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SharePoint Blog

January 08
What's New in SharePoint 2016

If you have been a long user of SharePoint, you will know it has grown significantly from the humble document collaboration platform it started as back in the 2001, to this all-encompassing platform that did almost everything you could dream of! The last version, SharePoint 2013, had so many features and components that it often made it complicated to know what to use and when. In parallel to this, Microsoft has been successfully running Office 365 for a few years now and have to come to realize what it takes to keep SharePoint running, as well as what core features are actually important to me and you the end user. As such, the upcoming release of SharePoint 2016 has received some updates including additions, changes and also some items removed to ensure the platform can run better and will be easier to support.

SharePoint 2016’s list of new features is not as extensive as you would think, but when we delve into each one they display a maturity in the product lifecycle and also a deeper understanding of what the future landscape will look like with the cloud hanging over us.

As we look at the changes, we can split them into Infrastructure, Cloud Readiness and End User enhancements. For this post though, I want to focus on the top 5 End User Enhancements that will make your life easier and just make using SharePoint better.

App Launcher

Office 365 has had the App Launcher for some time now, it is accessible from the “waffle icon”, within the main site. In Office 365 it contains various applications that have been provisioned within your Tenant. Within SharePoint 2016 it simply links to three core locations.

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Library User Interface

One of features that was released out to Office 365, was the smaller, cleaner tool bar which allows faster access to basic functions. This has now made its way down to SharePoint 2016 and is visible within libraries.

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Once content is added to the library, the smaller bar of options becomes active and you have faster access to specific functions.

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This is a great feature allowing for faster document work, instead of using the quite heavy and often cumbersome ribbon bar and controls. This menu is also available within OneDrive for Business when using On-Premises.

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Now we have consistent approach that does not require the ribbon.

OneDrive for Business

Though this has been in SharePoint 2013, this has had a few tweaks to make it much better and easier to use. Setup is now a little different, if a My Site is not provisioned then when you select something to follow it will take thorough a setup wizard.

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I particularly like the name of the page that displays the message while it sets everything up, “MyBraryFirstRun.aspx”. Once your site collection is provisioned you now get the new OneDrive for Business layout and design.

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Sharing

In the previous version of SharePoint, sharing capabilities were added allowing us to share content with specific users. This was simple and worked but limited. This has been modified slightly in SharePoint 2016, to make it easier to share, but more importantly to see who it is shared with.

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The streamlined view and approach works well, allowing for a better user interface. This is also available within the new OneDrive for Business site.

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Touch Mobile Views

Finally, some investments have been made in mobile rendering of SharePoint sites. When you use a mobile device to access the home page for a SharePoint Server 2016 team site, you can tap tiles or links on the screen to navigate the site. You can also switch from the mobile view to PC view, which displays site pages as they are seen on a client computer. This view is also touch enabled.

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This is a great investment that Microsoft have made allowing for better Mobile adoption of SharePoint.

These were just a few of the enhancements that have been made, there are more split between the three categories mentioned earlier, Infrastructure, Cloud Readiness and End User enhancements. If you would like to learn more, then join us at one or our SharePoint Roundtable Events where we will focus on a lot more of the enhancements, changes and updates now available in SharePoint 2016.

Register here: https://ecm.protiviti.com/events/SharePointRoundtables/Pages/default.aspx


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