Microsoft Ignite 2017

The Microsoft Ignite 2017 conference has just ended last week. It was full of very interesting keynotes, presentations, workshops and demos. I haven’t had the opportunity to be there myself, however I was trying to follow up Twitter and all content being published during the event. This is my summary of the most interesting announcements, specifically for the SharePoint and Office 365.

When Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, was running the keynote, opening session (you can watch it here)  all the attendees were able to easily realize, where Microsoft is heading. It is the announced earlier this year, Microsoft 365 – the new idea company is building for the Modern Workplace concept of work – a virtual space, where work can be done faster and easier, where communication between teammates is more natural despite the distance and where a mixed reality is a key. I liked the demo of how the Hololens, together with Microsoft Teams allow to work efficiently and securely over the design of products.

Microsoft 365

The most important changes are related to the integration of the enterprise applications.

  1. Quantum Computing – announcement of Microsoft’s frontiers, vision and goals, and utilization of Azure for that purpose (source).
  2. Microsoft Teams may be a successor of the Skype for Business (source), but the Skype for Business Online service and the Skype for Business Server product will continue to be supported by Microsoft. Also, a new version of Skype For Business Server 2019 is expected in the H2 of 2018.
  3. Bing for Business – the new enterprise-level search tool, dedicated for companies (source). Currently it is in a private preview, then it will be available as a part of the Office 365 subscriptions: E1, E3, E5, F1, Business Essentials, Business Premium, and Education E5.
  4. Tighter integration between Office 365 services and LinkedIn (source).
  5. OneDrive Multi-Geo – the architecture of the tenants allowing you to have data separated and stored in the data centers preferred for a specific region, but with a seamless experience. This feature was highly requested by the large enterprises and now is even more desired because of the GDPR (RODO in Poland) European Union regulation:
    One Drive for Business Multi-Geo
  6. New Office 2019 (containing SharePoint Server 2019, Office, Exchange and S4B Server) was said to be in early preview in H1 2018 and will be released late in H2 2018.

  7. Document metadata is coming back! Are you one from those who was missing the good-old document metadata panel, which allowed you to easily update document properties when  working within SharePoint library? Good news! It will be back!

    P.S. some people say, also the InfoPath is going to live well in SharePoint 2019 🙂

  8. SharePoint migration tool – a free application dedicated for a fileshare migrations. Currently this is a very basic product, allowing you to only migrate files, no list items etc… Moreover only from SharePoint 2013 (talking about SP) and the target structure has to be equal to the source (application does not create columns or anything around the metadata) – of the new structure does not fit, metadata is lost.
    SharePoint Online migration tool

SharePoint Online and Office 365

Understandably these topics stood in the center of my interest. And frankly speaking I thing the Office 365 and all its services are mainly the most important product Microsoft is working on and is developing. Whereas during the previous years most of their focus was set to Azure, this year I think Office 365 as a product, was the most important. This is my personal feeling. It looks like that the Azure has already made it’s places in customers’ minds, and now it’s time for Office 365. Not only because it is a major product in Microsoft’s “modern workplace” concept, central point of Microsoft 365, but also because this is a ready-to-use set of tools and applications, that allows companies to boost their productivity within days.

So, what’s coming up?

  1. Hub Sites – the new building block of intranets, central aggregating service for related content, news, activities and unified search experience (source, source 2, source 3)

  2. Thresholds and limits in SharePoint and OneDrive are going to be increased significantly (source)! 
    1. Up to 30M items in a single library (no more that irritating threshold 🙂 )
    2. Up to 25TB of data in a single site collection
    3. Up to 15GB for a max. file size
    4. Up to 12.5EB of data in a single tenant
    5. Up to 30TN of files in a single tenant (HUGE! 🙂 )
  3. New Office 365 Admin Center – currently it went to the Private Preview. Finally a great tool really telling you what is going on in your tenant (source):

  4. Announced roadmap for SharePoint Online:
    SharePoint Online roadmap
  5. Announced roadmap for SharePoint pages development. I personally can’t wait for the seamless integration with Flow:

  6. Announced roadmap for PowerApps and Microsoft Flow (I like very much the fact these applications are going to be better integrated with SharePoint Online and generally, the Office 365 services):

  7. Finally, no more need for custom scripting to achieve most common conditional formatting in SharePoint lists (this is even more important, because Modern experience for lists has the <noscript> tag disallowing injection of custom scripts). This feature will now become a part of the modern experience for lists:

  8. Tighter integration between SharePoint Communication Sites and Microsoft Forms – the new web part:

  9. Bulk operations on files. That will come in handy especially (what I hope will arrive as well), the bulk download, so that you will no more need 3rd party apps to achieve that:

  10. Custom themes for Modern Sites (source):SharePoint Online custom themes

Summary

I feel a lot of good, new things are approaching. A lot of cool new features opening new opportunities and areas of creation the new, Modern Workplace. I am very excited about things I saw and heard. What about you? Have you been there? Do you have your opinions to share or something to add? Feel free to leave me a comment or contact me!

Further reading

One more thing – all (well, probably all) presentations from Ignite are here: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Microsoft-Ignite-Content-2017/bd-p/MicrosoftIgniteContent2017. Some authors were also writing blog posts “live”, during the conference. You can read their posts here: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Microsoft-Teams-Ignite-Blog/bg-p/MicrosoftTeamsIgniteBlog.

You can as well watch recordings from the conference here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrhJmfAGQ5K81XQ8_od1iTg, or join Vlad Catrinescu and Scott Restivo during the Ignite recap today: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6960365286465499649?source=em928.