The annual SharePoint Conference 2012 has just started here in Las Vegas. Microsoft has kept announcing that this would be a major conference in SharePoint history, and this is probably why they chose Las Vegas to host this. So here we are with 10,000 attendees and 200 exhibitors for “SPC 2012: Share More, Do More”.
This morning was the keynote session where everyone was expecting to hear all of the new features of SharePoint 2013. The keynote was oriented around three main pillars:
It quickly transitioned to an online demo of Exchange OWA, where we could see the integration of the new SkyDrive showing documents from SharePoint. Here it’s easy to see what documents have been written from the user, what he follows, and recommendation from FAST search which is now the only search engine part of SharePoint.
Here’s a list of the new capabilities of SharePoint 2013:
- Quickly see a list of users with their permissions to a document.
- “New document” link that will start Office or Office web app.
- Drag and drop into the browser to upload document.
- See preview of documents in the browser.
- Sharing feature sending emails, with the possibility to NOT be required to sign in (in this case a unique link will be sent for people to directly read the document without authentication).
- SkyDrive Pro is the evolution of the SharePoint workspace. Now it will be fully integrated within the file system, providing synchronization to all devices in a Dropbox like manner.
The next big thing in the keynote was the social aspect, and in my opinion, the main feature required to extend the possibilities of collaboration in the enterprise. The newsfeed has been redesigned to allow people to use hash tags, post inline videos and tag people, pretty much all of the Facebook capabilities. All of these features will be available on mobile platforms, already out for Windows phones and next year for iOS and Android devices.
Then, part of the keynote was dedicated to Yammer, which is a recent acquisition from Microsoft. They have integrated this social network platform with SharePoint so that users can share information with documents. Yammer was the main enterprise bringing social networking experience to the work place, with over 200,000 enterprises and 85% of Fortune 500 companies.
Search in SharePoint has been improved greatly, and really looks like Google now! There are inline search results in the search bar, recently searched documents and previews of documents.
Lastly, they demonstrated how development has been improved, especially using the cloud to benefit from Windows Azure features. There now is a SharePoint App store that lists all of the SharePoint applications, like the Android market or the Apple Store.
Server side, there has been some major improvements on performance with 40% reduction in bandwidth, increased image compression by 4 and a 50% reduction in server side latency. Storage of file version is also reduced as only changes will be stored.
In conclusion, it looks like Microsoft took the best of the latest technologies like Google, Dropbox, Facebook, and the App store, to package the new SharePoint 2013. So if you cannot wait to test these new features you might be wondering about upgrading. SharePoint 2013 can display SharePoint 2010 sites the exact same way they are in 2010 before doing the site migration so only the database schema is actually upgraded at first.