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What’s new for SharePoint from Microsoft Ignite
The third edition of Microsoft Ignite occurred from 25 to 29 of September in Orlando, Florida and had 26 000 attendees, for SharePoint it was an amazing week with a lot of new features being announced, if you hadn’t the opportunity to attend the event in this article you will find a resume of the announcements.
SharePoint is growing more than ever and Jeff Tepper made it clear with the announced numbers, over the last 12 months the number of users and organizations that joined SharePoint is higher than the last 12 years. Check down below what will be the features that will continue to bring more users to get on board with the platform.
This was the feature that I had higher expectations and unfortunately it didn’t deliver what I was hoping for. Microsoft is running away from heavy customized sites and the new branding options are very limited in total it allows the user to modify and build a color pallet for the site and supports custom fonts.
The branding options are very similar with the change the look introduced with SharePoint 2013, but at least gives the user some level of control in terms of colors.
There is a new tool that can be used to build the new themes available here.
The digital workplace and the company’s structures are dynamic and it can change frequently, with this in my mind Microsoft released the SharePoint hub sites, the new way of organizing your intranet.
The hub provides a common logo, navigation and themes and those are displayed across the hub. It also allows you to easily move sites inside the intranet structure, if a site needs to be moved from department A to department B it will automatically inherit the new navigation, logo and the theme from the new department.
After the creation of the hub site owners can associate existent team sites and communication sites to it, the creation of sites from within the hub will be available soon.
The hub will display a resume of what’s going on all the sites, this way team sites and communication site will push content to the hub home page, namely:
- News aggregation – All the latest news will surface on the hub home page
- Combined site activities – Site activities will roll up from each site directly to the home this way you no longer need to go site by site to check what is going on
- Scoped search – Search from the hub home page will retrieve the results with more relevance to the hub enhancing content discovery
SharePoint Search is becoming smarter and faster, the content is now personalized to the user by Microsoft Graph and brings a new user interface that’s in line with the design of all the modern sites.
One of the features that impressed me the most is the capability to transform images into findable content. Every time you upload a photo to SharePoint or OneDrive, whether a snap of a whiteboard, a receipt or a business card it will be processed and all the relevant meta data will be extracted and added to the search.
The mobile apps will soon offer the possibility to upload images directly to become searchable.
SharePoint Admin Center
Following the modern site that were designed to be simpler the SharePoint Admin Center will also be renewed with a new interface.
Part of the new admin pages will be:
- Home – information about the service both its health, and how your organization is using SharePoint Online will easily discovered in the home page
- Site Management – Will use the same modern list experience and it will include filtering options
- Recycle Bin
- Device Access
For now, the old and the new admin center will be both available, for any missing feature in the new model you can easily switch to the old view.
New Web Parts
The gallery of new web parts for the modern sites continues to grow and during the ignite there were a few that were shown for the first time to the public:
- Document Library – New webpart to embed your documents into the team sites or news articles
- Group calendar – Displays a group calendar in any modern site
- File Preview – This web part has support for over 270 file types
- Yammer – Finally a modern and responsive Yammer webpart that follows the Fabric UI design language
- Forms – Forms from Microsoft forms can be easily integrated in any modern Team Site
- Divider – Nothing fancy here, it adds a line to help you to separate content in the page
- Connector – Connects and display external services in the Team Sites like twitter and RSS feeds
SharePoint Migration Tool
This free tool will help you to migrate content from SharePoint on-premises to SharePoint Online, it was designed to support the smallest migrations to large scale migrations with support for bulk scenarios.
Files on Demand
Will be available next month on Windows 10 creator’s update, the One Drive and SharePoint libraries will include reach previews like never and will be possible to preview files that are not part of the Office suite like Photoshop files, Illustrator files and others.
Documents preview for SharePoint and One Drive now supports over 270 different file formats.
It will also allow the user to check the entire folder structure of the libraries using windows explorer without downloading the entire content to the hard drive.
SharePoint Team sites and Office apps integration
Microsoft Teams is introduced by Microsoft as the hub for Team work where connections and collaboration on projects can be made. Groups inside SharePoint are responsible to make all the content between team members easily sharable.
With the integration of SharePoint and the Microsoft Teams app will be possible to add unique tabs to render SharePoint sites directly inside the app, without the need to open the browser. It’s still SharePoint but it’s easily available for you to use while chatting with your team mates.
Team Sites and Groups
Soon the option to connect existent Team Sites to Groups will be also available, for now it is called Groupify. All the sites moved to a group will keep the content as well as the permissions.
Knowing how your intranet is being used is important to make decisions about new and existent sites, so far Microsoft didn’t provide an option to track the usage of sites and pages and it is common to see google analytics being used for this purpose.
