Top 5 New SharePoint 2016 Features announced at Ignite

The Ignite conference gave us a taste of what is coming in the SharePoint 2016 features list… at least from an IT Pro perspective with some that hit end users.  Not everyone was able to make it of course, so I wanted to share my list of top features most of which was shared during Bill Baer’s 9am session on Wed the morning after the AvePoint RED Party/Metalogix Best of Breed Awards and so I’m sure there were some who may have slept in.  Lots of great stuff to get excited about… and hey this is just the start…  Bill informed us that they haven’t really started yet on the UI.  Public Beta in Q4, with public release (GA) sometime in Q2 of 2016.

1. Durable Links – Documents can be set to use Resource ID for the URLs.  Redirect manager handles the inbound requests from guest links, external sharing,  and SharePoint UI such as webparts, and handles them back to the user.

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2. Compliance – DLP is the key term.  Monitoring, and protection of data through deep analysis of content.  Improved Auditing and protection across on premises and cloud.

3. Increased Boundaries – List views increased, single file sizes up to 10GB, TB databases, and list thresholds… I think this one is going to matter for those environments where SharePoint is getting bigger and bigger and bigger.


SharePoint 2016 boundaries

4. Minimal patches with Zero Downtime – This was mentioned at Bill’s first session with Seth on Monday following the keynote.  He talked about the hundreds of files that were changing per edition and per language pack and how massively unnecessary these patches were.  The feature should increase reliability of the service, reduce the number of patches and impact with a goal of zero downtime.  Better reliability and stability is the goal, but I still need to hear more to understand how this is possible.  New insights with additional hooks on usage are planned, so you can potentially build additional health reports and get the metrics you need to build true 99.99 availability farms.


5. Hybrid Deployment Automation – While some may see this more as a Hybrid feature or a feature of the cloud, there are a lot of people who will be in the middle of a LONG migration plan to get to the cloud and hybrid ends up being a reality.  This feature essentially simplifies what is today 15 pages of powershell commands and configuration steps and simplifies it into a wizard.

I’ve heard the complaints about how hard it is to setup… with SharePoint 2016, we’ll be able to count the clicks on one hand?

Now for some not so great news:

* Upgrade from 2010 will require users to migrate first to 2013 then to 2016 unless you use third party tools.

* SharePoint Server 2016 will require Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 10.


While I was hoping for more cool demos, there really wasn’t much to see.  FPWeb hosted a very simple 2016 demo that wasn’t really worth spending much time with given the lack of UI improvements.  The mobile improvements are of mention, but I’m still hoping they do more there.


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SharePoint 2013 Mobile App Device Support Matrix

In preparing for my Mobile Enterprise Strategy Session in London, I put together two different mobile app support matrices.  People want to see what works on what platform.  None of this I’m calling Official.  This is my experience and from my own testing.  There may be bugs and you need to should also verify this yourself if you have any questions.  If you disagree with anything please add in the comments so I can either update or you can make others aware.

If you want the full slides you can download them here: SharePoint 2013 Mobile Enterprise Strategy. Despite the fact that it says only says SharePoint on some of these images.  This applies to SharePoint 2013 On Premises, Office Online, OneDrive, and Office 365.  I’m sure MS would like to know what you use that is missing from apps they are targeting for your device.

Enjoy!  Feel free to download this infographic “SharePoint 2013 Mobile App Platform Supportability Matrix”  or share it on your own blog!

SharePoint 2013 Mobile App Support Matrix

I love seeing all these boxes.  Reminds me of a conversation with Noah Sparks in 2013.  We asked… Will Microsoft ever check all the boxes?  They checked all those… so I had to add more!


Here’s the extended Office 365 and SharePoint mobile platform and OS support matrix.


SharePoint Mobile Extended Support Matrix

Download this image as a file: SharePoint 2013 Mobile OS and App Platform supportability Matrix

Microsoft doesn’t officially support Linux, and I’ve never seen anything officially called out about Kindles, but I do know there is an Ubuntu community that uses Office Online and OneDrive.


Download: Office 365 Mobile OS Platform Support Matrix

Office 365 Mobile OS Platform Support Matrix

Product Announcement: Content Panda – New Free resource to integrated SharePoint and Office 365 training

My friends at Content Panda have put together an amazing resource for your SharePoint 2013 or Office 365 environment.  They’ve done some really clever things and they’re giving away a perpetual free version.  There are paid options so you can add your own content and do additional branding and premium content, but there’s a lot of expert content in the free that’s already available and integrated.  If you want the panda to be a clippy or the wizard, you could do it.  So if you don’t love pandas, don’t let that stop you.

