Future of Agile and Social Collaboration – Yammer redefines Enterprise Social as Digital Workspace by integration with Office 365 Groups

Ever since Microsoft has acquired Yammer just before SharePoint 2013 release in July 2012, there has been love and hate relationship with Yammer as Enterprise Social solution in organizations adopting Microsoft technologies. Let’s face it, there are many reasons for this. Enterprise social is no longer a shiny kid in the industry, and there are still growing concerns sharing information freely in the major monolithic organizations. Besides Microsoft has also thrown lots of hurdles by sending mixed messages and taking forever to realize their vision.

Despite all these, here we are, after Ignite 2016 in Oct 2016. It’s impressive to see Yammer is not only still going strong but becoming a core service of the Office 365 suite, just like Exchange, SharePoint, and Skype. After taking painfully slow time of 3-4 years to move Yammer into Microsoft cloud infrastructure including Office 365 identities, Yammer has positioned itself as core Digital Workspace tool by integrating itself with One Drive for Business, Delve, Office 365 Video and other essential services.

Ever since Microsoft announced Office 365 Groups as future of collaboration platform last year at Ignite 2015, many experts predicted Yammer being going away (including myself) and probably replaced by Office 365 Groups. But, this year at Ignite 2016, Yammer further strengthened its position as workplace collaboration tool with announcements of Yammer’s integration with Office 365 Groups. Many ways this completes Yammer’s journey from standalone service to the core family of Office 365.

yammer-in-office-365

Based on key areas of Yammer investments announced at Microsoft Ignite 2016, it is clear that Microsoft doesn’t think Yammer as only Enterprise Social Platform. With its tight integration with other Office 365 services including Office365 Groups, its proper part of core Digital Workspace offering of Microsoft. Documents, conversations, notes, messaging was always part of Yammer offering. Rather than managing and enhancing these features as fractional silos, Office 365 integration will be able to offer stronger offerings like Skype, One Note, and SharePoint for Yammer features. Yammer is indeed becoming a core feature of Digital Workspace vision.

yammer-investments

Here are the list of some of the key Ignite 2016 announcements, innovations, and upcoming features planned for Yammer. This truly makes Yammer as a core service of the Office 365 suite, just like exchange, SharePoint, and Skype.

Product Innovations

  • Great way to stay up to date – unread conversations counters, message to show once you caught up with new information, workflow to move to next group.
  • You can edit posts (coming soon, probably by early next year)
  • You can create word, excel, and PowerPoint documents directly from Yammer
  • Mark individual or all messages as read/unread in your inbox, shows activities across all groups.
  • Member and Group onboarding feature, group discovery feature is powered by Office 365 Graph
  • Office 365 Integration with Delve, Skype Meeting Broadcast, and Office 365 Video

Office 365 Groups Integration and Road map

yammer-integration-in-office-365office-365-groups-and-yammer

  • Creating Yammer group will create AAD object, Office 365 groups including memberships, and trigger requests to create additional Office 365 workloads like SPO, OD4B, EXO, and Planner. It means – every Yammer group will have SharePoint team site, SharePoint document library, OneNote and Planner for Yammer task management.
  • Office 365 groups will have both Outlook and Yammer. You have option to choose email and shared inbox in Outlook or Yammer messages for your group. Initially creation location will determine default communication method used in Office 365 groups. e.g. Groups created in Outlook will get email in the shared inbox, Groups created in Yammer will get the Yammer group feed, and Groups created from the Office 365 Admin Portal and other Office 365 workloads will get an Outlook shared inbox. In future, Microsoft will provide flexibility to use either Outlook or Yammer feed regardless of where you creation location.
  • Yammer Group (just like any other Office 365 users or Office 365 Groups) will be available on global address list (Office 365 groups are AAD objects) while sharing files or sending emails. This would allow you to send email from Outlook to Yammer feed as post using Yammer Group global address.
  • OneDrive file picker – You can share files from OneDrive business to Yammer conversations (that includes all your files in Office 365 groups and SharePoint folders) – Yammer files will be moved to OneDrive for Business to in future, start moving your files to SharePoint manually if you want.
  • Yammer notes will be moved to word documents in SharePoint document libraries. In addition – You will have shared team OneNote for Yammer notes.
  • Shared Outlook team calendar, Skype directly to user from Yammer feed or conversations, rich preview of SharePoint and OneDrive for Business files in Yammer feed, Planner tasks or SharePoint document modifications updates in Yammer feed, Support for rich preview of Office 365 video and stream videos in Yammer feed, SharePoint web part, Office 365 profile integration are on roadmap too.
  • Office365 Groups connected Yammer Groups – You either get outlook or Yammer feed, not both. You won’t see Outlook in Yammer and you won’t see Yammer feed in Outlook (as of now, it may change over the time with feedback).
  • If you have Yammer right now and using legacy Yammer credentials, you won’t have Office 365 connected Yammer groups. You can either manually choose to enforce Office 365 identities from Yammer admin center or Microsoft will roll out new update as wave 1 (by end of Q4 2016) to enforce all the network to use Office 365 identities. Once Yammer have Office 365 enforced identities, new Office 365 connected Yammer groups can be provisioned by end users or admins. Microsoft will also backfill all existing public and private groups to become connected Yammer groups in wave 2.
  • It is important to note that as of now, Microsoft’s roadmap includes Yammer groups will be connected to Office 365 groups. You won’t have options to choose classic Yammer group vs Yammer Office 365 connected groups. Yammer classic groups are going away once Yammer.com is turned off.

