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SharePoint—the mobile and intelligent intranet

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Editor’s note 6/21/2016:
Post has been updated to reflect the availability of the SharePoint mobile app for iOS and provide an up-to-date roadmap for this quarter.

Editor’s note 6/2/2016:
Post has been updated to reflect the rollout of the new Site Contents page to First Release customers.

The intranet is at the epicenter of many organizations, as the place where employees can get company news and information, plus search for people and content.

Now, we will make the intranet a more personalized experience, one that is where you need it, when you need it. Welcome to the mobile and intelligent intranet. Spanning on-premises and Office 365, the mobile and intelligent intranet brings together the productivity of SharePoint Team Sites, the broadcast reach of publishing sites and portals, and the mission criticality of your most important business applications—accessible from your desktop to your mobile phone—and powered by the Office Graph, so information finds you, instead of you having to find information.

Today, we announced The Future of SharePoint, which detailed our vision and innovations, including the new SharePoint mobile app, a new SharePoint home in Office 365, modern team sites with Office 365 Groups, responsive page authoring and updates to document libraries and Lists. We also announced SharePoint integration with Microsoft PowerApps and Microsoft Flow. We’re committed to evolving your intranet to be more accessible on the go and more personal, with intelligence-driven content based on your activities across sites, the people you work with and the content you work on.

Watch this Microsoft Mechanics video with Adam Harmetz, principal group program manager for the SharePoint engineering team, to see the mobile and intelligent intranet in action:

Let’s dive in to the details…

Your intranet in your pocket

Untether with the SharePoint mobile app

It’s time to untether with the SharePoint mobile app, which enables you to stay connected to important content, sites, portals and people from your intranet while you’re on the go.

Get the full power of SharePoint on your phone. This new app, too, is infused with intelligence from the Office Graph to help you navigate more quickly to content and people that matter to you the most.

  • The Sites tab takes you to your Sites, Recent sites and Followed sites, where you can keep up with site activity, navigate using quick launch or see recent files.
  • The Links tab takes you to sites and portals programmed for everyone in the company.
  • The People tab gives you access to the people you work with and visibility into what they are working on.
  • Search is available throughout with clean results filtered by sites, files and people.

SharePoint the mobile and intelligent intranet 1

The SharePoint mobile app on Windows, iOS and Android.

Users can also have multiple accounts online and on-premises, and can easily switch between them.

The SharePoint mobile app for iOS is now available, followed by versions for Windows and Android in the second half of 2016. And a planned, future update to the app will bring company news and announcements to your device.

Experience SharePoint home within Office 365

The new SharePoint home creates a space for SharePoint on the web within Office 365 that allows you to quickly find and create sites. And just like the SharePoint mobile app, the SharePoint home web experience enables you to easily find and discover the places, information and people you need to be productive.

Users simply click the SharePoint tile from the Office 365 app launcher—formally the Sites tile but with the same logo—to launch a redesigned, modern and responsive user experience with intelligence and site activities front and center.

Once in your SharePoint home, you’ll see the sites and portals you are most active in alongside recommended sites per the Office Graph and company-wide sites promoted by your company, the entire intranet of an organization. Here, too, is the heart of enterprise search. Start typing in the upper-left search box and you’ll see results intuitively organized, with results visually displayed.

SharePoint the mobile and intelligent intranet 2

The SharePoint home in Office 365, accessed by clicking the SharePoint tile in the Office 365 app launcher.

One app, one Web, a click and a tap away. The SharePoint mobile app and SharePoint home is your new “gateway” to experiences in SharePoint. Our goal is to make it simple and fast to navigate your entire intranet across any device, so you can keep track of the sites, work and people in SharePoint and Office 365 that are important to you.

To learn more about the SharePoint mobile app and the SharePoint home web experience, check out the new Microsoft Mechanics video, “Your Intranet in Your Pocket: The SharePoint mobile app,” with Andy Haon, principal group program manager for the SharePoint engineering team. Learn more about how to find sites and portals in Office 365.

