Sharepoint 2013 is the latest of Microsoft’s powerful collaboration
and sharing tools. It offers organisations the features that are required
to bring together remote and local workers as well as suppliers, joint
venture partners, and others. The 2013 release provides additional benefits
in branding, business intelligence, and mobile device support. As more
and more people connect to the Internet and work using mobile devices,
Sharepoint development has also improved its mobile services. There are
a number of mobile display options available as of 2013 and users are
able to work on devices ranging from mobile phones to tablets and laptops.
New Features in SharePoint 2013
Microsoft uses the term Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) to refer
to a group of components that includes :
1. My Sites In SharePoint Server 2010, My Sites provided a central place for
users to store personal and shared documents, in addition to promoting
their user information and expertise, tagging content, and communicating
with others by using the Note Board. Through people search, users were
able to connect with one another and benefit from expertise of others
in their organization.
In SharePoint Server 2013, My Sites continue to provide the benefits from
the previous release. However, the user interface is completely redesigned
and modernized to give users an inviting and intuitive experience. A key
change to the user interface includes a simplified and unified navigation
experience for your own and others’ My Sites. Additionally, My Sites
contain the new Microblog and Newsfeeds features. These features allow
users to engage in short, public conversations, and keep up-to-date on
activities from content and people in which they are interested.
The idea of storing personal documents in My Sites, rather than local
drives, has always made sense. You can access files from multiple devices
as well as easily share files with teammates using links, rather than
sending copies via email. Using a My Site for storing my documents also
ensures that files are in a managed environment, rather than residing
on intrinsically fallible local hard drives.
The good news is that in SharePoint 2013 saving documents into My Sites
is a lot easier. In fact, it is the default location for saving documents
from Office 2013. There is a single document library, not two as in SharePoint
2010, and the permissions have been simplified, making it a cinch to share
documents with colleagues.
Better still, the My Site document library can be synced with a local
drive to enable offline access so you can access your documents even when
the server is unavailable. With this capability SharePoint 2013 My Documents
can mount a strong case to be your "SkyDrive for Work."
2. App Store
In an interesting move that will at one stroke empower end users, reduce
load on overworked IT operations departments and add fuel to the already
active after-market for SharePoint add-ons, Microsoft is introducing an
Apps Store model with SharePoint 2013. Initial app offerings are already
being promoted by Microsoft. Site owners used to being turned down by
IT or having to endure extended waits when seeking new capabilities will
love the new-found independence the Apps store promises.
3. Whats new in Social Computing
Perhaps the most exciting changes in SharePoint 2013 relate to social
capabilities. The list of new features is extensive: micro blogs, activity
feeds, community sites, Following, Likes and Reputations are the standouts.
Of these I really like Following, which adds the ability to "follow"
people, sites, documents and topics, with subsequent actions of the followed
entity appearing in the user's activity stream. Keeping up to date with
the activities of colleagues in SharePoint has never been easier.
Microblogging and feeds
In SharePoint Server 2013, the Newsfeed page in the My Site continues
to provide an aggregated view of activities from content and people the
user is following. However, the feed is improved with new microblogging
functionality that enables users to do the following:
Participate in conversations by posting comments and replies.
Post pictures and links.
Use tags (starting with the # symbol) to define keywords that users
can follow and search for.
Use mentions (starting with the @ symbol) to tag users in posts and
Indicate agreement with comments and replies by clicking Like.
Follow people, documents, sites, and tags to customize their feed.
In SharePoint Server 2013, a new in-memory cache known as the Distributed
Cache (which uses AppFabric for Windows Server) maintains the Newsfeed.
AppFabric is installed and configured as part of the SharePoint Server
2013 prerequisites. For more information about SharePoint Server 2013
In SharePoint Server 2010 and SharePoint Foundation 2010, you could add
a Discussion list to sites to facilitate discussions among members of
the site. SharePoint Server 2013 and SharePoint Foundation 2013 continue
to provide this Discussion list, but also expand on the discussion concept
by introducing two new site templates named Community Site and Community
Community Sites offer a forum experience to categorize and cultivate
discussions with a broad group of people across organizations in a company.
Community Sites promote open communication and information exchange by
fostering discussions among users who share their expertise and use expertise
of others who have knowledge in specific areas of interest.
With Community Sites, you organize discussions in categories. Visitors
can view the discussions and become members if they want to contribute
to those discussions. Moderators manage the community by setting rules,
reviewing and addressing inappropriate posts, marking interesting content
as featured discussions, and so on. Moderators can also assign gifted
badges to specific members to visually indicate that the member is recognized
as a specific kind of contributor in the Community Site, such as an expert
or a moderator. Each Community Site contains information about member
and content reputation, which members earn when they actively post in
discussions, and when their content is liked, replied to, or marked as
a best answer.