Administration Innovations available as of now

yammer-admin-experience

yammer-user-experience

  • On-by-default – Yammers on by default for all new Office 365 tenants. Yammer is completed moved to the Microsoft Azure data centers. It’s in the process of moving completely to the Office 365 cloud infrastructure. Both encryption at rest and encryption in transit are configured for data security.
  • Network/Domain Lifecycle Management – Yammer network domains can be managed from Office 365 administration page. Yammer no longer requires Yammer DSync for on-premises AD sync. It supports AAD Sync. Yammer SSO and Dsync will stop working on December 1st, 2016.
  • Users, Groups, and Identity Lifecycle Management – Office 365 admin center also includes Yammer Groups (Office 365 Groups) and manageability of group membership. Managing Yammer groups would be same as any other Office 365 groups.
  • License Management – You can also enable/disable Yammer license from Office 365 administration page.
  • Office 365 SSO and Login Support – Connected Tenants and User Profile Sync – Yammer is in App Launcher by default for all new tenants. If you have users on both yammer.com & Office 365, you can also enforce Office 365 identities in yammer from Admin settings. You can also enforce all the classic Yammer users to use Office 365 identities from Yammer administration section. Yammer admin console is available from Office 365 administration center.
  • Advanced C-Compliance – Yammer has achieved category C-level compliance in Office 365 suite with ISO 27001, ISO27018, HIPPA, SOX, EUMC and other major compliance categories. It means, Yammer is covered by Office 365 Trust (and information protection) center where you can access all third party compliance materials from Office 365 service assurance dashboard. It is important to note that other services like SharePoint Online and Exchange Online are in category D with highest compliance. It is also important to note that there are no announcements and timeline of Yammer feed availability in E-Discovery center.
  • Mobile App Security – Yammer will be included Intune mobile device management policies. Mobile App security would work with or without MAM. Supported on both iOS and Android apps. It will support more than 15 policies once it’s applied to your tenant including requiring PIN to access, manage data sharing across apps, restrict copy and paste between apps, encrypt app data, prevent save as, and block running on jail broken devices etc.

