SharePoint 2010 End-Users Improvements and New Features Overview

Ever since I have attended SharePoint Conference 2009 last year, I wanted to blog about upcoming SharePoint 2010. Many considers it as a massive, complex, and very powerful platform. This post surfaces only a small tip of the iceberg and some of the major investments in the upcoming release of the SharePoint 2010.

SharePoint 2010 – The Big Picture

  • Microsoft is re-positioning SharePoint as “The Business Collaboration Platform for the Enterprise & the Web”
  • Value Pillars
    • Connect & Empower People – Allows the user to work the way they want, device they want
    • Cut Costs With a Unified Infrastructure – Integrated Platform, SharePoint Online , Multi-Tenancy
    • Rapidly Respond to Business Needs – Composite Application Tools for the Power Users
  • The “Pie Chart/Workloads” Has Changed – Value Proposition has been changed from the IT Solutions (SharePoint 2007) to End User and Business Solutions (SharePoint 2010)

 SharePoint 2010 – Sites
  • An ability to engage employees, partners and customers in an effective manner, both inside and outside the firewall (Aka. Document libraries, lists, team sites, department portals, intranets, and extranets)
  • Adoption of Office 2007 Ribbon UI – Context based UI, Familiar Office experience, Pinned to the top of the page even when user scrolls the page, Ribbon UI is extensible and can be customized
  • AJAX Everywhere – SharePoint 2010 is based on the Microsoft.NET 3.5 Framework, OOB support for the AJAX to reduce the page refresh and post back
  • Web Dialog Framework – Reduce the Navigation for quick data entry within same context.
  • Rich Theming – Import themes from the PowerPoint. It’s easy to apply corporate PowerPoint template branding to the SharePoint.
  • Easy Web Editing – Site Authoring made simple, Live preview and rich In-place Add/Edit including images, text, SharePoint lists, and web parts (No need for work around using Content Editor Web Parts).
  • Web Parts Improvements – End users can insert web parts within content blocks on the page as well as create lists on-the-fly
  • Multilingual User Interface (MUI) – Dynamically flip the languages, Ribbons, Menus, and Site Navigation are MUI aware, Site owners can configure the fields within lists to support MUI, End users can submit translations when they enter the content.
  • Audience Targeting – Support is based on the rules-based audiences, SharePoint groups, or distribution-list memberships. Virtually any individually item within the site – documents, events, custom list items, and even entire sites can be targeted to specific audiences, OOB rules can be defined from the User Profile Service Application.
  • Work anywhere using the Office Web Applications – Read-write office web access of the Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote
  • Easier location with the Multi-Lingual UI – Switch in runtime between languages
  • Go offline with SharePoint 2010 Workspace – Next Version of Microsoft Groove, It’s a rich desktop client application to take entire site contents, including custom lists and line of business data, and supports integration with InfoPath forms for richer data entry and data validation.
  • Improved Standards Compliance and Accessibility -Publishing Standards – XML and XHTML 1.0 for the cross browser support (32-bit IE 8, IE 7, Firefox 3.x are Level 1 Browsers. 64-bit are Level 2 Browsers, Most notable omission from this list is no Support for IE 6), and Accessibility Standards – WCAG 2.0 AA Compliance for disabled people.
  • Improved Data Validation and Constraints – Each item in list or library supports item level and list level validation, Can configure a column in the list to be unique.
SharePoint 2010 – Communities
  • An ability to find and interact with other people within an organization quickly and easily while leveraging both formal and informal networks. SharePoint 2010 is a true Social Computing Platform for the Enterprise by empowering employees to work together seamlessly. (Aka. MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter for the Enterprise)
  • Improved My Sites – Social Networking Hub, Enhanced Profiles, Tabbed Interface
  • Social Tagging using Tags, Tag Cloud, Ratings
  • Knowledge Mining using Keywords or Tags
  • Rating and Tagging Everywhere – Improve Feedback, Rate and Tag anything a person can see (People, pages, sites, documents, videos, posts, wikis etc.)
  • “I Like It” – Feedback option like Facebook “Like” feature.
  • Micro blogging using Note Board and Status Updates, Staying up to date with the activity feeds, Note boards are available for use on an individual user’s profile page, a tag’s page, and organization’s page.
  • Social Bookmarking (Delicious for the Enterprise) to share the internet bookmarks, Replaces the “My Link” feature of the SharePoint 2007
