New SharePoint Enhancements!

Today, Microsoft hosted its SharePoint Virtual Summit to discuss the latest improvements coming to the platform. There were three key sections to the presentation that we wanted to take the time to review in case you missed it.

1. Microsoft Flow and Power Apps

Microsoft is committed to being a “no-code” or “low code” platform, meaning that technical knowledge should not be a hurdle for businesses to customize their workloads. With Flow, you can roll out pre-made workflows incorporating different applications outside of the Office 365 platform. For example, Flow can be used to create data in SharePoint Online and Outlook whenever new records are created in MailChimp, as described in a Microsoft blog post.

If you are feeling adventurous you can also create your own Flow. Users are walked through a simple setup wizard to choose their inputs and outputs across apps. Once complete, the Flow can be published for other users to use as well.

Power Apps is used to create workflows in SharePoint again with a low-code/no-code platform in mind. Power Apps can be utilized to lift data from SharePoint lists and perform a more complex series of workflows based on the data. Once you create the Power App you can publish it as a simple mobile app for users to use. Microsoft covers how PowerApps work in more detail in a recent blog post.

2. SECURITY! SECURITY! SECURITY!

Microsoft Corporate Vice President Jeff Teper, said it himself “the Cloud is your most secure option right now.” With SharePoint Online you can take advantage of a few key improvements announced today. Here is a quick list of a few of them:

  • Ability to block sharing files to certain domains – if you don’t want someone to share files with a competitor or a personal account you can block the whole domain
  • You will be able to bring your own encryption key
  • Analytics, reports and governance will all be enhanced with more details on specific sites

3. OneDrive for Business On-Demand

The third announcement is particularly exciting for us. In the past, users have shown concerns about the amount of space files synced from OneDrive will take up. Since users can store up to 5TB of documents, keeping local storage synced can eat up valuable real estate on your hard drive.

With the new on-demand feature, however, OneDrive documents can be viewed in a PCs local directory, yet reside in the cloud only. The files present on PC here are shortcuts to a temporary version of the file that can be worked on locally. Once a user finished working, the file is resynced and deleted. Internet here is required here, but will queue documents for download when the shortcut is selected without a connection.  Overall, this should help organizations save a great deal of space on devices.

It's great to see and hear about the enhancements that Microsoft is making. They are truly investing in the Cloud and making a point to improve on any roadblocks that prevent people from moving to the Cloud. For more info on these OneDrive enhancements, check out Microsoft's recent blog post.


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