Wednesday, June 19, 2013

SharePoint 2013 - What's new in SharePoint 2013?

In this post, we will briefly discuss some of the new features and changes in SharePoint 2013 Server.

User Interface
The general look and feel of the user interface as improved in a tremendous way. The overall UI is much elegant and subtle. The default gradients of 2010 have been replaced with flat colors and blocks. Also, the icons used have also been flattened to a Metro style. Even the change of default font to Segoe UI has improved the user experience which is a much cleaner and lighter font that is now consistently being used across all Microsoft Products.

Full Cross-browser Functionality
SharePoint 2007 was supported by only Internet Explorer. Though SharePoint 2010 tried to work with other browsers, but wasn't much of a success. Working with Chrome or Firefox would work in some parts of SharePoint 2010, but for doing some features you just had to switch to IE to get things done. This was due to the reliance on Active X to perform site administration. Even though some items could be done in other browsers, for anything that required Active X you could only perform that in Internet Explorer. SharePoint 2013 now works with no Active X controls, so you can do everything – from working with lists and sites to fully managing your farm through Central Administration – through any modern browser.

SharePoint 2013 uses the Claims based authentication as the default authentication mode. SharePoint 2013 introduces support for server-to-server authentication and app authentication by utilizing and extending the Open Authorization 2.0 (OAuth 2.0) web authorization protocol. OAuth is an industry standard protocol that provides temporary, redirection-based authorization. A user or a web application that acts on behalf of a user can request authorization to temporarily access specified network resources from a resource owner.
Support for OAuth in SharePoint 2013 allows users to grant apps in the SharePoint Store and App Catalog access to specified, protected user resources and data (including contact lists, documents, photographs, and videos) without requiring the app to obtain, store, or submit the user’s credentials. OAuth allows app and services to act on behalf of users for limited access to SharePoint resources. For example, a user might approve permissions to an app to grant access to a specific folder of a document library. This enables an app, such as a third-party photo printing app, to access and copy the files in the specific folder upon user request, without having to use or verify the user’s account credentials.

Core platform enhancements
Support for the new cloud-based architecture and app-driven development framework has been introduced ion SharePoint 2013. From the SharePoint APIs at the lowest level to connectivity to social media integration, SharePoint 2013 is designed and executed to support a rich application development experience. In addition to the use of Representational State Transfer (REST) endpoints for web services, there is a broad new API for both server and client development. Remote event receivers and now supported in addition to client-side rendering.

Cloud App Model
Cloud App Model has been introduced in SharePoint 2013 that enables to create apps. Apps for SharePoint are self-contained pieces of functionality that extend the capabilities of a SharePoint website. An app may include SharePoint components such as lists, workflows, and site pages, but it can also surface a remote web application and remote data in SharePoint. An app has few or no dependencies on any other software on the device or platform where it is installed, other than what is built into the platform. This characteristic enables apps to be installed simply and uninstalled cleanly. Apps have no custom code that runs on the SharePoint servers. Instead, all custom logic moves "up" to the cloud or "down" to client computers. Additionally, SharePoint 2013 introduces an innovative delivery model for apps for SharePoint that includes components like the Office Store and the App Catalog.

The design features in SharePoint 2013 offer an improved process for designing a public-facing internet site or an internal-facing intranet site with pixel-perfect branding. If you are a professional web designer who knows HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, you already have the skills necessary to design a SharePoint site. The new features in a publishing site minimize the amount of SharePoint knowledge that is required to successfully design and brand a SharePoint site. New site authoring and publishing model in SharePoint 2013 that enables you to create publishing sites. The revised page model—including master pages and page layouts—redesigned for SharePoint 2013. 

Business Connectivity Services
Business Connectivity Services offers improvements to the way that SharePoint 2013 and Office 2013 clients can access data that is stored outside of SharePoint. These improvements include support for apps in SharePoint, external list improvements to provide functional parity with other SharePoint lists, and support for OData Business Data Connectivity (BDC) connections. Visual Studio 2010 can connect to an OData endpoint through business Connectivity Services to automatically generate a BDC model for OData data sources. There is a SharePoint 2013 event listener and subscriber to receive notifications from external systems when data changes.

For those that aren’t aware of OData, it’s a protocol for posting data to the web. Open Data Protocol (OData) is a web protocol for querying and updating data. OData applies web technologies such as HTTP, Atom Publishing Protocol (AtomPub) and JSON to provide access to information from a variety of applications, services, and stores. Examples for OData includes Netflix, Ebay, DBPedia (an OData representation of Wikipedia), Datalab, Pluralsight, Stack Overflow, TechEd 2013, Twitpic, Server Fault,

Business intelligence
SharePoint Server 2013 business intelligence applications and tools let you organize your vision of organizational goals, processes, and performance requirements. Create powerful data mash-ups using PowerPivot, with the ability to process billions of rows, create data models and facilitate sharing and collaboration with Excel Services. Power View provides intuitive ad-hoc reporting. With PerformancePoint Services and Dashboard Designer, along with Visio Services, create sophisticated dashboards capable of integrating reports and metrics from multiple data sources that are customizable for your audience.
Microsoft provides comprehensive BI tools that integrate across Office applications and other Microsoft technologies. These tools enable analysis, reporting, dashboards, and visualizations. 