While analytics works fine for the classic experience, for the modern experience things are a bit harder to get deployed to all the pages, that’s why a lot of SharePoint administrators will love this new feature.
In this release Microsoft will include the following indicators:
- Most viewed – site level
- Most unique viewers – site level
- Trending content – site level
- Historical views – site level
- Number of comments – page level
- Number of likes – page level
- Number of views – page level
The stats will be only available for the users with the right permissions to see it.
SharePoint Mobile App
With a new version released during the Ignite is now possible to Save news to read later and there is a new tab called Me where all the information tailored for you will be displayed.
Soon the mobile apps will have support to upload pictures directly from the app to the document libraries, and the content of those pictures will be indexed by the search.
Finally, Microsoft Announced the new version of the SharePoint on-premises and it will be available later next year.
Latest release: September 30rd, 2017, version 2.63.This script can download all the Microsoft Ignite slidedecks and videos that are available from the Ignite portal. Video downloads will leverage a utility which can be downloaded from https://yt-dl.org/latest/youtube-dl.exe, an
September 26, 2017 – Jeff Teper, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft
As part of Microsoft 365, SharePoint and OneDrive connect the workplace with intelligent content management and intranets. Digital transformation is driving growth across Microsoft 365, SharePoint and OneDrive. Today:
- More than 300,000 organizations have SharePoint and OneDrive in Office 365, including 85% of the Fortune 500
- More than 65% of all SharePoint seats are now online vs. 35% for on-premises licenses
- Growth in active users was 90% in the last year alone
- Customers are leveraging our investments in OneDrive, with 300% growth in file sync
- We were recognized as leaders by analysts in six Gartner Magic Quadrants and Forrester Waves
Today at Microsoft Ignite 2017, we announced new innovations that further empower you to share and work together, to inform and engage people, to transform business processes, and to harness collective knowledge. In addition, we announced new capabilities for organizations to protect and manage data, and to build custom solutions with SharePoint, OneDrive, and Microsoft 365.
Let’s look at the highlights of the many innovations we unveiled today.
Expanding Microsoft 365 to new audiences
In July, we announced Microsoft 365, which brings together Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security, delivering a complete, intelligent, and secure solution to empower employees. It represents a fundamental shift in how we design, build, and bring our products to market to address customer needs for a modern workplace. Starting October 1, 2017, we are bringing Microsoft 365 to several new audiences.
Microsoft 365 Education—A new offer that combines capabilities across Office 365 for Education, Windows 10, Enterprise Mobility + Security, and Minecraft: Education Edition, to provide students, faculty, and staff everything they need to create and work together securely in the classroom. Microsoft 365 Education is offered in two plans—Microsoft 365 A3 and Microsoft 365 A5. In addition, we’re excited to announce a new Microsoft 365 plan for non-profit organizations.
Microsoft 365 F1—A new Microsoft 365 Enterprise plan designed to maximize the impact of the Firstline Worker. Numbering two billion worldwide, these are the individuals behind the counter, on the phone, in the clinics, on the shop floor, and in the field who form the backbone of many of the world’s largest industries. This new plan helps foster culture and community, train and upskill employees, digitize business processes, and deliver real-time expertise while minimizing risk and cost. We’re also adding new product capabilities to StaffHub and Windows 10 to keep everyone connected, automate device deployment, and manage single purpose devices.
We also recognize the importance of providing Firstline Workers with streamlined and secure devices that reduce total cost of ownership. Today, we’re announcing new commercial devices with Windows 10 S from our OEM partners HP, Lenovo, and Acer, with availability starting later this year. Starting as low as $275 (ERP), these devices benefit from cloud-based identity and management and are ideal for firstline environments.
New capabilities to unlock employee creativity
Work today has quickly shifted from simple execution of routine tasks to creative problem solving. Microsoft 365 provides the tools people need to express their ideas effectively, build on the work and expertise of others, and create compelling content.
New intelligent capabilities in Excel—We’re harnessing the power of AI to make Excel more powerful. Coming in early 2018, Excel will understand new data types, beyond text and numbers, and augment that data based on public and enterprise information. For example, Excel will know that “India” is a country and “MSFT” is a stock. Insights—a new service coming to Office Insiders this year—also uses AI to find and recommend patterns, helping you derive additional insights from complex data.
Intelligent, personalized search—New search capabilities enable you to discover people and information from across your organization and beyond. We’ve made improvements to help you quickly find the content and expertise you need across SharePoint and Office.com, and you can even search for people and content directly from your Windows taskbar. Bing for business, now in private preview, brings internal sites and content into Bing search results to help you find the right information and resources. Wherever you start your search—you get consistent, personalized results powered by the Microsoft Graph.