Modern team sites

Team sites + Office 365 Groups—First, the updated team site home page is the quickest way to find and showcase the most relevant and important content. Team members can pin the content and news right up front. With intelligence from the Office Graph, team members can view recent people and content activity. The team site home page offers an updated entry point to where team members get work done and is applicable to new and existing team sites.

It is now simple and fast for users to create team sites. And by default, every group in Office 365 Groups gets the full power of a SharePoint Online team site. We’ve made huge improvements in the time it takes to create a team site—targeting “seconds-to-ready.” The provisioning flow and integrated value leads to the creation of Office 365 Groups in Azure Activity Directory (AAD), as well as establishing governance and compliance controls for site classification.

SharePoint the mobile and intelligent intranet 3

The updated SharePoint Online team site home page brings important documents and site activities to the forefront, with clear visibility to the associated group in Office 365 Groups and its members.

SharePoint the mobile and intelligent intranet 4

The same team site when accessed via the new SharePoint mobile app.

Modern document libraries experience—The second aspect, the true heart of team sites, is the document library, a secure location to create, share and organize team files. This update builds on the core value people have come to depend on for years, adding a new user experience and capabilities, designed to bring consistency for working on files throughout Office 365 while maintaining the full power of SharePoint document libraries.

We focused on helping your team get to work right away and highlight what is most important.

Use Pin to top to increase visibility and discoverability for important documents, videos and more at the top of the document library for all users. You can also add a link in an Office 365 document library to an item that is located outside the document library. For example, you can add a link to a file or folder located in a different document library or website. When you add a link in a document library, the link shows up in the list of items in that library with a web globe icon to identify it as a linked item.

To help you find and manage items, you can now sort and filter columns. In addition, new, real-time full-text search results appear directly in the document library experience along with quick, inline metadata management. And finally, when the team needs to bring in files from OneDrive for Business or publish files between document libraries, users can click Move to or Copy to move or copy files to other locations across Office 365, without generating unnecessary versions of the same files.

SharePoint the mobile and intelligent intranet 5

The new modern document library experience, showing two documents and a link pinned to the top.

Learn more about how SharePoint Online document libraries have been updated.

Modern Lists experience—And what about managing structured data in SharePoint Online Lists? Over the years, customers have used Lists for everything from tracking engineering bugs to managing event sessions or even to cataloging the t-shirt sizes of everyone on a team, making Lists a key tool for sharing data and building lightweight processes.

We’re excited to share that Lists are also getting a visual refresh, aligned in look and feel to document libraries. The core value and power of Lists goes unchanged. This update to SharePoint Online Lists brings a new user experience, aligned to the look and feel to new modern document libraries experience. You’ll first notice an updated top with quick actions for commonly used Lists tasks. Lists are much more mobile friendly via modern mobile browser across devices and a great experience when navigating Lists via the new SharePoint mobile app.

Integration with Microsoft PowerApps and Microsoft Flow coming—We are also excited to announce integration plans with Microsoft PowerApps and Microsoft Flow (announced last week); both are planned to be built right into SharePoint Online Document Libraries and Lists—helping automate your teams’ processes—especially while on the go. It’s a great way that SharePoint can be connected to a world of data sources without great cost of time or development complexity.

SharePoint the mobile and intelligent intranet 6

The Add flow button within a SharePoint Online List takes you to Add a new flow and into Microsoft Flow designer.

Beautiful, modern pages experience—The mobile and intelligent intranet pivots on modern page creation to create multimedia content, like a trip report or information about a new product launch information, using a fluid, inline and responsive page authoring experience. Pages are a great way to communicate and to assemble information from a variety of sources. We updated the page authoring experience to make it effortless to add simple content and powerful web parts. The pages you create can be shared and are part of Office Graph, so users can more easily discover your pages. And our modern pages render beautifully on screens of all sizes.

SharePoint will modernize published portals and pages with a new responsive design that can run in the web and the new SharePoint mobile app. This will include simple branding, page layouts, editing and video support built on Azure Media with extensibility through modern web parts covered below. Now, every team site comes with the ability to quickly build out and publish professional, polished reports and pages.

SharePoint the mobile and intelligent intranet 7 and 8

Modern pages area easily created in your browser when you click Add a page within a team site.