4. Mobility and Mobile Devices
Recognising the massive rise in use of mobile smart devices, Microsoft
has done some nice work to make it easier to access SharePoint content
from mobile devices. Adding to the existing classic view, SharePoint 2013
offers two new views for mobile devices, including a contemporary view
for optimized mobile browser experience and a full-screen view which enables
the user to have a full desktop view of a SharePoint site on a smartphone
device. SharePoint Server 2013 offers new, optimised viewing experiences
across different mobile platforms. Additionally, several new features
were added to help improve both worker productivity and usability on the
device. This functionality includes the following:
Optimized mobile browser experience For smartphone mobile devices
SharePoint Server 2013 provides a lightweight, contemporary view browsing
experience for users to navigate and access document libraries, lists,
wikis, and Web Parts.
Device channels - You can render a single published SharePoint site
in multiple designs to accommodate different device targets.
Push notifications A push notification service on a SharePoint site
can be enabled to send device updates such as a tile or toast notification
to a Windows Phone device.
Location - SharePoint Server 2013 supports a new geolocation field
type that can be used for mobile application development.
Business intelligence content - Certain devices are now able to view
business intelligence content such as PerformancePoint Web Parts, Excel
Services reports, and SQL Reporting Services reports.
Office Web Apps - You can view Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents
in mobile browsers with additional functionality in SharePoint Server
5. Business Intelligence
Business intelligence (BI) in SharePoint 2013 provides comprehensive BI
tools that integrate across Microsoft Office applications and other Microsoft
technologies. These BI tools are: Excel 2013, Excel Services in SharePoint
2013, PerformancePoint Services in SharePoint Server 2013, Visio Services
in SharePoint, SharePoint 2013, and Microsoft SQL Server.
Excel BI provides the capabilities to analyze and visually explore data
of any size, and to integrate and show interactive solutions. In SharePoint
Server 2013, Excel BI offers certain new features to support business
These include the following:
In-Memory BI Engine (IMBI): The In Memory multidimensional data analysis
engine (IMBI), also known as the Vertipaq engine, allows for almost
instant analysis of millions of rows and is a fully integrated feature
in the Excel client.
Power View Add-in for Excel: Power View ("Crescent") enables
users to visualize and interact with modeled data by using highly interactive
visualizations, animations and smart querying.. Users can present and
share insights with others through rich storyboard presentation capabilities.
PowerView is powered by the BI Semantic Model and the VertiPaq engine.
Decoupled PivotChart and PivotTable reports: Users can now create
PivotChart reports without having to include a PivotTable report on
the same page.
Excel Services enables people to view and interact with Excel workbooks
that have been published to SharePoint sites. Users are able to explore
data and conduct analysis in a browser window just as they would by using
the Excel client. For more information about Excel Services in Microsoft
SharePoint Server 2010, see Excel Services overview (SharePoint Server
2010) on Microsoft TechNet.In SharePoint Server 2013, Excel Services offers
certain new features to support business intelligence applications. These
include the following:
Data exploration improvements: People can more easily explore data
and conduct analysis in Excel Services reports that use SQL Server Analysis
Services data or PowerPivot data models. For example, users can point
to a value in a PivotChart or PivotTable report and see suggested ways
to view additional information. Users can also use commands such as
Drill Down To to conduct analysis. Users can also apply the Drill Down
command by using a single mouse click.
Field list and field well support: Excel Services enables people
to easily view and change which items are displayed in rows, columns,
values, and filters in PivotChart reports and PivotTable reports that
have been published to Excel Services.
Calculated measures and members: Excel Services supports calculated
measures and calculated members that are created in Excel.
Enhanced timeline controls: Excel Services supports timeline controls
that render and behave as they do in the Excel client.
Application BI Servers: Administrators can specify SQL Server Analysis
Services servers to support more advanced analytic capabilities in Excel
Business Intelligence Center update: The Business Intelligence Center
site template has been streamlined. It not only has a new look, it is
easier to use.
PerformancePoint Services enables users to create interactive dashboards
that display key performance indicators (KPIs) and data visualizations
in the form of scorecards, reports, and filters. For more information
about PerformancePoint Services in SharePoint Server 2010, see PerformancePoint
Services overview (SharePoint Server 2010) on Microsoft TechNet.In SharePoint
Server 2013, PerformancePoint Services offers certain new features to
support business intelligence applications. These include the following:
Dashboard Migration: Users will be able to copy entire dashboards
and dependencies, including the .aspx file, to other users, servers,
or site collections. This feature also allows the ability to migrate
single items to other environments and migrate content by using Windows
Filter Enhancements & Filter Search: The UI has been enhanced
to allow users to easily view and manage filters including giving users
the ability to search for items within filters without having to navigate
through the tree.
