What's New in SharePoint 2013?

September 03, 2013 by Alex Collins, IT Services Consultant


Collaboration is dynamic, not static: its best practices change from week to week, as companies adjust to new technologies and find ways to leverage them even more efficiently to increase communication, facilitate knowledge share, and make working together easier than ever.

As collaboration evolves, SharePoint evolves along with it: the 2013 release is better optimized for the way people work today. The changes are very user-centered: "With SharePoint 2013, We designed a product that represents a new way of working together," explains Vesa Juvonen, Principal Consultant on SharePoint. "We wanted to put people in the center of the SharePoint experience."

What follows is a brief list of SharePoint 2013's top changes.

Collaboration goes social. Many of SharePoint's newest features borrow from the social networking experiences that most users already engage on a daily basis.

Take the updated My Site, the SharePoint user's personal home page. The Newsfeed provided by SharePoint 2013's My Site page allows users to use hashtag, mentions, likes, and other social tools that wouldn't be out of place in Twitter or Facebook. Users can follow people and documents, receiving updates whenever changes to either are made.

The new Community Sites forums allow users to share ideas, join conversations, ask questions, and get answers in an online, category-driven social environment that makes collaboration easier than ever. Reputation scores, best reply nominations and gifted badges allow users to highlight the best ideas and the users who provide them.

SharePoint Apps. The previous version's "Lists" and "Libraries" have been combined with developer-created applications into a single object category called "Apps". To add new content, you just add an app from the "Your Apps" page.

Adding an app is no different from downloading and installing a mobile app from an "app store." The equivalent for SharePoint users and developers is the "SharePoint Store", a source of internally-approved content where users can browse and select the app they need.

Improved search capabilities. Incremental improvements to the enterprise search function have sharpened query processing and targeting of search results - for instance, users can modify ranking criteria by changing query rules. Additionally, users can now search PDFs, Newsfeeds, and videos, with document previews appearing in the search window.

Optimized document management. The new SharePoint reduces the procedures and number of clicks needed to get work done. To put documents in your document library, all you need to do is drag and drop the file. One look tells you who the document is shared with, and the interface allows you to effortlessly send invitations to other users.

Upgraded task management. The new SharePoint release provides multiple ways for users to track new and existing tasks. Let's start with the My Tasks page, which now aggregates all your tasks and provides the option of synchronizing them with Outlook and MS Project 2012. You can group and indent tasks to track related tasks better, and track their progress using SharePoint 2013's new visual task timeline.

SharePoint's powerful new features - optimized for the way people work - allow you to change with the times, and upgrade the way you collaborate with colleagues. No longer do you have to adjust to work with the platform - SharePoint 2013 adjusts to work with you.

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