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February 3, 2015
3 Min Read
(Image source: Microsoft)
Microsoft Power BI Makeover: 6 Big Improvements
Microsoft Power BI Makeover: 6 Big Improvements (Click image for larger view and slideshow.)
Microsoft has announced plans to deliver a new on-premises version of SharePoint Server, dubbed SharePoint Server 2016. It's expected to roll out in the second half of 2015, reports ZDNet.
News of the anticipated release comes amid industry-wide rumors that Microsoft would phase out its on-premises SharePoint Server and emphasize SharePoint Online. This is not the case. Microsoft is focusing on customers running SharePoint in hybrid form between on-premises and cloud, acknowledging the fact that not all companies innovate at the same pace.
"While we've seen growing demand for SharePoint Online, we recognize that our customers have a range of requirements that make maintaining existing SharePoint Server deployments the right decision for some," wrote Julia White, general manager for Microsoft's Office Product Management team, in a blog post. "We remain committed to meeting those needs."
As businesses make the transition to cloud, Microsoft is promoting a hybrid strategy that enables connectivity between server and SharePoint Online services. The upcoming release of SharePoint 2016 was designed and developed to reflect Microsoft's Software-as-a-Service strategy, White continues, and drew from SharePoint Online.
The business intelligence, collaboration, content management, and search functions already present in SharePoint will be further improved by some of the Office 365 features that Microsoft has rolled out over the past year. Not all of these features will be included in the upcoming SharePoint, but some of them will be. A more integrated Yammer, for example, can facilitate enhanced conversation and productivity.
Another such feature, Office Delve, is a tool for discovering relevant information and data connections, and for accessing predictive search capabilities. It promises to ensure a simpler user experience with personalized content taken from Office Graph.
Microsoft is also releasing new "ready-to-go" portals, or NextGen portals, that allow customers to choose pre-packaged portals rather than build them from scratch. Office 365 Video is the first of these, but the company promises to unveil new portals focused on knowledge management and people throughout 2015.
Users of SharePoint 2016 can also expect to see tighter integration of OneDrive for personal file storage and enhanced team sites for greater collaboration and content sharing. Power BI, a new analytical tool, can allow users to integrate complex analytics with minimal time and effort.
While these updates promise to further enhance SharePoint as it currently exists, there is more to learn. Microsoft intends to release further details on SharePoint 2016, Office 365, and the next Windows Server features at this year's Ignite conference, which will take place May 4-8 in Chicago, Ill.
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About the Author(s)
Staff Editor, Dark Reading
Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial services. Sheridan earned her BA in English at Villanova University. You can follow her on Twitter @kellymsheridan.
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