  • Silverlight based Organization Browser
  • Improved Wikis, Blogs, and Discussion Forums – Rich Text Editor with Office Ribbon UI to improve lightweight authoring experience.
  • Improved Blogs (Individual and Team Blogs) – Improved Navigation, Sort posts by category or date, AJAX based interface
  • Improved Individual Blogs – Linked to the individual My Site, New blog posts are added to the Recent Activity section of My Site Profile Page, Can launch external blogging program such as Microsoft Word or Microsoft Live Writer for desktop editing experience.
  • Improved Wikis – Improved authoring experience – Support for Wiki Syntax, “Wikis Everywhere” approach – SharePoint Site is a collection of pages, unlike collection of lists or libraries in SharePoint 2007.
SharePoint 2010 – Content
  • The facilities for the creation, review, publication, and disposal of content including conforming to defined compliance rules for all supported types.
  • ECM for the Masses – “Content” in the SharePoint 2010 is the “Content”. All the terms like Document Management System (DMS), Records Management (RM), Web Content Management (WCM), Digital Asset Management (DAM), Rich Media Management (RMM) falls under one single umbrella – Enterprise Content Management (ECM) for the Masses.
  • Metadata Everywhere – Metadata managed by new Enterprise Managed Metadata Service and Terms stored in the Term Store, Taxonomies – Centrally Managed, Folksonomies – Decentralized and Unmanaged Metadata Tagging, Tools to automatically extract and promote the metadata, New Managed Metadata field type, Metadata can be mandatory field to make sure information is collected.
  • Enterprise Content Types – Enables the content type syndication (allow site owners to submit their content types) . SharePoint 2007 had Site Collection Level Content Types and SharePoint 2010 Expanded to the reuse across SharePoint Farm.
  • Unique Document IDs – Implemented as a Feature, Capability to specify unique Document IDs within Site Collection, Unique IDs embedded within URL can be used to retrieve the document regardless of where it moved with the site collection.
  • Document Sets – Implemented as a Feature,A capability to group documents into single entity. Can be versioned, initiate workflows, and manage metadata on the set of documents. Improve document library performance.
  • Content Organizer – Automatically organize documents based on metadata or content type rules
  • Digital Asset Management – New Audio and Video Content Types, Video/Audio streaming using Silverlight Media Player, Ability to create training and learning sites, Users can directly add the images to the pages from the hard-drive or specifying web site URL without pre-uploading them to the central image library.
  • Records Management – Implemented as a Site Collection Feature – Ability to activate records management feature at the site level, In place records management to designate individual document in the library as a record or official file, Advanced Routing scenarios
  • Web Content Management – Improved Web Authoring using Ribbon UI, In Place Editing, and Reduction of Page refreshes, Site Owners can use Web Analytics Service to monitor the usage of their sites.
  • List Scalability – Support for the large lists and document libraries
  • SharePoint can now leverage the SQL Remote BLOB Storage (RBS), which allows documents to be stored in remote storage location rather than a SQL table, Supported only in the SQL Server 2008 R2.
SharePoint 2010 – Search
  • Locate relevant content across SharePoint lists, sites, and sources such as file shares, Web sites, or line-of-business applications.
  • Improved Search Experience – Suggestions for search terms, Did you mean Suggestion Web Part, Related Queries Web Part, Subscribe to RSS feed of Search Results, Bookmark for Search Results for later, Configure the Alert to rerun the search query at the scheduled intervals or notify the user via SMS or email.
  • Query Suggestions are mined from the Search Logs
  • Support for advance Query Syntax – Wildcard Search (e.g. “d*” will search everything starts with d)
  • Standard Search Hit highlighting in the search results
  • Improved Search Results Drilldown Capabilities using the Refiners, Refine content results by using tagging and metadata (document tagging or social tagging)
  • Improved People and Expertise Search
  • Phonetic Search – Find Nick Names and phonetically incorrectly spell names
  • Improved Search Relevance – Improved search based on usage, history, social behavior, and tagging
  • FAST Integration – Advanced Conversational and Visual Search Experience, Includes thumbnails and previewers, Deep Refinement with count, Search administrators can control the result presentation including promotion and demotion of the results, best bets, and visual best bets.
  • Large list of OOB Search Web Parts

