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Mark Rackley

Changes to SharePoint Online Document Libraries & What They Mean

Changes to SharePoint Online Document Libraries & What They Mean

If you are on an Office 365 first release tenant you may have noticed a new option when you logged into your environment this past Friday morning when going to view your Document Libraries.

What’s this? New stuff? Cool! Let’s click on it and see what happens?

SharePoint Online Document Libraries 2

Woah! What have they done? Not only is the cheese moved, but they replaced my smooth buttery Havarti with some pungent foot smelling stuff!

Needless to say, my first reaction was not one of joy and the immediate response from many people out there was similar to mine. At first look it could be said that this is the most drastic change made to the UI in SharePoint in a very long time. Menus are moved (missing), options are different (or missing), and my branding did not carry over. It looks much more like OneDrive than SharePoint. It’s easy to see why the first reaction would not be positive to someone who lives and breathes SharePoint every day.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the things that I saw missing in this new experience:

  • Left navigation changed (and no obvious way to edit it).
  • My global navigation is gone
  • My Theme is no longer applied
  • My branding did not carry over
  • It’s not possible to edit the page (cannot add web parts like we did in the past).
  • Managed Meta Data Navigation gone.
  • Display forms are gone. (Display forms, NOT Edit forms).

But we do get a nice preview panel with some helpful information by clicking on the “…” for an item and selection “Details.”

SharePoint Online Document Libraries 3

There are other things changed as well. But as you can see at first glance there’s a LOT missing. How do we do what we used to do? There’s a good thread on Yammer with people discussing their frustrations as well as other thoughts on the new experience.

Luckily you can easily switch back to “Classic Mode” to go back to the way things were before by scrolling down the left navigation and clicking “Return to Classic SharePoint” link.

SharePoint Online Document Libraries 4

Okay… things are back to normal. Deep breath.

What does it mean to you?

What do these changes mean for you? The user, the admin, the developer? At first glance, here are the major effects for this change as it stands today:

Handling the Fear of Change

I’d gather most people will not react fondly to these changes. I get it. You get comfortable with something and someone moves it. There’s that immediate drop in productivity as people learn new functionality. It will be important to properly announce these changes within your organization when they are rolled out. Just communicate well, talk in calm soothing tones and don’t make any sudden movements. But seriously, just educate people. These new views are not all bad, they are just really different. In fact, they are now much more mobile friendly and responsive.

Broken Functionality

You’ll be missing some of the items listed above. If you’ve added/injected any JavaScript into to your Document Library views you’ll likely lose that functionality (at least in its currently deployed fashion). This loss of JavaScript will likely be one of the biggest obstacles faced since JavaScript has become so ubiquitous with SharePoint Online development. How do you even DO development with this new view?

Your documents are still there. Your metadata is still there. No content has been lost. It’s a new way of working within SharePoint Document Libraries. In fact, Microsoft has already written an article on how to use these new Document Libraries.

“What was Microsoft Thinking?”

This was the phrase I heard most often about this change. What on earth could Microsoft be thinking? How could they drop something like this on us without warning? I have to admit my first reaction was to complain. Change is bad. Right? In fact, I DID do some complaining on that Yammer thread. I definitely want to give a big shout out to Lincoln DeMaris at Microsoft. He fielded the questions more gracefully than almost anyone else I’ve seen in his position and it sounds like his team was working pretty hard on fixing any bugs that came up.

So, before I wrote a blog post about how horrible the new experience was or how out of touch with reality Microsoft is, I decided to take a step back and really thing about what’s going on.

It’s First Release Only

Before you panic too much, keep in mind that this functionality is only available to SOME first release tenants. If you didn’t sign up for preview release you won’t see the option for the new look. Your users will not see it. There is no reason to panic!

