Microsoft held its most recent SharePoint Conference in November. The predominant buzz among the 10,000-plus attendees was around SharePoint 2013, the new release of the software giant's server productivity platform.
It is huge, and a massive upgrade. I spoke informally with many conference attendees and, while most are impressed with the set of features and capabilities in SharePoint 2013, it seems they're having a hard time getting their heads around the release.
With millions of installations of both the free and paid enterprise SharePoint editions, chances are good that your organization has already deployed some version of SharePoint and the new version is on your roadmap. But before you rush into anything, here are some facts that are important for understanding exactly what SharePoint 2013 is and what it means for your organization's deployment plans.
The big question, however, revolves around deciding how your organization will allow the app model to be used -- and much of this is similar to decisions made by companies that have enabled "bring your own device" policies or are deploying smartphones with app stores. Should users be able to purchase apps on their own as they select? Or should your IT department be the sole decision maker and purchaser of apps?
Consider this decision carefully. Organizations that allow employees to purchase apps on their phones will likely find it very difficult to roll back that choice and centralize control over app selection after the fact.
Clearly, there is plenty of work to complete for SharePoint administrators to prepare for this app model rollout.
Nevertheless, search performance and index completeness are now vastly improved over what was available out of the box in SharePoint 2010.
The user experience in SharePoint 2013 is much better, too: When users get search results returned to them, there is a preview of the result's content available by hovering over the result link. It's also much simpler to filter and categorize results.