Administration Innovations Coming Soon and Roadmap

  • Yammer Audit Reports – There are more than 25+ yammer operations are available for audit activities. In addition – Yammer will be integrated with Office 365 Management activity API.
  • Yammer Usage Analytics and Power BI Reports – Yammer activities are included in usage reporting dashboard in admin center – both network & user levels – posts, likes, and reads.  Available for global admins only as of now. This can be exported for community managers or champions and visualize using Power BI content pack. There are also plans to deliver usage reports for group level and client access (web vs mobile) reports.
  • AAD Conditional Access and Dynamic groups will be supported – You can create Yammer groups with membership based on rules. e.g. create group for anyone who reports to Kristian. This would work as long as this hierarchy is defined and managed in AAD. Dynamic group membership is based on AAD properties and may require additional licensing or AAD premium
  • Yammer Connected Groups membership – You can’t assign AAD group but you can assign group membership based on AAD properties (dynamic membership)
  • Naming collisions – AAD supports same name but enforces uniqueness in email. Multiple Outlook groups can be with same named but Yammer enforces unique name due to discovery. You can end up with 1 Yammer group name but multiple office 365 groups with same name.
  • Groups naming conventions, soft delete (life cycle) and customization of all company groups (e.g. change avatar or name etc.) are on roadmap too. Since both Yammer connected groups and Office 365 groups would be managed as same entity, all the innovations in Office 365 life cycle and governance would apply to Yammer connected groups as well.
  • Mapping of existing SharePoint sites to either outlook or Yammer groups not in a roadmap but something can be looked at.
  • Migrating outlook groups to Yammer groups and vice a versa is not in scope. e.g. if your users starts with Outlook group and change mind to have Yammer group, it’s not possible due to various content requires mapping from message to social.

Here are key Yammer slides from Ignite 2016 to show case Microsoft’s current philosophy, few investments done last year, and upcoming investments.

yammer-investments-now

yammer-investments-future

References

Posted in Office 365, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Recapping Microsoft Ignite 2016 Conference, Atlanta, GA

I had a privilege to attend Microsoft Ignite 2016 at Atlanta on Sep 26th-30th this year. This is Microsoft’s signature technology conference which is in 2nd year after combining all the Office and TechEd conferences last year. If you have read my last year’s Ignite recap, I wasn’t happy about how it turned out in Chicago especially with logistics issues and I wasn’t excited this year either being Atlanta as host. As it turned out, I really enjoyed the conference especially technical content and roadmap delivered at the conference and I must say – Microsoft has earned my faith in Microsoft Ignite event and can’t wait more for of it next year.

microsoft-ignite-logo

Keynotes

Day 1 of Microsoft Ignite was divided into multiple keynotes – starting with Scott Guthrie lead main conference keynote, followed by sub keynotes from each area (Office, Infrastructure, Security, Communication etc.), culminating in grand Innovation keynote by Satya Nadella.

I personally didn’t enjoy main conference keynote. I felt it was Azure heavy with lots of Windows 2016, Visual Studio, and Xamarin updates. My takeaway here was it was mostly boring, nothing new because most of announcements were already made. There was hardly anything mentioned for Office innovations. My personal favorite from the morning keynote was huge announcement of Microsoft joining hands with Adobe and Adobe hosting their all clouds including Marketing cloud in Azure. Apart from that, I was disappointed with this keynote.

What morning keynote couldn’t deliver, delivered by Innovation keynote by Satya in late afternoon. I had a huge fun listening to Satya and Microsoft’s vision of how Office, Azure, and Windows can deliver innovations in IoT, Analytics, and Cloud compute automations. This is must watch for anyone in technology field despite your interests in Microsoft technologies.

Technology Updates

I was excited with what and how Microsoft delivered Technology updates at Ignite. My interest this year was Office 365, Azure, SharePoint, Power BI, and related technologies. Day 1 and Day 2 was kind of boring with most of the roadmap updates which I had already learned in regular Microsoft Office updates. As I dived into more deep dive sessions in Day 3 and Day 4, I was impressed with all the new technology innovations Microsoft has made in Office 365.

One of the key things stood out for me was Level 100-200 sessions and how Microsoft delivered their roadmaps for 2016-17. They were honest in their delivery. There weren’t afraid of sharing what’s coming and what’s in design. Everyone was graceful in their delivery without any arrogance. It was refreshing to see this new Microsoft which has Satya’s stamp all over it. I personally think Microsoft Ignite still missed out many in-depth Level 300-400 sessions.

As far as technologies update, I loved many announcements including Office 365 Groups, Yammer Integration, OneDrive for Business Sync client, PowerApps, Flow, MyAnalytics, Microsoft Word TAP, SharePoint 2016 Feature Pack 1, and SharePoint Hybrid innovations especially Hybrid Taxonomies. I can’t wait to deep dive into all of these technologies and master them.

If you are Microsoft especially Office 365/SharePoint professional, you would require to learn Microsoft Graph, SharePoint Framework, React JS, TypeScript, Office UI Fabric, Windows 2016 Docker containers. Attending deep dive Level 200 sessions on Day 3 and Day 4 for these technologies was conference highlights for me as a technologist.