Site activity and insights on the Site Contents page—The SharePoint Online Site Contents page is being redesigned to help site owners, members and visitors understand the activities occurring within the site. The Site Contents page will provide visibility on top-viewed content and a site map, and will offer users site tips. Think of this as site-level activities and analytics. The new Site Contents page will also provide clear access to add lists, document libraries, subsites and apps. New quick buttons will allow access to common actions and deeper site settings.

Updated Site Contents page in SharePoint Online showing Site visits and Trending content.

Learn more about the SharePoint Online Site Contents page.

Roadmap for the mobile and intelligent intranet

As you can see, our team has been busy creating exceptional new experiences that empower you work effectively across your intranet—from very personal experiences with the people and content that matter to you to rich and responsive team sites and applications, all the way up to collaboration and content management across the organization.

Here’s what you can expect to see starting this quarter:

  • Modern document library experience (in production now).
  • SharePoint mobile app for iOS (available now in the Apple App Store).
  • SharePoint home in Office 365 (in production now).
  • Modern List experiences.
  • Site activity and insights on the Site Contents page (in production now).

And during calendar year 2016:

  • SharePoint mobile app for Windows and Android.
  • Integration of SharePoint sites and Office 365 Groups.
  • Simple, fast site creation.
  • Modern pages experience.
  • Team and organizational news and announcements.
  • PowerApps and Microsoft Flow integration with SharePoint.

Nine out of 10 intranet design award winners selected SharePoint as their chosen platform (Nielsen Norman Group 2016 Intranet Design Awards). As you consider updating and expanding your intranet, we know SharePoint will be an important element to support you and your teams into the future. We welcome feature requests and feedback via the Office 365 UserVoice, @SharePoint and @Office365 on Twitter, and in the comments below. We’re eager to hear your feedback and use it to provide the best experience possible.

Frequently asked questions

Q. What mobile platforms are planned for the new SharePoint app and when can we expect them?

A. We are building the SharePoint app for Windows, Android and iOS. We will ship the SharePoint app for iOS by end of the first half of 2016, followed by Windows and Android versions by end of the second half of 2016.

Q. Can I use the SharePoint app for online and on-premises?

A. Yes. The SharePoint app will connect to your environment whether you are using SharePoint Online in Office 365, SharePoint 2013 or 2016 on-premises, as well as with hybrid deployments.

Q. When and how can I expect to see the new SharePoint home in Office 365?

A. We will begin rolling out the new SharePoint home page within the next few weeks, initially to First Release customers and then into the worldwide production environment. Once the new SharePoint home is available to an Office 365 customer tenant, the existing Sites tile in the Office 365 app launcher will become the SharePoint tile and the main, top-navigation will say Office 365 > SharePoint.

Q. Will every Office 365 Group get a full SharePoint team site?

A. Yes. When you create a new site from SharePoint home, you are asked to give it a title, assign the proper form of usage classification and assign appropriate members. When you add members during site provisioning, you are creating a new Office 365 Group into the tenant’s Azure Active Directory (AAD). Existing Office 365 Groups will also get a full SharePoint team site.

Q. Can I adjust the default experience for SharePoint Online document libraries from new or classic and back?

A. Yes. To learn more from a user and an admin perspective, please review this Office Support article.

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30 comments
  1. At Adactit we have been really looking forward to all this innovation that you have announced today. Great job team! We look forward to help our customers embrace and use all these new capabilities in a way so they can really improve productivity.

    • Excellent to hear, Jesper. Love to hear your wins, their preferences and feedback, and always open to questions in the Office 365 Network, or to us or me directly on Twitter: @sharepoint & @mkashman. – Mark.

  2. Hello guys! How are you today? I’m very exited about the new features announced today! Really great stuff coming! I do have a couple of questions about them: how about the future of SharePoint Designer? Is it going to be replaced with Microsoft Flow? Also, nothing was talked about Workflows… It will remain the same? Thanks!

    • Hi Antonio,

      Great to hear your initial reaction – positive, phew. :-).

