[ #Office365 #SharePoint ] The new landscape for end-users, part 1: Groups and Modern Document Library

Fourth article from a series on [ #Office365 #SharePoint ] The new landscape

  1. The new landscape for power users
  2. The new landscape for developers and IT Pros

With such a flow of news (new products, new features, new capabilities) we started to describe in the 3 first post of this series, it can be difficult for customers to catch up and have a clear idea of where we are in terms of functionalities and  how change will impact them.

So let’s try to summarize a little bit what have been announced and delivered since #futureofsharepoint event in May.

1. Office 365 Groups are now the foundation of end-users experience in Office 365.

Introduced in production tenants since September 2014 (see here [ #Office365 ] Chapter 1 of Groups is written, and so what? ) they have been largely improved and enhanced with new capabilities. To name the most appealing features, we have:

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Please note that adding a guest to a group needs owner approval:

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This option can be fully turned off at tenant level:

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  • Link with SharePoint teamsite: this was also a popular request for improvements. We could since the beginning use the great way provided by Groups to manage users and use the groups as a security group in SharePoint but now the storage part of the group is no longer a OneDrive space (as it was in the early days of Groups) but rather the document library of a SharePoint site associated with the Group.

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So the capabilities here are the same we have with the new SharePoint libraries (more on this below).

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  • Discovery dialog for Groups

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From a governance perspective, we have had the following important additions:

  • Restricting Groups creation to a certain set of admins. By default, all users in a tenant can create groups, which is cool for small to medium organizations but can’t be appropriate for big organizations. So you can now create a security group that will define the people that are allowed to create groups.
  • Updatable privacy type (from public to private and vice-versa)

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Be aware of some limits around Groups:

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2. SharePoint modern libraries

Even if you didn’t follow all the news about Office 365 this is the second most important message you should get: SharePoint is back… with a new interface. In just a few month, good old bits were changed radically with, however, a willing to keep upward compatibility.

First the document libraries where updated to what is called a modern UI. Interface is faster and responsive.

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With simplified menus (called command bar, similar to what was introduced in OneDrive a few time ago),

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Among the new features, we can quote:

  • Creating links to files outside the library

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  • Pinning up to 3 files on top of the page is very cool

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  • Copy has been improved and let you create folders on the fly

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  • Move is similar but is still lacking a way to copy to other document libraries in the tenant

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  • Metadata are there, yeah! You can very conveniently set metadata by drag and dropping files in the “grouped by” view

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You can easily add a new column on the fly:

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and columns can be resized which is great!

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  • The document information panel gives very interesting information on the document. Some of them were previously difficult to get like “recent activity”

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Metadata can be easily updated from here too

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  • The search box on the top is great as well, and allow to easily filter the files in the list

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  • You can get great infos on people by clicking on their name

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  • And the menu associated to a file is super rich:

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  • Last but not least, you can go back to the site by clicking on the site icon:

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You can get access here to the full documentation: What is a document library?

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