Yesterday Microsoft has officially addressed the next wave of Office System products.
As there isn’t much information yet, This post is just my opinions and takeaway from the announcements.
The original announcements:
The fist thing that pops into sight is the name of the product.
Looks like Microsoft isn’t quit decisive about how to position SharePoint Server among it’s product lines.
We started with SharePoint Portal Server (SPS). Than, SharePoint was welcomed to the Office family, and therefore was rebranded as Office SharePoint Server (MOSS). And now we are settling for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.
Microsoft no longer wants the Office as a client apps suite to be associated with SharePoint.
By the way, WSS stays for WSS 4.0.
Don’t expect to see a list of new features.. Those are secretly kept at an early stage like this. Still, here is a list of general subjects, that was mentioned in the announcements.
The next version of SharePoint will:
- Have better support for browsers and mobile phones.
- Present a different (better?) licensing model.
- Have improved management options for administrators.
- Support industry standards.
- Have open APIs (what does that means?)
- Provide better tools for developers.
Support for Industry Standards (HTML wise), and have better support for browsers
SharePoint 2007 isn’t quite aware of accessibility or browser support. the master page, the web parts, the whole deal was very sluggish. This is very bad considering MOSS is being sold as an internet facing web sites platform (CMS and publishing features) and as such it must be very standards aware.
AKS (Accessibility Kit for SharePoint) does put you in the right direction, but requires a lot of work. As IE8 is released with full compliance for industry standards it’s inevitable SharePoint will have to align also.
Support for mobile phones
We see this trend everywhere now. Mobile devices are taken more seriously these days. We already know that Office Web Applications supports mobile devices, including Apple’s iPhone. I hope to see the same with SharePoint.
It’s about time.. You see, SharePoint is a development platform, and as such it has to have not only good, but great documentation. In reality the SharePoint SDK on it’s own is not sufficient for learning the technology, and only thanks to bloggers, the community, and some reverse engineering, the darker sides of the products are unveiled. In fact some areas of the product are not documented at all even today.
I’m glad to hear that this issue is being considered.
Office Live Applications Integration
We already know that Office Live Applications will integrate into SharePoint 2010. What I expect it the same type of integration made with Excel Services in MOSS2007, but now with support for editing, and more file formats.
Different deployment options
The announcements further emphasizes that companies can choose between deploying SharePoint on-premises or hosted as a service. This aligns with what we already know about SharePoint in Azure.
SharePoint 2010 will enter a technical preview in the third quarter of 2009 and will release to manufacturing in the first half of 2010.
That’s about it.. I expect some more leaking of information as we will enter technical preview.
--My name is Itay Shakury, and I’m a SharePoint Consultant --
This post is a summery of what is currently known about Office Web Applications 2010.
Announced at the last PDC, Microsoft Office Web Applications is basically a lightweight version of Office for the web. It has web versions for all the major Office client applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Even OneNote (Finally a web based one note).
The applications will be provided for a regular consumers via Office Live, and for businesses as part of SharePoint 2010. For the regular consumer, it will probably be free (as-supported), or paid (subscription).
Office Web Apps will work on all major browsers and operating systems, but what I find more interesting is that they have mobile versions too! Including for iPhone!! That’s really great news.
Office Web Apps will not require Silverlight, but will support it for enhanced experience.
Office Web Apps (and Office in general) will support real time collaboration, meaning several people can work simultaneously on the same document.
You can see a short demo at channel 9 (the first link in the list below).
-- My name is Itay Shakuey and I’m a SharePoint Consultant --
Service Pack 2 for the 2007 Office System Products was just announced (not released). So far the announcement contains a limited list of features that was compiled by asking “the individual teams in Office to come up with a list of changes that they were most proud of and felt would be most beneficial”.
Apparently we will get more info on April 28th.
Read the announcement:
After reading the list of changes, I can’t spot any new interesting feature or drastic change, but reliability, compatibility, and performance improvements mainly. Anyway, here is the partial list of SharePoint related changes:
Enterprise Content Management (ECM)
The performance and stability of content deployment and variations feature has been improved.
A new tool has been added to the STSADM command-line utility that enables a SharePoint administrator to scan sites that use the variations feature for errors.
SP2 makes it easier to configure Excel Web Access Web Parts on new sites.
Several rendering, calculation, and security issues have been resolved.
Some display issues have been addressed.
Improved compatibility with Mozilla Firefox browsers.
Memory requirements and the page load times for large browser-rendered forms have been reduced.
Browser rendering of various controls, such as the 'cannot be blank' asterisk and the rich text field has been improved.
Improvements to the reliability and stability of very large corpus crawls.
Backup-restore has been improved.
A new command has been introduced to the stsadm.exe tool that lets a SharePoint Administrator to tune the Query processor multiplier parameter.
Improved accuracy in searches involving numbers.
Stay tuned on the 28th…
-- My name is Itay Shakury, and I’m a SharePoint consultant --
The “Contains” operator was removed from Advanced Search UI, by KB950437, and all hotfixes and updates to follow.
You can restore the original behavior by setting <Option Name=”AllowOpContains” Value=”True”/> in the properties definition XML.
More info and a step by step guide here:
-- My name is Itay Shakury and I’m a SharePoint Consultant --
Microsoft has decided to make SharePoint Designer a free product. it can be downloaded for free from it’s product page at Microsoft.com: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/cc163419.aspx
The announcement states that future versions of SharePoint Designer will also be free.
Customers that have already purchased SharePoint Designer 2007, and are in SA agreement will get Expression Web license in addition.
This part is actually very interesting, because as of now, Expression Web have very little to do with SharePoint. This will probably change in later versions (as stated in the announcement FAQ, and in the interview with Tom Rizzo).
For more info: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepointdesigner/HA103607621033.aspx
-- My name is Itay Shakury and I’m a SharePoint Consultant --