Future of SharePoint

What will the future of development in SharePoint look like? Pretty much like it does now!

Managing the lifecycle of the components you build, deploy, operate and support on Office 365 is difficult. The platform is new, the cloud is new, and much of your classic DTAP model is simply no longer appropriate. We at Rapid Circle are committed, for some time now, as being a Microsoft Cloud company rather than just a SharePoint company and the recent developments around SharePoint announced at the Future of SharePoint event on May 4th continue to vindicate our stance.

Specifically, the announcement of an upcoming SharePoint Framework (SPFx) makes it clear that client-side development and the use of JavaScript are encouraged and promoted for custom solutions on Office 365!

Some key aspects relevant for developers and administrators that we found very interesting were

  • The framework is fully JavaScript based model.
  • There is no single JavaScript framework mandated. We can still use popular frameworks such as Angular, Knockout and Handlebars.
  • Node.js & Gulp tasks are used for packaging deploying components.
  • The Local development model is going to be very different. A SharePoint workbench is introduced where Gulp and node.js will used to host files locally, so you don’t need to use IIS on your local machine.
  • Visual Studio Code, an open source code editor is being promoted as the preferred tool. Also clearly indicating that Visual Studio is not a must-have requirement for developers.

It's important to note that SPFx not a radically new model. The framework might be new, but we've been doing client-side development for some years now using similar frameworks. Finally though, Microsoft is creating this framework which leverages techniques we already use such as CSOM, REST API's. Taking it a step further Microsoft is openly embracing open source technologies such as node.js, Gulp, Yeoman and more.

Our Rapid ALM tooling is very much aligned to what Microsoft has described in the event. It’s a development & delivery model that’s entirely JavaScript based and enables us to streamline everything from the core development of our Instant Intranet components, integrated with our test teams, and deploying to our client tenants. Furthermore, it’s built on and resides in the SharPoint online platform.

Using Rapid ALM to evolve our Instant Intranet solution we are also “early adopters" for Visual Studio Code as the default editor for our apps development where we use Angular 1.4, Require JS. Moreover, we utilize NPM and Gulp for building, packaging and deploying our Instant intranet apps. Finally we use Git for source code control & versioning.

Future of SharePoint Development model
Future of SharePoint Development model

With this development model, we have successfully created and setup intranet for customers in the first quarter of 2016.  This new development model in SharePoint is giving us the platform for Rapid and Instant service to our customers.

And we're looking forward to the upcoming SharePoint Framework and will continue to evolve & enhance our own to software development lifecycle!

This blog post is part of the series Future of SharePoint. More on this topic can be found at http://08b.4d7.myftpupload.com/tag/FutureOfSharePoint/

Watch the keynote "The Future of SharePoint" here.

Lots of changes and innovations have been announced at the 'Future of SharePoint' conference last month. We've watched the keynote and found it very interesting. We think you might find this interesting as well. So below, find the full keynote!

Full keynote presentation "Future of SharePoint"

Want to know more?

Read more in-depth information in other blogs/articles by myself and my colleagues: List of #FutureOfSharePoint posts

This blog post is part of the series Future of SharePoint. More on this topic can be found athttp://08b.4d7.myftpupload.com/tag/FutureOfSharePoint/

SharePoint update in 2016: Mobile & Intelligent

On May the 4th 2016 Microsoft held their Future of SharePoint event. It presented all the new stuff which is on it's way for SharePoint and OneDrive (for Business). This post is about a break out session by Microsoft Mechanics, which highlights the new updates on its way for SharePoint in 2016. Scroll down to view the video (18:21 min), but I encourage to first read the summary. Big chances are coming. The first of which, is the update on the document libraries we reported on: New experience SharePoint Online Library.

SharePoint update

SharePoint mobile app

There will be a SharePoint which brings the SharePoint online experience to the mobile phone. It has tabs for Links, Sites and People. All driven by OfficeGraph, Search and Office 365. It's fully responsive and shows the new SharePoint sites (nextgen portals) on your mobile device. Partners should be able to modify the mobile styling to match the client. Below are 4 screenshots of the new app.

1. Links: Links list

2. Sites: showing sites you've interacted with based on OfficeGraph

3. Responsive view of a site

4. People: Search and mobile Delve profile

SharePoint App - Links
SharePoint App - Links
SharePoint App - Sites
SharePoint App - Sites
SharePoint App - Site
SharePoint App - Site
SharePoint App - People
SharePoint App - People

Sites SharePoint!

The sites app in the app launcher has it's name finally restored, it's SharePoint!. With the name update the page will be updated too. The power of OfficeGraph will be added to show an overview of sites used frequently lately but also the some extra info. Everything has been moved around to provide more real estate for the "Frequent" sites. On the left we have the option to create a new site, the Following list to display Followed sites and recently modified.

2 screenshots below;

1. Sites overview:

2. Create site: New interface to create a team or publishing site.

SharePoint overview
SharePoint overview
SharePoint - create new site
SharePoint - create new site

Nextgen Sites & Page authoring

New updates to team and publishing sites will be added to SharePoint Online. These will be fully integrated with Groups and have a new look. Navigation options are still available on the left. The biggest change that's shown is the new page authoring. Well, not really new, but the Sway interface for authoring has been added. Have a look, as it works really well in Sway, it's intuitive for users. As you may notice, adding sections is not only for documents, texts, etc. You can add Power Bi , Office Form, Quick Poll, Power App and other add-ins directly to the page.

3 screenshots below;

1. SharePoint site: New portal. with a linked group, pages slider (news) and activity.

2. Page authoring: the Sway interface to edit pages

3. Search content roll-up app: roll up content

SharePoint site
SharePoint site
SharePoint - page authoring
SharePoint - page authoring
SharePoint page
SharePoint page

New Experience for Lists

Lists will get the same new experience update as the document libraries. Still the option to place list view sections on pages, but the list itself gets a new experience.

3 screenshots below;

1. New list experience: matching the new document library experience

2. Grouped view: Grouped view in document library

3. Search: search results in document library

SharePoint List update
SharePoint List update
SharePoint - grouped view
SharePoint - grouped view
SharePoint - doc.lib
SharePoint - doc.lib

Flow

IFTTT for SharePoint. Creating automated workflows for Office 365 and 3rd party web services. This way users can create, through an UI, workflows between your favorite apps and services to get notifications, synchronize files, collect data, and more. We can automate simply tasks. We start with the trigger, like "receive a new e-mail" after which the workflow can configured. For instance adding a condition (if received from user "X") and adding actions (set category to "X", save the attachment to OneDrive for Business and sent a notification via Slack).

Screenshot:

1. Flow: creating a new flow

2. Services: connect web services to automate tasks

Flow
Flow
Flow - Services
Flow - Services

 Microsoft Mechanics episode

All coming to Office 365 in 2016