Microsoft is on a mission to modernize the SharePoint to save it from fading into obscurity product. Now let’s take a look at how this can be explained and take a fresh look at the collaboration product.
Since the introduction of the Modern SharePoint UI, many new features have been layered on top but still staying within the constraints of the foundation. The SharePoint intranet earlier arrived in pieces leaving the customers to spend dollars on putting them together. There will be the value of course in helping to design an intranet for an organization’s business culture, but this takes too much time.
Microsoft was on the mid-way- either overhaul the aging collaboration product or sit idle watching a painful slow death. So in the modern SharePoint intranet, new SharePoint pages based on up to date web technology were introduced. These pages are more pleasant to use and thus removed the decades of frustration in using SharePoint.
What is modern SharePoint?
Modern Sharepoint is a whole new experience which is designed from the ground till working on mobile devices and it also addresses dozens of usability issues more than just providing a fresh look. So far, SharePoint existed only as SharePoint Online. The difference between a classic and a modern is: one may be subtle, but the modern pages are definitely easier to use and allow advanced filtering and bulk editing capability. The classic screen shrinks to fit with small texts and require tiny finger tap, which is impossible to use. The modern screen is functional and can do whatever you need by tapping on the screen.
The full capability of modern SharePoint is evident in the editable pages where users can innovate by arranging web parts on a page to just the information they require. Any business user can create a website in minutes and this is a big part of SharePoint’s popularity.
Classic versus Modern
It is important to keep in mind that there is not much variation in the SharePoint versions from the past although each version brings in a pool of new features on the existing components. For example, the modern UI is an improvement Microsoft has made to their web-based collaboration platform, wherein the classic experience you know and love is not going away. The core concepts remain the same but the look and feel changes. This new appearance of the modern UI was important since:
— Classic Sharepoint Is not mobile responsive
— Sharepoint administration requires high training and knowledge.
— It has out of the box page layouts and flexibility in design.
Top 10 Reasons to use Modern SP
Here are some reasons to check out Modern SharePoint:
- Sites are compelling: This is the most obvious advantage, it’s no longer a goal to make it not look like SharePoint” and in general, users will be happier with the results.
- Mobile friendly: It’s pretty standard these days that websites should work well on mobile devices or tablet. Trying to do that in classic SharePoint was an exercise in frustration and sideways scrolling.
- Flexible organization: Classic SharePoint is based on a lot of small hierarchies called site collections. Each site collection has a top-level site and can also have child sites, grandchildren etc. These hierarchies are very inflexible and difficult to manage when organizations change.
- List and library improvements: There have been many library improvements including easier filtering, conditional formatting, which provides a sensible way to show items that are missing the required information.
- Expose new features: Some cool features introduced by Microsoft that only works on modern site include:
— Site classifications and labels, thus users can see when the users are on a site that contains sensitive information and easily label the contents for compliance reasons.
— Newsfeed that distributes links to pages across the sites in a hub and to the SharePoint mobile app and home page.
— New web parts: There are tons of new web parts that only work on modern pages. Microsoft web parts either work on classic or modern pages but not on both. Only the web parts written by third parties work on both places, which allows developers to target both modern and classic pages with a single code base.
- Easier to configure: Some classic web parts were easy enough to deal with but others require obscure knowledge on XSL style sheets, display templates and other outmoded web technology. The new web parts are much easier to setup and do not require any special technical knowledge. Thus, the modern team site was a lot easier to set up than the classic one mainly due to the quirks in the old UI that often refuses to collaborate.
A lot of customers are migrating to SharePoint Online to get out of the complex business of managing a SharePoint farm. There are a lot of things to consider during modern migration especially in sites that were customized. The biggest challenge will surely be where child sites are used since modern SharePoint works only on the root of each site collection and Microsoft is moving towards a one site per collection structure. Maybe some of the migration companies will introduce a solution for that. If you would like to learn more about the experience with Modern SharePoint, we’d love to partner with you since SharePoint development is our core service. We can schedule a deep dive to SharePoint’s latest features and capabilities.