Since SharePoint 2013 was released, it’s been heralded as the greatest release yet from Microsoft’s collaboration platform. But what’s so great about it? Is it really any better than SharePoint 2010 for doing what you want it to? Are there any new features in Sharepoint 2013 that make it worth upgrading?
- Offline and Sync of My Site (and other libraries) – “In SharePoint Server 2013 Preview, My Sites include several improvements to saving, synchronization, sharing, and moving of content. Users have the option to synchronize their My Site document library content with a local drive to enable offline access to documents.” Saving and Syncing Content (I really love the new Follow people, documents, sites, and tags to customize their feed!!)
- Search Engine Optimization & Analytic is in Search – Search is TONS better. Much of this is due to Analytics moving into search. This will make Analytic Processing Component in SharePoint Server 2013 Preview runs different analytics jobs to analyze content in the search index and user actions that were performed on a site to identify items that users perceive as more relevant than others.
- Content Search WebPart – This webpart is cool, but it may take a demo to understand the power. In many ways this is the next generation of Content Query Web Part. “Content Search Web Part that displays content that was crawled and added to the search index. You can use category pages when you want to aggregate content that meets certain criteria or parameters. For example, in an intranet scenario, all company events are maintained in a list that is shared as a catalog. A query is issued from the Content Search Web Part to return all items from the search index that are specified in the query.”
- Optimized mobile browser experience – For some companies this may be the reason to upgrade alone. Mobile is definitely something I have been looking for. “For smartphone mobile devices SharePoint Server 2013 Preview provides a lightweight, contemporary view browsing experience for users to navigate and access document libraries, lists, wikis, and Web Parts. Contemporary view. This view offers an optimized mobile browser experience to users and renders in HTML5. This view is available to Mobile Internet Explorer version 9.0 or later versions for Windows Phone 7.5, Safari version 4.0 or later versions for iPhone 4.0, and the Android browser for Android 4.0. Classic view This view renders in HTML format, or similar markup languages (CHTML, WML, and so on), and provides backward compatibility for mobile browsers that cannot render in the new contemporary view” Mobile browser experience Device specific Master Pages – You can target your branding to the device! Targeting different devices such as smartphones, tablets. “Allow a single publishing site to be rendered in multiple ways by using different designs that target different devices.” TechNet Device Specific Branding Feature
- Rich Workflows – If workflows were a sore point, they’ve gotten a lot better and seem much more able to handle more complex activities including looping and working with webservices (anyone thinking orchestration?). “A new action that enables no-code web service calls from within a workflow, New actions for creating a task and starting a task process and New workflow building blocks such as Stage, Loop, and App Step” With Azure Workflows you can even do “REST and Service Bus Messaging” Workflow in SharePoint 2013 Machine Translation – Looking forward to really seeing what our business can do with this translation service. Automated translation into various languages!
- Development gets more familiar – Developers who are not SharePoint developers will find SharePoint 2013 preview a lot easier to work with. Leverage your existing “ASP.NET, Apache, C#, Java, and PHP. The new cloud app model gives you the freedom of choice.”
- Shredded Storage – This is one of my favorite new features. I can’t wait to see what it does to our farm. Shredded storage will remove file duplicates and reduce the amount of content sent across the wire. You can find more on this in the IT pro decks.
- Social Features: Activity feeds – I really like the idea that I can get real notifications of what’s happening on a site including following documents, following sites, and following people… and automatically following team members (if you want). Communities – I think Microsoft’s new site template communities will be interesting with integrated microblogging. I’m definitely anxious to see how our internal communities use them.