      And to your question: SharePoint Designer (SPD) 2013 will be supported in parallel to the normal support of our SharePoint Server 2106 release and support cycle (May 4th, 2016 marked the official general availability (GA), which means it, and SPD, will be supported thru 2026); aka, we extended SPD support by three years. There is not a new version of SPD, and we do not have any immediate plans to ship a future SPD release.

      That said, I would not equate Microsoft Flow as a replacement to SPD. Flow is a service running in Azure that has a number of components to it (design canvas, extensible logic, connectors, and more); and can be applied to SharePoint and other solutions and apps. We will build it right into the SharePoint Lists and Document Library user experience as we showed during the May 4th event, and you can see in the above screenshot). SPD is a desktop application, with good ties to work with the design elements of a SharePoint site/page, and can be used to create SharePoint workflows. We do look to Microsoft PowerApps and Microsoft Flow to bring forms and workflow capabilities to SharePoint, in parallel to how we support and promote use of Visual Studio to build rich, highlight customized forms and workflows (and workflow activities); where we continue to support both SharePoint 2010 Workflows and SharePoint 2013 Workflows.

      SPD may play a role in numerous SharePoint environment design and workflow needs, and as you grow use of SharePoint Online and leverage more and more cloud services – look to see how services like PowerApps and Flow compliment cloud architecture, especially for the citizen developer (often times called the power user).

      Hope that helps. We want each supported offering to be clear, and will describe and explain as much as we can as the various solutions move out of preview and into the mainstream.

      Thanks,
      Mark

  3. Looking forward to this. Will it only be available to E3 Licence subscriptions please? Or can we use on E1 which is much better in light of competing SharePoint apps for IOS already out there.

    • Specific licensing and user rights will be shared when the various apps and services launch. Today, most everything in this post is in-development and coming per the roadmap information shared at the end of the post.

    • Thanks, Karsten. The team is working hard to make the apps work great everywhere and in the ways you want. – Mark.

  4. Hi,

    the SharePoint Mobile App Looks realy nice! Which Authentication Methods will be supported for onPremise enviroments?
    The OneDrive for Business App only supports direct authentication with the onPremise SharePoint Server and you couldn’t use a Reverse Proxy with Pre Authentication like the lovely Web Application Proxy with ADFS 3.0 to publish your enviroment securely and get a SSO between OnPremise and Office 365. Unfortunately this limitation made it useless for any of my customers, since everybody wants SSO and nobody connects their Business critical SharePoint directly to the Internet.

    Btw. If you want to add a Comment and aren’t logged in already the page jumps to the beginning, you have to scroll down to read the error message. After you’re are logged in and click the Add Comment it’ll jump back to the top again and you’ll have to scroll down a second time to write your comment. I’m sure that isn’t the intended behavior and you shouldn’t be missing any comments because of that.

    • Hi Christoph,

      First, to learn more about the SharePoint mobile app, have a look at the video Andy Haon recorded: “Your Intranet in Your Pocket: The SharePoint mobile app”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4OmRsiXbVw

      Andy highlights that “We support a variety of authentication methods used by SharePoint such as AAD, NTLM, FBA and others, and we will also have support for mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM) with Microsoft InTune. So the app is secured for IT, and it’s also is easy for users right away.”

      Hope that helps,
      Mark Kashman (@mkashman)

  5. Awesome news on the mobile app. Do you have a date when it will be officially rolled out yet?

  6. This looks very nice. Looking forward to the rollout.
    What will happen with the existing team sites that has the “typical” Sharepoint 2013 design? How much effort should we put in developing them now that we are waiting for this new rollout?

    • Glad to hear it, e699aac08123fb29. Existing Team Sites in Office 365 will get the new home page, taking over the existing look and feel – as you list the SP’2013 design. As you begin to plan adoption and any change management, I would consider what your timeframe is, and know that the updated home page design is coming in the next few months. We will publish guidance with tips and tricks and any known issues + workarounds as we usually do via support.office.com. We’re excited to get the new home experience out there – one that is simple, fast, responsive and intelligent – all by design.

  7. Can I get a clarification on how the features that will be rolling out are named?
    Quoted from this article:

    “Here’s what you can expect to see starting this quarter:

    SharePoint home in Office 365 (in flight to First Release tenants).

