In case you've missed it, I've been at Microsoft Ignite this week in Orlando. The sessions so far have been incredible, with lots of new updates for Azure, SharePoint, Office365 and more. This morning, I attended a SharePoint session by Jeff Teper. It was so good, I had to immediate get to the blog and start writing.
Lots of updates
There we so many updates and new features announced in todays session, it's almost too much to contain in a single blog post. The SharePoint team has worked so hard in the last year creating new OneDrive integrations and enhanced admininistrator functionality. In this post, I am going to talk about what I think are the top new features in SharePoint and Office 365.
New web parts
Introduced today were some brand new web parts for modern SharePoint pages.
File Viewer Web Part
Microsoft introduced a new file viewer web part. This allows you to embed over 270 different file types directly into your SharePoint page -- this even includes files such as Adobe illustrator and even complex 3D models. That's not even the best part. Not only can you embed almost any type of document on to your page, you can actually interact with the files as well, reading through slides and scrolling through pages is an included feature!
Connector Web Part
The Connector web part is an introduction to the latest and greatest from Microsoft, allowing you to connect to your external services and bring the content into SharePoint. I'm assuming this connector will work similar to Microsoft Flow and Azure Logic Apps, allowing you to authenticate and pull data some systems such as Salesforce. The inner workings and it's visual representation has yet to be announced.
Planner Web Part
Finally, Microsoft will be introducing a web part to allow groups to bring their planner tasks into a SharePoint page and interact with their tasks without having to navigate into a separate Planner application!
If you haven't noticed, in modern team sites within Office365, you no longer had the ability to create a site template for your team sites. This is because (it seems) Microsoft is introducing a new provisioning model for modern SharePoint sites. In multiple sessions today, we were able to gain insight into custom pre-fabricated templates for modern sites which include things such themes and branding, as well as automatic creation of lists and libraries.
Enhanced SharePoint Search
One new feature introduced today that I think will be most valuable for end user's is an update to the existing SharePoint page (/_layouts/15/SharePoint.aspx). This search is called "Visual Content Search" and allows end users to search through images within their environment using text, using image recognition and text extraction. For example, let's say you upload a receipt for expenses and later on, needed to find that receipt again. Well, the new search service is now able to search text within a picture of your receipt!!
SharePoint Hub Sites
Hub Sites are the most exciting new functionality introduced today. In the current modern SharePoint environment, there was no way to classify new Office365 Group sites or Communication sites under a single branding or navigation. In the passed we acheived this using Managed Navigation in our root site collection and surface content in our environment using term driven pages.
Coming soon, we'll be able to create "hubs" in which we can take existing team sites and communication sites and group them together under a single umbrella (not hierarchy). The root hub site will use Microsoft Graph and Search to aggregate content from all sites within your hub. Such content includes news, user activity and even allow scoped search to enable your end users more precision when searching for content. Please see the official Microsoft announcement here.
5,000 item list view limit
The day has finally come... no more limit on your list views. This is great news for large enterprises or companies with a large number of items in their lists. Unfortunately, this does not solve all issues... developers will still be throttled when querying against a large list. However, this is still really awesome!
Last but definitely not least, Microsoft has officially announced that SharePoint is here to stay with a new version coming in 2019. Very little information is known about it thus far, but let it be known, SharePoint will continue to play an integral part in Microsoft's core offerings.
I hope you enjoyed this post. These are just my favorite new features and announcements from Microsoft Ignite. If you'd like to see a complete list of new enhancements, check out this post.