Microsoft Ignite 2016 in Atlanta proved to be quite eventful this year. I thought I would put together some key highlights & takeaways (based on my own opinion) for the common Office 365 & SharePoint consultant from this year’s event. Note that many of the features listed below might only be in preview or may not even be released till next year.
1. Modern Teams News articles capability to easily post rich multimedia content and view news aggregated across all of your teams, groups and sites online or through your mobile phones powered by Microsoft Graph
2. New “People card” capability in modern document libraries and OneDrive browser showing rich sets of details about a user such as contact info, expertise, organizational hierarchy, document, etc.
3. Modern team sites that are mobile friendly with site creation capabilities that automatically create an associated Office 365 group for your team, with quick links and activity views. This comes with easy to create publishing pages and associated modern web parts based on the new SharePoint Framework
4. Office 365 site collections and groups now support 25 TB of storage
5. Customizable web parts are back and Microsoft is actually using them themselves! SharePoint Framework based web parts that are now are actually easy to add and use with a user friendly and reactive toolbox in your team site publishing pages. Furthermore, they will be backwards compatible with classic experience and work with open source tools and JS frameworks
6. A now useful new SharePoint Site Contents page which includes insights for your SharePoint site including site visits and trending content
7. Capability from modern document libraries to download multiple files as one “zip” file
8. OneDrive browser client now will allow you to browse your SharePoint sites and Office 365 group libraries à Termed the new “Discover view”
9. OneDrive now uses the new sync engine to sync your SharePoint site document libraries for working offline
10. OneDrive choice to take a folder offline using new shared folder sync capability with ability to take the folder offline and not count against storage quota using the concept of “file stubs”
11. Activity view in OneDrive that shows the most recent activity and sync status as well as Shared with Me view in File tabs in Office
12. File previews and thumbnails within Office Online in OneDrive browser view
13. For all the folks still using InfoPath, more justification that Microsoft is pushing towards the alternative of modern lists (with a nice new dragging capability to add metadata) with support for integration of Microsoft Flow and PowerApps. Furthermore, they have promised the ability to embed PowerApps in SharePoint in 2017.
14. The release of the first on premise SharePoint Server 2016 “Feature Pack” which is promised to be more frequently released and bring many of the existing cloud Office 365 features to your on premise environment
15. A new Office 365 App Launcher with a tabbed layout with “Home”, “New” and “All” filters as well as search, pinning and drag & drop customization capabilities
16. Location based conditional access for Office 365 which is a really cool ability to restrict access to documents based on IP address or network location
17. Yammer integration with Office 365 groups
18. Sharing files from OneDrive or SharePoint in Yammer
19. MS Office Excel client co-authoring coming in 2017
20. You can add “links” or “short-cuts” directly to your SharePoint libraries