My Top Takeaways from Microsoft’s “The Future of SharePoint” Event

After attending Microsoft’s “The Future of SharePoint” Event last week, I needed a few days to process all the exciting announcements they shared with us. Although I could certainly write a short novella of everything they discussed, I’ve decided to organize my first impressions into a bullet point list. I also decided to only focus on announcements that are most applicable to the “SharePoint Level 1” coaching and consulting realm where I focus most of my time.

Here we go:

General Neat-o #DYK Facts:

  • Office 365 is the largest productivity service with 70 million active users, giving high business value for cheaper than other “point solutions”.
  • “You can take advantage of cloud innovations without having to migrate all your data and apps to the cloud.”
  • “The code base is the same on both SharePoint Server 2016 and SharePoint Online.”
  • Microsoft is taking a “leapfrog” approach to building out features in their apps, where each OS team (i.e. iOS, Android, and Windows) works on a feature then they swap the feature between teams.

SharePoint & OneDrive:

  • Say hello to the “intranet in your pocket.”
  • You will be able to access documents stored in a SharePoint Online library on your mobile device via the OneDrive App – “the window to all your files using one simple web experience.”

SharePoint Sites:

  • Microsoft is taking a “It’s your site, you can do what you want” attitude to Team Sites.
  • They’re also switching to a “self-service” route so members don’t need to rely on Site Admins to create sites, pages, lists, libraries, or manage membership. (How is this possible? When you spin up a Team Site, an Office 365 Group will be created.)

SharePoint Site Pages:

  • Site Pages will give users modern page authoring with an “on rails” approach to ensure page looks good on any device.
  • Users will be able to embed content right into a Site Page including files, video, custom BI dashboard, and content rollup!

SharePoint Document Libraries for File Management:

  • Contextual relevant documents follow you on all devices so “you don’t go hunting for documents, documents go hunting for you.”
  • Buh bye Ribbon! The toolbar is the new Ribbon, making the end user experience less overwhelming and less cluttered.
  • Files & document library will look and feel like OneDrive, which will include a tiled, rich preview view option for files!
  • The ability to pin a file to top of document library for “discoverability”.
  • The ability to add a link to a file that lives in a different location into a document library so that all content related to a topic can be visible in one place regardless of where it lives. (In the past, this was a multi-step process requiring a Site Admin to turn on the Content Type in each the library.)
  • You’ll be able to copy AND move files between OneDrive and SharePoint AND between different SharePoint sites!
  • Users will be able to add new metadata columns and easily resize column widths right from the from library screen.
  • There is a new lightweight way “slice and dice” data and the ability to “drag and drop” files to curate file’s metadata!

Microsoft Office Programs:

  • The ability to easily share and discuss documents from within a program (i.e. Word), using the new “Activity Pane” for “super simple collaboration”.

For more detailed information, check out this blog post with links to “Key Resources from Microsoft’s “The Future of SharePoint” Event“.