Monthly Archives: October 2013

Major Reasons to Upgrade to SharePoint 2013

Posted by Jim on October 24, 2013
SharePoint 2013 / Comments Off on Major Reasons to Upgrade to SharePoint 2013

SP2013Features

If you’re thinking of upgrading your intranet from a previous version of SharePoint, or migrating from another product, this “top feature list” can help you decide if SharePoint 2013 offers a compelling feature set which warrants taking the leap.

 

  Improved Design Capabilities
SharePoint Server 2013 includes new and improved features for designing your sites and laying out content.

  • Site owners and designers can now customize the global and current navigation menus by dragging and dropping menu items directly on the page.
  • You can now brand sites using external tools like Dreamweaver.
  • SharePoint Server 2013 now supports targeting different devices such as smartphones, tablets, and set-top boxes.

 

    Office Web apps are free (and work on mobile devices)
Office Web apps are free (no office client needed) for both internal and external users with the exception that internal users require an Office 2013 license (standard or pro) to edit documents.  Not only do extranet user get free Office web apps, they don’t need CALs either (on premise farms have no limit for external users).

Also to note, Office Web apps now work on mobile devices like the iPad.

   Improved workflow

With SharePoint 2013, the old SharePoint 2010 engine is maintained as-is but a new add-on called “Workflow Manager” can be downloaded and installed separately.  Workflow Manager can run on its own server and has its own respective databases for the manager itself and the Service Bus.

      
    Search (integrated FAST)

For 2013, Microsoft has now created ‘SharePoint Search’ that encompasses the FAST features (mentioned above) built into the cost of SP server.   One welcome change to Search is the addition of type-ahead functionality as well the ability to show your most recent personal searches.

    oData support for Business Connectivity Services

Up until now, SharePoint could always serve up list data because it was an oData provider.  SharePoint can now connect to external sources using oData as well. Business Connectivity Services (BCS) in SharePoint 2013 (and in 2010 as well) lets users connect and interface with data external to SharePoint.  BCS has added oData Support.

Apps for SharePoint

Apps for SharePoint are self-contained pieces of functionality that extend the capabilities of a SharePoint website. You can use HTML, CSS, JavaScript and protocols like the Open Data protocol (OData), and OAuth to communicate with SharePoint using Apps.  The app is an isolated safe container so you are free to make client site calls using JavaScript. A great advantage of the app model is that custom code runs on a separate server – it guarantees the farm to be unbothered by any performance problems created by custom apps.

   

Yammer integration

With each release of SharePoint, comes new social features and enhancements.  As you already probably know, Microsoft bought Yammer last year (www.yammer.com) and recently Microsoft released the Yammer integration roadmap.   Yammer integration will being this summer (2013) ultimately replacing SharePoint Newsfeed entirely over the next year via 90-day updates.

    Community Portal Template

SharePoint Server 2013 expands on the discussion list concept by introducing a new site template named Community Site (Figure 3) which is completely focused on conversations.  What makes this site unique is that users can access the site and observe conversations – then “join” a community when they want to post.  Other notable items of interest regarding this new site template;

  • Becoming a member means you are automatically “following” the community site.
  • Member photos show up next to all posts.
  • Designated users can be “gifted” a badge –to identify someone as an “Expert” or “Thought Leader” so that discussion participants can easily distinguish contributions.
  • Ability to categorize conversations by topic with an image –to create a welcoming environment and encourage interaction.

   Improved Publishing Capabilities via Cross-Site Publishing
SharePoint Server 2013 includes cross-site publishing for web content management that enhance the authoring and publishing processes of your organization. Cross-site publishing lets you store and maintain content in one or more authoring site collections, and display this content in one or more publishing site collections. When you change the content in an authoring site collection, those changes are displayed on all site collections that are reusing this content

   Improved Design Capabilities
SharePoint Server 2013 includes new and improved features for designing your sites and laying out content.

  • Site owners and designers can now customize the global and current navigation menus by dragging and dropping menu items directly on the page.
  • The Power View data modeling and visualization engine for Excel has also be updated.  User can leverage Power View with large data sets to create visualizations with charts, graphs, runtime data filtering, and slicers.
  • Support for big data has been added.  SharePoint 2013 allows for much larger data sets thanks to updated integrated PowerPivot technology.  Built on the Vertipaq engine, large data sets can be compressed and filter while in memory on the server, allowing operations on the data occur very fast.
  • You can now brand sites using external tools like Dreamweaver.
  • SharePoint Server 2013 now supports targeting different devices such as smartphones, tablets, and set-top boxes.