I had the chance to work with SharePoint 2013 since the first moment it was made available as beta. Steve Ballmer was still talking about it during the conference. Since my upgrade to SharePoint 2013, I have learned to love many features that have been included. However, it’s not all great.
SharePoint 2013: A Review
The Good – Updates in Interface and Branding for SharePoint 2013
Finally, the Master Page, which is the HTML that defines how your SharePoint 2013 looks like has been updated to include HTML5 and work in all browsers.
This is definitely good as BYOD becomes more and more popular in the industry and Internet Explorer is no longer the only browser used. The fact that we can now convert a regular HTML page into a SharePoint Master Page with the Design Manager is also a welcomed feature in SharePoint 2013.
The Great – Search in SharePoint 2013 and Content Search Web Part
This is it, the single piece that answers “Why SharePoint 2013”; Search. If I had to choose amongst the thousands of features available in SharePoint 2013 to keep, it would be this one. Previously, you had to pay something like $50,000 for an additional “FAST Search for SharePoint” license. In SharePoint 2013, it has been baked into the software and even enhanced. This allows us to “Continuously Crawl” content and keeps a fresh index available for us to leverage.
Before upgrading to SharePoint 2013 when content existed in other Sites or Site Collections, you had little to no way of showing it in another Site. Now, we can ask the Search Index to show us the results based on a Query. This is where the Content Search Web Part comes in. A brand new Web Part that helps the Power User build an easy Query and choose how to display these results.
The Ugly – Confusion with SkyDrive Pro
Though something as trivial as synchronizing your Document Libraries to your desktop, it has gotten lots of attention. Microsoft has a public offering competing with Dropbox called SkyDrive, a free service to store your files and some very light collaborative features. However, in SharePoint 2013, what used to be called Groove and SharePoint Workspace has been renamed to SkyDrive Pro. This has easily confused thousands, especially the end user who is not working with the latest technology everyday or connected to the popular technology sites.
Biography – Benjamin Niaulin
Benjamin Niaulin works as a SharePoint Geek at Sharegate, a Montreal-based software development firm specialized in SharePoint migration. Passionate about SharePoint, Benjamin has been helping people around the globe reaching their goals by simplifying SharePoint solutions. With his Microsoft Certified Trainer certification and over 5 years of Training and Speaking experience, he has acquired the skills needed to help everyone understand and use SharePoint.?