SharePoint 2013 boasts new capabilities but more importantly, it takes up major and established trends and puts them on an enterprise platform. Collaboration, especially with the Microsoft (News - Alert) Office 365 suite, seems to have been greatly enhanced and with the next-generation Windows operating system Windows 8, SharePoint is expected to deliver incredible benefits to organizations, especially those looking to expand the user interface to client and Web applications.
While Microsoft may not be your most popular trendsetter, it is definitely an early adopter to current IT trends in social collaboration, cloud readiness, mobile end device support and Web content management in the Internet and intranet. The technology giant seems to have rebuilt SharePoint in the cloud to guarantee more efficient operations and functionality with modular and service-oriented architectures together with open standards.
One noteworthy addition to this revamped platform is the support for open OData and OAuth Web standards. OAuth, which has already been deployed on Facebook (News - Alert) and Twitter, is an authorization management functionality that no longer requires the Web service to know a user’s account and password. The OData protocol will enable a connection to external data sources like SQL Azure databases via the Azure marketplace.
The addition of the custom code or the ability to add isolated functionality in apps is now possible in SharePoint 2013. The scope of an app may vary depending on the business scenario. Microsoft Office suite apps for example can include technical functions like moving a document to Word for editing or printing. Apps can be deployed either in-house through the corporate marketplace, or via the global marketplace similar to Apple’s (News - Alert) iTunes Store. From here, developers will now be able to upload and price their apps while making them publicly available for download.
The MySite capability has also been enhanced and now offers social media-like functionalities. Users have the option of creating a publicly-visible profile where they can share documents and other information including a “follow” feature, and at the same time be able to limit who sees what. Micro-blogging functionalities like hashtags and mentions are also available including the insertion of multimedia content to posts.
There is also better support of mobile devicesas users no longer need to store their files locally prior to editing. The application behavior has also been optimized and is able to display content depending on the device orientation. Depending on the mobile device, it is even possible to optimize presentation of contents like the hiding and unhiding of elements. Interaction with Microsoft Office 365 has been made easier by allowing users to navigate and edit documents while using touch-enabled devices.
Business customers now have a greatly enhanced presentation layer of their business data that works well with the Microsoft Office suite inside the new SharePoint 2013 which brings an abundance of advantages to IT like never before.
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Edited by Jamie Epstein