What's new in SharePoint Online, Microsoft 365 and SharePoint Server 2019

Tobias Zimmergren
Tobias Zimmergren

This week, the big event of the year is happening in the SharePoint space. SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas. During a couple of days from May 21 to May 23, Microsoft and some world-class speakers are announcing exciting news and features that are happening in the SharePoint space.

This blog post aims to give a recap of the most interesting announcements and features we've learnt about so far.

First off - the introductory stats about SharePoint is pretty incredible. I remember back in 2006 when I started my journey in the SharePoint landscape. A LOT has happened since!

  • 400 000 organizations are on SharePoint
  • 70% of all seats are in the cloud
  • 135 million active users in Microsoft 365

Compare this to when BPOS launched its first preview about 9 years ago ;)

Anyway, here's some of the recent announcements I really liked from the first day of the conference along with some of my thoughts.

General SharePoint Updates

List Creation is getting a major update

I am fairly certain that anyone working with lists and libraries on a daily basis will find these announcements very welcome. List creation is getting a major update, and allows for a more powerfull and easy list creation process.

Copy and Paste from Excel into a SharePoint List. YES!

One of the things that was announced is the simplicity and ease of which you can now copy rows from an Excel-sheet directly into a SharePoint list. Good bye old datasheet views, welcome native support for copy-paste from Excel.

I don't think I have to explain how much we've wanted to see this capability come true, and become easier than ever before. Well done Microsoft. Now let's hope it's as good in action as it is in the demo.

Row formatting coming to lists

As Maarten pointed out, Lists will also come with other new capabilities like row formatting to easier make your lists render the data as you want them to.

Tag Pages with Metadata

Dan Holme announced that SharePoint will get tagging of pages with metadata. It does indeed look pretty slick and simple.

Updated SharePoint Mobile experience/app

Improved file activity, usage tracking and stats for files

Image analysis in SharePoint

One pretty interesting feature is the new image analysis. Images uploaded into Microsoft 365 will automatically be scanned (and possibly recognized).



SharePoint Admin Center - Revamped

This is very welcome news. The Admin Center for SharePoint Online has for a long time been pretty bad. Really bad, in many ways. With the recent announcements for an improved admin center (which we've been able to test a bit already), they also announced a -very- welcome addition: Better Site Management!

Development and Extensibility

Dynamic Data and Azure-Connected Web Parts

Creating engaging pages using connected web parts and extensions. This is what the messaging was for some new improvements in the extensibility model of SharePoint. I'm really excited about seeing this in action, and to see this come full-circle. Developers today can leverage many technologies, and the easier it becomes to integrate with data and services in the Azure stack, the lower the bar becomes for new developers to embrace these new workloads. This is good news.

Automatically run scripts when joining a Hub site

When you join a site to a hub site, it by default inherits the theme of the hub site. With the recent announcements, new capabilities will offer Site Scripting methods to help with things like:

  • Enforced permissions
  • Shared metadata
  • Preferred content management
  • Brand elements
  • Policies

See the link section at the end of this post for references and more information.

Mixed Reality (MR) in SharePoint

SharePoint Spaces has been announced

SharePoint Spaces was announced. I guess my only comment on this right now is to see where the train goes.

SharePoint Server

SharePoint Server 2019 goes GA during the fall 2018

Microsoft announced that SharePoint Server 2019 will hit GA by fall 2018. Exciting news for anyone who is still running their SharePoint deployments in-house and on-premises.

Communication sites comes SharePoint Server 2019

The "Modern Experience" isn't just about running in the cloud anymore. With SharePoint Server 2019, communication sites can now also be created and configured on-prem.

SharePoint Server 2019 gets the best from Office 365

As Bill Baer says, Microsoft is using the cloud as a baseline - and brings the best things over to SharePoint Server 2019 as well.

Things like:

  • Communication Sites
  • Team News
  • Modern Team Sites (and thus, modern Lists and Libraries)
  • SharePoint Home
  • Next Generation Sync Client (NGSC) for OneDrive
  • Better Hybrid support
  • PowerApps and Flow support

While I live in the cloud most of my time, a lot of organizations I talk to are still on-prem, and these announcements will probably be pleasing to hear.

SharePointMicrosoft 365

Tobias Zimmergren Twitter

Hi, I'm Tobias! 👋 I write about Microsoft Azure, security, cybersecurity, compliance, cloud architecture, Microsoft 365, and general tech!

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