This week, Microsoft hosted its ‘Future of SharePoint’ event in San Francisco, where the company made several announcements, including the general availability of SharePoint 2016 and also shined a light onto the upcoming features for SharePoint and OneDrive for Business.
Before the end of the quarter, Microsoft has committed to bringing several new features to its platform that they believe will bolster their vision for unified access and intelligent discovery of all of your Office 365 files. The enhancements that will arrive before the end of June include:
- Access to SharePoint Online document libraries from the OneDrive mobile app
- Intelligent discovery in OneDrive of documents from both OneDrive and SharePoint
- Copy from OneDrive to SharePoint
- OneDrive Universal Windows Platform (UWP) application
Microsoft is extending their road map to the remainder of the year, and they are promising that the following features will be available by the end of December:
- Document analytics surfaced in OneDrive to provide insight into document usage, reach, and impact
- Synchronization of SharePoint Online document libraries with the new OneDrive sync client
- Synchronization of shared folders with the new OneDrive sync client
- Mobile access to SharePoint document libraries in on-premises farms
One of the goals from the SharePoint team during the past year is to make your intranet more accessible when out of the office and also more intelligent based on your activities and interactions with other employees.
To help users access their intranet while out of the office, Microsoft is announcing a SharePoint mobile app that’s designed for Windows, iOS and Android. This app will bring all SharePoint to your pocket with full-fidelity access to your organization. For hybrid customers, this app will incorporate your locally deployed SharePoint sites as well.
Rolling out this month are the new SharePoint home sites that provide unified access to all of your sites for both online and on-premises. Rolling out this summer are the modern team sites that connect you with all the content your team needs from across the entire organization.
To breakdown the ‘mobile and intelligent intranet’ as Microsoft calls it, the road map for each of these products is outlined below with a tentative release window of this quarter:
- Modern document library experience, currently rolling out to First Release tenants
- SharePoint mobile app for iOS
- SharePoint home in Office 365
- Modern lists experience
- Site activity and insights on the Site Contents page
And during calendar year 2016:
- SharePoint mobile app for Windows and Android
- Integration of SharePoint sites and Office 365 Groups
- Simple, fast site creation
- Modern pages experience
- Team and organizational news and announcements
- PowerApps and Microsoft Flow integration with SharePoint
When it comes to security, Microsoft will be releasing new features this year that will allow you to bring and manage your own keys to encrypt your data stored in SharePoint. This feature will become available by the end of 2016, along with SharePoint site classification and Hybrid SharePoint Insights preview.
The details that Microsoft has shared about these products should give its users a solid sense of direction where the platform is headed. Combine this information with the road map for feature releases, we can see that while SharePoint 2016 reached general availability, the feature release and development cycle for the platform is far from complete.