May the 4th Be with You

Isn’t there some big event happening on May the 4th about SharePoint? In “The Future of SharePoint” event, Microsoft is unveiling their vision and roadmap for SharePoint and OneDrive. Could these changes be related to that? Did Microsoft release these changes before the event to first release customers to make sure it’s stable by May 4th ? Is it possible there is a plan in place? Is there a customization story? In the light of the May 4th event I can understand the thought process to make sure these new Document Libraries were pretty solid from a functional standpoint. This would also explain the lack of communication beforehand? Conspiracy theory maybe? I don’t know for sure, but this May 4thevent is a free online event you can register for. So, go, register. Let’s see how wrong I am. I’ll actually be at the event, so I’ll be live tweeting (@mrackley) and blogging about what I find out. Stay tuned for that!

Let Your Voice Be Heard!

This is first release. Nothing is set in stone. Microsoft is test driving this new functionality. LET THEM KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS! Do you love it? Hate it? Do you have any great ideas to make it better? Don’t just be part of the problem, be part of the solution. Submit your feedback on Yammer or Uservoice and help drive the evolution of SharePoint.

Classic Mode is an option

From reading the Yammer thread it sounds like “Classic Mode” will be around for at least a year. So even when they do push these new document library views out to all the tenants you will have some time to ease into it, fix anything that may be broken, and make sure you apply it when you are ready. Again, don’t panic.

Just MAYBE the sky’s not falling.

What’s the bottom line?

There’s two ways we can look at these changes. We can think that Microsoft is out of touch with how people use SharePoint (which they are sometimes) and are introducing changes that will crush our ability to use and develop in SharePoint, or there is a reason and plan for these changes and we’ll have to wait to find out more. Regardless, the worst thing you can do is be silent. Send them your feedback and thoughts.

I think most people (everyone?) can agree that Microsoft should have handled the communication of these changes better instead of just dropping them in our lap, but before we all throw our hands in the air and threaten to move to Canada (isn’t that what we are supposed to threaten to do now?) let’s take a deep breath and tune in to the May 4th event and hopefully most of our questions and concerns will be addressed and all of these changes will make sense.


Questions? Concerns? Contact the Interlink team anytime.

Matt Scherocman

Top 5 Benefits of Microsoft Azure SQL Database

Top 5 Benefits of Microsoft Azure SQL Database

The question of whether or not to put your business data in the cloud is getting easier and easier these days and a lot of that is thanks to Microsoft’s investment in Microsoft Azure. Their strategy to create an infrastructure, like Microsoft Azure SQL Database, that can manage big data (as big as petabyte-scale) and everything on down from that is working and it’s working well.

The advancements made in SQL Database are making it more and more possible businesses of all sizes to save money and scale up or down efficiently. Below are the top five benefits that companies are realizing with SQL Database as their database service:

1) Scalability and Beyond

First of all, flexible service plans for SQL Database meet the needs of both big and small business users. SQL is no longer way out of reach for smaller operations because the pricing structure allows users to pay as little as $4.99 per database per month with a maximum storage set at 150 GB per database. That’s a lot of space for very little cost.

Microsoft Azure SQL Database

2) High Speed and Minimal Down Time

High availability architectures mean high speed connectivity and data retrieval as well as low down time at your organization. There’s nothing worse than stopping business because your technology can’t keep up, but that is no longer a problem with SQL Database.

Secondly, companies can add application instances as needed through sharding, for example. Sharding is a type of database partitioning that separates very large databases into smaller, faster, more easily managed parts called data shards. Not only can you spin nodes up and down on demand, you can leverage a federation infrastructure to scale more easily without affecting other areas of the server. SQL Azure Federation Data Migration Wizardcan even further automate this process, which impacts your organization and the employees much less.

Lastly, there are multiple levels of implementation that you can benefit from. If you just need a website and a database, you can hitch a SQL Azure instance to an Azure website and you’re done! If you need a full-blownvirtual machine(VM) now or even down the road, you can get that as well. You can even use a locally deployed instance of SQL Server in the VM instead of SQL Azure. These implementation options help make your company more adaptable to the inevitable changes it undergoes on a regular basis. With SQL Azure, you’re not stuck. You’re on a foundation that encourages growth while working with it!

