I got the news the the veil was lifted while at lunch and have been anxious to get back to my keyboard ever since. There are so many great new features in this release that I am going to hold back from trying to put everything into a single post, so here are the high points for me based on what I have parsed in the public offering:
1.) Architectural changes in SharePoint 2013
a.) Claims first. The default for SharePoint 2013 web applications will be in Claims-based Authentication. Classic mode will still be supported, but Classic mode authentication web apps will have to be created through PowerShell. Does this mean that Microsoft will finally support 100% of the features in SharePoint 2013 under Claims? I am betting on it.
b.) Office Web Apps moves out from under the SharePoint umbrella and takes on a life of its own, giving the ability to share Office docs on the web in more than just SharePoint. Moving to its own architecture, that cannot be hosted on the same servers as SharePoint, gives it scalability and credibility that Microsoft is investing in this model.
c.) Search becomes unified. There is no longer multiple versions of Search for SharePoint. Many exciting things to uncover in this space, especially when leveraged with Office Web Apps, however the topology requirements grow considerably.
d.) The new Distributed Cache Service. Scale points have not yet been determined, but expect more data points on this during the Beta release.
e.) Server requirements changes. The big surprise here is that there are no changes to the minimum hardware requirements for the servers. The only real change here is in that Windows 2008 R2 SP1 is the minimum software platform and SQL 2008 R2 SP1 is the minimum database platform. 64bit is required across the board.
f.) Web Analytics changes. They have gutted the model used for SharePoint 2010 and have made massive improvements, including considerations for scaling and impact on SQL & IO.
g.) Work Management Service. This is one of the biggest features for end users in this version of SharePoint. WMS provides us with out of the box task aggregation from SharePoint, Exchange, and Project Server with additional systems that could be added later. Due to the nature of the model, I expect that this will be extended by third parties to hopefully include many other systems driving SharePoint to be the one place to go to manage your day.
h.) Upgrade gets a facelift. Visual Upgrade is completely changed for SharePoint 2013 and there are some architectural considerations to be taken into account here. More to discuss here than what I can put into a partial blog post, but come find me at SPTechCon on Sunday night at the “Meetup with SharePoint Experts” where I will be sitting with Shane Young & Todd Klindt of Rackspace at the Upgrade table and I am sure that we can discuss for hours.
2.) Social changes
a.) Massive investment in Social, even before the acquisition of Yammer, have been made in SharePoint 2013 around Microfeeds, Social Lists, Personal sites, a new way of handling personal documents.
b.) A complete re-architecture around privacy settings &sharing to make the process more intuitive for the user. Users of SkyDrive are going to find the screens very familiar.
3.) The new App Model & WCM
a.) While generally not topics that I write about, I read about them constantly and would recommend that you join me in reading every word that Andrew Connell has to write about these topics. Not only is AC one of the brightest SharePoint minds I know (Scot Hillier not withstanding), he is also one of the instructors who developed and delivered the Ignite training and the MSDN training that is now available. Follow AC on twitter at @andrewconnell and on his blog at http://www.andrewconnell.com/blog/.
If you try following him at @SharePointAC you will find Andrew Clark instead, who is a great guy and an awesome guy to take to a bar if you like pre-prohibition cocktails and fun SharePoint dev talk, but ultimately not the same person.
Now is the time to get your hands on the beta bits and start learning! Here are a few resources I have found so far from my scouring and a few other posts:
You are likely to notice an uptick in blogging from many people who have gone quiet over the past few months (myself included) while we have been working on things we haven’t been able to talk about. Now that the flood gates are open expect to hear from me more often.