Connecting the modern workplace with SharePoint and OneDrive: Announcements at Ignite 2017
Published Sep 26 2017 05:00 AM 92.4K Views

September 26, 2017 - Jeff Teper, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft


As part of Microsoft 365, SharePoint and OneDrive connect the workplace with intelligent content management and intranets. Digital transformation is driving growth across Microsoft 365, SharePoint and OneDrive.  Today:

  • More than 300,000 organizations have SharePoint and OneDrive in Office 365, including 85% of the Fortune 500
  • More than 65% of all SharePoint seats are now online vs. 35% for on-premises licenses
  • Growth in active users was 90% in the last year alone
  • Customers are leveraging our investments in OneDrive, with 300% growth in file sync
  • We were recognized as leaders by analysts in six Gartner Magic Quadrants and Forrester Waves

Today at Microsoft Ignite 2017, we announced new innovations that further empower you to share and work together, to inform and engage people, to transform business processes, and to harness collective knowledge.  In addition, we announced new capabilities for organizations to protect and manage data, and to build custom solutions with SharePoint, OneDrive, and Microsoft 365.

Let’s look at the highlights of the many innovations we unveiled today.



Share and work together

Microsoft 365 is built for teamwork, and SharePoint and OneDrive make it easy for you to work together. Every Office 365 group gets a site, so your group can share content, knowledge, and apps whether you work in Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Yammer, or on the site itself. And OneDrive lets you find and share your files—both your personal files and the files shared throughout Office 365—seamlessly across PC and Mac, browser and mobile devices. Today’s content collaboration announcements include:

  • A simple sharing experience across Office 365. The new sharing experience, powered by OneDrive, provides a consistent way to share files, to control who has access, and to clearly communicate and enforce security policies. Already available in Windows File Explorer, Finder on Mac, and on mobile and web, the unified sharing experience is coming soon to Word, PowerPoint and Excel.
  • Securely share files with people outside your organization without an account. External collaborators can securely access files with a simple email-based identity verification process. We also provide administrators with controls over secure external sharing.
  • See who viewed shared files in OneDrive. Understand the reach and impact of the files you share with detailed information on who views and when as well as total viewers.
  • Web versions of Office open even the largest files faster than ever.
  • Co-authoring support in the desktop version of Excel for Office 2016. This brings real-time collaboration in Word, PowerPoint and Excel across Windows, desktop, web and mobile—coming to Mac in coming months—something possible only in Office 365.
  • New file thumbnails and previews. View the contents of 3-D images, Visio, Zip files, Dicom and more than 270 file formats with OneDrive on the web, mobile, and right inside File Explorer in Windows 10 with Files On-Demand.

ODB Files Grid Root - Web - Tall.png

OneDrive lets you preview more than 270 file formats on the web, on mobile, and in File Explorer with Files On-Demand

  • Connect existing sites to Office 365 groups. Accelerate productivity by connecting an existing site to Office 365 groups. A group is created with a shared inbox for conversations, a shared calendar, Planner to manage tasks, and the option to connect a team in Microsoft Teams.
  • Deeper integration with Microsoft Teams. You can preview all 270+ file types in Teams, and you can now more easily add SharePoint pages, including your team site’s home page, as tabs in Microsoft Teams.

MSTeams.pngShare information with your team by adding a SharePoint page or news article as a tab in Microsoft Teams 

OneDrive Files On-Demand, rolling out with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, takes it a step further, letting you work with all your files directly in File Explorer, without taking any storage on your device.  This powerful new user experience removes adoption hurdles so that you can migrate files from home directories and mapped drives to Office 365, and users can continue to work with files seamlessly, in File Explorer and in any application on Windows 10. To help you move your files to the cloud, today we announced:

  • The SharePoint Migration Tool. Users or administrators can automate the migration of files from file servers and on-premises SharePoint document libraries to Office 365.

Inform and engage people

SharePoint sites and pages let you keep people up-to-date with news, and informed about product launches, campaigns, events, and policies. They’re the building blocks for an intranet that connects the workplace, supporting communication and fostering engagement. And today, it’s simple for any user to create beautiful sites and pages that are fast, beautiful, and natively mobile—so you can access them across PC and Mac, and mobile with the SharePoint app for iOS, Android and Windows phones. 

We continue to innovate rapidly on sites, pages, and SharePoint news. These are some highlights of today’s announcements:

  • Build richer, more dynamic pages with new web parts. Your pages can include rich, dynamic content from across Office 365, now including Planner and Microsoft Forms. There’s a new file viewer web part that can display previews of over 270 file types. You can embed content from anywhere—including Twitter feeds, YouTube videos and Amazon book recommendations. And you can surface content from more than 100 cloud and on-premises sources using the connector web part.

  • Engage your audience with the Yammer web part. In the coming weeks, we are releasing the new, mobile-ready Yammer web part that surfaces relevant conversations so you can foster engagement on any SharePoint page.