Conference Logistics

Anytime you need to host 25-30K IT professionals under one roof, it would become logistically tricky. Microsoft Ignite will face typical challenges like lodging, transportation, food, session rooms layout regardless of wherever they plan (except Las Vegas) to host this event. Last year at Chicago, one of the biggest challenges they faced of isolated location of conference center from the world. This year at Atlanta, they faced another challenge and mostly focused on transportation and lodging.

Before we start with what went wrong (we all love negatives), I must say there were lots of positives at this conference. Georgia Conference Center was a great location especially its proximity to Philips arena and other downtown happening places. The location itself had lots of great facilities and one of them was a patio where you can relax in sunny fall weather with lounge chairs, live music, games, and smoothies center. Ignite Mobile App was another clear winner for me especially scheduling and live streaming of sessions. This is one of the best conference apps at Microsoft events I have seen. I was able to get extra sleep (much needed for conference attendees) because I could live stream first session while commuting to the conference center. Another great idea this year was concurrent 20 minutes, 45 minutes, and 75 minutes’ breakout sessions. This gave attendees wide options of what sessions to attend and what to skip or view live stream. In addition – Microsoft showcase booths at expos were informative. Meeting with product groups was one of my favorite activities in between sessions.

Now, let’s focus on what can be improved. Lots of lines – There were lots of long walk in between buildings (especially if you have sessions in A and C) in addition to lot of lines everywhere. I am not sure how Microsoft can improve logistically but I turned away many times from to either attend session or event just because of lines especially it between sessions. After event activities was another big issue. If you have been at Atlanta, you know that there isn’t much as far as after event activities except bars, restaurants, and few baseball games in September. Lodging was another big issues. Unlike Chicago, Atlanta doesn’t have huge concentration of hotels in downtown area. Other two major locations were 30 minutes away at Buckhead and Airport. This is where Las Vegas would really help where lodging, dining, and after event activities are no major concern.

Last but not least, Microsoft needs to stop serving boxed lunch. Even SharePoint Saturdays or conferences don’t have boxed lunch. It was one of the worst (worse than Chicago last year) conference food I ever had. I was done with cold sandwiches after 2nd day. Luckily there were few other options nearby but good conference meal should be one of the must in Microsoft’s checklist. I do understand why Microsoft may have done it due to concurrent sessions but having both boxed and warm buffet meal would cater both audiences.

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Parting Notes

Despite all these hate and love for Microsoft Ignite, I enjoyed this conference and can’t wait to attend future events. I personally would like to thank Slalom to let me attend this conference and learn Microsoft’s direction for 2016-17.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Future of SharePoint Keynote Summary and My Key Takeaways

Ever since Microsoft RTMed SharePoint 2016 in March 2016, one event every SharePointers were looking forward to was – “Future of SharePoint” on May 4th, 2016.

futuresharepoint

Even though this event was marked as SharePoint 2016 GA availability, how Microsoft used it to instill the confidence in SharePoint community is masterstroke in my book. Personally I was looking forward to this event to see where I want to focus in near future as far as technology. As a SharePoint brand, there were few questions and Microsoft needed to answer. I won’t lie if I say I was approaching this event very cautiously but after the event – my faith in SharePoint on both Office 365 and On-premises have been restored.

In the nutshell, this was a vision and roadmap event specifically focused on SharePoint. As expected, event was well marketed and well attended. There were some bold announcements and demos. Most of them are in the process of being rolled out in the SharePoint Online. This tweet at the end of the event summarizes what I felt of SharePoint in the near future at that time.

futuresharepoint-Tweet

Here are my key takeaways:

