Microsoft has now confirmed that the new capabilities for metadata navigation that it trailered during last month’s SharePoint Virtual Summit are being added to SharePoint Library and List pages this month.
This new feature is intended to get those who use SharePoint to make the move towards what the software firm refers to as the modern Libraries and Lists user experience. It is one of a number of changes that Microsoft announced during the conference and the most likely scenario is that it will be customers of SharePoint Online it will apply to, as they receive regular update rollouts via their subscriptions to Office 365. The initial release announcement from Microsoft does not really give any indication as to whether those enterprises that use SharePoint Server will get it as well.
The autumn of this year will see the release of SharePoint Server 2016 Feature Pack 2 and this is set to provide that version of SharePoint with some online capabilities. Thus, it is possible that the metadata navigation one will be among these. What Microsoft has made clear in its announcement though, is that this new metadata function will be incompatible with the existing hierarchies that you see when using the old SharePoint Library and List pages:
“Classic document libraries have used page elements on the left side of each page to enable hierarchical “drill-down” and “Key Filters” on live view of document libraries. However, the classic metadata navigation elements are incompatible with modern user experiences. The updated filters pane now makes metadata navigation compatible with modern list and document library experiences.”
Those using the new feature after its launch will find this filters pane on their screen’s right-hand side and it essentially serves as a checklist. What elements will be found in it will be determined by the context of the user and a user will have the option of customising it via a filter icon. The metadata settings will be the basis for the columns seen by those using the modern SharePoint Library and List pages, with Microsoft indicating that ‘machine learning’ will generate some metadata content in an automated fashion.
Should an enterprise be deploying the old Library and List pages, the associated metadata will be added to the modern version’s filters pane automatically, once subscribers receive it. In its announcement, Microsoft said that this new metadata function would provide thousands of customers with access to modern experiences and that the pages would remain in this modern mode. A support document it has published states that IT departments will have the choice of enforcing the old version before the release if they choose, but that a user will have the option of overriding this.
It will be interesting to see this new feature in action once it has been released and we are sure that users will find it to their benefit. You will be able to see how our ideas can have the same impact on your enterprise if you
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