Create beautiful sites with dynamic content from across Office 365 and beyond, and foster conversation with the new, mobile-ready Yammer webpart

  • Promote news articles to reach people where they work. News articles already surface on site home pages, on the SharePoint home in Office 365, and in SharePoint mobile, which also features notifications. Now you can promote any news article in email or in Microsoft Teams. You can also use the SharePoint news connector to automatically post new articles to a channel in Microsoft Teams, to foster discussion of announcements and updates. Finally, you can collect several articles and send them to people as an e-mail newsletter.

  • Save news to read later, and catch up on news you saved. When you don’t have time to read a news post, you can save it for later in the SharePoint mobile app. The new Me tab lets you read the articles you saved. The Me tab also surfaces the recent documents you’ve worked on from across the intranet, so you can get back to work quickly.

  • Measure reach and impact with site and page usage. Usage, including views and likes, appear on each news article and page, and in the improved Site Usage page.

SharePoint has powered award-winning intranets for over a decade. To help you and your users build a better intranet, faster, we also announced the following:

  • Drive consistency and usability with customized themes, site designs and page designs. You can manage the site theme and the layout of sites and pages. You can also empower users to create new sites based on your custom site designs, provisioned with a theme, pages, and layouts suited to the business requirements of the site.

  • Organize your intranet with SharePoint hub sites. SharePoint hub sites will let you bring together associated sites to roll up news and activity, to simplify search, and to create cohesion with shared navigation and look-and-feel. Because sites can be re-arranged as your needs change, SharePoint hub sites empower your intranet to evolve with your organization. SharePoint hub sites will come in early 2018, but we wanted to give you a sneak peek of the vision for this important next step.


A SharePoint hub site brings together associated sites, rolling up news and activity and defining shared navigation and look-and-feel



Transform business processes

SharePoint lists and libraries let you gather and manage files and data and to streamline your business processes with custom forms, connections to other data sources, workflows, and custom mobile apps—all of which you can create more easily with PowerApps and Microsoft Flow.  Together, these technologies empower business users to automate workflows and to create, connect and share business apps without writing any code, reducing dependencies on IT or software developers.

Today we highlighted important capabilities across SharePoint, PowerApps, and Microsoft Flow, including:

  • Create visually compelling lists and libraries with column formatting. Add rich formatting and interactivity to data inside SharePoint lists and libraries.

  • View and manage data with custom forms built with PowerApps. Customize the default SharePoint forms using Microsoft PowerApps, to create the look, the interactivity, and the functionality you need to support users in your list or library. Your custom forms can connect data in lists with over 160 online and on-premises data sources.

PowerApp Form.png

Create engaging custom forms for SharePoint lists with PowerApps

  • Send a document or item for review. A built-in flow lets you route a document for review and feedback.

  • Gather information when a flow is launched. You can configure flow to prompt the user for information in a panel that appears when the flow is launched. The user-supplied information can be used in later steps of the flow.

  • Flow for OneDrive. Create and launch flows directly from OneDrive, to automate file-based processes on your personal files.

  • Work with the largest lists and libraries. We’ve added predictive indexing, which automatically adds indices to lists and libraries, and we’re improving queries. You’ll see better performance working with large lists and libraries.

PowerApps and Microsoft Flow support many of the requirements of business process transformation in the cloud-first, mobile-first world, making them a worthy successor for many of the scenarios previously addressed with InfoPath and SharePoint Designer workflows.


Harness collective knowledge

Today we announced innovations across search, Yammer, and content services (also known as “enterprise content management”) that empower you to find content and people faster and discover relevant knowledge from across your organization, and to harness your organization’s collective knowledge by fully leveraging who you know and what they know.

Our vision of search in the enterprise centers on bringing you highly relevant and personalized search results, powered by Microsoft Graph, wherever you may be working. We’re infusing search and discovery throughout SharePoint and the rest of Microsoft 365, including:

  • Find what you need, faster, with personalized search results and a streamlined search results page in SharePoint. Search is smarter, faster, and easier for you to find and filter results that include all SharePoint content—files, sites, people and now news and list items. You can see previews of files, to more quickly identify the content you’re looking for.

  • Search from your taskbar, from Bing, or from Personalized and intelligent search and discovery are also coming to your taskbar in Windows 10, to Bing for business, and to the new experience. Relevant results are powered by Microsoft Graph and tailored to the context of the search experience. So you can search for content in SharePoint wherever you are working.

  • Make the most of information in photos. Last summer, we announced that you can search for photos based on objects in the photos, whether a whiteboard, a business card, a receipt, a screen shot, a vector graphic, line drawing or even x-ray film. When you upload photos, we make them available in search automatically. Today we announced that we will index text from images, whether the image was originally digital or an image of text on paper. We’ll even work to index handwriting.

  • Search across geographies for multi-geo customers. To support customers implementing multi-geo capabilities for M365, each region’s search index will store data for that region. Search results, however, will span and unify those indices based on your search and location.


