SharePoint innovations further advance intelligence and collaboration in Office 365

Today’s post was written by Jeff Teper, corporate vice president for OneDrive and SharePoint.

Last May, we unveiled a cloud-first, mobile-first vision and roadmap for SharePoint and OneDrive to empower people, teams and organizations to intelligently discover, share and collaborate on content from anywhere and on any device.

We promised to make file sharing both simple and powerful, to establish the mobile and intelligent intranet, to accelerate productivity with experiences that surface relevant, high-value information in the context of your work. We promised our developers an open and connected platform that embraces modern web development and open standards. And we promised IT an ongoing commitment to security, privacy and compliance.

Over the last weeks and months, we have been delivering on those promises to you. We built a new home for SharePoint in Office 365. We modernized team sites, document libraries, lists and pages to be simple and intuitive—without sacrificing powerful capabilities. We brought SharePoint team sites to all Office 365 groups. We expanded the OneDrive mobile apps so you can work with all your files in Office 365 and discover relevant content with intelligent recommendations surfaced by Microsoft Graph. We integrated Microsoft Flow with SharePoint lists so you can automate business processes and connect lists with other data sources and services. We also brought PowerApps into lists so you can rapidly create applications that mobilize your SharePoint data. We released the preview of the SharePoint Framework and webhooks for developers. And we released SharePoint Server 2016 to general availability, as a foundation for the future that connects on premises customers to cloud innovations through hybrid experiences and capabilities.

It was a busy summer for our team, who was inspired by the overwhelming response of our community—which includes hundreds of millions of users in more than 200,000 organizations, a million developers and a $10 billion ecosystem of more than 50,000 partners. Your passionate support for our vision and for each new feature or capability we released has been inspiring.

Today at Microsoft Ignite, we announced the next wave of innovations. Here are some of the highlights:

  • A significant update to the OneDrive browser experience, so that you can find, access, share and collaborate on all your files in Office 365.
  • OneDrive sync preview for SharePoint Online document libraries and folders shared with you.
  • Team news to keep your team up to date and informed of what matters.
  • People cards in SharePoint and OneDrive for Business that intelligently surface content and details from your colleagues’ profiles.
  • New integration with Microsoft Flow, PowerApps and Yammer.
  • Preview of the SharePoint mobile apps for Windows 10 Mobile and Android.
  • Enhancements for developers including new sites and lists APIs in Microsoft Graph.
  • New security controls including site classification and conditional access based on location and device.
  • Feature Pack 1 for SharePoint Server 2016.
  • Expanded FastTrack services and tools to support hybrid configurations and migration.

Below is an overview of these innovative experiences and capabilities, with links to more details.

Simple, powerful file sharing

File sharing is core to most team work, and it’s now brilliantly simple when you share files from your OneDrive for Business or save team files in your SharePoint team site. And now, all Office 365 groups have a SharePoint team site. So, whether you save your files to a SharePoint document library, upload a file to a group in Outlook or share a file in a Yammer conversation, you can leverage SharePoint to organize and manage the files you and your team rely on.

Chances are you work on many teams and many projects, so we’ve enhanced OneDrive—in the browser and on your mobile device—to deliver a unified view of all your Office 365 files, in your individual OneDrive for Business and in all your sites and groups, as well as files that other users have shared with you.

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OneDrive gives you access to all your files in Office 365, including SharePoint sites and Office 365 groups.

The new Discover view in OneDrive on the web, surfaces relevant files with intelligent recommendations by Microsoft Graph, so instead of you finding files, the files find you. OneDrive also gives insight into the activity, reach and impact of your files.

And because we know you want to be able to work when you’re on the go, we added SharePoint sync to OneDrive for PC and Mac. In preview now, this new feature of OneDrive sync gives you superior levels of reliability, performance and control for syncing all your Office 365 files. You can now take files offline from OneDrive for Business, SharePoint sites, Outlook and Yammer groups, as well as folders shared with you by others.

