Build, MSIgnite and Bill Baer – All recent Office Announcements

The last Microsoft Ignite post was all fun. This one is all tech!  Here's a list of all the announcements that I could find from the last few weeks (focused on Office product group), I could care less about Windows 10 (I prefer real OSes like System/390):

SharePoint 2016 (many of these came from Bill Baer's tweet storm [:O]):

  • SharePoint Foundation will not exist in SharePoint 2016.  I have known about this for a while…you might even go as far enough to say you can blame it on me and a couple of other people.  But this just makes sense in so many ways.  It would have been nice if they took it one more step to remove the ISO/EXE process, but too much change freaks everyone out!
  • Delve integration is coming to on-premises SharePoint 2013 – There will be a CU released later this year that will allow you to integrate your O365 Delve instance with your on-premises environment.  Think "Yammer" integration style, most likely just a nice little ole link sitting at the top somewhere.  Be sure to get your 3rd party IdP setup so the click bait is seamless!
  • Information security features – SSN regex checker for documents is coming to on-premises (already in O365)
  • Crawl 500 million items – this is necessary for the future of the Push API aka "Cloud Service Application" coming to the general public in Nov timeframe.  once you gain the ability to read/write the index, you will want to put all kinds of things in it!
  • Sign is as different user is back!  – Everyone learned a good lesson from having multiple O365 tenants…
  • Encryption in motion – more to come on this later
  • Responsive master pages – yes, they are coming; it was a painful 3+ years watching all the other tech easily adapt and evolve, but 2016 will get us there.
  • List View Thresholds – As you can imagine, the move to responsive and JS framework with REST APIs removes the older limitations, therefore, no more 5000 item list view threshold (which was more of a database issue [table lock promotion] than SharePoint)
  • Granular server roles DistCache, Workflow, etc
  • Upgrade Path – You must upgrade from 2013.  You cannot jump from anything before 2013
  • Forefront UPS Sync – FIM is out (which is sad because it was an amazing tool)
  • New Update Model – Patch system based on O365 update methodology (always on, no downtime)
  • 10GB uploads – Why you would ever need this is beyond me.  Totally un-necessary.
  • Durable links – I gave them this idea and showed them how to do it based on Oracle Portal and a tool I built a couple years ago.

Office 365:

  • OWA with real time authoring details – we finally get real google doc functionality.  Took about as long as I told them it would take to build it (and yeah, you know what email I'm talking about)
  • Office integration with Skype for business – I'm hoping Skype for business brings back the fun and interaction that Hotmail messager had back in the day. 
  • Delve page updatesranding – Add your own actions to the delve page
  • Employee productivity BI Reporting – track employee's time on email, hours worked, time in meetings, etc. I will be doing another post on this later.
  • O365 Admin Workload specific Roles – aka granular permission assignment – hard to believe they called the platform secure before this announcement!
  • Login telemetry – Similiar login telemetry to Box and Yammer (when, where, how you logged in) – again hard to believe that we could call O365 secure before this.
  • Mobile Apps – More mobile apps for new features (O365 Video)

NextGen Portals:
First off, "NextGen Portals" is a marketing term wrapping a set of pages and apis that you "may" already know about.  It was "invented" by the one and only Mark Kashman.  It wraps the concept of several things included but certainly not limited too:

  • O365 Video – Azure media services, video stored in Azure, SP stores pointer and manages data in Azure back end
  • Infopedia – Advanced next generation of the Delve "page" – surface data and info via more search querys
  • Responsive design and inclusion of HTML5 based technology that works across mobile devices

Delve and OfficeGraph:
Just to be clear, Office Graph is a set of search queries that mimic "Supervised" machine learning algorithms.  In my world, I only consider "Unsupervised" machine learning to be true machine learning.  Therefore, machine learning comes later when you can inject and digest the information in much more advanced tools such as IBM Watson.  If you want to learn more about Delve and OfficeGraph, check out my post where I rip anyone who wastes money on Box.

  • Injection of developer "signals" later this year (Nov)


  • AzureStack – on-premises Azure instances (cloud in a box).  This is mainly designed to be implemented by hosting providers, but very large customers can also play here.
  • Dedicated O365 – Similar O365 instances are also available to be hosted on-premises

Certainly some cool stuff…just wait until November 2015 when the really crazy amazing stuff comes out.  It will be a great ending to the year for Microsoft.

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