    And during calendar year 2016:

    Modern pages experience.”

    So, this new team site looks great, a very nice facelift from the previous template.
    When will that be rolled out? This quarter or during the calendar year?

    The “Sharepoint Home”, is it just the landing page that will be rolled out? And when you click a team site, will it still look like the old SP’2013 template?

    The “Modern pages experience”. Is that feature the authoring experience with the plus sign and a simple way to just click the plus sign and add web parts and media?

    I have a hard time knowing how you are naming your features, thus not knowing when they are rolling out. Maybe I’m just a little slow 🙂 But I want to give the correct information to our customers.

    The big question is, when will the new facelifted Team- and Publishing page template roll out?

    Thanks, keep up the good work!

    • We don’t have any further specific timing to share at this point in time beyond what is above in the blog itself. The team is working like gangbusters to fully design and test all elements – we know you’ll like the experience and new gestures/capabilities. Keep an eye out on the public Office 365 Roadmap (http://office.com/roadmap) and here on blogs.office.com when we push out additional information closer to roll out.

  8. This all looks very nice, but what about companies who need to be able to customize?
    “This will include simple branding, page layouts, editing and video support built on Azure Media with extensibility through modern web parts covered below.”

    What have you planned to make better customization possible, so that Office 365 can be sold to companies, where CI implementation is a must? You are forcing us On-Premise…

    • Great question, Jens, and there is a whole blog post and video I’ll point you to: “The SharePoint Framework—an open and connected platform” [5/4/16]: https://blogs.office.com/2016/05/04/the-sharepoint-framework-an-open-and-connected-platform/ and the new Microsoft Mechanics episode, “Open and Connected Platform: The SharePoint Framework”: https://youtu.be/T_bGyqKwT4g.

      The SharePoint Framework is a new user experience (UX) development framework for SharePoint Online that consists of JavaScript libraries and modern REST endpoints that enable 1st and 3rd party developers to create client-side applications on top of SharePoint sites. These applications use JavaScript templeting framework (e.g. REACT / Angular) and interact with the site through Modern REST APIs to build beautiful experiences such as List Views, Team Site Capabilities (e.g. Video Portal) etc..

      These additive patterns and practices will enable rich customization opportunities on pages we deliver, and certainly custom pages/apps you (customer and partner) will create and maintain.

      Have a look and let us know here, there, or direct to us/me in Twitter: @SharePoint / @MKashman.

  9. Really liking where the Office 365 team are going with SharePoint. It is a great product but can be a bit rigid out of the box that can put people off. I like the document library improvements however there is one thing that my customers ask for and that is the ability to download more than one item at a time. They see they can do this in OneDrive personal and don’t understand why the ODfB and SharePoint doesn’t work in the same way.

    • Good feedback, Rob. Syncing a folder or a set of folders from OneDrive for Business or SharePoint Online document libraries gets you through certain scenarios – and when you simply want to select a few files and pull them down in one motion. I’ll make sure this gets to our document library engineering lead. And make sure to vote it up into sharepoint.uservocie.com.

  10. Love the new design and concept, however I can no longer figure out where our organizations Promoted Sites are? I am an Office 365 Admin

  11. Looks great and especially look forward to the App! Would you be able to indicate if the app will have any support for Site mailboxes as well?

  12. I need to know if there is anyway i can make a code generation system. Like i want to combine three columns, in which one will be auto incremental number, or ID. when i actually join ID with the other two columns, it giving me zero everytime till i edit the code again. I have no access to Sharepoint Designer, and Im working in a company who gave me access to sharepoint, and asked me to make that code generation to tag files. Please help me in this.
    Thanks

  13. Hi,

    Do we have a release date for the SharePoint mobile app? Was planning on going to market for a 3rd party product for the whole company but this may negate this requirement.

    • Hi David,

      We don’t have a specific date to share, and know that we’re gearing up to release it to the App Store relatively soon. And it is publicly on the Office 365 Roadmap: http://fasttrack.microsoft.com/roadmap#I-47112 (as of May 4th; which we do when a feature or app is ~ 2-3 months from availability).

      Keep posted to blogs.office.com.

      Hope that helps,
      Mark

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