April's Favorite Things: SharePoint Conference 2018 Keynote Edition

The SharePoint Conference kicked off today in Las Vegas.  I was eagerly awaiting the keynote to see what Jeff Teper and crew were going to announce.   There were so many announcements that I'm not even sure where to start.  I'm going to highlight a few of the announcements that I thought were particularly cool and will leave you with some hyperlinks to learn more.

Flow

I have to start off with a big update with Microsoft Flow.  You will now be able to share your Flows with Office 365 Groups and SharePoint Lists!  This was one of the biggest complaints and requested features on user voice so I'm glad to see it's coming soon.  Being able to share a Flow with everyone that has access to a particular SharePoint List, in combination with the already announced Send HTTP request to SharePoint connector makes it a true SP Designer replacement.

SharePoint Online

  • New Ways to Create Lists
    • It might seem simple to you but this one excited me the most because it will solve so many problems.  You will now be able to create a new list from an existing list and on the fly select what fields you want to re-use.  And most importantly bring over associated Flows and PowerApps!  For anyone like me that has been customizing SharePoint forms with PowerApps, the biggest complaint is there is no way to move over those customizations but now there will be. This will be available in late 2018.
  • List Editing Updates
    • This feature is going to make several of my clients happy.  In the demo they showed copying data from an Excel file and pasting it directly into a SharePoint list.  They even copied over an additional field that wasn't in the SharePoint list and it automatically created the column for you.  This should be available in late 2018.
  • Image Analysis
    • I'm pretty excited about this one.  You will now be able to upload pictures of various types:  receipts, whiteboards, business cards and SharePoint will use object recognition to extract any text from that image and place it in a metadata column for you automatically!
  • Power BI Insights
    • PowerBI will now be integrated with your SharePoint lists to show real time analysis of the data in your lists!  
  • Planner Integration with Lists
    • I use Planner heavily to manage my daily tasks for work.  I was stoked to see that there will be a shortcut directly in your SharePoint Lists to allow you to create a Task in Planner for an item in your list!
  • New Location Column
    • One of the new column types announced is the Location column which shows a map with pinpoint of the location right in your SharePoint list column
  • SharePoint Spaces - Mixed Reality in SharePoint
    • This was probably the most hyped announcement of the keynote.  SharePoint Spaces allows you create immersive mixed reality experience within SharePoint as easily as you can create a page.  I see so many possibilities for spaces, particularly around the PowerBI and 3D Map spaces.  No public release date was announced but you can sign up for the preview here (I already did!)  Sign Up for SharePoint Spaces Preview


SharePoint 2019


  • Modern Sites, Pages Lists & Libraries in SharePoint 2019
    • On-prem users will now be able to take advantage of modern team and communication sites.  You can also use the modern sharing experience, suite/app launcher (waffle menu) and SharePoint home screen.  Unfortunately, Hub sites aren't included in this release. 
  • InfoPath Lives
    • InfoPath will continue to be supported in SharePoint 2019.  InfoPath is like a cat...it has 9 lives.  While this might be good news for some people with a lot of legacy InfoPath forms out there, I would still highly encourage you to start using PowerApps instead.  
  • Expanded Character Support
    • Although we all know using special characters like # and % in your file names isn't the best practice, we also all know that people do it anyway.  SharePoint 2019 will now accept # and % in file and folder names.
  • Longer URL Path
    • The Max URL is being increased to 400 so good news for those with ridiculously long file names and folder structures.
  • Client Side Web Parts
    • You can now build client side web parts in SharePoint 2019

References

Keynote Video

Enrich your SharePoint Content with Intelligence and Automation

Share Your Flows with O365 Groups & SP Lists

SharePoint Mixed Reality

What's New for Your Intranet in O365

SharePoint 2019 Features

SharePoint 2019 Updates

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