Finally, we announced support for a massive 25 TB of storage per site or group—so there’s almost no limit to what you can do with files in Office 365.

That’s not all that we announced at Ignite. To learn more about what’s new for OneDrive for users and IT, read “Major OneDrive updates at Ignite 2016 include SharePoint Online sync preview.”

The mobile, intelligent intranet—people experiences, team news and powerful integration

For fifteen years, hundreds of millions of customers around the world have relied on SharePoint to build rich intranets that connect people, content and processes across collaborative team sites, departmental and organizational portals and custom business applications.

The most important part of a team or organization is its people. It’s not only what you know, it’s who you know. And who you can discover and what they know is what matters. People cards—now in SharePoint document libraries and OneDrive—surface details about the people you work with and the content they work on, so you can connect with expertise and discover new resources.

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People cards bring profile information, organizational relationships and content from your colleagues right into the context of your work in SharePoint or in OneDrive for Business.

To learn more about other new people experiences, read “Connect to expertise and content with new people experiences in context throughout Office 365.”

An Office 365 group defines a team of people and gives them access to shared content and to the collaborative resources of the group—such as a calendar, a OneNote notebook, a Plan to manage tasks, conversations powered by Outlook or Yammer. Now, a SharePoint team site to connect team members with the content and apps they need.

Teams also need to stay on the same page, and today the SharePoint home page provides team news—modern pages to keep your team up to date and in the know. SharePoint pages have rich support for multimedia and tight integration with Yammer, can be extended with custom web parts, and are mobile by default. Team news articles are featured at the top of the team site home page. And the SharePoint mobile app’s News tab pulls together news from all your team sites and groups.

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The team site home page in the browser and in the SharePoint mobile app features team news, so your team can stay informed about what’s new and what’s important.

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News articles offer a great reading experience in SharePoint mobile. News can contain multimedia and embedded files, and it’s all mobile by default. The News tab, now on iOS, aggregates news from across your team sites for a holistic look at what’s going on in your teams.

You can collect, manage or collaborate on data with SharePoint lists. You’ll find the modern experience makes it easy in the browser and in the SharePoint mobile app. But the powerful capabilities you need are still there. And tighter integration with Microsoft Flow and PowerApps enables new options for automating business processes, integrating with external data sources and rapidly developing mobile-ready applications with SharePoint lists.

There’s a lot more that we’re announcing today, including the preview of the SharePoint mobile apps for Windows 10 Mobile and Android. To learn more about what’s new for the mobile, intelligent intranet, read “Enriching the mobile and intelligent intranet with team news, apps for Android and Windows and more.”

An open and connected platform

SharePoint’s success is in no small part due to its rich ecosystem of partners who develop sophisticated applications to address myriad business scenarios. The SharePoint Framework, now in public preview, allows developers to extend SharePoint and build mobile-ready web parts, pages and applications using modern and open frameworks. Webhooks help developers stay up to date with changes in lists and document libraries. Microsoft Graph enables access to SharePoint sites and lists from any device or service. We celebrate, embrace and empower the innovation of our extended community of SharePoint developers. Over the coming months, we will work to expand the SharePoint Framework into app and team site extensibility scenarios, and improve SharePoint add-in capabilities.

To learn more about the SharePoint Framework and other SharePoint development topics, visit dev.office.com/sharepoint.

Security, privacy and compliance

We are also delivering to our IT professionals the controls they need to govern, to manage, to secure and to ensure compliance of their SharePoint service. And in Office 365, we continue to drive the fastest innovation, with site-level information classification and conditional access policies that manage content access dynamically, based on a user’s location or device. Site classification allows you to categorize sites to identify the sensitivity of information in the site, so your users are reminded to follow information policies.

To learn more about today’s announcements regarding SharePoint security, read “Enhanced conditional access controls, encryption controls and site classification in SharePoint and OneDrive.”

