At the recent Microsoft Ignite Conference, many great new innovations and technologies were announced and discussed, including security advancements, updates to SharePoint on-premises and Office 365, and updates to Azure. These exciting new developments are sure to provide a more user-friendly environment and more possibilities for anyone within the SharePoint eco-system; many of the updates are geared toward streamlining processes for users and providing a wider range of possibilities for how the various platforms can be implemented for both workers and developers.
There were many security improvements unveiled at the Ignite Conference but Office 365 received most of the attention. These improvements will provide powerful protection against threats faced by companies and private users.
- The Windows Defender Application Guard is a virtualization-based security technology that is able to prevent malicious code from moving across a network, as well as making Microsoft Edge more secure.
- Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection has been extended to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business. It will allow for dynamic delivery within email servers, so that an email can still be received while its attachment is scanned, and also has URL tracing to analyze links to identify unknown malicious URLs.
- Intelligence sharing between WDATP and Office 365 ATP. Intelligence is now being shared between Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection and Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection, allowing for a quicker investigation and response to security threats.
- Office 365 Threat Intelligence will be able to provide alerts and information on the origin of an attack, and integrates with security incident event management systems. It can also deploy dynamic policies based on the nature of the security threat.
- Outlook is now powered by Microsoft Cloud. Outlook for iOS and Android is now fully powered by Microsoft Cloud, so that no mailbox data is cached outside of Office 365, providing for a more secure email service.
- The joining of Enterprise Mobility and Security E5 expands security to both mobility and the cloud. It also employs Microsoft Azure Information Protection to classify, label, and protect sensitive data.
- Advanced Threat Analytics software provides new tools to work with Azure Active Directory to determine if data from Azure Active Directory is being used suspiciously.
Feature updates for both Office 365 and SharePoint on-premises were shown as well, many of which include elements to heighten experiences and interactions between colleagues to increase collaboration within groups and companies.
- Feature Pack 1 will allow for the accelerated delivery of cloud-first features, along with many new capabilities for administrators and users. Included among these are a more insightful granular logging, enhancements to MinRole for more flexible topologies, updates to OneDrive for Business to provide a place for users to easily manage and share documents, and more. For more information and to download Feature Pack 1, see the Microsoft SharePoint Team Blog.
- Delve Analytics is now MyAnalytics. MyAnalytics will provide personalized insights into how the user’s time is spent at work, and will give the user the ability to better stay in touch with contacts and group members and prioritize the time spent with groups.
- The integration of Yammer with Office 365 will combine open collaboration with productivity tools and allow for access to SharePoint sites and document repositories. It also now includes a shared OneNote notebook and Planner task management.
- New people experiences throughout Office 365. A new Delve app for Windows 10 will let you see what your colleagues are working on with badges and notifications, along with giving you the ability to find relevant documents and email attachments based on the people that you know. As well, new people cards can be used that will surface profile information and content, and an updated Office 365 profile now lets you start a conversation from the profile page and share free/busy information and an out-of-office message if you are unavailable.
- Microsoft StaffHub public preview. Microsoft StaffHub is a new app for deskless workers that allows them to easily create, manage, and share shift schedules with team members, and is now being publicly previewed.
Along with the SharePoint on-premises and Office 365 updates, a number of updates for Azure were revealed at the conference. Included among these are new applications which are now generally available or being publicly previewed, as well as new capabilities for existing services.
- Azure DNS is now generally available, allowing the user to host DNS domains and to manage DNS records within Azure.
- Azure Monitoring is being publicly previewed. Azure Monitoring allows the user to see an overview of monitoring tasks and manage those tasks from a single UI in the portal.
- Azure Service Fabric generally available. Azure Service Fabric for Windows Server is a microservices application platform for developing and managing cloud-scale applications. It is now generally available for download at no cost.
- New capabilities added to Azure Security Center. Azure Security Center now has Integrated Vulnerability Assessment, expanded Web Application Firewall capabilities, Azure Storage Security Assessment, new threat detections, enhanced security incidents, and updated threat intelligence reports to provide for more secure usage.
- Azure Command Line Interface 2.0 has been updated so that it is easy to install, consistent with POSIX tools, part of an open source ecosystem, and current with Azure. It will soon be available on all popular platform package services.
- Azure Stack is a next-generation hybrid cloud that brings user experience into the customer’s data center. It combines Azure Service Fabric, Azure Portal, and Azure Resource Manager on top of Windows Server and Systems Center. Its on-premises data center also now has software-defined networking, storage data pooling, and virtual machine management to make it easier to scale applications and boost capacity.
A great amount of information was released at the Microsoft Ignite Conference—to learn more about the advancements being made by Microsoft, see these additional resources:
- Microsoft Ignite 2016 Conference Site
- Microsoft Ignite 2016 – Summary of key announcements for Office 365, SharePoint and Azure from Day 1 – Tobias Zimmergren
- 5 Most Important Announcements At Microsoft Ignite According To Partners – CRN
- Microsoft unveils new offerings to empower IT and drive digital transformation – Microsoft News
- SharePoint innovations further advance intelligence and collaboration in Office 365 – Jeff Teper (Office Blogs)
- Better late than never: 3 takeaways from Microsoft Ignite 2016 for SharePoint and Office 365 (with a developer spin) – Chris Johnson