Microsoft SharePoint 15: A 2012 release target, an app marketplace and more

Microsoft SharePoint 15: A 2012 release target, an app marketplace and more

Summary: Microsoft is adding new features to the next versions (Wave 15) of its SharePoint Server and SharePoint Online offerings. Here are early looks at some of those.

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Since Microsoft announced the launch of its invitation-only test program for Office 15 in late January, things have been relatively quiet.

But that doesn't mean folks like me -- and others -- aren't out there scouring the Internet for interesting tidbits. One of these people, "SharePointaholic" Bjorn Furuknap, a senior solutions architect and founder of USPJ Academy, an online SharePoint education company, has gone the extra mile.

Furuknap has turned his SharePoint.next sleuthing into a subscription business. (He allowed me to peek at a couple of issues of his findings for free. He is making all his current and future SharePoint 15 research for a one-time fee of $14.95.) Furuknap himself is not under any Microsoft non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) on the next version of Microsoft's collaboration/publishing server and services. But he seems to be pretty good at sifting through clues and putting the pieces together.

Furuknap said he is hearing, like I am, that Microsoft is aiming to release to manufacturing its Office 15 products -- the next version of its client, its Office servers (including SharePoint Server 15), and its Office 365 bundle with the latest features -- before the end of calendar 2012. Last I heard, Microsoft was planning to call Office 15 "Office 2012." But if the bits aren't released until, say, November of this year, maybe they'll switch gears and call it "Office 2013."

Furuknap said he's found indicators that SharePoint 15 is going to include a number of significant new features. I've run these past another source of mine who is in the know about the Office 15 Technology Adoption Program (TAP) bits and that person confirmed these are all in there.

1. SharePoint 15 will include a new SharePoint Apps Marketplace 2. SharePoint Apps will support multi-tenant installations so that hosting providers can make available the same set of applications to multiple customers 3. SharePoint 15 gets a new Education module/option making the product more of a head-to-head competitor with Moodle, which is an open-source course-management system

I'm also hearing from my unnamed source above that SharePoint 15 and Exchange Server 15 are both also getting additional built-in information-rights-management (IRM) document-protection functionality as part of the base products.

Microsoft isn't discussing the Wave 15 family of Office products at this point. "We don’t have anything further to say with regards to the next versions at this point," a spokesperson told me today when I asked.

On the Apps Marketplace side of the house -- despite an announcement that such a capability would be part of SharePoint 2010 -- there really is nothing like that available today, Furuknap said. There is an Office 365 app marketplace, but this is something different, too.

"The (SharePoint 2010) Gallery currently contains one single site template, the functional equivalent to a wallpaper on a phone. There's no evolution to speak of, and there's no functionality in the create gallery to support anything like what's been described in the SP2013 App Store," he said. (Yes, Furuknap is betting it's going to be called SharePoint 2013 due to its very late in the year delivery target.)

Meanwhile, the new Education capability may end up a separate add-on or could be part of the base SharePoint 15 server, Furuknap said.

"Being in the education sector myself, I would love to see mobile clients that support SharePoint Education so that students can actively work on tablets or phones. Current platforms like Moodle are far behind on this, offering only web pages rarely adapted for mobile use," he added.

Topics: Microsoft, Collaboration, Enterprise Software, Software

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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19 comments
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  • More Junk from MS

    Sharepoint is and always will be a convoluted mess that sucks companies that implement it DRY!
    itguy10
    • RE: Microsoft SharePoint 15: A 2012 release target, an app marketplace and more

      @itguy10 - SharePoint is a big, sophisticated CMS. Effectively implementing SharePoint can be very easy, but, as with most complex IT products, if poorly managed, it can become unweildy.

      However, even the most unsophisticated companies can successfully deploy and manage SharePoint ... or, better still for many ... subscribe to a SharePoint cloud service like Office365.