SharePoint Server 2016 Feature Pack 1

While we’ve been innovating first, fast and foremost in Office 365, we promised to deliver cloud-born innovations to SharePoint Server 2016. The November Public Update for SharePoint Server 2016 brings Feature Pack 1, with features for developers, IT professionals and end users.

Feature Pack 1 introduces auditing for administrative activities performed in Central Administration and Windows PowerShell and new deployment options for smaller farms to MinRole. For hybrid customers, Feature Pack 1 delivers unified taxonomy to support a single information architecture across SharePoint Online and SharePoint Server, and comprehensive, unified auditing in the Office 365 Reports Center.

Feature Pack 1 also brings the first updates to the user experience in SharePoint Server 2016, including an update to OneDrive for Business and custom tiles in the App Launcher.

There’s more in Feature Pack 1, and there’s more to come in 2017. To learn more, read “Announcing Feature Pack 1 for SharePoint Server 2016—cloud-born and future-proof.”

Expanding FastTrack services

We remain committed to helping our on-premises SharePoint customers move to Office 365 smoothly and with confidence. Today, we’re announcing the expansion of Microsoft FastTrack, with services to migrate from SharePoint Server 2013 to Office 365, and for hybrid configuration. In addition, file migration services from network files shares, Google Drive and Box are available as a no cost benefit for customers with 150+ eligible seats. In addition, we are also releasing a free migration assessment tool for SharePoint Server 2013, empowering our customers to start their own migration planning or do so with the help of Microsoft FastTrack.

To learn more about FastTrack and the related announcements made at Ignite today, visit fasttrack.office.com.

The future is here

For over a decade, our customers—including Booz Allen Hamilton, Coles and Marks and Spencer—have relied on SharePoint to power teamwork, to automate business processes, to create business applications and to build company-wide intranets. As a core part of Office 365, SharePoint provides content management and collaboration capabilities that are seamlessly integrated with the other applications people use every day to create and co-author documents, meet and work with their teams, brainstorm, analyze and make decisions. SharePoint is also integrated with the powerful cross-suite capabilities of Office 365, such as Office 365 Groups, Microsoft Graph and governance controls for security, privacy and compliance.

We strive to meet your challenges as you transform your business and stretch the possibilities of collaboration. Welcome to the future of SharePoint. And there is so much more to come! Join us at Ignite, follow us on Twitter and on Office Blogs, and be part of the conversation in the SharePoint space in the Microsoft Technical Community.

—Jeff Teper

Additional resources

Here’s a quick guide to what we’ve done between May and mid-September:

  • We put simple and powerful file sharing at the center of collaboration, throughout Office 365.
  • We established the foundation for a modern, mobile and intelligent intranet.
  • We enabled you to take your intranet in your pocket with the SharePoint mobile app.
  • We updated the experience of libraries, lists, pages and the Sites Content page.
  • We delivered an updated team site experience for Office 365 Groups.
  • We empowered you to create business solutions using innovative, rapid application development tools to connect with data sources and automate business processes.
  • We announced the SharePoint Framework, so you can customize and extend SharePoint using the same modern, open frameworks we use to build our experiences. The SharePoint Framework is now in preview, as are SharePoint webhooks.
  • We deployed innovative new features and controls, so you can govern, secure and manage your content and your service.
  • We released SharePoint Server 2016 as a foundation for the future, as you evolve your on-premises and hybrid SharePoint environments.

And here are the blogs that contain the details of our announcements at Microsoft Ignite:

  • SharePoint sync preview headlines Ignite announcements for OneDrive
  • Enriching the mobile and intelligent intranet with team news, apps for Android and Windows and more
  • Connect in context to expertise and content with new people experiences in Office 365
  • Enhanced conditional access controls, encryption controls and site classification in SharePoint and OneDrive
  • Announcing Feature Pack 1 for SharePoint Server 2016—cloud-born and future-proof

The “Future of SharePoint” is captured in this video: