Well, hello there you in 2022. So nice to see you here on the SharePoint community blog. I hope you’ve stopped by to grab insights on the close of 2021 from a SharePoint’y kind of view.
December 2021 rounded our year of SharePoint and related tech goodness: Azure Active Directory Dynamic Groups for SharePoint audience targeting, create and manage verticals in Microsoft Search, Microsoft Lists lookup columns, the ability to manage Teams and channel connected team sites in the SharePoint admin center, markup ink for photos stored in OneDrive and SharePoint, Microsoft Loop components in Teams chats, and more.
The Intrazone by Microsoft
In the related podcast episode, I also note five SharePoint resolutions for 2022, plus an audible rendition of an "Ode to SharePoint". 2021 is in our rearview mirror, with 2022 poised and ready to bring much improvement and innovation to the Microsoft 365 intelligent intranet.
All features listed below began rolling out to Targeted Release customers in Microsoft 365 as of December 2021 (possibly early January 2022).
Inform and engage with dynamic employee experiences
Build your intelligent intranet on SharePoint in Microsoft 365 and get the benefits of investing in business outcomes – reducing IT and development costs, increasing business speed and agility, and up-leveling the dynamic, personalized, and welcoming nature of your intranet.
Use of Azure Active Directory Dynamic Groups for SharePoint audience targeting
Previously, Microsoft supported Active Directory (AD) security groups and Microsoft 365 groups. Support of dynamic groups offers a way to expand how you target your SharePoint audiences.
You can start to add them from the audience picker in the areas where targeting is supported in SharePoint, including navigation and selected web parts. One example: think in terms of using a News web part that now more-dynamically targets the right people - as they come and go or change roles. Over time, this equates to fewer manual adjustments to a growing personalized intranet.
Note, if you do not wish to use dynamic groups, the targeting system will continue to support other Active Directory groups such as security groups and Microsoft 365 groups.
Create and manage verticals in Microsoft Search
Search verticals are tabs on the search result's page that show results of a specific type or from select sources. For example, the Files vertical shows results classified as files and makes it easy for users who are looking to find documents.
You can customize verticals in Microsoft Search to meet the needs of your organization or individual departments. Microsoft Search has two types of verticals, out of the box or default and custom verticals. The default verticals, such as All, Files, and People, create easy access to the most used search results.
New support for custom verticals in Microsoft Search allows you to customize out of the box verticals for Microsoft Search and add new verticals based on your SharePoint content. This is both a benefit to represent content more clearly while giving new, approved ways for people to slice and dice items returned in their search results.
Teamwork updates across SharePoint team sites, OneDrive, and Microsoft Teams
Microsoft 365 is designed to be a universal toolkit for teamwork – to give you the right tools for the right task, along with common services to help you seamlessly work across applications. SharePoint is the intelligent content service that powers teamwork – to better collaborate on proposals, projects, and campaigns throughout your organization – with integration across Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, Yammer, Stream, Planner and much more.
Microsoft Lists lookup columns
Now, I must ask: Did you recently make a list and check it twice? If the answer is yes, did you make a list and create a lookup column twice? I hope so - it truly expands the reach from within the list itself. No matter, I'll check in with Ol' St. Metric'Nick to see how use and adoption is going in a few…
Lookup columns allow you to connect a list to a column from another list - from that same site. Think of it as ad-hoc, team level metadata that easy to establish, update, and use. Once connected, you can easily “lookup” other information (like a list of managed devices) and include this in your new list (like a seasonal list of people). This makes it easy to maintain team-level, centralized lists that contain information you use repeatedly - without requiring you to visit the settings page! In this case, aligning a managed device to a seasonal worker.
Note: You can now create look up columns in modern lists and document libraries.
Manage Teams and channel connected team sites in SharePoint admin center
We are enhancing the Active site experience in SharePoint admin center to include channel sites that are provisioned when a special channel is added to a Team.
