What is new in SharePoint 2013

As you know SharePoint is now the leading collaboration platform for over 135 million people and 4000 partners delivering innovative solutions. And on July 17 Microsoft announced the preview of the next version of SharePoint, called SharePoint 2013 aka SharePoint 15. Today I am excited to author my first article about SharePoint 15.


Cloud Platform

Many organizations with millions of users have moved to Office 365 to improve their productivity, reduce costs and enable IT to partner with users to drive their organizations forward. With the new release, Microsoft is delivering SharePoint as a service and server simultaneously for the first time and laying the foundation to deliver significant new capabilities to the cloud first in the future.

New features of SharePoint

The following are the some of the new features of SharePoint 15:

  • New SharePoint Experience

    Microsoft re-designed the SharePoint user experience to be clean and simple. The new SharePoint provides quick access to your newsfeed, documents and sites with engaging new experiences for saving documents, editing lists, sharing content and theming sites. And if you want to take SharePoint with you on the go, you can share documents and update your newsfeed from your mobile phone or tablet to keep you connected from virtually anywhere.
  • Pervasive Social Networking

    Microsoft improved on SharePoint's collaboration tools by adding rich new micro blogging, newsfeed, community and other social features. A pervasive following of people, sites, documents and hash tags across SharePoint means you can see and act on the latest information in one place. As we are aware, last month they announced Microsoft is acquiring Yammer, the fastest-growing enterprise social networking vendor. They are in the process of expanding the connections among Yammer and SharePoint and other Microsoft technologies.

  • SkyDrive Pro
    SkyDrive Pro makes it easy it to work with your documents in SharePoint - save, sync, share and collaborate is all drop-dead simple. The name conveys the simplicity and increased consistency with SkyDrive consumer cloud services while reinforcing the "Pro" features of SharePoint like social networking, collaboration, search, metadata, workflow and compliance. Click "Sync" on a SharePoint library and you will get the documents offline in the Windows Explorer, Office applications and more. SkyDrive Pro is part of both the SharePoint service in Office 365 and server.

  • SharePoint Sites

    The new "Sites Hub" shows all of your sites in one place – whether they are sites that you have created or followed or sites that have been promoted by your organization or the new recommendation platform. Microsoft streamlined the new site experience and expanded team collaboration tools beyond SharePoint's rich document libraries and lists to include new team news feeds team OneNote notebooks with real-time co-authoring, task timelines and Exchange team mailboxes.
  • Projects for Everyone

    As most of us use SharePoint sites to help teams get work done, they have added task management capabilities to any team site and a personal view of all your SharePoint and Outlook tasks in one place. For project managers, they have made it easy to sync a site's tasks list with Project Pro or add Project Online to get a view of all your organization's projects and tasks.

  • FAST Search and Recommendations

    FAST search is integrated with enterprise search platform in the industry to deliver innovative new search experiences, dynamic web sites and unified compliance. Combining the next generation FAST technology with learning's from Microsoft Research and Bing they provide powerful navigation of documents, sites, people, conversations, videos, reports and more through a new extensible query framework.

  • Cloud App Model and Marketplace
    The new SharePoint makes it much easier to build, buy, deploy and manage applications via the new Cloud App Model for the Office 2013. They use web standards like HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, REST, OAuth and OData. The back-end can be anywhere but we streamlined access to Azure services. It is built in the new "Napa" web-based development from the Visual Studio team right inside the SharePoint browser experience. Finally, they are introducing a new Office Marketplace for partner solutions and enabling us to create a Corporate Galleries to manage and promote the solutions you build and buy for SharePoint and Office.
  • Dynamic Publishing

    This release also improves the productivity of site designers building engaging, multi-device, multi-lingual intranet and internet sites. SharePoint 2013 supports designs coming from 3rd-party tools in HTML (vs. primarily low-level ASP.NET templates) and simplifies delivering dynamic sites through the new FAST content-by-query platform, content re-use, integrated translation, new video features and more.

  • In-Place Governance and Compliance

    Building on new content management and search tools, the new version of SharePoint introduces a new unified policy management and eDiscovery solution that works across the new releases of SharePoint, Exchange and Lync without expensive and low fidelity duplication of content.

Cloud Architecture

SharePoint was designed from the beginning with cloud principles of statelessness, load balancing and partitioning. SharePoint 2010 added native multi-tenancy and content and search scalability to hundreds of millions of documents. With Office 365, we introduced a massive scale service fabric (deployment, monitoring, disaster recovery, etc.) to run tens of thousands of servers in multiple datacenters supporting hundreds of millions of users.

With SharePoint 15 Microsoft has taken the next step in investments for both Office 365 and on-premises SharePoint. New architectures like Velocity Distributed Caching, SQL Server Sparse Columns and Shredded Content Storage allow them to support more users, content and events with lower SQL Server I/O and better overall performance. The new Profile Storage and Sync system increases directory freshness and supports our new social networking features. Finally, major tuning of our Page Rendering Framework reduces server-side rendering 50% and improves client-side rendering with the largest gains being in Office 365 where Microsoft adds Content Delivery Network support.

SharePoint Deployments

Use SharePoint as an out-of-box application whenever possible; the new SharePoint is designed with a new SharePoint UI to be clean, simple and fast and work great out-of-box. Microsoft now encourages us to not modify it which could add complexity, performance and upgradeability and to focus your energy on working with users and groups to understand how to use SharePoint to improve productivity and collaboration and identifying and promoting best practices in your organization.

Be thorough in custom web design, development and testing; many SharePoint sites are published portals or custom web apps and are excited about the new features designed for these scenarios. Microsoft encourages us to review the new features and to provide guidance to reduce the amount of custom work we need to do.

Reference: The official blog of the Microsoft SharePoint Product Group.