By Robert Bogue
At the Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2012 being held in the desert in Las Vegas, NV, there’s a lot of talk about how SharePoint has grown up. At 11 years (77 in dog years), SharePoint’s grown older and wiser. Instead of being seen as a departmental solution to collaboration needs it’s an enterprise-scale platform for creating content solutions.
Looks like Rain
New in SharePoint 2013 are a host of new features that make multi-tenancy easier, and pushes controls further towards the users. The ability to configure search settings at a site-level makes it easier for organizations to allow departments to customize their own search experiences. This is just one example of how SharePoint is making it more powerful for clients who are using shared hosting to customize their experience.
Microsoft’s own Office 365 environment will create a real option for organizations to do their SharePoint collaboration in the cloud. It’s a big bet that organizations are willing – and able – to make the jump to the cloud for at least some of their collaboration needs.
SharePoint: It’s a Whole New App
It’s a whole new way of developing applications for SharePoint. Apps –the new model - doesn’t have any developer code running on the SharePoint servers. Of course, the existing solutions will still run on SharePoint, but there’s a push to get the developer code off the box. Whether being hosted on a customer server, an automatically provisioned Azure instance, or as client-side only code inside of SharePoint, the big bet is that getting the code off the box will be good for SharePoint.
With extensive investments in the RESTful endpoints and an updated client-side (off-server) object model, the platform is trying to separate developers from the server – and with nearly every developer session at the Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2013 being about the app model – and none about the existing SharePoint Solutions infrastructure -- the messaging couldn’t be clearer.
Big Bets on Search
But if you’re in Vegas you’ve got to make a bet and Microsoft isn’t making just one. They’re betting that Search – which integrates the FAST acquisition, will be the way that you consume information. From metadata navigation to a new search based Web Content Management (WCM) approach, search is taking center stage with new indexing approaches, better controls, and easier customization. If corporate search experiences are going to surpass expectations, SharePoint wants the customizations to be easy.
SharePoint: Ease of Use
SharePoint again refines the user interface and adds features designed to simplify the process of managing files including SkyDrive Pro – file synchronization on your hard drive to SharePoint and the ability to drag and drop files on to the SharePoint web page and watch them upload.
Microsoft also announced that two out of three Enterprise workers have access to SharePoint and that the business is worth over $2 billion USD per year. If you want any sense of the fervor that can create, consider that there’s around 10,000 people gathered this week to talk about the next version of SharePoint. It remains to be seen what those 10,000 people and their organizations will do with SharePoint – but there’s one thing for certain. It will be big.
About the Author
Robert Bogue is a thought leader on all things SharePoint. He has been awarded the Microsoft MVP designation nine times as well as earned recognition as a Microsoft Patterns and Practices Champion. He is the author of 22 books including, The SharePoint Shepherd’s Guide for End Users-2010 which is also available in a Wiki version as The SharePoint Tutor. Robert is committed to "make the complicated simple." Find out more about SharePoint made simple at,http://www.SharePointShepherd.com or follow Rob’s blog at http://www.ThorProjects.com/blog/.