With this release, that means:
As Teams and SharePoint further integrate, so too do the admin granular capabilities to manage and control all created and connected sites.
Markup Ink for Edit HVC (high-value Controls)
If you have a photo file in OneDrive or SharePoint, and you go into edit mode, you can now add ink inline - like how you've been able to do with PDFs. With markup(ink), you can draw and add notes to photos to convey messages, reveal patterns, and provide clarity when sharing.
You'll be able to draw on photos or highlight a desired section of an image. The color and thickness of the ink and highlighter pens can be changed, too. Also applied inks can be erased individually or all the once.
A photo alone is worth a thousand words. Imagine how many words a photo with ink on it is worth…
Loop components in Teams chat
Loop components offer a new way to think, plan, and create together. Send a component—like a table, task list, or paragraph—where everyone in your chat can edit inline and see changes as they are made. This makes it incredibly easy to share thoughts, make decisions, collect data, and track progress together and in the flow of your work.
Loop components offer teams more flexibility in how they get work done – ensuring everyone always has access to the latest information. Whether it is contributing in real time or at a time that better fits your team’s schedule, Loop components enables you and your team to stay connected without worrying about working with stale information as components are always live and up to date.
Loop, there it is! For sure try this one today!
New and improved search results experience on Microsoft Teams
Find the information you need exactly when you need it with the new Microsoft Teams search results page. We’ve re-envisioned the Teams search function to make it easier, faster, and more consistent with the search experience you’re used to with other Microsoft products.
The new Teams search results experience features a re-designed user interface with four tabs aligned to the types of information people search most frequently: All, Messages, People, and Files. Using artificial intelligence, search surfaces the most relevant results in an easy-to-read, full-page format. Plus, we’ve added a new question-and-answer search option that enables you to type a question in the search bar and get high-confidence answers
We know you've been asking for this one for a while: A better search experience in Teams. Give it a try and let us know if it helps you discover your Teams content more efficiently.
It's a classic admin's tale, curated over the years by SharePoint users and enthusiasts since March 27th, 2001. The quiet reasoning of the words and the gentle, inspiring illustrations combine to make a perfect, colorful, holiday whitepaper to find your way through the modern intranet.
In the great server room, propped up in the cloud, is an IT Pro with solutions so proud. "Goodnight subsites, goodnight single bloated site collection." And to all the modernized things in the humming datacenter—to the picture of weary site owners not sleeping nights, to frustrated users suffering frights, to broken links and broken permissions, to everything one by one—the brave information architect says goodnight.
One of the most beloved tech PDFs of 2021, Goodnight Subsites is a must read for every IT bookshelf
Read it today: https://aka.ms/SharePoint/GoodnightSubsites - it's quick, fun, and comes with an intranet message. #HubBeforeSub
January 2022 teasers
Psst, still here? Still scrolling the page looking for more roadmap goodness? If so, here is a few teasers of what’s to come to production next month…
… shhh, tell everyone.
Let us end on an Ode to SharePoint
“Page after page, loading with web part and navigation
Sites yield to the team their important information,
The cloud whirrs with authentic authentication.
In the folders and files, collaboration is strewn
With easy co-authoring, version 1 is sure to be finished soon.
On Microsoft 365 family crest bears a mark of productivity
Through creation, review/approval, and ingenuity.
Why oh why upon this heap of work do we care…?
What's the point if you don't share share share.”
Helpful, ongoing change management resources
Thanks for tuning in and/or reading this episode/blog of the Intrazone Roadmap Pitstop – December 2021. We are open to your feedback in comments below to hear how both the Roadmap Pitstop podcast episodes and blogs can be improved over time.
Engage with us. Ask those questions that haunt you. Push us where you want and need to get the best information and insights. We are here to put both our and your best change management foot forward.
Stay safe out there on the New Year’s road’map, and thanks for listening and reading.
Appreciate your time,
Mark Kashman – senior product manager (SharePoint/Lists) | Microsoft)
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