Post by: Oliver Wirkus
Posted on: 8/19/2016 10:38:00 PM
Categories: Office 365;SharePoint
The term Software as a Service (SaaS) means that software is not installed locally anymore. Instead, software is installed to the cloud (like Windows Azure) and made available through the internet. One prominent example of this new approach is Office 365. Software as a Service does not only have advantages for the users as consumers of the software but also for the service providers – like Microsoft as the service provider for Office 365. Because Office 365 is provided as cloud software, Microsoft can publish updates very easily in a centralized manner, and one of the recent updates caught my attraction. I'm talking about the new look for lists and libraries. The following screenshot shows this new look and feel The above screenshot shows a document library with the new look and feel which Microsoft is referring to as New Experience – in contrast to the Classic Experience. The following screenshot shows the same document library, but with the Classic Experience. I think the New Experience looks very tidy and less cluttered. It helps users to focus on the documents and list items and does not sidetrack users by showing too many available actions that can be triggered. With the New Experience, the items which are shown in the gear menu changed as well. As you can see in the following screenshot, the library settings are also shown in this menu now. Compared to the gear menu which is shown in the Classic Experience, the new gear menu is less extensive and focuses on the actions that are most important for users. To switch between the Classic Experience and the New Experience, users have several options. If the New Experience is active, users can click on the link Return to classic SharePoint which is shown in the lower left corner (see first screenshot). If a user clicks on this link, the Classic Experience becomes active immediately. If the default experience is set to New Experience, the new look becomes active again the next time the user opens a browser and navigates to that library. For each library, site-owners can choose which look to use as a default by navigating to the Advanced Settings of a list or a library. Here a site-owner can select whether to use the Classic Experience or the New Experienced for a library or list. To ensure a consistent look and feel of a whole SharePoint farm, a SharePoint administrator can provide a primary setting. This is done in the SharePoint administration of Office 365. Sometimes the switching between the Classic Experience and the New Experience does not work properly. In those cases, I was able to reactivate the New Experience by closing the browser and reopening the browser again. It looks like the information with experience to use is saved to session state objects. Besides the new look and feel of the New Experience, there is another cool new feature documents can also be displayed as tiles with a small preview image just like images with previews in image galleries. Sometimes it can be helpful for users to pin important documents to the top of a SharePoint library – just like important threads in discussions or forums. By using the New Experience, this can be done with SharePoint documents as well. A maximum of three documents can be pinned to the top area. The New Experience is offering an improved version of in-place-editing called the Details Pane. To activate the Details Pane you simply need to select a document or a list item, open its context menu and select Details. With the new Details Pane, users can edit metadata of documents or list items without changing the current view. The following screenshot shows the Details Pane Accessing data on mobile devices has become a mandatory request of enterprises. To meet these requirements, the New Experience is also providing a great mobile view. The following screenshots were taken on a Windows 10 smartphone to show how the New Experience looks like on a mobile device. Currently, Microsoft is rolling out the New Experience feature to more and more tenants and for some time both experiences will be available. But, you should keep in mind that the Classic Experience might not last for long. Do you like the New Experience look? Let us know what you think. Post by: Zeshan Randhawa
Posted on: 6/21/2016 8:17:00 PM
Categories: SharePoint;Office 365
Description: At Softlanding we strongly follow the cliché but important motto "practice what you preach". It's simple, until you have truly used something in your day-to-day work environment, you won't be able to know its behaviour in "real life" scenarios.
At Softlanding we strongly follow the cliché but important motto "practice what you preach". It's simple, until you have truly used something in your day-to-day work environment, you won't be able to know its behaviour in "real life" scenarios. At Softlanding within the applications group, we have regularly scheduled meetings called Creativity and Inspiration Conversations (CIC) to discuss emerging technologies, features, practices or generally a "cool" solution we might have come across. These are informal discussions rather than rigid meetings, which are intended to promote thinking outside of the box and sharing ideas. In the past we have supported this discussion by simply setting up a recurring calendar invite. Typically before the meeting we assign someone to generate a topic and maybe review the topic with members prior to the meeting. Again this is intended to be informal and more of a conversation starter, so when I heard of Office Groups, it just seemed like a natural fit to support our CIC use case. It was simple, I created a new public Office Group, added the application team as members of the group. Then with the shared calendar feature of Office Groups I created a recurring meeting and invited the members. The members were notified that they had been added to the new Office Group, and automatically they were able to see the Groups calendar events overlaid on their calendar in outlook. Next I started a new conversation in the Office Group, where I had control of notifying individual members or the entire group of the potential topics for the next CIC session. We were able to host discussions within the group conversation area, without having a dreaded mass email chain. Any supporting files for the meeting are stored in the Files area of the Group. This cuts down having to email things like screenshots back and forth or creating a formal team site to store temporary documents. The Good Groups are easy and quick to set up, which really makes sharing content with others more natural The calendar within the Group is really a core functionality, being notified for meetings and seeing Group meetings overlaid on your own calendar makes it hard to convenient and centralized Office Groups provide a great way of potentially cutting down on email discussions, by providing a dedicated place to have conversations and be notified when you have been mentioned Rather than adding individuals as members to your group, if you add an Active Directory group, it will detect the users within the group and add them for you The Bad There seemed to be a lag time between the web app and installed client version of Outlook when updating events in Groups. It took between 30 minutes to one hour to reflect event updates between both versions of Outlook, which I can see frustrating many users Additionally, there also seemed to be a long waiting period before members were notified that they had been added to a Group The Great There is a dedicated Office Groups app also available for Windows, Android and IOS There is now integration between Microsoft Planner and Office Groups, you automatically have a plan created per Group where you can start tracking and assigning tasks It was also announced that there will be integration between Groups and team sites. This is for more complex scenarios where you want to have the power of using team sites and the versatility of Groups' scheduling and discussions