Today was a great time for those in SharePoint! We got to learn directly from the source about all of the great things they have in the works. This is the second of what I hope will become an annual event where the team presents to us accomplishments they have made and tells us a bit about the future. It is a mix of things that are coming soon and things that will appear by the end of the year. The entire community joined in and tweeted up a storm -so much so that we were even trending on Twitter.
If you had to ask me about the event I would give it two thumbs up! We got to watch this year from one of my favorite local places (Big D BBQ) with a group of about 16 folks in the local area. We decided that since these events are typically on the North end of town, that we would go for a smaller event closer to home. The turnout was great and best of all – we got to eat BBQ! While there were many different things that were discussed at the event, there are two big ones that really grabbed my attention and the attention of those in the group. We had a few audible “oh”s and even a loud “yes!” at one point. In this post, I am going to talk briefly about the two areas that stood out the most to our group.
PowerApps & Flow Improvements
This one was really big with our group. For many of us we have been very intrigued by PowerApps and want to use them internally, but struggle to find use cases that really work like we have come to expect from InfoPath. In today’s demo, we were shown how easy it will be to integrate a PowerApps form with a SharePoint list in a way that will be totally seamless to the user. This is a huge win in this space and opens up many more use cases!
Combine the beautiful forms with the built-in power of Flow and approvals and we are starting to see ways to build out a complete business solution. In the Executive Q&A, James Phillips said it best when he described how it should be irrelevant what tool you are working from – you should always be able to get the best of all applications. From Dynamics CRM and Power BI to PowerApps and Flow – we are starting to see the reality in this. I have been telling people for awhile that this is the area we should be watching closely because good things are coming! Today we got to see them deliver a bit more towards this promise and I can’t wait to see what they have coming next!
If you want to dig a bit more into this topic – I suggest you watch the following Mechanics video: Zero code business process apps in SharePoint with PowerApps and Microsoft Flow – https://youtu.be/B2PhzzVwRM4
Communication Sites were the other announcement that blew away our viewing party today. The ability to create beautiful, responsive Intranet sites without having to do much code or configuration is a huge win! Jeff Teper talked today a bit about how for most people SharePoint can be a career and they need tools that can make them proud of their work. Communication sites are a huge win in this area! Now someone who is responsible for the Intranet can make tremendous progress without needing to work with a developer. They can build and design a great looking site using simple and easy templates provided out of the box. These should be coming soon and I honestly can’t wait to get my hands on them!
If you want to dig a bit more into this topic – I suggest you watch the following Mechanics video: An overview of SharePoint communication sites – https://youtu.be/WEnQKzzbvfo
There were other things mentioned as well at today’s summit, but I wanted this blog post to focus on two areas that really blew our group away. Before we watched the summit, we talked a bit about some of our pain points and goals we had this year with Office 365. I am happy to report that several people left very happy, knowing that they were going to have an easier time of things with these new releases. I am so proud of the team up in Redmond and all they have accomplished this year. I know that we have more to accomplish – but what is technology without changes and growth! I look forward to the next big set of announcements coming at MS Ignite. They have set the bar high and keep raising it with every event. Good thing I think this team can keep working to reach it and raise it higher! I would love to hear your feedback on the announcements today and what your favorites were. Feel free to leave me some comments and we can discuss!
On a parting note, I will leave this oldie but a goodie here for you! It was true last year and is even more true this year!