Microsoft Revamps SharePoint, Will Roll Out Mobile Apps Later This Year
In line with its cloud-first, mobile-first software vision, Microsoft today unveiled several changes to its SharePoint business platform. Besides adding new hybrid capabilities with SharePoint Server 2016, the company also announced a new SharePoint Framework to support client-side development and the coming release of a new mobile SharePoint app.
iPhone and iPad users will be able to start using the mobile app first, with the iOS version of SharePoint set to roll out sometime in late June. Versions for Windows and Android phones are expected to be release sometime later in the year, Microsoft said. Microsoft revealed its latest plans during a virtual "Future of SharePoint" event held today in San Francisco.
First released in 2001, SharePoint is an enterprise-focused platform within the Microsoft Office server suite that includes support for content and document management, workflow management, social networking and other applications.
App Makes Mobile 'Easier, Faster'
In a video introduction to the SharePoint news posted today on Microsoft's official Office blog, CEO Satya Nadella said the latest updates are designed to continue advancing productivity and business processes.
"We are continuing to advance SharePoint and OneDrive and the entire Office 365 service in ways that make productivity even more collaborative, intelligent, mobile and trustworthy," Nadella said.
For example, introducing a mobile app for SharePoint will improve the experience for mobile users, according to Andy Haon, principal group program manager for SharePoint and OneDrive. "We started this project because we think we can make this easier, faster and also more powerful with the mobile app experience," Haon said.
Focus on Collaboration, Security, Compliance
With the new general availability of SharePoint Server 2016, Microsoft said it has updated its previous offering with a "cloud-inspired" infrastructure, new compliance and reporting capabilities to protect business-critical and navigation and library improvements to bring the user experience in line with that of Office 365, Jeff Teper, corporate vice president for Microsoft's OneDrive and SharePoint teams, said today in a blog post. Microsoft is offering a free trial download of SharePoint Server 2016 to users who want to evaluate the new platform before deciding to buy it.
The ongoing updates focus on four goals: file-sharing and collaboration on any device; enabling a mobile and intelligent intranet; extensibility to modern Web development; and attention to security, privacy and compliance across the entire Office 365 ecosystem.
Teper noted that more than 200,000 enterprises currently use SharePoint. Customers include the Coles grocery chain, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Marks & Spencer.
Other SharePoint updates set to roll out this quarter include the ability to copy from OneDrive on the Web to SharePoint; a new SharePoint home in Office 365; and "intelligent discovery" of documents from both SharePoint and OneDrive. Additional features set to be released later in the year include new document analytics capabilities in OneDrive; integration of SharePoint sites and Office 365 Groups; new granular access controls; and the ability to bring your own encryption keys.
Image Credit: SharePoint mobile app (picture above) via Microsoft.
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