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Jared Spataro, General Manager for Microsoft Office, hinted at a new version of SharePoint in an announcement at Microsoft Ignite in 2017. SharePoint 2019 is shaping up to be one of this year’s most anticipated product releases. The big reveal is reported to be with us by mid-2018, and with all the major technological and policy upheavals in the industry lately we’re champing at the bit to find out more.

After sifting through the SharePoint expert conjecture, here’s what you can hope to expect: 

Compliance

In SharePoint 2019, organizations will be able to choose the regional location for storing data, as well as storing the search index.

Greater intelligence has also been applied in SharePoint 2019 to make for hassle-free device sharing between colleagues. Managing compliance across different devices can be a nightmare for huge enterprises and being based in multiple locations around the world just adds to the worry.

‘Device access policies’ is a new feature primed for later this year, allowing users to specify content stored in SharePoint and OneDrive at the ‘site collection level’. Meaning you can limit access from these devices on a site-by-site basis, based on the classification of the content. Great news for global enterprises.

Magical metadata stands to attention!

Speaking of classifying content, SharePoint is evolving its ability to detect and present information. Coming soon: ‘Attention View’. A new feature that will auto-detect the documents that are missing metadata.

In fact, it’s worth mentioning here that ‘Attention View’ seems to have been designed in response to a common complaint. In previous versions, Microsoft implemented a strict metadata ‘requirement’ to all documents you tried to add to your library. Much to the annoyance of SharePoint devotees around the world.

If you’re one of them, you’ll know what happens when you skip over the ‘add metadata’ prompt. It disappears into a hidden folder, invisible to everyone but you – Microsoft’s way of isolating documents to ask you to assign them a proper home. The only problem is, you’re then faced with a team of colleagues who are wondering why their documents have disappeared.

‘Add Metadata’ is now a suggestion rather than a requirement. Meaning you can drag and drop metadata-less files into libraries in bulk (the easiest way to construct libraries) in which others will only have a ‘read-only’ view. This allows you to add metadata later in ‘attention view’. It’s good to see Microsoft continuing to improve document management in SharePoint – this is sure to be a life saver for content managers everywhere, giving SharePoint a sharp competitive edge over other document management platforms.

New: ‘Groupify & Hubify’

Groupify and Hubify are fantastic new features designed to bolster search and communication. The first, Groupify, lets you add group features to classic team sites, giving it all the benefits of an Office 365 group. While new hub sites bring together related sites to bunch together news and activity to dramatically simplify search. Now when you search for content from a hub site, you’re able to pull all content from all associated sites, so you can share, manage and find the content you really need. These features let you create a dynamic intranet that mimics the way your staff organizes information.

A bold new look, 3D and cyborg vision

SharePoint 2019 will allow you to brand your own sites by installing custom themes that show up in the new ‘Look and Feel’ settings. You can also say goodbye to the old ribbon and web part gallery. Instead, you’re given a sheer control panel that pops-up over your current view, to quickly retrieve whichever web parts you want.

Image search is also getting an overhaul. Now when you upload images into SharePoint, you won’t have to rely on tags to find what you need. The search function sees the text on your images. So, the next time an employee needs to find travel receipts to expense, they can do so without having to scour through countless folders.

Here’s one for the Microsoft creatives – 3D web part. Introducing a new experiential aspect to your sites, you can now interact with 3D models right on your pages. In fact, you can embed over 270 different file types directly into your page, letting you swipe through slides, scroll through pages and spin 3D models around on a virtual axis.

Final thoughts on SharePoint 2019

As Microsoft’s enterprise collaboration platform, it’s no wonder a lot of the updates to SharePoint 2019 center around collaboration, interactivity, and productivity. Microsoft is continuing to innovate with SharePoint 2019 without putting all their focus solely on the cloud and Office 365. At harmon.ie, we’re also always thinking of ways to improve how we interact technology and how we can help humanize the digital workplace. Look for exciting new capabilities from harmon.ie to take advantage of new Microsoft capabilities and to make the Microsoft experience simple for today’s information workers.

To find out more about SharePoint 2019 or how our solutions put you at the center of your business technology, get in touch with harmon.ie today.

 

David Lavenda
Vice President of Product Strategy