  • SharePoint is here to stay!! In fact, it’s been revitalized and modernized. Message has been reinforced – Innovations happens in cloud and few features will trickle down to the on-premises over the time.
  • “SharePoint” as brand is brought back in Office 365!! No more, it’s branded as “Sites” app. It’s a small change like this regains confidence from the community.
  • Office 365 Groups are NEW center of gravity in a cloud product. SharePoint team sites are re-branded with Office 365 Groups UI but two-way integration will challenge traditional hierarchical information architecture. Documents will flow horizontally across products rather than hierarchical SharePoint team sites in Office 365. Additionally, tight integration of SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, Office 365 Groups, and other Office 365 products will reinvent what we think of modern collaboration on office platforms.
  • Although Microsoft has delivered contextual and relevant SharePoint Online home page (similar as Delve UI) as Intranet in your pocket offering, my take here is that most of the organizations will create their own intranet home pages powered with Office Graph & Delve based UI. Ability to support customized version of Intranet home pages is key. There will be requirements from customers to support customized version of home page on “SharePoint” mobile app and browser experiences home page.
  • SharePoint On-premises are here to stay!! SharePoint Online & Office365 will innovate first and selective features will be pushed down to the On-Premises as feature backs. I won’t be surprised if feature packs replaces existing service pack model.
  • SharePoint Hybrid is must to have best of both worlds. New SharePoint browser & mobile apps would require hybrid infrastructure to display data from both cloud and on-premises.
  • Office 365 Graph and new SharePoint client side framework are must in developers’ toolkit. Both of them are built on modern JavaScript and REST based programming standards. Developers will require to learn 6th development/customization model in last 6 iterations of the product. Microsoft continue pushing developing on platform rather than service based on solutions they must have seen in their customer experience programs. It’s time to learn web stack if you haven’t already – Node.Js, Yeoman, Gulp, TypeScript, Visual Studio Code etc. It should be noted here is this is one more additional framework, it doesn’t replace Add-ins model released in SharePoint 2013 or Full trust model introduced in SharePoint 2007.
  • SharePoint and Office 365 professionals will have more challenges to architect solutions based on Office 365 only, SharePoint On-Premises only, or hybrid investments. Great SharePoint professional is key to success. Question of what’s supported/not supported, what’s licensed/not licensed, what’s enabled/disabled, architectural trade-offs will factor in how you architect information architecture and business processes. This is not new as of now but tight integration of Office 365 Groups and SharePoint Online will create many challenges for customers who won’t use  capabilities of whole Office 365 suite.

Here are my notes from the keynote:

Announcements

  • SharePoint 2016 On-Premises and Office Online Server (2016 version of Office Web Apps) GA available from today
  • SharePoint 2016 isn’t last release but it’s a foundation for future – forged in cloud, first cloud run source code packaged for on-premises, probably enhanced as feature packs rather than service packs

Future of SharePoint

  • Microsoft’s current focus is on 3G’s – Groups, Graph, and Governance (Notice – no SharePoint, rather than focusing on products vertically, Microsoft’s focus is across products and security/compliance).
  • New SharePoint Principles – In Cloud, On your on-premises, and In your Pocket, in other words – cloud first, mobile first but still supported for on-premises.
  • SharePoint is Core of Office 365 productivity suite – No kidding!!!!
  • SharePoint On-Premises Updates – Feature Packs for SharePoint – Subset of features available on top of SP2016, starting from 2017.

Files Access & Sharing Innovations

futuresharepoint-file access and sharing roadmap

  • Simple and powerful file on any device – intuitive browser experience.
  • Selective sync for OD4B & SPO document libraries. Sync shared folders in roadmap.
  • Move or Copy OD4B files and folders to SharePoint.
  • New activity view pan for files (replacement for versioning?).
  • File Share/Document Analytics in OD4B (Likes and Shares coming in future as well).
  • Mobile app for SharePoint Online (SharePoint On-Premises support in roadmap including SharePoint 2013).