SharePoint 2010 – Insights

  • Business users need the ability to not only rapidly deliver and share information but also to turn raw data into actionable results.
  • Allowing you to make better decisions faster and viewing data, people, and systems effortlessly in order to make those decisions.
  • Business Intelligence features can be activated in the any SharePoint Site, No longer limited to specific Site Template.
  • PerformancePoint Services – First class citizen in SharePoint – Full integration with SharePoint Security and Administration as well as storing all the content in the SharePoint lists, Advanced insights and analytics using scorecards, dashboards, visualizations, and KPIs.
  • Dashboard Designer – Allows IT Pros and Power Users to create rich and dynamic dashboards from various sources like Excel, SSRS, SSAS, Excel Services, Visio Services, and SharePoint lists, One-click dashboard publishing to the SharePoint.
  • Improved Excel Services – Excel 2010 Client supports 64bit client option to enable large spreadsheets, spreadsheets are no longer limited to the Excel’s 2 GB memory limitation, New data visualizations such as Sparklines, Excel Services are improved to support new features, Extensible using the new SOM APIs, REST APIs, and JavaScript Client Object Model.
  • New Chart Web Part – Supported data sources are web parts, SharePoint lists, BCS, and excel services.
  • Visio Services – New in SharePoint 2010, Visio Documents treated as first class document type, render Visio diagrams and charts on the web, apply filters on the Visio data within SharePoint, SharePoint will index Visio contents for fully searchable content. Leverage published excel spreadsheets, SQL Server databases cubes, and SharePoint lists as data source for Visio Visualizations.
  • Web Analytics – New in SharePoint 2010. Reports on site traffic, inventory, and how search is being used. Can be configured at the Web Application or Single WCM site. New OOB Web Parts for web analytics
  • SQL Server Reporting Services Integration – First class citizen in SharePoint, At this moment, it integrates with only SQL Server 2008 R2 (Kilimanjaro). SQL Server 2008 R2 will release in the same timeframe as SharePoint 2010.
  • PowerPivot for SharePoint (Project Gemini) – A powerful data analysis tool in the SQL Server 2008 R2, Process massive amounts of data in seconds, Load large data sets from virtually any source

SharePoint 2010 – Composites

  • Empower business users to create compelling applications in an IT-supported manner
  • Enhanced end-user tools for automation and design – Tools for the end-users and IT to write either no-code or minimal-code approach to integrate existing investments into SharePoint.
  • BCS for LOB data exchange – Business Connectivity Services (BCS) is evolution of the SharePoint 2007 Business Data Catalog (BDC), Supports both read-write interaction with the LOB data
  • External Content Types and External Lists using SharePoint Designer – Virtual SharePoint lists (Data stored in the LOB and UI in SharePoint) to read-write data, real-time synchronization with the LOB systems
  • InfoPath Form Services and Custom Workflows – New in SharePoint 2010 is the Site Level workflows (SharePoint 2007 workflows were document libraries and lists based)
  • Workflow Visualizations – Workflows execution plans can be monitored through Visio-based Visualizations to indicate the stage or status of the process or flowchart
  • Silverlight Web Part – Easily integrate Silverlight XAML applications within SharePoint
  • Reusable Workflows in the SharePoint Designer 2010 – Unlike SharePoint 2007, where SharePoint workflows were tied to the specific document library or list, reusable Workflows built in the SharePoint Designer 2010 can be exported from one SharePoint Site and imported into another Site.
  • Integration of Visio 2010, SharePoint 2010, and Visual Studio 2010 to improve Workflow authoring lifecycle – Allow end users to create workflows in Visio 2010, export them to SharePoint Designer 2010 to add business logic and business rules
  • Access Services – New in Access 2010 and SharePoint 2010, Publish Access based applications to the SharePoint to access the tables, forms, reports, and macros within SharePoint.
  • Interoperability – SharePoint data can be accessed through XML Web Services, SOM APIs, Client Object Model APIs, and REST interface. Additionally it provides OOB WSRP v1.1 consumer web part to display WSRP contents in the SharePoint.
Additional SharePoint 2010 Overview links
Jeff Teper – Describing SharePoint 2010 in 1 Sentence, 8 Categories and 40 Feature Areas

Toby Ward – SharePoint for ECM: 5 big enhancements

Joel Oleson – SharePoint 2010 Top 10 Features and Resources

NewsGator – Top 10 Social Computing Features of SharePoint 2010

WindowsITPro – New Features in SharePoint 2010

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