At Microsoft’s recent Ignite event in Orlando, Florida, the company provided details on several new updates coming to SharePoint, also outlining its overall goals for the enterprise social network collaboration platform going forward.
Jeff Teper, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Office, OneDrive and SharePoint, made a keynote presentation in which he explained the company hopes the platform will help drive employee engagement in those organisations that use it. He also said it aims to improve productivity by allowing for flexible teamwork opportunities and empower workers to collaborate on files easily and efficiently.
The coming updates to SharePoint are mostly being rolled out with these goals specifically in mind, but there are other enhancements coming for IT managers as well. For end users, Teper explained SharePoint Online Hub Sites will gain capabilities for ‘events roll-up and hub join approvals’, as well as see the number of sites available in an Office 365 tenancy expanded to one hundred.
A SharePoint List will be able to be added as a tab in Microsoft Teams, and Teams apps will work in Hub Sites, in what the company calls part-to-part communications. In other improvements to the Teams platform, users will be able to create custom views of SharePoint Document Libraries and sync files from it to a Mac or PC. An extra feature for Mac users will be a ‘files on demand’ sync service so they can access files even when not online.
To make it easier to create SharePoint Lists, it will be possible to use existing data such as an Excel spreadsheet as its basis. A new location column is also coming to SharePoint Online to allow tags to be added to documents from Bing maps or even internal spaces such as an organisation’s meeting rooms.
For the technically minded, Microsoft announced conditional formatting of SharePoint columns using JSON will be dropped. The same interactivity features it provided will be available without the need for extra coding.
SharePoint Server 2019 received some attention, with Teper explaining the company remains committed to the product. He said it will get the same files on demand and team sites capabilities as SharePoint Online. Microsoft is also providing extra tools and assistance to migrate data across from SharePoint Server to SharePoint Online. General availability of the new edition of SharePoint Server is expected sometime in October.
Most updates were not given specific launch dates, other than they should arrive some time in quarter four of 2018. Some details were provided on enhancements to Office 365 for the first half of 2019, such as provisioning of tenancies at the root site to create shorter URLs. Teper did not say much about SharePoint Spaces, a mixed reality solution first outlined to much anticipation at an event last May, other than to say that it is still being worked on.
For more details about how Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365 can help your company’s productivity and performance, or to learn more about the importance of a comprehensive data migration plan, get in touch with us at WM Reply.