Let me start with more of what Content Panda is and why I think it’s a pretty cool idea.

“52% of organization users are introduced to SharePoint/Office365 with no training…” quote from “The Road to Awesome SharePoint Adoption in your Organization”

I bet the 52% surveyed organizations includes administrator and developer training.  In my experience the total percentage of users that are trained or have access to training inside the organization is less than 10%.  Seriously it’s sad how much SharePoint gets pushed at employees and they’re told to go figure it out or search google or youtube.  I’ve been there.

What is is?
Content panda is Inline, In-Context Help for SharePoint.  The help content is articles, videos, blogs, and rich content to help your users better understand how to be effective with using SharePoint.  The ultimate goal is to help train your users on the technology and increase adoption by increasing user satisfaction.   Content Panda embeds the most relevant videos for you to play along as you solve problems or get that little reminder of how to complete a task.  Users no longer spend hours on YouTube searching for the “right” video.(You don’t need to track down the Office/SharePoint question mark that often isn’t contextual or that helpful.)

What does it do?

Delivers the most relevant and curated help content available in the world exactly when and where you need it .  With Content Panda you now have your own personal search engine inside of Office 365 connected directly to Microsoft Bing web services.  We have hand-curated the most optimal keyword search terms so you never have to leave the software to find an answer to your questions.

Did you say Free?

The free version of Content Panda is available for anyone using Microsoft Office 365 – SharePoint Online or SharePoint 2013. Content Panda is an easy app to install and is activated with one click. It is immediately helpful and opens the door to thousands of the right answers you need on-demand, real time on a daily basis.  You will start to want some panda in every software program you use.

Figure 1: Content Panda in action…

Turned On

Once enabled any menu item now has more information and context.  Simply clicking on the plus will provide answers on what the feature does.  It’s a SP 2013 App, so it meets all your 2013 customization goals as well.

Find more about the new Content Panda SharePoint and Office 365 app at  They give free demos and would be happy to chat with you.  Heather Newman and Simeon Cathy are both super nice and happy to chat with you about your training and adoption strategies.

Any Doubts Office 365 is More Secure Than Your Datacenter? [Infographic]

It was originally posted “10 Hard Facts That Prove Your Data’s Safer in Office 365 [Infographic]” by Ben Niaulin.  I put together an infographic myself based on the Office 365 Trust Center to help you in your efforts to share critical information about security and privacy.  I like how these Infographics help to make the business case and can help bring awareness to the emphasis Microsoft has put on building Trust and really cares about data security.



Planning Delve Deployment in Office 365

Delve seems to get a lot of buzz, but there are still many I hear who say… I checked it out, but I still don’t use it.  Delve is one of those tools that many users simply won’t understand until they start making it part of their entrance into Office 365.  My recommendation is to make Delve your start screen in Office 365.  That’s the only way to get the necessary usage to get real adoption and users will see the power of it.  I think it takes looking at Delve about 5 times, to see the power of it.  Often it is NOT the first time you see it.  It takes time and it’s not going to be relevant and interesting every time.  It won’t get adoption in many companies because their users won’t give it the opportunity to provide the insights into what’s happening and to allow it to discover what’s relevant.  People use what they are use to, so it may simply take a few years for users to get use to the idea and need to hear it again and again for some time.  Microsoft doesn’t seem to be backing down as more and more features are added.


Go to the image of a “gear” and choose “Office 365 settings” then set your start page as “Delve”


Not yet convinced?  I really do think you should have this be default for all users.  Was hoping to find a way to set this via powershell or something in Admin UI, but no luck.  Looks like others have asked for this capability as well.

Not yet seeing Delve.  It may need to be enabled.

Enabling or Disabling Delve for your organization

  1. Go to the SharePoint admin center.
  2. Choose Settings.
  3. Under Office graph, select one of the following:
    • Allow access to the Office graph
    • Don’t allow access to the Office graph


After that each user has the ability to opt out from Delve. In Delve settings it can be turned on or turned off.  The only other setting is for help tips.



I had an impromptu session at this past SharePoint Saturday Utah.  The session was on Delve and I was handed a deck from the brilliant Naomi Moneypenny.   I was doing a tag team job with David Leveille and he took the first shift while I caught up with Noah.  After a good thirty minutes I went back into the session and the first question from the audience was… “I still don’t get it.”