The eDiscovery functionality in SharePoint 2013 provides improved ways to help protect your business. These improvements include the ability to perform eDiscovery queries across multiple SharePoint farms and Exchange servers, to preserve and export discovered content, to preserve content in-place from Exchange mailboxes and SharePoint sites while allowing users to continue working with content, and support for search and export from file shares.

Social computing
The social computing and collaboration features in SharePoint 2013 offer an improved administration and user experience, in addition to new functionality for enterprise users to share and collaborate with others in their organization. The introduction of Community Sites offers a forum experience to categorize discussions around subject areas, and to connect users who have knowledge or seek knowledge about subject areas. Additionally, the new Community Portal enables a search-driven result page of communities for users to discover and explore from a link on their My Sites. Improvements to My Sites offer a more intuitive workflow for users to develop their personal profiles, store content, and keep up-to-date with activities of interest through the use of the new micro-blog and feeds experience. New features and functionality for social computing, such as My Sites, feeds, Community Sites, and Community Portals.

The upgrade features in SharePoint 2013 offer several improvements, such as upgrade for service applications and site collections, and a site health checker. The database-attach method is the only supported way to upgrade databases to a new environment that is based on SharePoint 2013. In-place upgrade is not supported. Additionally, the upgrade process now separates the upgrade of software and databases from the upgrade of the SharePoint sites.

Web content management
The web content management improvements in SharePoint 2013 simplify how you design publishing sites, and enhance the authoring and publishing processes of your organization. It also contains new features that use enterprise search to surface dynamic web content on publishing sites.

Workflow Integration with Workflow Manager
In SharePoint, workflow is huge, so it makes sense to talk about some of the improvements in workflow in SharePoint 2013. For example, SharePoint workflows will now integrate with Workflow Manager. So, as your enterprise starts to look more and more to the workflow manager infrastructure in place in your organization, SharePoint workflows will be able to leverage those services as well. 

Machine Translation Services
Machine Translation Services is one of the new features of SharePoint 2013. Machine Translation Services performs automatic content translation by the same Web Services that translate for Bing. If your content needs to be translated consistently into one or more languages, then the Machine Translation Service in SharePoint 2013 is going to be a huge help to your content creators.

SharePoint Store
The SharePoint App Store is something completely new, where your organization and even individual users can choose to license, activate, and use software within SharePoint.

SharePoint 2013 Is Cloud Ready
SharePoint 2013 is built to enable and help usher in cloud services. You can run SharePoint 2013 completely in the cloud through Office 365 and have almost all of the features of SharePoint on-premises. If you want to enable every feature of SharePoint 2013 and still stay in the cloud, you can opt for a solution where you run it on VMs in the cloud through Windows Azure or Amazon Web Services. If running in the cloud makes some sense, but you have some features that you want to stay on-premises, you can implement a hybrid architecture.

Application services
SharePoint Server 2013 includes several services for working with data in your SharePoint sites. New for SharePoint is the Machine Translation Service, which translates sites, documents, and streams for multilingual support. SharePoint Server 2013 also includes Access Services and a new data access model. For converting files and streams to other formats, SharePoint Server 2013 has Word Automation Services and PowerPoint Automation Services (a new feature for SharePoint). SharePoint also provides data analysis tools, like PerformancePoint Services and Visio Services, that enable business intelligence, and powerful new features in Excel Services.

Minimal Download Strategy
Minimal Download Strategy in SharePoint 2013 improves rendering performance when browsing content where large parts of the page do not change providing a more fluid navigation experience. For example when navigating between a site’s home page and Shared Documents page only the content that has changed between the source and destination page (controls and placeholders in the content area) are downloaded and the Url subsequently updated where the chrome is persisted.

Enterprise search in SharePoint Server 2013 includes many of the capabilities of SharePoint Server 2010 and provides numerous improvements, such as in query processing and targeting of search results. Administrators can configure search to enable users to find relevant information more quickly and easily than ever before.

Improved Search Capability
Search is one of the killer features in SharePoint. I’ve seen users that are resistant to moving to SharePoint, but when shown how effectively SharePoint can index websites, SharePoint sites, and even existing NTFS file shares, they go from “resisting SharePoint” to “resisting SharePoint but loving SharePoint search”.

Integrated analytics
You might think that searching for “leave request form” would include the content related to the leave request form that was highly trafficked, and you’d be right. But with integrated analytics, SharePoint Search identifies that people searching for “leave request form” it bypasses other content and choosees the actual leave request form. Once Search learns which content people are actually searching for, the search results are improved.

Query rules
Another huge improvement is the ability to use query rules to create promoted results. As in the previous example, you could specify that when users search for “leave request form,” they are provided the form they are looking for as a promoted result.

Continuous Crawl
And search presentation isn’t the only thing that got an upgrade. Crawling gets a nice feature upgrade, too, with Continuous Crawl. SharePoint search can now place a content scope under “Continuous Crawl," making new content appear in search results that much faster.

Minimum hardware requirements
64 bit processor

Compatible OS
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 or Windows Server 2012
Note:- The SharePoint 2013 server cannot be installed on client OS like win7 or win8.

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