Reinventing SharePoint Intranets and Team Sites

futuresharepoint-intranet roadmap

  • Modern Intranets
    • Next-Gen, Responsive, and Mobile & Touch Friendly Intranets
    • Innovate on all three fronts – communication, collaboration, and custom apps.
    • Intranet on your pocket
      • New SharePoint home page, powered by office graph, contextual information, looks much similar to Delve UI. Show frequently visited sites or suggested sites based on your profile activities. It can show sites from both cloud and on-premises (requires hybrid configuration).
      • Intelligent discovery of content based on your activities. It shows pages, libraries, lists, and people. Again, similar as Delve UI.
      • New team and organizational news feature – News feature out of box, will roll out in H2.
    • Intranet Web Experience
      • Renamed “Sites” tab to “SharePoint” to match mobile app name.
      • Frequent sites, suggested sites, Tiles view.
      • Instant search – people, sites, files etc.
      • Easy new site creation – simplified and faster, requires you to select collaboration or publishing sites, you can also create Office365 group in this wizard, will require enforcement of governance.
  • Modern Team Sites
    • Groups Integration – Each Team Site creation will create Office 365 Group and same true on other way around as well. Groups are tightly integrated in Office 365 with SharePoint team sites. Will roll out in H2.
    • Power Apps and Microsoft Flow integrated with SharePoint Online out of box. This would allow it use SharePoint document libraries and lists as data source. Possible replacements for workflow & forms workloads. Both products are in preview now. Will roll out in H2 this year.
    • New Home Page experience – Tied to group, group name & members shows up, left hand navigation still exists, you can bring in group features on team sites (e.g. conversations etc.), by default – news & activities are available as tiles view, you can highlight document or blog article in news section, activities are documents with tiles view. It’s rolling out now.
    • New Pages experience – Mobile and touch friendly pages authoring experience, you can add documents, links, medias etc. You have gallery of OOB web parts (similar as Adobe AEM). It’s rolling out now.
    • New Document Library experience – looks & feels like OD4B, consistent experience. Quick contextual metadata editing experience, grid/thumb nail view experience, ability to pin feature, everything on your fingertip either via quick action bar or informaion panel, no more ribbon. It’s rolling out now.
    • New SharePoint Lists experience – Integration of OOB Microsoft flow UX and Power Apps and context are passed to these apps.  It’s rolling out now.
    • Team site activities and analytics – Modern graphical analytics.  It’s rolling out now.

Platform Extensibility

futuresharepoint-openconnected roadmap

futuresharepoint-SPDevTweet

  • Data Layer – Office Graph API – REST based, single end-point – we will have SP REST API available via Office 365 API in near future.
  • UI Layer – New SharePoint Framework – New JavaScript based client side development layer, it’s backward compatible, it will be open source, client side web parts & client side page/canvas applications framework – this framework will be released in Q3 for SPO as First Release and for on-premises as features packs hopefully in 2017.
  • SharePoint Bench – A SharePoint specific mock debugging environment to test development without needing of SharePoint in local VM.
  • Microsoft will deliver few responsive experiences based new SharePoint Framework. New SharePoint online document library experiences, Delve UI, & lightweight publishing model (Delve blog) are some of them.

Community and Microsoft Resources

New SharePoint Framework Reactions

Happy SharePointing!!!

Posted in Office 365 | 2 Comments

Modernizing SharePoint? – My thoughts on SharePoint Online Document Library Experience Updates

Update on May 5th – Drawbacks mentioned in this article are no longer a drawbacks if you are using new SharePoint Online experiences. New SharePoint Online experiences announced as “Future of SharePoint” event on May 4th spans not only document libraries but throughout SharePoint including new SharePoint Team Site experiences. See Updates herehere, and here. I never had a blog article invalidates itself in few weeks. It’s a power of modern product updates & release cycle. I still think communication and feature rollout could have been better.

Microsoft has pushed out one more “Sneaky” release in Office 365 relating to SharePoint Online document library experiences. If you have “First Release” tenant, you would start noticing new banner on SharePoint online document library page stating – “Check out new document library look!”.

Doc library UX Banner

I call this “Sneaky” release. Even though this is a huge change in SharePoint (first major Document Library UI change since SharePoint 2003/2007 days, almost 10-12 years ago), it was never announced on Microsoft Office blogs. I have heard this news on twitter after seeing few posts from MVPs and other community leaders regarding this release.

Unlike MVPs or other community leaders, my thoughts on this change are bitter-sweet. On one hand, I love this new modern experience with lots of core features stands out in UI for end-users. On other hand, I hate the navigation experience from SharePoint Online document library UI to One Drive for Business document library UI. More on navigation concerns later.

If you have never seen new SPO document library experience, here is the preview:

This is classic SharePoint Online document library experience with invitation to try out new experience:

SPO OLD Doc Library UX

This is how new SharePoint Online document library experience looks like (with ability to rollback to classic view for time being):

SPO New Doc Library List View UX

SPO New Doc Library Grid View UX

Let’s first talk about Pros. I hugely welcome modern UI of new SharePoint Online user experiences. Not only Microsoft have bubble up many key features as easy actions but modernized the UI along with it.

