News ยป The Future of Sharepoint

The Future of Sharepoint

Posted 26 May, 2016

The Future of SharePoint written by Jeff Teper from the Microsoft SharePoint team

For over a decade, our customers have relied on SharePoint to power teamwork, to automate business processes, to create business applications and to build company-wide intranets. As a core part of Office 365, SharePoint provides content management and collaboration capabilities that are seamlessly integrated with the other applications people use every day to create and co-author documents, meet and work with their teams, brainstorm, analyze and make decisions. SharePoint is also integrated with the powerful cross-suite capabilities of Office 365, such as Office 365 Groups, the Office Graph, and governance controls for security, privacy and compliance.

More than 200,000 organizations use SharePoint today and an extraordinary community of more than 50,000 partners and 1 million developers make up a $10 billion solutions ecosystem around SharePoint.

And the best is yet to come. Microsoft is on a mission to empower every individual and organization to achieve more. Watch this video to hear our CEO Satya Nadella underscore the importance of SharePoint to our ambition to reinvent productivity:


“We are continuing to advance SharePoint, OneDrive and the entire Office 365 service in ways that make productivity even more collaborative, intelligent, mobile and trustworthy.” —Satya Nadella We are thrilled to share our vision for SharePoint Online in the cloud and SharePoint Server on-premises, along with progress to date and our roadmap across four areas of innovation:

  • Simple and powerful file sharing and collaboration on any device.
  • The mobile and intelligent intranet, with modern team sites, publishing and business applications on your desktop and in your pocket.
  • An open and connected platform that evolves SharePoint extensibility to embrace modern web development.
  • Investments in security, privacy and compliance across Office 365.

Simple and powerful file sharing and collaboration on any device

Today, we reveal our vision for unified access and intelligent discovery for all of your Office 365 files, making it easier than ever for you to create, share, collaborate on and manage documents from anywhere, on any device. You’ll love that files find you, instead of you having to find files, whether you’re using one of our 4+ star-rated mobile apps or the intuitive browser experience. And when you want files with you on the road, we give you rock-solid, selective sync between your PC and Mac and offline files on your mobile device. When you’re working in Office applications, you get instant access to rich file sharing and collaboration features. You can co-author documents in real time, compare document versions, update metadata and share with colleagues, without leaving the application. When you want to share a document you created, it’s as easy as sending an email message—recipients are automatically granted permissions and everyone works on the shared file, eliminating version proliferation and ensuring a “single source of truth.” When you need enterprise-grade content management, document or records management capabilities, we put them at your fingertips. Whether a file is yours, is shared, is the highly collaborative work of your team or is an asset of the entire organization, we make the simple powerful and the powerful simple. We’re excited to announce that the following capabilities will be rolling out this quarter:

  • Access to SharePoint Online document libraries and Office 365 Group files from the OneDrive mobile app.
  • Intelligent discovery of documents from both OneDrive and SharePoint.
  • Copy from OneDrive to SharePoint in the OneDrive web experience.
  • OneDrive Universal Windows Platform (UWP) application.

And before the end of calendar year 2016:

  • 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.
  • Move and copy files between OneDrive and SharePoint in web experiences.

The mobile and intelligent intranet

The intranet is the nerve center of many organizations. It provides content-centric collaborative spaces that give teams the resources they need to work together. It lets users consume and contribute news and information within their teams and across the organization. It manages knowledge and connects users to content through navigation and search. It hosts applications that support and automate business processes. SharePoint is now making your intranet more accessible on the go, more intelligent, and more personalized, based on your activities across sites, the people you work with, the content you work on and the business processes you drive. SharePoint mobile app—your intranet in your pocket We’re thrilled to announce the SharePoint mobile app, designed for Windows, iOS and Android, to put your intranet in your pocket, with full-fidelity access to company news and announcements, people, sites, content and apps—no matter where you are. And the app will incorporate your on-premises SharePoint sites, as well. Learn more about the SharePoint mobile app and see it in action in this video:

SharePoint home

The new SharePoint home page in Office 365, rolling out this month, gives you unified access to all of your sites—online and on-premises—and lets you navigate seamlessly through your intranet, as well as catch up with activity across your sites with just a glance.

Modern team sites

Team sites have always been at the heart of collaboration with SharePoint. They connect your team with the content, the information and the apps you rely on. And they enable sharing and communication within the team and across the organization.

We’re bringing the power of SharePoint team sites and Office 365 Groups together, giving every group a team site, and giving team sites the benefit of groups for simple management of membership across Office 365 services. If you are assembling a team or starting a project, you can create a team site from the SharePoint home and provision a corresponding Office 365 Group in just seconds, with integrated information classification and compliance.

You’ll find a modernized team site experience, with an engaging home page personalized by the intelligence of Office Graph. Revitalized libraries and lists enable immediate productivity with an intuitive user experience and provide rich metadata, content management and functionality that can support sophisticated business processes. We’re also introducing a new page authoring and publishing experience that allows you to create beautiful, feature-rich pages that are responsive, mobile and easy to share with your team and the organization.

These new experiences will be beautiful on any device, in the browser, the SharePoint mobile app and the OneDrive app.

Microsoft Flow and PowerApps integration

SharePoint lists give teams the ability to access, share and collaborate around structured data. Customers regularly bring data from other systems into SharePoint lists to support business processes. Last week, we announced Microsoft Flow, a new service for automating workflow across the growing number of apps and SaaS services that business users rely on. Microsoft Flow includes connectors that enable you to exchange data between SharePoint and a variety of Microsoft and third-party services, and store and modify that data within SharePoint. We’re pleased to announce deep integration of SharePoint and Microsoft Flow, which allows you to create and launch Flows directly from a SharePoint list.

We’ve also announced the public preview of PowerApps, our new enterprise service for innovators everywhere to connect, create and share business apps with team members on any device in minutes. PowerApps is also being integrated directly into the modern team site, so you can create cross-platform PowerApps that utilize SharePoint lists and libraries as a data source. Deep and native integration of PowerApps and SharePoint will also drive rich new experiences with lists and libraries.

Security, privacy and compliance

We operate Office 365 with a commitment to security, privacy and compliance. In SharePoint, we bring together security, privacy, and compliance with a simple and powerful set of administrative controls, policies and reports.

We know there can be no security without usability. That’s why we provide you with IT controls that ensure the right balance between security and user productivity, so that the level of security is commensurate with the sensitivity of the content.

Today, we are announcing dynamic conditional access policies in SharePoint that intelligently define access based on who you are, the app or device you are using and your network location.

We equip you with tools to discover and protect content with data loss protection (DLP) policies, both in Office 365 and in SharePoint Server 2016. We offer more than 80 pre-built definitions of sensitive content, and you can add your own custom policies. These policies can be set once and applied across your tenant and into your on-premises farms. Later this year, you will be able to classify a SharePoint site so that appropriate policies are scoped to all content in a site.

When you need insight into security and privacy, for auditing or compliance purposes, we give you detailed reporting and auditing. Earlier this year, we introduced Advanced eDiscovery that integrates machine learning, predictive coding and text analytics to reduce the costs and challenges that come with sorting through large quantities of data. Later this year, we will release SharePoint Insights, a service which aggregates usage and compliance data from on-premises and cloud into the Office 365 Reporting Center, so you can get a unified view across your entire organization.

And we will continue to lead the fight to protect your data and to ensure privacy. I’m happy to announce that by the end of the year we will allow you to bring and manage your own keys to encrypt your data stored in SharePoint.

Learn more about these announcements in this video:

You can learn more about the robust security, privacy and compliance fabric of Office 365 at the Office 365 Trust Center.