Given that DynamicPoint’s products are built entirely within SharePoint, each new release gives us the opportunity to expand our feature set by simply taking advantage of the new functionality provided by Microsoft.  It is a great advantage for us as we can ride the wave of innovation being provided by a giant company like Microsoft, and simultaneously focus on developing the core functionality of our applications and integrations with ERP systems.  So the upcoming release on the block is SharePoint 2016 which is due out in spring of 2016.  We have naturally been checking out the IT preview to determine how it will impact our product and what can we do to leverage the new features.

Our plans thus far includes the following:

App Launcher / Interface

The App Launcher first made its debut in SharePoint for Office 365 and now it is here with the on premise install as well.  The App Launcher basically allows you to launch any App directly from the top ribbon.

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So does that mean I will be able to launch DynamicPoint applications directly from this bar, well, absolutely!  The timing of this feature actually comes perfectly as we are currently converting our product from being a Farm Solution to a SharePoint App.  So with this change we will be able to deploy our products to either Office 365 or on premise installs.  With the App Launcher our product will be accessible in an identical manner from either type of deployment.

Hybrid Deployments

The App Launcher is actually just one aspect of the overall objective of making Hybrid Deployments (both on premise and Office 365 at the same time) more seamless to the end user.  With DynamicPoint’s conversion to the new App model that gives customers the same flexibility with our product.  They will be able to deploy to either model and regardless if a customer is using a Hybrid deployment, just on premise or Office 365, the option of where to deploy will be entirely up to them.  In addition, complementary SharePoint features, such as Search, can be used in conjunction with our product regardless of where it is deployed.

Mobile Views and Enabled for Touch

Going with Microsoft’s theme that every application should be accessible from any device, SharePoint is getting a fresh renewal on its mobile views.  The pages will now be responsive and automatically update the lay out depending on the type of device being used to access the application.  In either format, it will be optimized for use with touch screens or pointing devices (aka, mouse).

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Of course the big benefit to our applications is we now have a completely new layout available to us.  So stay tuned as our user interface changes to fall in line with these new mobile pages.

Large Files

Now in SharePoint 2016 you can go way beyond the previous 2GM limit for files.  Although there is no real restriction to how big you can go, it is recommended to keep it somewhere around 8-10 GB otherwise users will have a poor experience when uploading huge files.  With this increase our applications can handle the same size files.

Performance Enhancements

SharePoint lists have always been able to handle a large amount of data.  A list or library can contain 30 million records without running into any constraints.  The challenge has always been the management and optimization of list views such that no user is running large queries against the list especially if the appropriate indexes are not added.  This is where the “List View Threshold” error message comes up and an admin has to index columns to make it go away.  Well those days are over as now the indexes will create themselves when the threshold is reached.  Other major architectural changes are occurring to make the application more lightweight and efficient.  These changes will be welcome by our customers as they lessen the maintenance of SharePoint and improve the user experience in navigating various pages and web parts.

Those are the major changes planned thus far but stay tuned because as we get closer to the release date we expect to receive more details from Microsoft which will increase our list of improvements!

 

By Mike Marcin, DynamicPoint – SharePoint Expense, Invoice & Requisition Management applications built exclusively for Dynamics GP & NAV.