Here are some of the highlights of new features and I must say – I love them all.

  • Library Level Features
    1. Ability to Pin documents as Highlights above the library view
    2. Ability to “Alert Me” from quick action bar
    3. Ability to have Grid view with previews, rather than traditional list view
  • Document Level Actions
    1. Ability to see “History” on the right bar
    2. Document Action Bar – Ability to get a link, ability to Move to another location (one of the long standing issues with traditional UI)

Now, let’s talk about major drawback. With all the love for new UI, one of the major down side of this new update is what happens to existing collaboration sites. Even though Office 365 have new workloads rolling out every few months to tackle modern collaboration like Yammer Groups, Office 365 Groups, Planner, Delve, many of our customers are still using SharePoint team sites for document collaboration.

Along with SharePoint team sites, they are accustomed to use “Blue” SharePoint/Office 365 global OOB UI and SharePoint Online ribbon bar. One of the major issues with new UI is end-users will require to traverse back and forth between SharePoint Online UI (Blue Globar bar with Ribbon) and OneDrive for Business UI (Black Global bar without Ribbon) while using document libraries and that’s where challenge is.

Many of us additionally apply SharePoint online themes (recommended by Office 365 PnP as supported version of branding), which would affect seemless UI experience and navigation as users are accessing team sites, document libraries, and documents. My only hope here is Microsoft have further plans to roll out SPO changes to reflect this new UI in SPO to match overall Office 365 experience.

But, Wait – There is a solution to all these – Having all said that, Microsoft didn’t leave us with this as forced update. You have option to use old or new experience depending on your organization’s appetite for change. Each document library have option to use new or old experience. This would allow document library owners to use whatever experience they like. Additionally, there is a global SharePoint Online administrative setting to apply this change to all document libraries in SharePoint online team sites. Few tips here – library level settings will definitely affect the governance policies and how organizations want to standardize the document library experiences. Few more things to worry about as you trying to govern your environment.🙂

You can manage list document library experiences settings from library’s advanced settings page. There are three experiences here:

SPO Library Admin Settings

  • Default experience set by my administrator – Configured at the SharePoint Online Administrative page.
  • New experience – New experience with OD4B UI
  • Classic experience – Classic Old and Gold SharePoint document library view

Here is the screenshot of SharePoint Online Admin Setting.

SPO Admin Settings

Here are my initial reactions on twitter. I am hoping to have more positive reactions and better document library experience stories as we go through initial period.

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Nik's reaction 1.PNG

Nik's reaction 2.PNG

SharePoint Online is changing!!! Good luck SPO!!!

Additional Resources and Community Reactions

 

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Nik’s SharePoint Saturday Chicago Suburbs 2016 Session Deck on Modern Intranet Development on SharePoint and Office365 is Available

Thanks everyone who was able to attend my session at the SharePoint Saturday Chicago Suburbs 2016. It was a great to see familiar faces and old friends in a fairly attended session.

I had an amazing fun walking attendees lessons I have learned while developing Intranets on SharePoint and Office 365 last few years. It’s great to share some of the best practices I have compiled and how I would design intranet on these platforms in future.

Title: Best Practices of Intranet Development on SharePoint and Office 365 Platforms
Session Abstract – Development of successful Intranets on ever changing SharePoint and Office 365 platform requires understanding of available options and how to apply them. Nik Patel from Slalom Consulting has designed and built four different intranets in four years with various best practices each with unique flavors and customization options available at that time. Nik will take attendees through architecture options in past and future and provide pragmatic guidance for future Intranet development on SharePoint and Office 365 platform. This session is for both beginners and advanced level developers and architects.

As promised, here is my session deck available through Slide Share. Feel free to download and reach out to me if you have any questions.

I have recently posted few SharePoint development best practices articles. These can be used as additional sources along with Office 365 PnP to make decision in tricky architectural trade-offs.

Enjoy!!!

Posted in Office 365, SharePoint 2013, SharePoint 2016, SharePoint Apps, Speaking | Leave a comment