Amazing.  After 30 minutes, the audience still had lots of questions, not about the features, but about why!  Why was this built.  They were trying to understand when it should be used and really dig into the use cases.

Here’s what I said…

What is it about? Discovery.  It’s all about discovering what you don’t know, but that maybe you should know. 

That wasn’t enough.  They still didn’t know when a user would use this.

Well, let’s try an analogy.  Remember Outlook Today?  This is Outlook today in the ways that it was designed to help you get a quick glance on what’s going on, but in Outlook you’ve got structured data with Tasks, Messages, and Calendar items.  Delve takes unstructured data that come from any number of different sources that could be documents, conversations (coming soon), along with third party.

There are lots of articles that describe the features of Delve, and the power is really under the hood.  In imagining how this becomes valuable you have to understand the algorithm.

The algorithm looks at a number of factors:

1. What’s New – recent documents created by your colleagues


2. Popular/Views by people close to you – popular items that are being viewed by colleagues


3. Email attachments – Items that can otherwise be buried in email


3. Overall – Delve will show items that are of interest to you based on insights it has gathered and analyzed in the Office Graph database.

4. Signals from Exchange Online currently are used to determine who you care about.

5. Yammer conversations coming soon

6. On premise and Third party signals – Planned.  Lots more to be announced at Ignite…


In many ways Delve introduces the power of machine intelligence into our everyday lives.  It starts here.  We allow a machine access to our data across many systems and say.  Use big data and your knowledge of what I care about and tell me what I should be looking at.  The concept is pretty awesome.  We just need some time for the trust to sink in, and idea of a computer learning enough about us that it can be smart about what it starts recommending.  The more it learns, the better the algorithm gets, the better access to data that matters, and pretty soon this Artificial Intelligence becomes irreplaceable.

#1 Business Concern with Delve: Security/Privacy…  It exposes items and documents that can’t be removed in the Delve interface, but permissions can be viewed and changed in the source system like OneDrive or SharePoint by someone with permissions.  Microsoft has done a few things to make it easier to get at permissions.  You’ll notice a few things in the UI.  One is the person icon which if you mouse over will say “who can see this?”

Here are some additional articles for ramping up on Delve

What is Office Delve?

Are my documents safe in Office Delve?

What kind of information will I find in Office Delve?

Users are concerned that private or sensitive documents are available in Delve


Other community folks thoughts on Delve

SharePoint Server 2016

SharePoint Server 2016 to be revealed at Ignite!

It was confirmed yesterday in Julie White’s blog that mentioned SharePoint Server 2016 by name, and multiple mentions in the Ignite videos and in the #IgniteJam this morning.  If you’ve been wondering what the next version of SharePoint would be called.  A New Star is born…. it is called SharePoint 2016.  Details at Ignite!  See you there.

SharePoint 2016


“With SharePoint Server 2016, in addition to delivering rich on-premises capabilities, we’re focused on robust hybrid enablement in order to bring more of the Office 365 experiences to our on-premises customers.”

Must View References:

Julie White’s post on the evolution of SharePoint

Bill Baer’s teaser on SharePoint 2016  at Ignite:

SharePoint Community Launch in Morocco in Casablanca and SharePoint Days

I really enjoyed helping launch the newest community in the SharePoint World.  The community in Casablanca was born this week.  We had a great first User Group meeting followed by SharePoint Days Casablanca a 2 day conference attended by over 100 people not including the speakers which came in from across the world… Canada, US, Belgium, France, and more.  We had about 20 speakers on what is primed to become an annual French speaking conference in Casablanca.


With some of the new SharePoint community in Casablanca


Speaker lunch on the last day at the event outside.  To the right front is Hassan.  He was the one who helped kick off the ideas of a User Group in Casablanca and helped organize the event.  As well, big kudos to Serge Trembley for helping organize the speakers and inviting me to come.


Nicolas Georgeault and Serge were the speakers at the first SharePoint User Group in Morocco hosted by Microsoft at the Offices in Casablanca.

I made a lot of new friends and learned a few new words in French.  For those that attended my sessions… here are the links.


SharePoint Days Casablanca

Day 1: Planning Your Enterprise Search Strategy

Day 2: Power User Search Tips for SharePoint and Office 365


Search Tips and Tricks infographic …  I’m working with Serge on a new French version of SharePoint Search Tips and Tricks and hope to have it in the next couple of weeks.