It is 1130p on May 4th, 2016 and I have just returned to my hotel room in San Francisco from an amazing day. Today was the Microsoft “Future of SharePoint” launch event. Here is my recap of the day:
Before the event we all gathered excitedly to get into the venue and check out what was in store for the day. A gaggle of MVPs and Microsoft customers loitered on the sidewalk outside the Village at 969 Market anxiously awaiting “go time”.
Once inside the unique, but cozy venue, we all found our seats, mingled with customers, chattered about what we were excited about hearing today, and Christian started taking selfies.
Getting to see Dan Holme kick off the event as a part of his new role at Microsoft was a pretty huge thrill. Dan has been a friend & mentor for many years and to see him in this position is hugely exciting, not only for what it means for him personally as my friend, but also for what it means for the SharePoint community. Dan has been a force in this community long before I found it, and his voice on the inside at Microsoft really highlights the changes that have been happened over the past few years.
Satya was heard from, but not seen in person. This was a bummer, but ultimately it lead to more of other great folks, so we will happily take it.
Jeff Teper came out strong explaining some of the new changes that are coming and sharing his excitement with the live audience. It was infectious.
All of the demos landed well. The ones that I thought were most impactful were:
This is the first time I can recall that Microsoft has given us a roadmap of features that are coming. There was a roadmap slide for each of the 4 areas that were discussed. The key to notice is that Microsoft is telling you what they are working on today, and what they think they are going to plan to work on for the rest of the year. Lots of things can happen to change, but Microsoft is finally showing us what to expect and roughly when. Dates may slip based upon a number of factors, however we now have a real roadmap from Microsoft.
Intranet in your pocket
One of the core themes of the day was “Your Intranet in your Pocket”. Microsoft is due to release (in the next few weeks ) its SharePoint Mobile app to iOS. Welcome to the new Microsoft! Adam Harmetz demo’ed the mobile app. I have had a chance over the past few weeks and am encouraged by what I have seen.
It is worth noting that the mobile app will support multiple SPO and commercial OneDrives.
SharePoint Home is the replacement for the half cared about (if that) Sites page in SharePoint Online. This experience is getting a completely new look and feel, backed against the Office Graph to show users sites that they are members of and following.
Fast site provisioning
With a completely overhauled site provisioning process, Team Sites can be created in 5 seconds or less in the new UI. The ability to set the restriction polices during the site creation time is a huge win for Governance.
Microsoft has recognized one of its key barriers to adoption and is now offering free migration services to SharePoint Online and OneDrive from not only Google Drive but from Box too. Previously it required massive dev or a third party tool. Customers over 150 seats are eligible for a free engineer lead migration from Microsoft. Until now I have steered somewhat clear of FastTrack, but now I am going to have to go revisit it.
It was stated that Feature Packs will be coming to SharePoint onPrem starting in 2017. This was the only real mention of this MASSIVE new feature that I will cover off in a future post.
Here is an excerpt from the “SharePoint Server 2016 – your foundation for the future” post from Microsoft:
While our innovation will be delivered to Office 365 first, we will provide many of the new experiences and frameworks to SharePoint Server 2016 customers with Software Assurance through Feature Packs. This means you won’t have to wait for the next version of SharePoint Server to take advantage of our cloud-born innovation in your datacenter.
I am going to cover Feature Packs in a future article that I will link here when I am done. This to me was the biggest piece of news at the event. This opens doors for Rackpace.use SPLA licensing as our users are going to be able to update using a Public Update since SPLA inclues Software Assurance.
John, Dave & I kept up with the events of the day, however we were also playing with our dashboards and scheming for how to improve the overall experience.
Here is a snapshot of the event:
After the event and lunch, John & I pulled out our laptop and get to playing with all of our new data in the SQL Azure Database. It was such a hit that even Jeff Teper couldn’t resist the pull of data about this event. That is pretty hot wouldn’t yall say?
If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to go watch all of the demo videos. Here is a central list of articles and blog post:
Here are the links:
Vision & Overview Blog: The Future of SharePoint
SharePoint Server GA & Feature Packs: SharePoint Server 2016—your foundation for the future
VIDEO: Foundation for the Future: SharePoint Server 2016 https://youtu.be/6ADQpn3xl2U
VIDEO: Accelerating Innovation with Hybrid: SharePoint Server 2016 and Office 365 https://youtu.be/ACsSv6CNHY8
Simple & powerful file sharing and collaboration from any device: Announcing simple and powerful file sharing and collaboration for Office 365
VIDEO: Effortless File Sharing on Any Device: OneDrive for Business and SharePoint https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRFe38WxCjU
SharePoint mobile app, SharePoint home, team sites, Microsoft Flow & PowerApps integration: SharePoint—the mobile and intelligent intranet
VIDEO: The Mobile and Intelligent Intranet: SharePoint sites and PowerApps
VIDEO: Your Intranet in Your Pocket: The SharePoint mobile app
SharePoint Framework: The SharePoint Framework—an open and connected platform
VIDEO: Open and Connected Platform: The SharePoint Framework https://youtu.be/T_bGyqKwT4g
Security, Privacy and Compliance for SharePoint and OneDrive for Business
VIDEO ONLY: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mvZr_Gc36U