Today I attended the Microsoft event in San Francisco called “The Future of SharePoint.” With a title like that, it leaves you thinking and wondering. The good news is, SharePoint has a great future ahead, and to prove this Microsoft made some extraordinary announcements.
Microsoft’s core message contained a new cloud-first, mobile-first vision and roadmap for SharePoint, and how that is impacting SharePoint Server 2016.
For On-Premises and Hybrid customers, SharePoint Server 2016, Project Server 2016 and Office Online Server reached general availability today and can be deployed within your organization.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella had a message for us on “the Future of SharePoint”. Listen to it here.
The goal is to empower people, teams and organizations to intelligently discover, share and collaborate on content from anywhere and on any device. Hear more on the vision too.
Key Feature Highlights:
File and Collaboration on ANY Device
The SharePoint Mobile Application
New SharePoint Home
Microsoft also showed off modernized team sites and Microsoft Flow and PowerApps Integration.
This I am really excited about, as there are some great things coming soon.
More details can be got by watching Adam Harmetz’s video.
Last week, Microsoft announced Microsoft Flow, a new service for automating workflow across the growing number of apps and SaaS services that business users rely on. Microsoft Flow contains connectors that enable organizations to exchange data between SharePoint and a variety of Microsoft and third-party services. Microsoft also announced deep integration of SharePoint and Microsoft Flow which allows the creation of/and launch of Flows directly from a SharePoint list. We can expect to see deep and native integration of PowerApps and SharePoint allowing for a rich new experiences with lists and libraries.
To learn more about Microsoft Flow and PowerApps, read “Power to the people—introducing Microsoft Flow and announcing the public preview of PowerApps.”
Microsoft also outlined their roadmap for SharePoint and Office 365 feature that we can expect to see soon. We should expect to see the following items by the end of the quarter:
- Modern Document Library Experience
- SharePoint Mobile App for iOS
- SharePoint Home in Office 365
- Modern Lists Experience
- Site Activity and Insights
For me having a Development background I was really excited to see the announcement of the “SharePoint Framework”. With lots of organizations now using SharePoint both On-Premises and in the Cloud it makes sense that the ability to unify the development approaches and services that are available. This will allow for better creation of that follow the patterns and practices that Microsoft themselves used to create these new experiences that were announced today. In the future we will see the Microsoft Graph updates to work with files, as well as Web hooks and Client Site Web Parts being added. By the end of this year a Site API will be added to the Microsoft Graph as well as the new Framework being extended for custom sites. This is really exciting enhancements being made that will allow easier, faster and better delivered SharePoint Solutions. To learn more about the SharePoint Framework, read “The SharePoint Framework—an open and connected platform.”
As I speak about Security and SharePoint, quite a bit, I was excited to see that dynamic conditional access policies have been added to SharePoint. These policies will intelligently define access based on who you are, the app or device you are using, and your network location.
Finally, we will have the ability to truly control access to our data, not just basic administrative controls, policies and reporting. Later this year, we will also be able to bring our own keys to Office 365 for SharePoint allowing us to encrypt data stored in SharePoint. Data Loss Protection components will also be expanded allowing for us to apply policies down at the site level.
If you want to see what is currently supported within Office 365 then head over to this great video.
Microsoft will be updating SharePoint Online regularly, and SharePoint Server 2016 Software Assurance customers will have the opportunity to enable many of the cloud features within the On-Premises SharePoint farms with new Feature Packs that will be released in 2017.
So to wrap up, some great announcements were made today, some great demos were given and the promise of SharePoint is as strong as the first time I ever started working with. I am looking forward to the next year as Microsoft delivers on what they announced today.