SharePoint 2013's Minimal Download Strategy Feature

Learn about Minimal Download Strategy (MDS)--a feature in SharePoint 2013 that affects navigation in both positive and negative ways.

Syed Qasim

August 20, 2014

2 Min Read
SharePoint 2013's Minimal Download Strategy Feature

"Minimal Download Strategy" is a new feature in SharePoint 2013. From Microsoft:

“Minimal Download Strategy (MDS) is a new technology in SharePoint 2013 that reduces the amount of data that the browser has to download when users navigate from one page to another in a SharePoint site. When users browse an MDS-enabled site, the client processes only the differences (or delta) between the current page and the requested page. Figure 1 shows the sections that change from page to page and therefore require an update. The delta usually includes the data in the (1) content areas, as well as other components such as (2) navigation controls.”

This is a great feature that can make navigating around in SharePoint very cohesive and easy.

There is a catch though. If you are taking advantage of this feature, which can be enabled at the site level from within Site Features, it can affect your navigation.

Enabling the feature overrides the structural navigation that you might have in place. As a part of this, if you have a link on your navigation that’s set to "Open in New Window,” (see Figure 2), the link won’t open in New Tab or Window as expected. The MDS feature overrides the Open link in new tab functionality for the navigation in SharePoint.

MDS can also affect the Promoted Links you might have set up to launch in a dialog (see Figure 3).

Promoted Links is a new type of list that provides the “tiled” links experience in SharePoint 2013 (see Figure 4).

That’s something to be mindful of when trying MDS in SharePoint 2013. If you have any questions please visit our website or email us at [email protected].

Have you tried MDS in SharePoint 2013? What was your experience?


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