What's new in SharePoint for developers and administrators
At this year's SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas, a number of innovations around SharePoint and Microsoft 365 were presented as expected.
One of the most important changes for SharePoint Online is the redesign of the home sites (formerly SharePoint home page) into an intelligent and integrated environment for employees. The home sites centralize the previously scattered sites in SharePoint Online into a kind of personalized homepage. According to the software company, the display of relevant company news or other content is based on the function of an employee. They provide additional improvements for one's own productivity through personalized navigation and content as well as improved connectivity to the enterprise-wide Microsoft search portal. Home page customizations in the mobile apps for iOS and Android have also been announced.
Innovations for the OneDrive cloud storage include differential synchronization for all files and support for Windows Virtual Desktop, a "desktop as a service" offering in Azure that is currently still available in a public preview. In addition, the OneDrive Web application provides a preview of more than 320 file types - including 360-degree images and AutoCAD DWG files.
Some improvements have been announced for the Yammer communications service, some of which are important for Microsoft 365 European customers. Accordingly, the software group now offers "In-Geo Data Storage" for Yammer networks in the European Union; messages and message attachments from new Yammer networks are now stored in the European data centers. The extent to which data can be migrated from existing Yammer networks was not mentioned.
SharePoint developers, on the other hand, can count on an improved provisioning service to help plan various designs and components for SharePoint Online sites. The SharePoint Online Provisioning Service is based on many components from the SharePoint Starter Kit and SharePoint Patterns & Practices and is released under Open Source license.
Library components are now available for true SharePoint development. Code modules developed in this way can be reused in various SharePoint Framework projects. Support for library components will be generally available in the upcoming version 1.9 of the SharePoint Framework. In addition, the recently released SharePoint Framework 1.8.2 updates the compatibility to support Node.js 10.