Find what you need, faster, with personalized search results and a streamlined search results page in SharePoint

SharePoint powers content collaboration and content services (also known as “enterprise content management” or “ECM”) across Office 365, driving features that ensure content can be discovered, managed, and governed. We’ve talked about a number of features that enhance content management, including Flow in SharePoint and OneDrive, predictive indexing and queries that improve performance on even the largest libraries and lists, document review and approval flows, and synchronization of files encrypted with Information Rights Management. These additional features further enhance SharePoint content services in Office 365:

  • Create a unified information architecture with hybrid content types. Manage content types in Office 365 and replicate them to SharePoint Server 2016 and 2013.

  • Trigger document management and disposal. Event-based retention allows you to manage and dispose of records from the Office 365 Admin Center.


Protect and manage content

SharePoint and OneDrive, as part of Microsoft 365, deliver extraordinary business value while empowering administrators with the foundational capabilities and controls to protect business data and to manage content throughout its lifecycle. Today we announced the latest innovations for service and data governance, including:

  • Support multinational data residency requirements. Multi-geo capabilities in Microsoft 365 enable you to store SharePoint and OneDrive data in regional datacenters on a per-user and per-site basis. So, for example, files for European users can be stored in one of our European datacenters, and files for Australian users can be stored in Australia. Multi-geo capabilities in Microsoft 365 for SharePoint and OneDrive allow large multinational organizations to address complex data residency requirements by allowing a tenant to span multiple datacenters. The feature is in private preview today.

  • Manage your service-level encryption key. Your data is encrypted, at rest or in transit, with keys that are themselves encrypted at the service level. You can now opt to manage your service-level encryption key, so that you can control its renewal and, if your business requires it, you can revoke the service’s access to your data.

  • Site-level device access policies. You can define access to content by users on unmanaged or non-compliant devices at the tenant level already. Today we announced device-based conditional access policies at the site level, so you can control access to sensitive information by site. You can block access by unmanaged or non-compliant devices, or you can restrict these devices to browser-only access.

We also announced the early preview of the new SharePoint Admin Center, designed to empower SharePoint administrators with significantly deeper levels of insight and control.  The new Admin Center features:

  • A home page with service health and messages, and usage. The home page surfaces SharePoint information and insights that previously required tenant-level admin privileges.

  • A new site management page where you can view all of your sites and their activity. You can to sort, filter, and configure all your sites.

  • New controls to govern sharing, device access policies, and service settings. It’s now easier to find and manage settings and policies for SharePoint in Office 365.


Admins can manage all of their sites in Office 365 from the new SharePoint Admin Center


This morning at Microsoft Ignite we also announced our vision, strategy, timeline, and investment areas for SharePoint Server 2019 in addition our continued investment in SharePoint Server 2016 with Feature Pack 2. 


Extend and develop integrations and apps

SharePoint supports a robust developer experience and platform so you can tailor SharePoint to your organization’s needs.   Last year, we introduced the SharePoint Framework, which lets you build responsive, engaging web parts using the latest developer tools and frameworks.  With SharePoint Server 2016 Feature Pack 2, you can now build web parts with one toolset for both on-premises and Office 365. Today, we announced general availability of major new expansions that let you extend SharePoint and OneDrive in several ways:

  • Customize the function and experience of sites and lists. SharePoint Framework Extensions let you use consistent, modern developer tools and frameworks to extend more areas of SharePoint.
  • Extend and integrate your applications with files across SharePoint and OneDrive. With Microsoft Graph as the foundation, File Handlers v2 make it easy to integrate with files.

  • Connect your applications to core SharePoint data. New Microsoft Graph APIs for SharePoint lists and content types let you connect mobile apps and web services to core SharePoint data.

To help you get started, new samples, controls, and solutions are also available via Patterns and Practices. To learn more about what’s new for building comprehensive integrations and experiences in SharePoint sites, files in OneDrive, and across Office 365, read the Office Developer blog.

Learn more and join the community

Believe it or not, these are just the highlights of a massive list of announcements we made at Ignite today.  You can learn even more by watching the recording of the keynote, which will be available shortly. Or you can dive deep into the details by reading these posts on the Microsoft Technical Community:

The innovations we’re driving in SharePoint and OneDrive are a reflection of the passion and the vision we share with you. That shared passion is reflected in the strength and vitality of our community, including our customers, MVPs, and a massive ecosystem of talented partners. When the community comes together, at events like Ignite, the energy is electric. We look forward to seeing you in person at SharePoint Saturdays, Microsoft Tech Summits, the European SharePoint Conference and other great events around the world.


And we look forward to joining the community in Las Vegas in May 2018, where we are sponsoring SharePoint Conference North America—a new, third-party event in Las Vegas. We will bring this annual SharePoint Summit to you, live and in person!


Until then, we will see you in the Microsoft Technical Community and on User Voice.

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