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The aftermath of the Future of SharePoint event

Author by Drew Madelung


“Awesome information overload” is the best way I could describe this event on this the sacred Star Wars holiday, May the 4th.  I haven’t been a part of the SharePoint community for the full lifecycle of SharePoint as some people have, but I have been involved in the product heavily since the launch of 2010.  I have been to multiple SharePoint and Microsoft conferences but nothing I have been a part of has had the hype of today.  If you go back just a year ago, people were worried about the future of SharePoint.  The brand appeared to be fading into the oblivion as the services were stripped from it in the cloud and noone knew about another on-premises release.  And then on his fire breathing unicorn, Jeff Teper returned to Microsoft and breathed new life into the SharePoint platform and the overall collaboration vision.  It was obviously not all Jeff to help achieve today but I think he had a large role in what has transpired.  The hype for today for a “SharePoint” event was crazy.  A lot of this excitement could be felt just because of the total number people that SharePoint touches in their daily lives.

The SharePoint community has to be one of the most robust and thirsty crowd of people I have ever interacted with.  17,000 people tuned into the webcast today where they stated numbers like the ones above and that 1.5 million people include SharePoint as a skill in LinkedIn.  The excitement in the community has returned and I can only see it going up from here.  This is already the community where people spend countless hours of free time building up free events on Saturdays across the globe.  There are also many larger events nearly every month that draw thousands of people.  The community was ready for today and Microsoft did not disappoint.  Here is my breakdown of the Future of SharePoint event.

“SharePoint kind of invented the intranet in a box idea and it’s time to step up and do it again” – Jeff Teper

The old “wheel” of SharePoint has shifted to these 4 new pillars.

The event went into each of these sections and highlighted what is coming.  There was so much announced I am sure I missed some but here are the ones that caught my eye.

What came out today and is available now? 

  • SharePoint Server 2016, Project Server 2016 and Office Online Server are officially generally available
    • OOS can currently only be downloaded via VLSC
  • The current “Sites” icon in the app launcher is being replaced with a “SharePoint” icon
    • Welcome back the brand of SharePoint
  • Updated OneDrive mobile app to include SharePoint integration
    • Currently iOS only that allows you to access, edit and share your SharePoint files. There is a new “Sites” area available to see frequent and following SharePoint sites -> It slowly matters less if you store your files in OneDrive or SharePoint
  • Modern document library user experience in Office 365
    • This has been available for a few weeks but will begin to see more of an improvement soon
  • A Discover view in the OneDrive Android app and Browser experience
    • Hey look we got in-line Delve in OneDrive now (iOS and Windows phone later this year)

What is upcoming for the 4 pillars…

Simple and powerful file sharing

  • Built in ability in OneDrive to copy a document to a SharePoint document library with the ability to move a document coming
  • Embedded document analytics that show things like view and share count
  • One single sync client with some updated sync capabilities (finally…)
  • Updated OneDrive for Business UI

Mobile and intelligent intranet

  • New SharePoint Mobile App
    • Great first step, Currently planned iOS only
  • New SharePoint landing page that has more suggested information
  • Total rebuild of the UI/UX of Team Sites, Pages, Libraries and Lists to a modern experience
    • Easier ability to link to content in a document library
    • Metadata management easier within a document library by being able to occur inline
    • Building a new page resembles the Delve blog or Sway experience with new web parts
    • No more ribbon, RIP the ribbon 5/4/2016
    • Custom actions still available
    • Default news and activity on the team site landing page with pinning available
    • Mobile friendly
  • Improved site contents area that includes more analytics
  • New site provisioning process in which you can declare the security level
    • And it’s really fast
  • Enhanced enterprise search experience
  • Groups and Team sites are becoming intertwined
    • This was a total necessity.  Soon when you create a group you will get a team site and when you create a team site you will get a group
  • PowerApps and Flow are integrated inline
    • This could be the largest non-visual announcement today.  If you are working with workflows and forms today this is an area you MUST start looking at

Security, Privacy, and Compliance

  • Customer lockbox feature which doesn’t allow MS to view your content
  • More global data centers coming
  • Enhanced audit searching
  • Enhanced DLP
  • Differential access control
    • Control over content If users access it on a non-company managed device
  • New site classification lets you declare 3 levels of security

Open and Connected Platform

  • The new SharePoint Framework (coming this summer)
    • A page and part model that enables fully supported client-side development, easy integration with the Microsoft Graph and support for open source tooling
  • New files and sites API available via the Graph
  • SharePoint webhooks
  • Client web parts

And a few more new things!

  • New migration service to help you move your files from Box to Office 365 as a no-cost benefit to FastTrack
    • More than 150 seats of eligible SKUs
  • Feature packs will be coming for SharePoint Server 2016 to enable the cloud-born innovations on-premises
    • As long as you have Software Assurance


This is one gigantic list of new info for a single day! 

Here are some handy links to learn more about everything listed above

  • Office blogs
  • Other goodies



Drew Madelung

Technical Architect