news, announcements, people, sites and content. To be clear, this means you will be able to access your on-premises SharePoint sites as well!
But wait, there is more!
New SharePoint Home Page
Currently when we visit the O365 SharePoint home page, it really does not provide us with an intuitive way to navigate, create or find sites easily. The new home page not only looks beautiful, but is quite helpful.
You now have a panel on the left with several actionable items such as create a site, or access to sites your are following and recent sites you’ve visited.
Modern Team Sites
If you’ve never heard of team sites, you’ve probably been living under a rock in some remote area 🙂
Team sites have always been a key component of SharePoint collaboration capabilities. Microsoft is dramatically enhancing the team site capabilities by integrating Office 365 Groups in Team Sites.
- Every Team Site gets a Group and every Group gets a Team Site. You may be familiar with O365 Groups, currently there is a SharePoint Document Library but not a full blown site for said Group, so this is a big step forward and quite an investment in Groups as it sits across the entire O365 fabric.
- Team Sites get a modern look and the home page is personalized leveraging the Office Graph. List and Libraries get a fresh look, provide rich metadata and content management features that support complex business processes.
- New page authoring and publishing experience which allow us to create beautiful, responsive and mobile friendly pages.
You will be able to view your team site on any device with beautiful rendering. Whether you are browsing on the web browser, SharePoint mobile app or OneDrive app.
Microsoft Flow / PowerApps Integration
Flow is a new service used for automating workflows across apps and SaaS services that today’s information workers rely on. Flow includes connectors which will allow us to exchange data between SharePoint and other Microsoft and third-party services. You will be able to store and modify said data right from SharePoint.
Microsoft announced deep integration of SharePoint and Microsoft Flow which will allow for creating or launching flows directly from SharePoint Lists.
PowerApps allows you to create and share business apps in minutes. PowerApps will also be tightly integrated with the modern team site experience. This will allow for you to create cross-platform PowerApps that use SharePoint List and Document Libraries as data sources. This of course will spawn creativity in further enhancing the experience.
The Roadmap for the mobile intelligent intranet
So what can we expect this quarter based on what Microsoft sort of promised us?
- Modern document library experience (note that this is rolling out for First Release O365 tenants at this time)
- New SharePoint mobile app for iOS
- New SharePoint Home page in O365
- Modern SharePoint List experiences
- Site activity and insights via the Site Contents new page experience
But wait, they have more goodies that will be rolled out this calendar year.
- SharePoint mobile app for Windows and Android (yes, noticed how they are rolling out the iOS one first, this is no coincidence, it’s a big market which all customers rely on)
- Modern page authoring experience
- PowerApps and Microsoft Flow deep integration with SharePoint
SharePoint Extensibility Evolved, Embracing Modern Web Development
The SharePoint Framework is a page and part model that enables fully supported client-side development, integration with Office Graph and most importantly, support for open source frameworks and tooling.
In fact many of the experiences Microsoft announced today are using the new SharePoint Framework!
Lastly, the SharePoint Framework is scheduled to be released for First Release O365 Tenants this Summer – oh so sunny indeed 🙂
Third Quarter of 2016 you can expect to see:
- Files API on Microsoft Graph
- SharePoint Webhooks Preview
- Client-side web parts for existing pages – preview
Toward end of 2016 Microsoft plans to deliver:
- Sites API on Microsoft Graph
- SharePoint Webhooks – General Availability
- Custom sites
Security & Privacy across Office 365
The key message here is, Microsoft is delivering dynamic conditional access policies in SharePoint that define access based on who you are, the app or device you are using and your network location.
New tools to discover and protect corporate IP using DLP policies both in Office 365 and in SharePoint Server 2016. So what is coming this quarter?
- Dynamic conditional access policies
By end of 2016 you can expect the following features to roll out:
- Bring your own encryption key (many customers have asked me for this one)
- Granular access controls
- SharePoint Site Classification
- Hybrid SharePoint Insights – Preview
Well that summarizes what Microsoft announced today, I hope this provides you with insight into what’s coming.
P.S. I just noticed I hadn’t posted in a while, life moves fast…