Microsoft To Deliver New SharePoint Online WebPart Previews Next Month
Microsoft is planning to distribute new and updated SharePoint Online WebParts, with test versions arriving in about two weeks' time for Office 365 subscribers.
WebParts are things that get inserted into SharePoint pages by end users, using a graphical user interface. The new ones expected to arrive as previews next month include Planner, Office 365 Connectors, Kindle Instant Preview and Twitter, according to Microsoft's Feb. 20 announcement.
The new Planner WebPart can be added to any page or news article, showing the overall status of a project along with the progress of individual team members in a graphical display. Office 365 Connectors WebParts let users connect to information from outside sources. For instance, it's possible to connect to services from "Asana, Bitbucket, Jira, GitHub, Stack Overflow and more," according to the announcement, although these Connectors are "only available for use within group-connected SharePoint team sites." The Kindle Instant Preview WebPart lets users place links to previews of books for access by Amazon Kindle e-readers. The Twitter WebPart permits the embedding of Twitter feed links.
Microsoft also plans to update its Power BI WebPart, permitting interactive reports to be added. It's also planning to update the Image WebPart with the ability to automatically suggest "alt-text" metadata tags for use with inserted images.
The arrival of these new and updated WebPart test versions is somewhat ambiguous. Microsoft described a rollout to "Targeted Release" subscribers (meaning those who get test releases) in this way:
New and updated web parts will begin to roll out to Targeted Release customers two weeks from the time of posting and will be completed within 3-4 weeks. We are targeting end of February 2018 for complete worldwide roll out.
That description seems to mean that Office 365 subscribers to SharePoint Online test releases will see the changes at the end of this month or sometime in March.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.