Announced at the “Future of SharePoint” event, was the SharePoint Framework. And it is in public beta since this week! I was one of the lucky persons who had access to the internal repository, so I already had a play with it before. Unfortunately I could not blog about it, as it was under NDA. I will talk about how it will fit into the existing SharePoint development infrastructure, and start with some history 🙂
One of the most important features of SharePoint is the document library. SharePoint is a document management system since 2001, so the document library is one of the key features. Initially the only instance of the document library was within team sites. In later versions and in Office 365 there are other locations to store documents, like OneDrive for Business.
The user interface of the document library hasn’t changed much since SharePoint 2007. Yes, in SharePoint 2013 drag-and-drop was introduced, the UI has been polished, but in basis the UI was the same. And the confusing part is (was?) that the document libraries in SharePoint looked different than e.g. Onedrive for Business. That has now changed! Continue reading
SharePoint started in 2001 as a document management system, and that’s still one of its most important features. A key feature of a DMS is to be able to find documents. The SharePoint search engine has improved significantly over the last years. But a common misconception is that SharePoint Search works for every company straight out-of-the-box.
SharePoint Search will not suit all of your needs without configuration
Some of our customers say: We want it to work just like Google, but some of them don’t seem to understand that Google does not “just work”. Every day thousands and thousands of Google employees work on improving the search engine and adapt it to the always changing world-wide web. The same is true for Bing, it does not “just work”. In fact, we do have Bing in SharePoint. The core of the Bing search engine has been implemented in SharePoint 2013. So why does it still not fulfill all needs? Most importantly because of company specific metadata and taxonomies; even company has its own list of content types, metadata, and no site structure is the same. The SharePoint Search engine just needs some help to be able to understand the content better.
Search configuration and tweaking should be part of the project plan, and it must be understood that this takes time up-front, but also ongoing effort. I have compiled a list of 10 tips how you can make SharePoint Search work for you. I’ve added them in random order, there is no best tip as it all depends on your requirements and organisation.
Hybrid is currently a big hype. Where a year ago the cloud was the way to go and on-premises advised against, companies have now realized the cloud is not suitable for every situation. Especially government organizations or big companies are not able to migrate everything to the cloud. So, Microsoft has invested a lot in hybrid to bring the best of two worlds together: the flexibility and data sovereignty of on-premises and all the cool new features of the cloud.
Part of this is Cloud Search: Make your on-premises documents available in cloud searches, i.e. your SharePoint On-Prem documents should be visible in a search in Office 365. Until September 2015 the hybrid search was meh, it meant two different result sources / verticals. Introduced in August 2015 is the real hybrid search: search results from both on prem as well as Office 365 are combined.
I have set this up and was surprised how easy it was. As a SharePoint guru I’m used to errors, but I haven’t encountered ONE (due to software faults, errors encountered were solely my fault). And that’s pretty amazing as I’ve used SharePoint 2016 which is currently in public preview.
Update 4 May 2016: SharePoint 2016 is now generally available (GA), below instructions will work perfectly for the GA / RTM version!
SharePoint 2016 Release Candidate has been released at January 20th. It requires you to install Beta 2 and afterwards install the Release Candidate patch. I will show you how to install on a new Azure VM with Windows Server 2012 R2 pre-installed. It took me approx. 1 – 2 hours with a lot of waiting time, so essentially it takes you approx. 30 minutes of your time.