Hi folks. My name is Shane Young and I am a lifelong SharePoint MVP. This month we kick off a new monthly article. Basically, it is all of the key SharePoint news from the month and why I think you should care about it. I will cover both on-premises and online for you along with some context. We get hit with a lot of news in the ever-changing SharePoint landscape we now live in, so I will give you just my personal highlights. Feedback or want to talk about it? Leave me a note in the comments and let’s discuss.
I have gotten this question a lot over the last month. Should I go to the SharePoint North America Conference? The answer is a resounding yes. This is not a random SharePoint buzz word conference. This conference is fully supported, backed, and suggested by our friends at Microsoft. Jeff Teper will be the keynote with some major announcements (SharePoint Server 2019?), roughly 100 members of the various Product Teams will be there, and I am doing multiple sessions and a post-con. What more proof do you need that this is the place to be? And if you sign up and use the code Young, you get $50 off. You also get a hug from me. Win, win, win!
Are you still putting off moving all of your on-premises SharePoint data or file shares to your SharePoint Online tenant? You probably are because it used to be a pain to do. Well, to help make that move easier, Microsoft has now released a SharePoint Migration Tool for free. Also included is SMAT, which is a migration assessment tool. That tool helps with security and user mapping questions you have as you make the move. Personally, I am pretty excited to see both of these tools help pave the way. I have done a lot of migrations over the years and better tools are always a win!
Thank goodness. Since SharePoint Online went mainstream, the ability to rename tenants and site collections, aka fixing the URLs, has been a strong need. Well, in the most official notification you could ever come up with, Microsoft Product Manager, Bill Baer updated the user voice request with a Working on it. Hooray. No delivery date yet but we all want this one.
Are you using Cloud Hybrid Search with your SharePoint online and on-premises deployments? If you are, then you probably have burning questions on why does it do what it does and how. (What an ugly sentence.) Thankfully, they released an FAQ that pulls all of the documentation together. Very helpful if hybrid search is your thing. And if it isn’t your thing, what are you waiting for?
Look at me with the scoop. This is February news you are getting early. The new SharePoint Admin Center is rolling out to target release customers on February 1st. Once you get access to the site, you can easily toggle between the new and classic (aka old) experience. The main difference you will see is a move to an actual dashboard, instead of a bunch of screens you configure things on. The dashboard will have usage data, relevant service messages, and service health. This is all making it easier for you to know what is going on with SharePoint Online. Nothing earth-shattering here but definitely a needed upgrade.
Best I can tell, this was quietly done, so it is like I am telling you a secret. If as part of your on-premises deployment you are running Office Online Server, hopefully, you know you need to patch that product just like you do SharePoint. Turns out with the January 2018 patch that was hard to do, since the patch tended to fail to install. To that end, they pulled the patch and rereleased it. Get the latest version, that hopefully works here.
This is less official news and more of a great community conversation. It started when Joanne Klein posted Advantages of a flat SharePoint site architecture, which dives into the pros and cons of site collections and subsites. The consensus of the article, the Twitter-verse, and the Microsoft SharePoint leaders who chimed in, this is a resounding wide way to go. Which makes a lot of sense and even though it hasn’t always been the norm, it is the way SharePoint was built to scale. The article was even later updated to apply more information that surfaced during the discussions. And you thought Twitter was only good for cat videos and ICO scams. Be sure to go read the article and the let me know what you think.