BI Center Update: The new BI Center is cleaner, and easier to use
with folders and libraries configured for easy use.
Support for Analysis Services Effective User: This new feature eliminates
the need for Kerberos delegation when per-user authentication is used
for Analysis Services data sources. By supporting Analysis Services
Effective User feature, authorization checks will be based on the user
specified by the EffectiveUserName property instead of using the currently
PerformancePoint Support on iPad: PerformancePoint dashboards can
now be viewed and interacted with on iPad devices using the Safari web
Visio Services is a service application that lets users share and view
Microsoft Visio Drawing (*.vsdx) and Visio 2010 Web drawing (*.vdw) files.
The service also enables data-connected Visio Drawing (*.vsdx) and Visio
2010 Web drawing (*.vdw) files.to be refreshed and updated from various
Maximum Cache Size: A new service parameter, it is located on the
Central Admininstration Visio Graphics Service Application Global Settings
page. The default value is 5120 MB.
Health Analyzer rules: New corresponding Health Analyzer rules have
been added to reflect the new Maximum Cache Size parameter.
Updated Windows PowerShell cmdlets, Set-SPVisioPerformance: This
cmdlet has been updated to include the new Maximum Cache Size parameter.
Commenting on drawings supported: Users can add meaningful comments
to a Visio Drawing (*.vsdx) collaboratively on the web via Visio Services
in full page rendering mode.
SharePoint Server 2013 brings a major advancement to workflow: enterprise
features such as fully declarative authoring, REST and Service Bus messaging,
elastic scalability, and managed service reliability.
SharePoint Server 2013 can use a new workflow service built on the Windows
Workflow Foundation components of the .NET Framework 4.5. This new service
is called Workflow Manager and it is designed to play a central role in
the enterprise. Processes are central to any organization and workflow
is the orchestrator of processes.
The key areas of Workflow improvement are :
Two SharePoint workflow platforms
SharePoint Designer enhancements
Workflow Manager capabilities
Windows PowerShell cmdlets that manage workflow
7. Search Features
SharePoint Server 2013 brings a major advancement to Search capabilities
including ways to configure and monitor the system and improve search
Search user interface improvements
Without having to open each search result, users can quickly identify
useful results in ways such as the following:
Users can rest the pointer over a search result to preview the document
content in the hover panel to the right of the result.
Users can quickly distinguish search results based on their type.
For example, Microsoft Office documents display the application icon
in front of the title of the search result. Newsfeed conversation results
display the number of replies and the number of likes to the right.
Site results list the top links that users often click on the site.
People in results show the picture and the Lync availability status
to the left.
By default, certain types of related results are displayed in groups
called result blocks. A result block contains a small subset of results
that are related in a particular way. For example, results that are
PowerPoint documents appear in a result block when the word "presentation"
is one of the search terms. Administrators and site owners can also
create result blocks to group other results. Like individual search
results, you can promote result blocks or rank them with other results.
A search result, suggestion, or recommendation is more relevant when it
better satisfies the intent of the person who issues the query. SharePoint
Server 2013 improves relevance in areas such as freshness of search results,
linguistics, and document parsing. It also improves relevance in the following
New ranking models
Analysis of content and user interaction
Changes in crawling
SharePoint Server 2013 includes many changes and improvements related
to crawling content.
In SharePoint Server 2013, you can configure crawl schedules for SharePoint
content sources so that crawls are performed continuously. Setting this
option eliminates the need to schedule incremental crawls and automatically
starts crawls as necessary to keep the search index fresh. Administrators
should still configure full crawls as necessary.
Host distribution rules removed
In SharePoint Server 2010, host distribution rules are used to associate
a host with a specific crawl database. Because of changes in the search
system architecture, SharePoint Server 2013 does not use host distribution
rules. Instead, Search service application administrators can determine
whether the crawl database should be rebalanced by monitoring the Databases
view in the crawl log.
More flexible search schema
By defining crawled properties, managed properties, and the mappings between
them, the search schema determines how the properties of crawled content
are saved to the search index. Crawled properties and how these are mapped
to managed properties define how to transform crawled content into managed
properties. The search index stores the contents of the managed properties.
The attributes of the managed properties determine the search index structure.