Roadmap

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

New Experience Sharepoint Online Library

The experience of SharePoint libraries is changing

Micrsoft is pushing update MC44849 which changes the user experience of libraries in SharePoint Online. They've communicated via the Message center and an article on Microsoft Office 365 Support. We've been expecting this update. For a while now we've grown fond of the new experience of the OneDrive for Business look & feel. It was to expect that this was the testing ground for the updating all SharePoint libraries to this new experience. That time is now.

Has my tenant been updated?

There are 2 ways to check whether your tenant has been updated. 1. The new experience setting has been added to the SharePoint Admin Center. Go to your SharePoint Admin Center and choose Settings. If your tenant has been updated, you should now have an extra setting: SharePoint Lists and Libraries experience.

Tenant settings new experience
Tenant settings new experience

2. When you load a library in SharePoint Online and there's a big notification banner waiting for the user. It tells "Document Libraries are getting a new look!". When this is shown, the update has been deployed.

Document Libraries are getting a new look!Document Libraries are getting a new look!
Document Libraries are getting a new look!Document Libraries are getting a new look!

Video overview

View all the changes and new functionality in this short walk through video (3:30min) about the new experience for SharePoint libraries.

Most important changes

These are the most important changes that were deployed which have a big impact on the interaction and functionality of the SharePoint library;

nieuwe ervaring - new item

- UI

If an library is displayed, the library is loaded in a screen similar to the default OneDrive for Business style (blue/white). It feels like you've left the (sub)site and are looking at the library in a different app/site. This can be confusing at first for users if they weren't informed of this change. A way to explain this, is by disconnecting the documents "source"(the library) of the site with the list view web part. The list view web part is a window to the source and the user opens the source which is presented in a different way.

- Upload

The functionality of the upload doesn't change, via drag-and-drop or through the menu option, but the ability to upload complete folders and files is new. Microsoft has learned that a lot of users were still using the classic view of OneDrive for Businees, so they could use the "Open in Explorer" function and upload complete folders. So it makes sense they have included this functionality.

- Navigation

As said, the library is displayed in it's own environment, almost looking like a separate Office 365 App/Add-in. The top bar/global navigation have been removed, together with the breadcrumb and any custom styling/master page. But the quick launch/current navigation still remain on the left. That is the user's way out/back.

- Link as contenttype

nieuwe ervaring - information pane

With the update comes the possibility for a user to add a link as an item (*.url file). It's now a default item in the "new item" menu. This means an user can add a link to a file/site/etc and place it in the library. This helps in the battle to eliminate duplicate files which can run out of sync.

- Information pane

The live preview of a file and the display of a few properties have been moved from the item's context menu to the information pane, which slides out on the right when the "I" (info) icon is clicked. This pane shows the library's properties by default. When a file is selected, it shows the live preview of the file, the properties of the file (which can be edited inline), sharing options, version history and the file properties. Very usefull.

- Spotlight/Pin

The user can now pin files and put them in the spotlight. It's like a featured image or document. If a file is pinned, a banner is added on top where the pinned files are shown as big live preview tiles. Add files there which are favorites, featured and/or important.

nieuwe ervaring - gallery view

FAQ

Have we a lost all navigation? Not quite. The quick launch / current navigation is still present on the left side. That's the ticket back to the site. Further more there is still the Office 365 app launcher.

Can the new experience be disabled? Yes. Via the SharePoint Admin Center you can disable this. go to the SharePoint Admin Center en choose Settings (direct link: https://[DOMAIN]-admin.sharepoint.com/_layouts/15/online/TenantSettings.aspx). Look for the sub header "SharePoint Lists and Libraries experience" and choose the "classic experience". This sets all document libraries to classic experience for the whole tenant.

Can I prevent the update from deploying on my tenant? No. You could delay updates by switching to a different service model. This will delay the deploy of updates with several months. But this also means that all other updates will be delayed as well. And you might not want to do so. Read more about service models on Technet: Change management for Office 365 clients.

Why is the new experience option enabled by default? Microsoft is innovating and wants you to join and make use of new features. This will at least stimulate users to take a look at first, while still giving the option (for now) to revert back to the classic experience. This stimulates usage and makes us think about a strategy on how to implement and communicate the new features.

Want to know more? Contact us at Mark.Overdijk@RapidCircle.com or Support@RapidCircle.com.