      I have several clients who've done the latter and are now enjoying world-wide access to their documents, spreadsheets, corporate data, product information, etc. And they don't have to worry about servers running out of space, backing up data, server reboots, etc.
      bitcrazed
      • RE: Microsoft SharePoint 15: A 2012 release target, an app marketplace and more

        @bitcrazed What you say may be true, but that doesn't change the fact that SharePoint is a horrible platform to develop on, especially from a UI perspective. It still contains old style HTML code which is unacceptable in an age where modern web technologies and standards are becoming the norm.
        rjohn05
      • RE: Microsoft SharePoint 15: A 2012 release target, an app marketplace and more

        @rjohn05

        SharePoint web parts are built in .NET 2.0 stuff or newer (.NET 3.5 for SharePoint 2010), and if you are good at ASP.NET programming, building fully functional web applications is easy.
        DonRupertBitByte
      • It's common knowledge that ITguy isn't much of an IT guy

        @bitcrazed

        Keep in mind, this guy never seems to know anything. He's a troll.
        Schoolboy Bob
    • RE: Microsoft SharePoint 15: A 2012 release target, an app marketplace and more

      @itguy10 based on the replies below, it sounds like your sharePoint install was not planned out very well. ;)
      rmark@...
    • RE: Microsoft SharePoint 15: A 2012 release target, an app marketplace and more

      @itguy10,
      Is there better alternative that you can suggest?
      bmonsterman
    • RE: Microsoft SharePoint 15: A 2012 release target, an app marketplace and more

      Our tool, UpSync (www.upsync.com) can be used as a compliment to SharePoint or a much more simple, easy to use and implement alternative depending on the particular needs of the organization. It also includes a built-in presentation component that offers the same experience on desktop and mobile.
      upsyncer
  • RE: Microsoft SharePoint 15: A 2012 release target, an app marketplace and more

    The most complex application server in Microsoft's portfolio gets more complex, but also shiny new features.

    @itguy10 Yes, SharePoint can be a mess if companies a) don't plan how much they deploy and when b) implement with ZERO governance plan. Just because you can us an install wizard, doesn't mean that's all a company has to do for a successful implementation. Surprise! Implementing an Enterprise Application requires planning and effort.
    MSFT_Tinkering
  • RE: Microsoft SharePoint 15: A 2012 release target, an app marketplace and more

    SharePoint 2013? Hmm, why did we skip Wave 13 again?
    donalmc
    • RE: Microsoft SharePoint 15: A 2012 release target, an app marketplace and more

      @donalmc Hmmm....bad luck?
      luis3007
    • RE: Microsoft SharePoint 15: A 2012 release target, an app marketplace and more

      @donalmc
      You know they skipped Office 13 right? Same reason.
      Samic
  • RE: Microsoft SharePoint 15: A 2012 release target, an app marketplace and more

    how about make it actually work? have an interface that doesn't feel like the 1990s?

    not a fan of sharepoint from the user perspective. connections/syncing repeatedly lost. 5 to 6 clicks to get what you want.
    not a happy user.
    hansonjb
    • RE: Microsoft SharePoint 15: A 2012 release target, an app marketplace and more

      @hansonjb
      Hmmm... Sounds like a poor implementation.
      Keep in mind that SharePoint at the enterprise level is very resource intensive. You need to throw all the hardware and bandwidth at it, including SQL Server.
      Especially, stay away from a single server solution. Always plan on farming it out on load balanced front-ends.
      bhatsk
  • Microsoft SharePoint 15: A 2012 release target, an app marketplace and more

    I just hope the next SharePoint is based on HTML5, can use MVC, razor syntax and has a better out-of-the-box user experience. I like SharePoint but in many ways it makes the simple complex. For example, want to customize the UI you spend all your time overriding Sharepoint styles (which includes hundreds). It feels dirty and like a waste of time and skill. Oh, don't get me start on the funny thing they do to page scrolling to make the Ribbon UI work! But still there's nothing like it...
    windowseat
  • SharePoint Vs Other database program

    Is share point better than previous database handling software's.
    http://www.itvarnews.net/
    itvar
  • Good sleuthing

    Thanks for the update. This is useful information! - Laurie Head, AIS Network SharePoint Hosting (http://www.aisn.net)
    LaurieHead
  • Sharepoint

    I found Sharepoint 2003 to be just small enough to be manageable, Sharepoint 2007 to be godawful, and Sharepoint 2010 to be at least usable though slow.
    Microsoft needs to slow down its version runs though and support what is already out there. By the time you end up with a stable system after service pack 3 or so, they EOL it. Ridiculous.
    johnsmith9875
  • On the Apps Marketplace side of the house there IS something like that....

    On the Apps Marketplace side of the house there IS something like that available today. I found sharepointplus - a german based project that started of last year offering access to SharePoint products from multiple vendors (http://www.sharepointplus.com).
    SharePointXpert