Forget the historical – modern SharePoint is good enough

It’s autumn again and now a week from Microsoft Ignite. Conference contained lots of information, announcements, demos and most of all lots of technical content, including keynote themes like Azure, Dynamics 365, new Power Platform and Microsoft 365. Over 1300 individual sessions in total.

SharePoint was also strongly involved and modern SharePoint sites are still rapidly evolving. A bunch of new features were already released on first conference day and features released on spring’s SharePoint conference are just around the corner. The future roadmap of SharePoint is looking great.

New features of modern communication and hub sites

Page templates which enable content authors to save content page as a page template. Template will bring elements to a new page created. With templating it is easy to unify look and feel of the content and  bring sufficient number of templates for content authors to use. Creating a page template is as easy as creating content on modern page.

News link. With news link content authors can add a link to another news article on SharePoint or to some external source, like news article published on company’s public web site, and that link will be displayed on news feeds. News link will get it’s title, description and image automatically from metadata of the original article and these properties can be easily modified by editing the news link. News link will be opened from it’s original location on new browser tab or window.

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News link to an external article

Personalized web parts can display personalized views to recent documents, sites and targeted news. You could create a personalized view for your team members added to a tab on Teams channel.

Content targeting on news and content roll-ups, which enables targeting news, content pages and web parts to users through Office 365 Group memberships. Targeting can be used for example to display content regarding a business unit and when dynamic groups are put in place information is targeted to audience almost automatically.

Organization centralized asset library. Organization can set a centrally managed library for organization’s images and content authors can easily utilize while adding images to content pages.

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Organization’s asset library

Megamenu is added as out-of-the-box functionality for hub and modern site navigation besides traditional fly-out navigation.

In addition, there is a set of new features for managing look and feel of sites, like page header formatting, section background colors, site header formatting and centrally managed footer. With these features, modern site can be nicely branded without code.

Especially with these new features modern SharePoint sites are really good enough for managing organization’s more static content and fill up requirements for news. That traditional, communicational intranet content can be implemented with out-of-the-box features and focus on solving organization’s real work and business related needs.

SharePoint ❤ Teams

Integration between SharePoint and Teams is improving. One of the most wanted change is Files tab support for SharePoint document library functions. After the change familiar SharePoint document library functions like metadata, views and menus are available on Files tab. OneDrive synchronization for libraries can be started directly from Files tab. When document library settings and views are configured in place, end user won’t need to access files via SharePoint.

On SharePoint document libraries an icon is displayed, if folder has a Teams channel connected to it. It will be possible to activate Teams to modern team site directly from a link on a site. This change enables upgrading classic team site to modern teams site with Teams simply from SharePoint user interface. First site is connected to Office 365 and modernized and then connected to a team.

So, what will happen to team work on SharePoint?

Well, Microsoft Teams got lot of attention on Ignite and at least I’m now more convinced that SharePoint is the workhorse running in the background and Teams will be the user interface to end user for team work and one channel to consume traditional intranet content.

Now it is finally time to stop talking about classic SharePoint sites, complex team site templates and branding of team sites.

On-premises is also modern

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2019 was announced to be published during October, 2018. Modern team sites and communication sites are also included. Feature set is limited compared to SharePoint Online, but modern web parts and extensions are included. If you are considering or are already in hybrid environment, it’s reasonable utilize modern experience in both on-premises and cloud.

Roadmap

I gathered here features mentioned in this article with announced release schedule. This section of this blog is updated once new information is available.

  • News link – released
  • Page templates – during 2018
  • Personalized web parts –during 2018
  • Targeting on content and news roll-ups –during 2018
  • Section backgrounds – during 2018
  • Page header formatting – during 2018
  • Site header formatting – during 2018
  • SharePoint document library on Files tab – during 2018
  • Teams activation link on SharePoint site – during 2018
  • Megamenu – during 2018
  • Footer – during 2018
  • Organization’s asset library – 1st half, 2019

Updated October 1st, 2018

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