SharePoint 2013 is here and it brings an amazing set of new features and enhancements. For this post, I'd like to focus specifically on my top five new (or improved) features related to SharePoint's document management workload.
Drag & Drop to the Browser
Finally! You can drag your files right to a document library in SharePoint. Any supported browser/platform, too - not just Internet Explorer.
Do you have mobile workers who use SkyDrive or DropBox? If you say no, you might want to double-check that. Are you worried about corporate information leaking via these public cloud storage options? If so, you may want to look into deploying SharePoint 2013, Office 2013 Pro, and the included SkyDrive Pro. SkyDrive Pro allows users to sync their MySite content or any document library to their local machine. This is basically the evolution of Groove/SharePoint Workspace but without the hassle and issues with the separate application. SkyDrive Pro works just like consumer cousins SkyDrive and DropBox, quietly syncing away in the background and always available via the familiar Windows Explorer interface. Mobile device (iOS, Windows Phone, and Android) clients aren't available yet but are on the way.
When using document versioning in SharePoint 2010, any change to a document (or even its metadata) would cause SharePoint to save a complete copy for each version. SharePoint 2013 uses a new storage mechanism for binary objects stored in the content database called shredded storage. The exact workings are pretty technical, but the end result is that only the differences between file versions are kept rather than complete copies. This works for all file types SharePoint is capable of storing and may dramatically impact your SharePoint storage requirements.
Datasheet View is now Quick Edit - and it now works with Managed Metadata. Mass editing of metadata is back!
Auto Managed Properties
In SharePoint 2010, only site columns specifically designated as managed properties would surface as search refiners. While Managed Metadata columns would automatically work as managed properties, other columns required a fairly complicated configuration to force them to appear as search refiners. In SharePoint 2013, all custom site columns automatically work as managed properties. This may seem a minor change, but the impact on average users should not be minimized. With no additional configuration, users will now be able to narrow their searches using relevant terminology.
Bonus! Search Results Hover Panel
In SharePoint 2013 you get a rich panel of information when you hover your mouse over a specific result. Office documents will even present a preview with links and clicking a link will take you directly to the result within the body of the document.