Yesterday saw the opening of the 2018 North American SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.
And what an event it turned out to be. It was attended by thousands of delegates and was streamed to millions of people around the world. Some of the keynote speakers included Jeff Teper, Bill Bear, Dan Holme, Adam Harmetz, Vid Srinivasan, Naomi Moneypenny, Chris McNulty, Vesa Juvonen and Seth Patton who all presented on the current state of SharePoint as well as the future of the platform.
SharePoint Spaces is a Mixed Reality feature that will allow us to build a Virtual world immersion experience in SharePoint sites;
Artificial intelligence (AI) and Search to provide personalised experience;
The SharePoint Mobile App has several updates;
Copy and Paste from Excel to SharePoint Lists and automatically generate list columns is coming;
Flow is now more integrated with automatic approval process as default with SharePoint Online; and
SharePoint 2019 is set to be launched later this year.
SharePoint Spaces is an immersive mixed reality experience which enables you to view and interact with content from every angle. It also allows you to visualize and manipulate data and product models in real-time.
I personally saw this coming a while back, so I purchased a virtual reality (VR) headset from the Microsoft Store in New York about this time last year.
I had to also purchase a new graphics card that was compatible with my VR headset and a motherboard that was compatible with my graphics card; lets just say I had to eventually purchase a brand-new high spec machine to get it running.
While I can really see the value of VR, we are still a long way from leveraging this in the office, classroom or field. Content is more important than an experience, and until we can ensure our content is rich, the experience will always take a back seat.
SharePoint Mobile App Preview
Personalized, intelligent search in the SharePoint mobile app
The SharePoint App has not really made a huge impact for us or our clients just yet. We had high hopes, and with this new announcement, I am hoping to see the changes.
The new AI and search enhancements should make the app feel more personal, which should make things easier to navigate.
Copy and Paste from Excel to SharePoint Lists
Very recently, I wanted to create a SharePoint list from an excel file.
While in theory, this feature has been around for years, it was a hit and miss and required ActiveX.
The demo by Chris McNulty showcased a very cool copy and paste from excel to SharePoint which then automatically generated a list and populated it. Hopefully this feature is released sooner rather than later.
Flow default approval workflow
We have been big fans of Flow as it provides huge value out of the box for clients with Office 365 licences.
Now the new approval feature is built into SharePoint sites and is natively configured to be super easy for users to approve items on the page or via interactive mail prompts.
There are also a few great cognitive updates to SharePoint and flow that leverage the power of AI. This makes the content richer and therefore the experience more worthwhile.
#OnPremiseMatters was the hashtag I saw trending. Yes, on premises SharePoint 2019 is set to release around Ignite later this year and boy oh boy are we excited about that.
Yes we love Office 365, and yes we love all the features that we cant get on SharePoint 2016, but we also love our on-premises SharePoint farm.
I don’t believe we will ever be able to fully relinquish our own SharePoint environments that are fully customizable and can be localised without the need for an internet connection.
So there you have it, our take on what was a highlight and takeaway from the event.
Find a full detailed list of announcements and features here.