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What’s New for SharePoint and Office 365 after Microsoft Ignite 2018

mlisidoro profile image Miguel Isidoro Originally published at blogit.create.pt on ・6 min read

The post What’s New for SharePoint and Office 365 after Microsoft Ignite 2018 appeared first on Blog IT.

SharePoint and Office 365 have come a long way and it is nothing but amazing to see the constant innovation that Microsoft has been introducing to the platform over the years!

From September 24th to 28th, Microsoft has once again hosted Microsoft Ignite one of its biggest tech events, revealing many exciting new features in the Microsoft world, including SharePoint and Office 365.

Introduction

There are lot of new announcements being released at a very fast pace and it is challenging to stay up to date with everything that is being released!

This post will try to resume the latest announcements in the SharePoint and Office 365 world and what it means for end users, IT Pros and developers.

Hope you are ready for a ride, fasten your seat belt, because there are many new features coming (some of them may be already rolled out at the time of this writing). While it is impossible to talk about everything that has been announced, I will try to resume some of the biggest announcements. These are the main topics I will discuss in this post:

  • Microsoft Search
  • What’s New to Build a Modern Intranet with SharePoint in Office 365
  • Deeper Integration between Microsoft Teams and SharePoint
  • Microsoft Content Services
  • What’s New for Security and Compliance
  • What’s New for Administrators
  • SharePoint Framework 1.7 (Preview)

Microsoft Search

This is probably one of the biggest announcements from Ignite 2018: Microsoft Search! Some of the features are already rolled out or about to be and a few will be made available in 2019.

Microsoft Search will bring a consistent and intelligent search experience to the most common ways we can interact with information throughout the Microsoft ecosystem (inside and outside of the Microsoft 365):

  • Bing.com
  • Office.com
  • SharePoint Mobile App
  • Windows (to be released in the first half of 2019)
  • Office Applications (to be released in the first half of 2019)

With Microsoft Search, an intelligent search experience (using AI) will be delivered to users across all of the Office 365 applications as well as Windows and Bing.

Some the most important user experiences are the following.

Microsoft Search in Bing

The new experience in Bing will bring together web results and organization results (from SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, Yammer, etc).

Microsoft Search in Office.com

It will be possible to search the same the search scope from from the Office.com portal and quickly find the most relevant documents to you, including the documents you most recently worked on (all of this delivered by the Graph API).

Microsoft Search in Office Apps (release in 2019)

To be released in first half of 2019, is a consistent search experience from within Office applications (includes Desktop, Web and Mobile applications).

For more details about Microsoft Search, click here.

What’s New to Build a Modern Intranet with SharePoint in Office 365

A LOT of new features have been announced in the Modern Intranet scope and some of them were lacking to complete the vision of building a modern Intranet with SharePoint in Office 365. Here is the list of the most important announcements:

  • New megamenu layout for site and hub site navigation
  • New Web Parts
  • Audience Targeting for News and Highlighted Content Web Parts
  • Header Layouts and Footer Enhancements
  • Central Asset Library
  • Communication site experience at the root of a Office 365 tenant
  • Hub Site Improvements for End Users and Administrators
  • New Page Capabilities

New megamenu layout for site and hub site navigation

Probably the most important and exciting announcement to build a modern Intranet with SharePoint in Office 365! Now that a flat information architecture based on modern Team Sites and Communication sites is the new recommendation and despite the existence of Hub Sites, there was still missing a piece that glues all the sites and hub sites together to build the Intranet navigation for an organization as a whole. With the megamenu, it will be possible to go beyond menus with simple dropdowns and builld a menu that displays multiple hierarchies all at once. This is how a megamenu will look like:

New Web Parts

A series of new web parts were announced and it will now be easier (once again with the help of Microsoft Graph) to display personalized web parts that allows users to easily find relevant content. The following web parts will be available:

  • Personalized View of Recent Sites (My Recent Sites)
  • Personalized View of Recent Documents (My Recent Documents)
  • Personalized View of News (My News)

Other web parts and web part features that were announced:

  • *Countdown timer web part: * it will now be able to display a countdown timer to show important launch dates, key meetings, campaign dates, etc
  • Web Part Connections: it will now be possible to connect modern web parts and now web parts will be able to interact with each other and change the displayed information based on the content selection of other web parts

Audience Targeting for News and Highlighted Content Web Parts

Audience Targeting has been present in SharePoint for many years and now it will be possible to apply audiences to News and Highlighted Content Web Parts so that it will be possible to show different information in the same page, depending on who is visiting the page.

Header Layouts and Footer Configuration

Two important announcements that will improve the user navigation experience in a modern Intranet:

  • Header Layouts: it will be possible to reclaim some of the vertical space at the top of the site. There will be three new choices for the header: Standard, Minimal and Compact
  • Footer Configuration: it will be possible to change the footer contents to place for example standard links and information that organizations wants to highlight at the bottom of all pages without the need for custom Master Pages

Central Asset Library

Organizations and teams will now be able to provide users an easy access to the organization’s approved images. For example, the Marketing department can share all the Marketing approved images that can be used by everyone in a centralized location.

Communication site experience at the root of a Office 365 tenant

A modern Intranet home page is a fundamental place to display the most relevant information for an organization. With this update, it will be possible to extend the Communication Site experience to the root site of the Office 365 tenant.

Hub Site Improvements for End Users and Administrators

Two major improvements were announced for hub sites:

  • For End Users: it will be possible to create a Team Site or Communication Site directly from a hub site. If a site is created from the hub site, the user will get new site experience and it will be automatically associated to the hub site

  • For Administrators: it will be possible from the SharePoint Admin Center in Office 365 to create hub sites, associate existing Modern Team Sites or Communication Sites to a hub site and see the hub site associated sites

New Page Capabilities

News and other pages are also getting some great new capabilities:

  • Page Designs: somehow similar to old page layouts, it will be possible to create page design layouts to make it easier for users to build pages using a consistent layout
  • Page Metadata: it will be possible to add metadata in modern pages and expose metadata as Page properties
  • Page background sections: it will be possible to add background colors to sections to better divide content in a page

For more details on the announcements to build modern Intranets with SharePoint in Office 365, click here.

To read the full article and learn all about the new features in SharePoint and Office 365, click here.

Happy SharePointing!

The post What’s New for SharePoint and Office 365 after Microsoft Ignite 2018 appeared first on Blog IT.

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mlisidoro profile

Miguel Isidoro

@mlisidoro

Tech enthusiast, focused on Microsoft technologies, specially everything related to SharePoint/Office 365. Other topics of interest include: Solution Architecture, Code Generation and Web Development.

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