SharePoint Tip of the Month

What’s New In SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint Online?

June 2016


This is a great year for SharePoint. Not only has SharePoint 2016 been released for on premises customers, but Microsoft has also announced a roadmap of what’s to be released this year to enhance SharePoint even further.

Here are just a few of the things we can expect to see over the course of the year. While most of this functionality will be introduced in SharePoint Online, we can assume it will make its way on premise over time.

A new SharePoint Home page

New SharePoint Home page

A new SharePoint home page will be available soon. This new home page has a new modern look and shows you the most frequently accessed sites, sites you follow, and links (defined by your admin) to various resources. The purpose of this page is to make it easy to find all of the sites that you work in. The page can be accessed from the App Launcher in Office 365.

A new SharePoint Mobile App

New SharePoint Mobile App

A new app will be coming soon to IOS (Windows and Android later this year). The App provides easy access to the sites you frequently access or follow, people in your organization, and preconfigured links to various resources. This should be very similar experience to the new SharePoint Home Page.

The app will support SharePoint Online, as well as SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint 2016 on premises. It will also support multiple accounts if you have both on premises and cloud SharePoint environments.

The contextual search functionality will allow you to find anything you have access to in SharePoint. And, of course, you can browse all of the content within each site. Over time, we can assume, there will be further integration with Microsoft’s other mobile apps.

Modern Team Sites

Modern Team Sites

Team sites, one of the most commonly used features of SharePoint, is getting a fresh coat of paint in SharePoint Online! The team site will have a new modern look and some new functionality. It should now only take seconds to create a team site and, of course, the team sites you frequently access or follow will appear on your new SharePoint Home page and mobile app.

In addition, every new Team Site you create will automatically create an Office 365 Group and vice-versa. This will be great for teams who want the ability to have conversations, share files, share notes (OneNote), Calendars, and Tasks (Planner) all in one place.

A new authoring and publishing experience will also be a part of the new team sites. This provides a more modern way to build pages and content within SharePoint.

In addition, the new Document Library Experience and List Experience will be coming as well. This will allow us to drag and drop content, pin content to the top of the page, and manage metadata without leaving the list or library view.

Document Library

Microsoft Flow

Microsoft Flow

Microsoft Flow can be described as a way to build simple workflows between various services. For example, you could have a “flow” that triggers when a Yammer post is created. That post can automatically be copied into a SharePoint list. Or perhaps you want to send an email notification when an items is added to a SharePoint library. Some initial services that work with Microsoft Flow include Yammer, Twitter, Facebook, DropBox, Wunderlist, and SharePoint Online.

Microsoft Flow should be integrated directly in SharePoint Online lists and libraries by the end of 2016.


Power Apps

PowerApps will allow power users to build simple, mobile friendly applications that interact with data from Excel, SharePoint lists, and various other sources. PowerApps can also utilize Microsoft Flow in order to add some business logic and integration with other services.

SharePoint Framework

And finally, yet another framework for developers! The SharePoint Framework is intended to be used for building new experiences on top of SharePoint. Microsoft themselves have used the SharePoint Framework to develop some of the new experience we’ll be seeing this year. For example, the Team Site home page.

The SharePoint Framework will be used to enhance client-side development of pages and web parts in SharePoint. It will provide easier integration with the Microsoft Graph APIs (the APIs that allow communication across various Office 365 and SharePoint services) and will allow developers to work with their favorite tools and client-side frameworks.

OneDrive for Business

OneDrive for Business has been slowing evolving over time. The new sync client allows for selective folder syncing as well as improved performance and reliability. However, the new sync client currently does not support syncing to SharePoint Document Libraries or shared folders. That should change this year.

The OneDrive for Business mobile app will also allow access to SharePoint Document Libraries. And eventually, we will be able to copy and move documents between OneDrive and SharePoint.

Between the updates to OneDrive for Business and the new Document Library experience in SharePoint Online, managing files should soon be a consistent, and modern experience.

This SharePoint Tip written by Eric Gregorich, Senior SharePoint Architect at Abel Solutions.