Microsoft To Showcase New SharePoint Features at Ignite
Jeff Teper, corporate VP for Microsoft's SharePoint and OneDrive for Business, revealed the Ignite plans yesterday during the 100th episode of Office 365 Developer Podcast (listen here). Microsoft's plan to emphasize the on-premises collaboration platform and Office 365 at Ignite is noteworthy because many in the SharePoint community felt the company downplayed it at last year's inaugural event in Chicago. The lack of emphasis at last year's Ignite led many to question if Microsoft was committed to ongoing future on-premises release, especially since the event was conceived to consolidate the former TechEd and SharePoint conferences hosted by the company in past years.
Ignite is now Microsoft's largest technical conference but it targets a broad cross section of IT executives, administrators, operations managers and developers, drawing more than 20,000 attendees. Teper, known as the "father of SharePoint," talked up the Ignite plans during the 30-minute discussion with co-hosts Richard diZerega and Andrew Coats, both Microsoft technical evangelists. "I want to get a little hat that says 'make SharePoint great again,'" Coats quipped, though Teper quickly responded "let's stay away from either party."
All kidding aside, Teper is largely credited with the early success of SharePoint Server. After a two-year hiatus from the SharePoint team to work on strategy for CEO Satya Nadella, Teper was put back in charge of it and the OneDrive for Business organization. Teper presided over the May Future of SharePoint event.
Since that event, Teper said Microsoft has made significant progress in meeting goals outlined at the time. The company is about to hold its third "dev kitchen," the name of in-person events held by the product teams in Redmond with MVPs. "I think by Ignite, you'll see stuff people can use more broadly and we are really, really excited about it," Teper said in the podcast. "If you look at the performance of some of the new Pages, in the new SharePoint UI, you will see a taste of what's ahead."
When SharePoint was conceived more than a decade ago, the idea was to extend the capabilities of the desktop Office suite at the time to servers to enable information sharing via a document management platform, Teper noted. Today, SharePoint is one of Microsoft's core offerings (1.3 million LinkedIn members say they have SharePoint skills, Teper said). New features now typically appear first in the SharePoint Online offering in higher-end Office 365 subscriptions before coming down to the server product, which is a switch from the old SharePoint Server 2013 days.
In a sense, Teper was brought back to keep SharePoint great, at least from Microsoft's perspective.
"I think this [new] model is really good," Teper said. "I think you'll see a simple user experience [and] we will have an extensibility model. The goal is not to have somebody have to read 1,000-page how-to program in a SharePoint book. The goal is for any developer out there to come to SharePoint and feel welcome to the party. The .NET developers -- we're thrilled [to have] but we want to attract more [developers using other programming languages] to grow SharePoint. I think besides having a forward-looking architecture this was a way to grow the community."
Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 07/22/2016 at 11:51 AM