Wednesday, September 14, 2005

New SharePoint Features

I'll take Heather's cue and refrain from judging the new SharePoint features until I've had a chance to get my hands on them, but here are a few thoughts based on Fitz's post from PDC:

  • RSS. Everything about sites, lists, libraries, etc., can be syndicated via RSS automatically.
    Blogs and Wikis. Templates and features in the box.

Excellent. This will save a great deal of frustration with email-based alerts.

  • Content Types. These aren’t just like SPS 2001’s document profiles. They define sets of metadata, but they also contain view information. And associated workflows. And events bound to them (synchronous or asynchronous). And you can have more than one in the same list/library.

Hmm...not sure. Will this help with the problem of retrieving views via web services?

  • Workflow. Windows Workflow Foundation is embedded in WSS. It’s used everywhere.

I want to jump up and shout for joy...BUT...if they don't include a visual designer embedded into the UI ala Nintex SmartLibrary then they will have completely missed the boat. LOB managers, content editors, and designers cannot AND WILL NOT be forced to rely upon developers to create workflows.

  • Recycle Bin. We did it. It’s scoped to a site and captures deleted documents, items, etc. It has a user restore and an administrative restore.

Now that deserves a jump and a shout (assuming, of course, that it applies to SPS as well).

  • Per-item security. Even on list items.

I can die happy now. Is it really true? Oh, please, let it be so!

  • FrontPage has evolved into a feature set that makes it truly a SharePoint site designer. (Ghosting’s still around, but it won’t be a problem anymore. I’ll explain why in an upcoming post.

Interesting. This could make the job of customization a bit easier, which would make my life a much better place.

  • Forms services in Office “12” servers. That’s right — design a form in the InfoPath rich client, publish it as a SharePoint site, and it can be either viewed/filled out in the full smart client or in a browser as HTML.

One word: S-W-E-E-T!

  • Search. Better APIs. Better results. Alternate search suggestions (misspelled words,etc.). A highly customizable default Web-based UI.

I'm definitely excited about this. Search is a bit of a blessing and a curse, so any improvement will be welcome.

  • Office “12” servers will also contain a Business Data Catalog, a facility that registers LOB application data and Web services. Once that’s happened, BDC-aware Web Parts can pull data from them, we can index them, and a lot more. There’s a session on this tomorrow.

Not sure about this one. Sounds interesting, though.

  • Office “12” servers will also be able to take a spreadsheet published to a SharePoint site and reneer it as an HTML application.

Like it but not sure how useful that will be...

  • Mobile views of SharePoint lists. That’s right, a way to render a list on a mobile device.

Very nice.

  • Lists now have a Business Data type that will use the aforemntioned Business Data Catalog

Unsure on this one. Need more info.

  • Access will be able to treat SharePoint site data as fulll-blown data sources.

Yeah, baby!

All in all, it sounds promising. So, looking back, how'd they do with regards to my various predictions, rants and ravings? Not bad, I'd say.