LinkedIn profile integration—Today, we’re announcing the ability to view LinkedIn profiles in Microsoft apps and services. This new experience, rolling out now to first release customers, provides rich insights about the people you’re working with—inside and outside your organization—right from within Office 365.
See LinkedIn profile information from Microsoft apps and services.
The universal toolkit for teamwork
One of the hallmarks of the modern workplace is the shift from individual productivity to dynamic teamwork. Microsoft 365 addresses the complete set of needs you have across your organization by providing a universal toolkit for teamwork with a broad set of purpose-built apps, all on a secure platform.
Intelligent communications with Microsoft Teams—Today, we’re announcing a new vision for intelligent communications to transform calling and meeting experiences by bringing comprehensive voice and video capabilities into Teams, along with cognitive and data services, and insights from the Microsoft Graph. As a result, Teams will evolve as the primary client for intelligent communications in Office 365, replacing the current Skype for Business client over time.
Enhanced content sharing with OneDrive and SharePoint—The new unified sharing experience, now in Windows, Mac, web, and mobile, will come to the Office apps in the coming weeks. The new experience provides a simple, consistent, and secure way to share and control access to files across Office 365. And you can now securely share files with people outside your organization who don’t have a Microsoft account. In addition, you can customize the look and layout of SharePoint pages, add dynamic content from over 100 new web parts and connectors, as well as share those pages on SharePoint sites or as a tab in Teams.
Cross-org connections with Yammer—We continue to invest in Yammer as the best way to connect with people across your organization. Today, we’re announcing deeper integration with SharePoint, new group insights for community managers, and enterprise-grade compliance with local data residency.
Yammer group insights show trends for group members and non-members.
Simplifying IT management
In the modern workplace, the role of IT has never been more important. Microsoft 365 is designed to meet business needs and minimize total cost of ownership across the IT lifecycle, from deployment to management and ongoing servicing. Only Microsoft delivers a complete solution for your entire productivity infrastructure.
Simplifying management—Beginning in early 2018, Lenovo, HP, Panasonic, Fujitsu, and Toshiba will join Surface in supporting Windows Autopilot on new Windows 10 devices, automating new device deployment and configuration. This fall, we’ll also introduce new capabilities in Microsoft Intune to manage Windows 10 devices with Office 365 ProPlus, configure Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, and deploy Win32 apps.
New migration capabilities—To help customers on their transition to the cloud, this fall, we’ll introduce co-management, a new set of capabilities to help customers migrate to cloud-based management of Windows 10 devices with Microsoft Intune. We’re also announcing FastTrack for Microsoft 365, which provides planning, guidance, and assistance to help IT professionals drive adoption and usage across Microsoft 365.
New proactive insights—Office 365 Usage Analytics, generally available in early 2018, will enable IT professionals to analyze and visualize service-wide usage data in Power BI. On the desktop, we’re updating Windows Analytics this fall with new update compliance and device health capabilities to help proactively identify and address new issues that may impact user experience and productivity.
The new usage analytics dashboard uses Power BI to unlock rich insights about service adoption.
Intelligent security and compliance updates
As employees embrace a new culture of work across devices and cloud apps, their interactions can become more difficult to secure. Updates to Microsoft 365 provide broad security capabilities, powered by Microsoft’s Intelligent Security Graph, to help protect people and sensitive data from new, sophisticated threats, and to help you meet compliance obligations.
Expanding conditional access—To help you better secure the “front door” of your organization, we’re expanding conditional access capabilities. To secure sessions inside SaaS apps and protect sensitive documents, we are integrating across Azure Active Directory, Microsoft Cloud App Security, and Azure Information Protection as well as extending multi-factor authentication to include third-party support.
The Microsoft Cloud App Security dashboard.
Information protection—Microsoft 365 helps you detect, classify, protect, and monitor your data, regardless of where it is stored or shared. Today, we’re announcing the integration of Azure Information Protection with Office 365 Message Encryption, which makes it easier to send protected emails and documents to recipients using consumer email services such as Outlook.com and Gmail.
Phishing protection and automatic remediation—Today, we’re unveiling new threat protection capabilities built on the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph. New Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection features help mitigate content phishing, domain spoofing, and impersonation. We’re also announcing a limited preview of Azure Advanced Threat Protection to help detect attacks on user identity sooner, and the integration of our recent Hexadite acquisition into Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection to automatically help investigate, assess, and remediate threats.
Compliance Manager—We’re also announcing the upcoming preview of Compliance Manager, a tool to help organizations meet compliance obligations like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It performs a real-time risk assessment with a score that reflects your compliance position against data protection regulations when using Microsoft Cloud services, along with recommended actions and step-by-step guidance.