Notes from the 2018 SharePoint Virtual Summit

The 2018 SharePoint Virtual Summit was Monday morning, May 21, 2018. This year, the SharePoint Virtual Summit is really the keynote from the SharePoint North America Conference.

As Jeff Teper explained, the SharePoint community has spring and fall “moments” each year where the product team makes a lot of announcements. The SharePoint North America conference is the Spring Moment, and Microsoft Ignite is the Fall Moment.

Here are the notes I took during the event:

  • Previously, if you put OneDrive on your phone, it will automatically upload your photos to your consumer OneDrive. Announced today was that you can upload those photos to your OneDrive for Business (ODFB). ODFB is also starting to surface the photo intelligence capabilities (mostly auto-tagging, from what I’ve seen), that consumer OneDrive already has.
  • Page Libraries will support metadata, which can be used for targeting content to specific audiences.
  • There will be a number of new web parts. Web parts developed with SPFX will be able to run directly in a Teams channel tab.
  • Microsoft sees corporate communications as a key use case for SharePoint News. SharePoint News can leverage Stream for video and News will look good on mobile devices. It can be used for rich mobile communication. In other words, consider using the SharePoint mobile app as a tool for telling your internal brand stories.
  • The SharePoint mobile app is getting an update. The UX will be simplified, with the Find tab, driven by search, will consolidate a number of things that previously had their own tab.
  • SharePoint Spaces was announced and means that people can create and display 3D environments and 3D visualizations right in a SharePoint site. See this eWeek article. One member of my user group suggested that this could be used for sharing 3D architectural renderings of office space changes, such as when a company moves into a new office.
  • The new SharePoint Admin pages were demonstrated, including the ability to select multiple site collections and email the site owners of the selected site collections.
  • Microsoft showed off Hub Sites briefly.
  • There will be a built-in workflow for page publishing approval that uses Microsoft Flow as the workflow engine.
  • Improvements in Search and support for external content sources.
  • A new Training web part populated with content direct from Microsoft and updated by Microsoft, but with filters you control so that the content is appropriate for your organization.
  • A number of improvements to SharePoint Lists, including:
    • Much improved support for pasting from Excel, including automatically adding columns if the number of columns being pasted is greater than the number of columns in the list. This was one of things that people in my user group viewing party were most excited about.
    • The ability to create a Planner task from a list item
    • A new column type for Locations (addresses)
    • Support of the use of lists from within Microsoft Teams
  • Microsoft’s support for keeping user data in the appropriate geographies (called Multi-Geo support) was talked about. The point of this is not for performance as much as compliance. If you have users in multiple countries, you can keep each user’s data in the appropriate country.
  • They promoted their SharePoint migration tool. I am still skeptical of how it competes with similar tools from vendors who have been working on these tools for 10+ years, but I have not done a head to head comparison.
  • Microsoft remains committed to SharePoint On Premise (though remember this is always a subset of SharePoint Online). SharePoint Server 2019 will support the modern sync client.

If there are things I missed, feel free to add them in the comments!