Microsoft Ignite 2018 – Day 1 SharePoint Highlights
- I’ve included links here to the features and announcements I feel are some of the most exciting and powerful announced today. You will find a small snippet of information about them, pictures if available and a “My First Take” section where I provide what my initial thoughts are on the new feature.
- Conditional Formatting
- Deliver complete applications with application pages
- Page designs to reuse and standardize content
- Connect across components with dynamic data capabilities
- Personalized web parts – One of my favorite and possibly most open to getting very creative with your SharePoint Intranet
- Audience targeting for News and Highlighted content web parts
- Central asset library
- SharePoint Blog Posts:
- Do more with new upcoming SharePoint development capabilities announced at Ignite 2018 – @OfficeDev
- New innovations in SharePoint & Microsoft 365 deliver power and simplicity for content collaboration – @Jeff Teper
- Build your modern intranet with SharePoint in Office 365 – Ignite 2018 announcements – @Mark Kashman
- SharePoint powers teamwork in Office 365 – Ignite 2018 announcements – @Mark Kashman
- What’s new in Teams – Ignite Edition – @Keara James
- What’s new in security, compliance, & administration for SharePoint & OneDrive from Microsoft Ignite – @Bill Baer
- Reinventing SharePoint business process at Ignite 2018 – @Chris McNulty
Last year we introduced column formatting, which lets you use cut-and-paste JSON scripts to bring visualization, formatting and interactivity to SharePoint columns. Coming soon, you’ll also be able to conditional formatting without using any JSON scripts.
- My First Take: I LOVE List formatting. I’m not shy about it. I’ve done demo’s on the PnP calls, done SharePoint Short training videos on it and contributed to the GitHub Community Repo that includes tons of FREE samples. While I know that writing JSON isn’t technically “programming”, it still involves writing more curly braces than your average business user ever wants to write and I TOTALLY understand that. This is a very welcome addition to the List Formatting family of features. It helps evangelize the feature!! There will always be more opportunity to write complex List Formatting Definitions for those that want to get curly….(See what I did there? LOL ;P)
Deliver complete applications with application pages:
Web parts are one of the most popular ways to customize SharePoint – providing page authors with building blocks they can use to create customized pages. For some applications, however, a single integrated experience that covers the expanse of a page is more appropriate – for example, a detailed form-based customer list or a sophisticated visualization. To support this, the SharePoint Framework now supports a concept of application pages – giving developers the broadest canvas to feature their work. These new SharePoint Framework applications are hosted on one page, typically with minimal navigation elements and no page-wide scrolling– with the same consistent development model as web parts.
We’re also working to bring in Microsoft Teams tabs as candidate application pages as well. Coming soon, existing tabs developed for Microsoft Teams can be hosted as an application page in SharePoint sites.
- My First Take: Think Single Page Applications (SPA) capability. This can provide an exciting new way of using SharePoint to become the home of end to end applications and solutions. Technically this could be done today, but in my opinion, the “Teams Tabs” feature italicized above really takes this to a new dimension!!!
Page designs to reuse and standardize content:
Save your creators time when they generate new SharePoint pages, and ensure that the consistency of experience for how you promote your content and information remains intact. You can control the design and layout of your pages by simply designing one that can then be used by many.
- My First Take: Looks like Modern Page Layouts!!! In my opinion, this is a very awesome new feature. It seems simple, but it’s use case for something like Governance is invaluable!
Connect across components with dynamic data capabilities:
One design tenet of SharePoint pages is to put power into the hands of page authors, so that they can mix, match, and customize parts on a page to achieve the right result. Many web parts, through connections to various web APIs, bring in lots of great data; other web parts excel at filtering and visualizing information. With dynamic data capabilities, you can make it easy for page authors to connect these parts together to achieve the best results.
In an upcoming preview of dynamic data capabilities, page authors can dynamically connect data between parts via the property pane. For example, one web part might provide a list of users, and another web part might provide a detailed user view. By connecting properties between these parts, page authors can create a rich end-to-end user list and detail page.
- My First Take: When the bots start communicating, the end is near for humans…LOL. ;P Seriously though, I see this as a way to create somewhat generic and modular web parts, that serve a general purpose, such as consuming data fed to it from another web part. This web part doesn’t need to do more then one or two generic things really well, such as is described above, display a detailed user view. I see it as being able to consume a collection of data types of a dynamic nature and then display only the data that was provided.
Personalized Web Parts:
Give a personalized experience to your site and page visitors – so they see the content that is theirs, and meant for them to experience. When using personalized web parts, people will see their recent sites, their recent documents and news tailored for them. You can personalize any page or news article. When you add a personalized web part to the page, it is aware of who is signed in and gives them a unique, relevant experience to the content and information you are promoting to them.
- My First Take: Who doesn’t love personalized information. It makes us feel special, important and honestly, if we know the data is relevant to us, we will pay more attention!!! No doubt, data such as documents, news, etc. will be important use cases, but……I feel this provides an opportunity to really step up the true value of an intranet. Combine personalized business data AND personal interest data and you have an intranet that users WANT to visit!! (Personal Interest Example: favorite team sports scores, keyword driven news articles, Facebook/Twitter/Instagram feeds & more)I have a fairly large passion around this topic. A manager once told me, “I don’t want non company data on our intranet. If our employees want to see that, they can look on their phone.” He’s absolutely right about one thing…they do want to see that data and they will look at their phones and that’s where they will spend a bulk of their day, like it or not. Using a balanced view and use of “Personal Interest Data” combined with “Business Data” on your intranet and your Intranet Users will become Intranet Advocates!
Audience targeting for News and Highlighted content web parts:
You can better define what news articles and pages appear on the home experience of your site by configuring what is visible to specific groups. Each person will have a unique experience that complies with what you wish them to view without creating multiple audience-specific sites, you can serve them all from within a more centralized location with a personalized, targeted experience. Audience targeting support will be enabled in news, pages and other web parts so that you can define and target who best to reach with content and site experiences by using Office 365 Groups.
- My First Take: This is a no-brainer beneficial features. Like Personalized Web Parts, this combines the same sort of idea, with the added benefit of ensuring only data relevant to the employee are being seen by the employee. For example, I live in Southern California. I have many co-workers in Texas. If/when I see all the “Fun Events” they have scheduled in Texas, it does me no good. There are a plethora of more use cases. Great new/vintage feature!
Central asset library:
Provide easy access to your organization’s approved images that can be leveraged by everyone. When a person needs an approved image, or one that was purchased for licensed use throughout the intranet, they can click on “Your organization” and navigate files and folders of assets that are centrally managed for use in title regions and the Image web part.
Images and other digital assets help tell a more dynamic story. SharePoint pages can already consume images and logos form Web search, file upload, and site assets. Now, the new central asset library lets you register one or more document libraries with images to be available anywhere in SharePoint for adding images – such as page headers, galleries, or web parts. [Coming early 2019]
- My First Take: This is one that can be very deceiving. It may look simple….you might say, “We can do that today with just a asset library.” This feature though has the potential to be so much more. Think about your own curated iconography engine. Think about it being possibly connected to an account where you purchase licensed stock assets. I don’t know if this will be a feature, but if that can be done….SUPER POWERFUL…now you don’t have to store a ton of assets on your SharePoint site.