New Features in SharePoint 2013
By: Bernard Mott, LANtec Technical Instructor
SharePoint is all about collaboration: the ability to share ideas, engage with people, work together on projects, and organize information in your business. It maintains security, manages costs, and provides standards for connectivity and design.
Is it Facebook?
The new SharePoint Social feature is not Facebook, or Twitter. Some of the concepts of these social networking sites can be found in SharePoint, but geared towards an Enterprise-type environment. SharePoint Social includes the My Site feature from SP2010, but it has been revamped.
My Site is a personal SharePoint site for every user. Personal documents and drafts can be stored and the user has the ability to share their My Site with other users. My Sites also have access to OneDrive, a single, personal library, accessible from anywhere. Users can sync SP libraries with OneDrive, allowing access to documents even when not connected to the network. You can use the new Share command to quickly share documents or sites. You can invite people to share specific documents and control what they can do with them (read, write, and so on).
Microblogging and Newsfeed features allow you to create conversations and join running discussions with your co-workers. They allow you to use hashtags, follow people or items, and “Like” them, too.
In SharePoint Server 2010, discussion boards enabled members of a site to share information and discuss topics with other members. SharePoint Server 2013 expands on the discussion concept by introducing Community Sites. Community Sites offer several benefits over email, instant messaging, or other communication methods, including:
- The availability of all Community Site content to all members of the community.
- Full retention of discussion history in compliance with corporate governance guidelines.
- Built-in search, which enables members to search all content in the community.
- Ratings, which enable members to vote on individual posts and replies. Ratings contribute to the reputation of community members.
- An achievement system that rewards members for participation in the community.
- Categorization of content to improve discoverability and simplify maintenance.
- Site maintenance via SharePoint lists, which provide a familiar interface and enable you to take advantage of the rich governance, records management, and workflow integration features of SharePoint.
Apps for SharePoint
SharePoint Server 2013 includes support for the development, installation, management, and use of apps. An app is a small-scale, stand-alone application that solves a specific end-user need or performs a specific task. Apps are similar to Web Parts from SP2010. End users can discover and download apps from the SharePoint Store, or from their organization's App Catalog. Similar to the ITunes store, apps can be purchased (some are free) and installed on the site without knowing any programming languages.
SharePoint Server 2013 offers enhanced business intelligence capabilities, including a new Business Intelligence Center site, enhancements in Excel Services and PerformancePoint Services, and support for viewing business intelligence content on mobile devices such as Apple iPad and Windows 8 tablets.
In Microsoft Excel 2013, you can connect to external data using a variety of connections, including OData providers. Excel Services, as well as the other Office Web App Services, will render the spreadsheet in a browser window, even though Microsoft Office is not installed on the local computer. This enables you to create reports, scorecards, and dashboards that can be refreshed to display the most up-to-date information on any platform that supports a web browser.
New data navigation features, such as Quick Explore, make it easier to drill into data displayed in Excel Services reports and dashboards. Select a value, and then use Quick Explore to see the next level of detail that you want to see in the report. Slicers and Timeline controls render in a browser window much like they do in the Excel client. The ability to open and use the Fields list for a PivotTable report or PivotChart report enables you to add, change, or remove items from a view. You can focus on the information that you want to see without having to open the Excel client.
The eDiscovery Center site template creates a portal through which you can access cases involving eDiscovery (electronic discovery) requests. You can place content on hold (during litigation or investigations, for example), conduct queries, and export content. Your administrator can create an eDiscovery Center site collection and grant permission to users who can create or work on their own eDiscovery Case sites. Each case is a collaboration site that includes a document library you can use to store documents related to the management of the case. Content that is placed on hold is preserved, but users can still continue to work on it. The state of the content at the time of preservation is recorded. If a user modifies the content or even deletes it, the original, preserved version is still available. Exchange Mailboxes can be included in the content.
There are a host of other new features that are available in SharePoint 2013. More information can be found on Microsoft’s website. You can also contact your Lantec Account Executive for details, including the upcoming class schedule.