The internet is apparently much interested in the future of SharePoint, which includes the direction that Microsoft is taking it, SharePoint’s improving customizability, and potential upgrades. A year ago, Microsoft unveiled SharePoint Server 2016 and briefly explained their roadmap for the beloved platform. And not too long ago at Microsoft’s Ignite event, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for SharePoint, Jeff Teper announced the impending release of SharePoint Server 2019 by the end of 2018.

All in all, the progress of SharePoint seems like it’ll revitalize the SharePoint development sector. The trends will certainly trigger an evolution of SharePoint development services, but what of the future of the platform?
 

The future still looks bright

 
The SharePoint platform (SharePoint Online through Office 365) has started earning more users over the users. Thanks for a major part to the ever-expanding community, more than 60% instances of SharePoint instances are online now. In parallel to the growth of the cloud, SharePoint also saw its usage grow by 90% – a testament to the value customers can get with SharePoint and the cloud combined.

As a matter of fact, it’s because of cloud computing that Microsoft now rolls out updates regularly for SharePoint. The Microsoft Virtual Summit event announced further enhancements to the platform that’d open new doors to improving productivity in organizations, and possibly catapult SharePoint to one of the best ever Microsoft technology solutions the world has known.
 

SharePoint communication sites

 
The SharePoint communication sites will be leading the platform to its bright future by providing users with a dedicated site to display their content in a much more modern way. Essentially, it aims to deliver mobile-ready intranet right out of the box.

Communication sites also allow users to share messages, and communicate with anyone across the organization it’s used for. Authenticated users with access to SharePoint mobile would be able to see any news published on a communication site. And as a bonus, communication sites would look good in any device be it tablet, desktop or mobile.

A while back, developers needed serious expertise, skill, and time to build new sites. But now, with the drag-and-drop feature, building sites are much easier. The default web parts can be easily configured to fit in well the organization and its needs. The focus is apparently on communication, and knowledge sharing with a visual appeal. This brings us to the most vital form of communication – email.
 

What of email?

 
SharePoint communication sites ease document sharing among colleagues in an organization, which in turn facilitates great collaboration. But what of the tools that actually enable this collaboration?

The platform is getting a lot of improvements, including a mobile app. But there weren’t much improvements when it comes to email. Emails are technically documents as well, used to arrange meetings and for business communication. But to check them, users will have to browse through the Exchange inbox, and not SharePoint itself.

While Microsoft’s focusing on improving collaboration with SharePoint, users still have to access two different locations for information – the Exchange inbox and SharePoint. This is so far the only counterproductive point in SharePoint’s path towards mainstream growth.

Hopefully, the tech giant will address the concern next year, and make SharePoint truly capable of making a difference in various sectors including intranet software development.
 

Conclusion

 
SharePoint Online makes self-service easier enabling users to create experiences drawing more to the platform. Microsoft’s already rolled out updates that provide modern interfaces to list management, site navigation etc. This drive to deliver better experience is creating a sort of excitement over the prospects of SharePoint in the coming days.

Decision-makers and executives who are likely to invest in workflow stories and team sites will have to focus on empowering users and delivering great experiences as well. This is where SharePoint will able to deliver the highest ROI.

Written by: verbat

Microsoft recently disclosed their progress on OneDrive and SharePoint, and it’s made big news. Among the details revealed in the announcement, the most intriguing was the brief mention of a SharePoint Server 2019 product they’ve been working on.

Normally, Microsoft delivers their SharePoint online innovations first before releasing server products. The impending release of SharePoint Server 2019 was announced by Jeff Teper, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for SharePoint. The new server for the popular Microsoft technology solution was formally introduced at Microsoft’s Ignite event.

Jared Spataro, the General Manager of Microsoft Office, later stated the preview of SharePoint Server 2019 can be expected to arrive by mid-2018.

That said, here are a few highlights for what’s coming to SharePoint.
 

SharePoint Admin Center Revamp

 
Microsoft announced that they created a revamped SharePoint Admin Center. The new Admin Center would be released for SharePoint online testers in early 2018 according to an official announcement from the tech giant.

The home page of the new Admin Center will show SharePoint and OneDrive notifications, activity patterns, service health information etc. They have also reportedly included sharing controls and device policy controls for compliance, access, and data leakage.
 

New SharePoint Migration Tool

 
Microsoft will also be releasing a new Migration Tool to handle small and large migrations. The tool would enable users to move documents and library files from SharePoint Server sites located at datacenters to the cloud-based SharePoint online service or the OneDrive Office 365 service.
 

Security

 
The company has also added new capabilities, referred to as Multi-Geo Capabilities in Office 365, for both SharePoint and OneDrive including data residency and compliance. Organizations will now be able to choose regional locations for storing data and search index.

Microsoft also mentioned enhanced protection for OneDrive and SharePoint Online. Organizations can provide keys to customers for service-level encryptions, and can revoke them to deny access. The company is also working on a compliance policy for Office 365 shared device scenarios. The system automatically signs out from a session if it detects no activity for a specific period of time.
 

Personalized search for SharePoint Online

 
This feature would be available by the end of 2017, and will grant a faster search experience. Microsoft also explained that the feature will include all content in a SharePoint, and can be accessed via the Windows Taskbar.

Another Office 365 service, Bing for Business, has been announced to be at the private preview stage. It can surface content by using the Microsoft Graph search service, and won’t be serving ads in the results. The company is also planning to add natural language processing capabilities to the service next year which might lead to big changes in the SharePoint development services sector.
 

New WebParts for Communication Sites and Team Sites

 
Other improvements announced by Microsoft includes new Web Parts for both Communication Sites and Team Sites. The Web Parts for Communication Sites include Microsoft Forms, Planner, File Viewer, Spacer and Divider, Twitter etc., which will be made available by the end of this year.

With the new improvements, it’d be possible to connect Team Sites with an Office 365 Group and SharePoint Hub Site. The feature will be added in the first half of 2018.
 

Conclusion

 
Not just SharePoint, but the other popular Microsoft technologies will be getting a bunch of updates next year as well. Many new capabilities will be added by December. And more improvements can be expected next year. Though this doesn’t make a huge difference in the software development sector, all the improvements can still make things easier for developers next year.

Written by: verbat