For the first time ever, Microsoft announced a timeline, albeit an approximate one, for expecting the next version of SharePoint. SharePoint 2019 will be rolled-out, with Office 2019, in preview form by mid-2018, with the full version not expected until the end of next year. Expect that the new version will have an enhanced look-and-feel, improved social integration particularly with Yammer, LinkedIn and Skype, improved search, and more cloud options.
Office 2019 will include the usual Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook client apps, with server versions of SharePoint, Exchange, and Skype for Business. Preview copies of Office 2019 should be released next summer.
Excel will also include new formulas and charts for data analysis, and PowerPoint will feature the “morph and zoom animation” features in Office 365.
SHAREPOINT HUB SITES
Microsoft is rolling out SharePoint hub sites for intranets that bring together related sites together in one view or hub site which roll ups news and activity and creates “cohesion with shared navigation and look-and-feel.”
Intranet managers can associate multiple team sites and communication sites with a single hub site with a common look and feel, navigation structure, and search across those sites. Hub sites aggregates news and activities from associated sites and displays the roll-up on the hub site’s home. When a team site or communication site is associated to a hub site, it inherits common characteristics, including:
- Design – Define the look and feel of the hub site, and the theme applies to all associated sites.
- Navigation – Define top navigation inherited by associated sites.
- News – publish a news article on an associated site, the news article surfaces on SharePoint home, in the SharePoint mobile app, and the hub site’s home page.
- Activities – site activities will roll up from each associated site so that they are visible on the hub’s home page.
- Scoped search – search results from a hub site include content from all associated sites.
SHAREPOINT MOBILE APP
The SharePoint mobile app provides all sites, news and team members, and search to find content and across the organization.
With the addition of SharePoint hub sites, the SharePoint mobile app will be updated to “natively render hub sites, and their pages, news, and content, with smooth navigation between associated sites and the scoped search experience.”