SharePoint server and SharePoint online improvements for 2017

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In May 2016, Microsoft officially launched SharePoint 2016, the latest iteration of its enterprise collaboration platform.‍

Still to be released, however, is an important element of Microsoft's vision for the future of SharePoint: the SharePoint Framework. Based on open source JavaScript, the SharePoint Framework is an effort to shift toward a more developer-friendly product and according to Microsoft "enables fully supported client-side development, easy integration with the Microsoft Graph, and support for open source tooling".  

The SharePoint Framework preview has been available since August 2016. Microsoft issued an initial Release Candidate for developers in January this year, meaning the solution is in its final testing phases. Although they have not given a specific date for the final release, Microsoft continue to roll out release candidates to fix last-minute issues before making the product generally available.

In addition to the SharePoint Framework, Microsoft’s roadmap for SharePoint this year includes improvements to "collaboration, mobility, intelligence and trust". A presentation last October, listed the following features for release in the first half of 2017:

  • Feedback-driven updates to doclibs, lists, pages, sites apps
  • More Web Parts
  • Publishing sites
  • More Flow and PowerApps integration
  • SharePoint add-in improvements
  • Modern team site extensibility
  • Performance-focused CDN integration with publishing sites

Although documentation for the framework tends to lag behind the software releases, some resources can be found in Microsoft's extensive SharePoint Patterns and Practices collection.

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