3) Improved Usability

SQL developers are familiar with all things SQL and SQL Database can be updated with SQLCMD or the SQL Server Management Studio. Better yet, there’s no coding required! Using standard SQL, it’s much easier to manage database systems without having to write or update a huge amount of code.

4) Time Is On Your Side

With no administrative duties on your physical location, employees can take time for strategic work to advance and grow all-around business success. When your database is hosted in the cloud, you don’t have to deal with setting up SQL Server, apportioning databases, and dealing with physical machine maintenance and upkeep. All of this results in better alignment of your organization and ultimately more time on your side.

5) Easy-to-Use Migration Tools

Ramp up time with SQL Database is now easier than ever and free! SQL Data Sync allows you to either sync your SQL Server-stored data or migrate the data without having to worry about the costs to migrate by syncing gigabyte-sized tables.

Take into account all that SQL Azure has to offer and contact us at Interlink if you have any questions. 

SQL Modernization Assessment Ad

Jason Wingert

Notice! Deprecation of Windows Azure Active Directory Sync (DirSync) and Azure AD Sync

Notice! Deprecation of Windows Azure Active Directory Sync (DirSync) and Azure AD Sync

Azure Active Directory Sync (DirSync) and Azure AD Sync are now deprecated and will reach end of support on April 13, 2017.

Microsoft Azure Active Directory (AD) Connect is the best way to connect your on-premises directory with Azure AD and Office 365. Now great time to upgrade to Azure AD Connect from Windows.

The two identity synchronization tools that are deprecated were offered for single forest customers (DirSync) and for multi-forest and other advanced customers (Azure AD Sync). They will reach end of support on April 13, 2017. 



These older tools have been replaced with a single solution that is available for all scenarios: Azure AD Connect. It offers new functionality, feature enhancements, and support for new scenarios. To be able to continue to synchronize your on-premises identity data to Azure AD and Office 365, we strongly recommend that you upgrade to Azure AD Connect. 



For more information about this transition, please visit the Azure AD Connect webpage.


If you have any questions, please reach out to the Interlink team - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.






Matt Scherocman

Three Ways Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) Has Changed Everything

Three Ways Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) Has Changed Everything

Looking at how technology has evolved, the cloud has certainly changed everything in terms of how we do business and what’s expected of us as a company. The cloud has created a ton of benefits and possibilitieslike the promise for users to be able to work anywhere on any device. That flexibility also created several challenges. Those challenges include security, device management, and data protection.

 
Sarah Bunt

[On-Demand Webinar] Getting Value from Office 365: You’ve Deployed Exchange – Now What?

[On-Demand Webinar] Getting Value from Office 365: You’ve Deployed Exchange – Now What?

view webinar slides o365 blue

Do you know what you already own ?

Many organizations deploy Office 365, but only use Exchange. There are so many other applications within Office 365 like Groups, Sway, Video, and Delve that have been designed to help your users be productive.

In this on-demand webinar Microsoft and Interlink Cloud Advisors - Microsoft Cloud Consumption Partner of the Year - showcases the features and resources Office 365 (E3 plan) includes beyond Exchange.

Covers some of the most common workload scenarios and questions, including:

  • Efficiently sharing ideas and content
  • Collaborating together – co-authoring
  • Accommodating different working styles
  • Protecting intellectual property
  • Better coordinating group communications and efforts
  • Live demos, including: Sway, Delve, Planner, Office Groups, OneDrive, and Admin Portal

Whether you have already started moving workloads to the cloud or are just getting started, view the webinar to hear the best practices and insights into promotions that can further accelerate your cloud projects. 


Presenter:

Matt Scherocman

Matt Scherocman
President, Interlink Cloud Advisors
Microsoft VTSP and #1 in the world at helping clients with Microsoft funding 

 

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