On September 12, 2017, Microsoft released Feature Pack 2 for SharePoint 2016. The second feature pack for SharePoint 2016 brings the SharePoint Framework to an On-Premises 2016 farm. SharePoint Framework, more commonly known as SPfx, is the newest development framework which was made available on SharePoint Online last year. SPFx brings the more open development platform currently used in SharePoint Online to on-prem farms. This will allow on-prem developers to leverage modern, open-source development tools and libraries now common to web-based development.
Microsoft is now previewing for First Release tenants new SharePoint Communication Sites—beautiful, dynamic sites that allow for broader communication across an internal audience than a traditional SharePoint Team Site, and also look great on the web, in the SharePoint mobile app, on a PC, and on a Mac. These sites are easy to access, engage with, and create content for from any device.
With the recent release of SQL Server 2016, Microsoft has also announced that the next version of SQL Server will no longer have an integrated mode for SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). Supporting only a native mode installation in the next version, Microsoft intends to simplify the installation and management of SSRS and provide more capabilities for users. Some of these capabilities include a modern web portal, paginated reports, mobile reports, and KPIs, regardless of if you have SharePoint, as well as simpler architectures, better options for upgrade management, and more targeted performance management.
On February 23, 2017, SharePoint Framework (SPFx) reached general availability milestone. With the GA release the framework is available for production tenants in SharePoint Online. SPFx is the newest, client-side development framework for SharePoint Web Part and page development. The framework opens the doors for open source development environments and toolchains allowing developers to use modern web development tools and techniques to work with SharePoint Online.
Microsoft recently announced the Data Insights Summit taking place in Seattle, WA. The event will focus on a Business Analysts’ view of Microsoft business intelligence tools including Microsoft Power BI, SQL Server BI, Excel, PowerApps, Flow, Stream and more. Many of these technologies have an integration story with SharePoint Online. Business analysts working with SharePoint might want to attend this summit and hear from the experts how to use these technologies to improve your business.
Recently, Microsoft released for general availability Microsoft Flow and PowerApps. These tools will give users the power to enable the automation of workflows and the building of custom apps, and will also ease and expedite the creation of applications without the need for complex custom software development.
Microsoft has recently released the SharePoint Framework, a page and web part model, for use by first-release tenants. The SharePoint Framework will be able to provide a more productive experience for developers through client-side SharePoint development, easy integration with SharePoint data, and support for open source tooling. It will allow for current web technologies to be used in virtually any development environment thereby facilitating the development and deployment of SharePoint modern web parts in a familiar and efficient manner.