SharePoint has a great Future

I remember many years ago working at a place known as TVP (Thames Valley Park) at the Microsoft Campus. and really wondering what this SharePoint thing was going to be. Back then it was nowhere like it is now, we are talking early 2001 versions, so no cloud thing and of course nowhere near the feature set it now has.

As I have walked the path of the SharePoint Consultant, Developer, Architect and then just a SharePoint Person, I have noticed at multiple times that it looks like SharePoint is getting too big, too complicated and seems like it just isn’t going to stay around. We are now in the Year 2016, celebrating Star Wars Day and low and behold I am sitting here in San Francisco as one of the invited guests watching “The Future of SharePoint” event unfold.

So what can I say about it? Well, the big thing for me is “SharePoint is alive and well” and as we have seen over the past few years, it had almost gone away as a brand but today, the brand is back in full effect. Not only is it alive and well, but is road mapped out for the future. This has been achieved by Microsoft taking the “mobile and cloud first” approach allowing them deliver new sets of features and functionality to the cloud, and then bring them back to On-Premises as needed.

Though both platforms end up being separate for a while they do end up meeting at some point. Microsoft is not planning in delivering every component from the Cloud back to On-Premises, that would not be logical and very complicated, but allowing hooks to consume of services to each other. Their commitment to this can be seen in the roadmap for these types of new features.

Taken from the event and from various blog posts here is the list:

Delivered in some form by the end of this or the third Quarter of this year

  • Access to SharePoint Online document libraries and Office 365 Group files from the OneDrive mobile app.
  • Intelligent discovery of documents from both OneDrive and SharePoint.
  • Copy from OneDrive to SharePoint in the OneDrive web experience.
  • OneDrive Universal Windows Platform (UWP) application.
  • Modern document library experience (currently rolling out to First Release tenants)
  • SharePoint mobile app for iOS
  • SharePoint home in Office 365
  • Modern lists experience
  • Site activity and insights on the Site Contents page
  • The Files API on Microsoft Graph
  • SharePoint Webhooks (preview)
  • Client-side web parts for existing pages (preview)
  • Dynamic conditional access policies

Delivered before the end of 2016

  • Document analytics surfaced in OneDrive to provide insight into document usage, reach and impact.
  • Synchronization of SharePoint Online document libraries with the new OneDrive sync client.
  • Synchronization of shared folders with the new OneDrive sync client.
  • Mobile access to SharePoint document libraries in on-premises farms.
  • Move and copy files between OneDrive and SharePoint in web experiences.
  • Integration of SharePoint sites and Office 365 Groups
  • Simple, fast site creation
  • Modern pages experience
  • Team and organizational news and announcements
  • PowerApps and Microsoft Flow integration with SharePoint
  • The Sites API on Microsoft Graph
  • SharePoint Webhooks (GA)
  • Custom sites on the SharePoint Framework
  • New datacenters in Germany and Canada
  • Bring your own encryption key
  • Granular access controls
  • SharePoint site classification
  • Hybrid SharePoint Insights (preview)

This is a massive list of new features, components and services that Microsoft plan to deliver enabling SharePoint to have a bright future as the core collaboration platform of choice both in the cloud and On-Premises. If you want to learn more about any of these features, then you can view any of the Microsoft Videos that are now live:

Future of SharePoint Videos

SharePoint: The Future Starts Now

Satya Nadella welcomes the future of SharePoint

Foundation for the Future: SharePoint Server 2016

Accelerating Innovation with Hybrid: SharePoint Server 2016 and Office 365

File Sharing on Any Device: OneDrive for Business and SharePoint

Mobile and Intelligent Intranet: SharePoint sites and PowerApps

Your Intranet in Your Pocket: The SharePoint mobile app

Open and Connected Platform: The SharePoint Framework

Security, Privacy and Compliance for SharePoint and OneDrive for Business

I am looking forward to see these delivered and watching businesses transform how they work for the better.


Liam Cleary

I work as an Associate Director for Protiviti in Virginia. My main focus is to ensure that SharePoint can either natively or with minimal customization meet the business requirement securely. I am currently a SharePoint MVP focused on Architecture but also cross the boundary into Development and Security. I am often found at user groups, conferences speaking, offering advice, spending time in the community, teaching my kids how to code, raspberry PI programming, hacking the planet and sometimes building Lego robots.

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