Early this morning we woke up and made our way over to the keynote for the SharePoint Conference with our closest 10k friends. During the main keynote they focused on three areas of SharePoint 2013; Experiences, Innovation and Ecosystem.
Experiences was all driven around the social improvements with SharePoint 2013. All of the demos were focused on Office365, but most of the features also still play true with your on-premise solution. They showed off the new Skydrive Pro functionality which turns your personal My Site into a centralized sharing center with the synchronization functions available down to your local machine. They also previewed a native Skydrive Pro app which should be shipping for Windows 8 and iOS early in 2013. They also were able to highlight the new features of your Newsfeed with the social features by showing off a brand new SharePoint app which is available for Windows Phone as of this morning and works against your SharePoint 2013 systems.
Next they talked about the investment that Microsoft made with Yammer and showing the better together scenarios where Yammer just released their Open Graph web parts and talking about future integrations which will enable co-authoring of documents from your Skydrive Pro and Yammer at the same time using the Office Web Application services as well as hinting to more integrations with Dynamics in the future. Looking into the future the Yammer folks highlighted the upcoming native Windows 8 App to manage interact with your Yammer feeds. The last piece of Yammer news during the keynote was the introduction of the Yammer features integrated into SharePoint Online and Office365 at no additional cost.
Innovation started talking about some of the enhancements and new features in the SharePoint 2013 platform. First they started discussing that search service has now collapsed to only use the FAST search engine with brings a plethora of advantages. From result sets, Office Web Application integration and remembered search the one search engine now strengthens the story for search in SharePoint.
For Enterprise Content Management they highlighted the new Design Manager which lets User Experience designers use the tools that they want instead of being forced to use SharePoint Designer. When starting to use tools like Dreamweaver, you now can use the Snippet gallery to include SharePoint controls into those other tools.
Another area of improvement was around eDiscovery which can help speed up the time it takes to obtain legal information for those high priced attorneys. With the eDiscovery tools they now not only integrate with SharePoint content, but also Exchange, Lync and file shares using search as the core technology to pull the data together.
Other improvements like the SharePoint Health Check rules that were used for upgrades with the PreUpgradeCheck utility are now included at the site collection level since upgrades are now more focused down to that object level.
The last area that the focused on in Innovation was the improvements around performance where they claim the new tooling gives you a 40% improvement around bandwidth with the Minimal Download Strategy components out of the box which only refreshes content areas where items are changing. Other numbers they explained were a 4x image compression ratio and 50% faster server-side latency by better use of IE ports. Another hidden gem is the concept of Shredded Storage which now only sends the changes of a document from SharePoint to SQL which will help out all storage requirements especially how that helps out in environments that utilize versioning heavily.
Ecosystem was the last portion of the keynote which focused on the new App Model framework to help simplify development and speed up the iteration time for new features being introduced to the platform. Using the App Model, now customizations will be able to live outside of the SharePoint constraints and be able to utilize anything that ASP.NET can use, regardless of the dependencies that SharePoint requires which has been a huge pain in the past.
Showing a few examples on how to deploy a SharePoint app through the Auto Hosted, Provider Hosted and SharePoint Hosted models showed the power of the platform, where the demo environments were even utilizing the EU datacenter instead of a localized one.
More and more sessions to come, look for more updates throughout the week
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