With a 90% increase in users and a 300% increase in the amount of data stored, SharePoint is skyrocketing, and Microsoft is implementing plenty of updates to further expand their services.
Yesterday’s SharePoint Virtual Summit focused on the four core goals of Microsoft’s collaboration technologies: share with confidence, transform business processes, inform/engage employees, and harness collective knowledge. There are all kinds of updates coming in 2017 that incorporate these goals, but perhaps the biggest announcement of the summit was the reveal of the brand-new communication sites.
Communication sites are created through SharePoint with the click of a button. According to Mark Kashman on the official SharePoint blog, communication sites “[give] you the tools to collaborate, inform and engage, with a few core people or with broader audiences across the organization.” Optimized for mobile, communication sites allow teams to access important documents, submit/approve forms, and communicate with one another in a dynamic and interactive environment.
While the communication sites announcement may stand out the most, Microsoft also talked about a lot of other important updates we’ll be seeing over the next few months. Here’s what new with…
- View and edit files on-demand and offline
- You no longer have to sync entire libraries to your computer—you can pick and choose what you sync on a file-by-file basis
- Share with others outside of your organization directly from Windows Explorer/Mac Finder
- Expanded admin controls
- New webparts, including Yammer, streams, hero, and people
- Personalized search
- New layout options
- Hybrid capabilities for in the cloud and on-premises
- Improved admin center that addresses gaps between Office 365, Microsoft Teams, and SharePoint Online site collections
- Simplified approval flows
- Connect exisiting SharePoint Online sites to Office 365 Groups
- SharePoint Framework coming for SharePoint Server 2016
- New SharePoint Framework extensions
- Seamless integration among Teams, Groups, Yammer, and SharePoint
- More out-of-the-box functionality coming
- Feature Pack 2
- Can create custom SharePoint forms with PowerApps
- Expanded conditional access policies per site
- There will be another on-premises release scheduled for 2018
The main takeaway from this event is that in the near future, it’s going to be so much easier to cross-connect applications. Connecting SharePoint sites with Office 365 services will allow for seamless navigation among apps and will address the frustration shared by many Microsoft users about how to use all of the different SharePoint and Office 365 technologies together.
Overall, the 2017 Virtual SharePoint Summit was a great event, and I’m excited to see all of the changes that will be coming this year. It seems like Microsoft has really taken into account what SharePoint users, developers, and administrators want to see and have done a great job catering to these needs with these updates.
If you’re interested in reading a more in-depth analysis about what was discussed at the summit, Collab 365 did a great live blog, which you can check out here.
For help implementing your own SharePoint solution, contact the Interactive Business Systems Mobile and Web Solutions Group at www.ibs.com.