There is no doubt that Microsoft SharePoint 2013 is a new way to collaborate/work together. A lot of new things are introduced with Microsoft SharePoint 2013 and many of these are expected and seem an extension of existing functionality from the older version. In this post we will look at the principal changes done between Microsoft SharePoint 2010 & 2013 in a categorized manner, just to give you a gist about what is depreciated and what is introduced in the new Microsoft SharePoint 2013 version.
Changes Intended Towards Developers
• Tools – Microsoft SharePoint 2013 has introduced new Tools for App development. Visual Studio 2012 now lets you develop apps for Microsoft SharePoint and apps for Office. In addition, a new web-based tool called “Napa” Office 365 Development Tools were introduced for developing apps.
- Meeting workspace site template has been deprecated Microsoft SharePoint 2013.
- Web analytics feature of Microsoft SharePoint 2010 has been deprecated from Microsoft SharePoint 2013.
• No more Sandbox solutions. Microsoft SharePoint 2013 sandboxed solutions are deprecated.
• The visual upgrade feature in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 is not available in Microsoft SharePoint 2013. It has been replaced with deferred site collection upgrade which is a more comprehensive upgrade process than the visual upgrade. Visual upgrade preserved only the old master pages, CSS files, and HTML files. Deferred site collection upgrade preserves much more, including SPFeature functionality. To achieve the deferred site collection upgrade, major changes in the architecture were required, including the removal of visual upgrade.
• Various site templates have been removed to simplify the list of templates that are available when a user creates a new site collection. The below list of site templates will continue to operate in Microsoft SharePoint 2013. But these site templates will be removed completely from the next major release of Microsoft SharePoint and sites that were created by using below listed site templates will not be supported o Document Workspace site template o Personalization Site site template o Meeting Workspace site templates o Group Work site template and Group Work solution o Visio Process Repository site template
Social and Collaboration features
Microsoft in SharePoint 2013 Introduced new Social capabilities for better collaboration in the company. New Features added are,
• Interactive feed – In Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013, interactive social feeds are designed to encourage people to share information and to stay connected with people and content. You can see many of the feed features on the Newsfeed page on My Site. Feeds contain collections of threads that represent microblog posts, conversations, status updates, and other notifications.
• Community Site – In Microsoft SharePoint Server / Foundation 2010, you could add a Discussion list to sites to facilitate discussions among members of the site. Microsoft SharePoint Server / Foundation 2013 continue to provide this Discussion list, but also expand on the discussion concept by introducing a new site template named as Community Site. Community Sites offer a forum experience to categorize and cultivate discussions with a broad group of people across organizations in a company. Community Sites promote open communication and information exchange by fostering discussions among users who share their expertise and use the expertise of others who have knowledge in specific areas of interest.
With Community Sites, you organize discussions in categories. Visitors can view the discussions and become members if they want to contribute to those discussions. Moderators manage the community by setting rules, reviewing and addressing inappropriate posts, marking interesting content as featured discussions, and so on. Moderators can also assign gifted badges to specific members to visually indicate that the member is recognized as a specific kind of contributor in the Community Site, such as an expert or a moderator. Each Community Site contains information about the member and content reputation, which members earn when they actively post in discussions, and when their content is liked, replied to, or marked as the best answer.
• Follow people/sites – It is a good feature introduced in Microsoft SharePoint 2013 to stay connected with people and content the user likes. With this feature, a user can follow people, content etc. If you follow people, then the posts and activities of the followed people show up in the user’s newsfeed. A user can also work with Client Object Model and Server Object Model to follow. Users can also follow contents.
Microsoft SharePoint 2013 includes several enhancements, custom content processing with the Content Enrichment web service, and a new framework for presenting search result types. Some of the features added are,
• Consolidated Search Results – In Microsoft SharePoint 2013 the two Search Engines “SharePoint Search” and “FAST Search Server for SharePoint” is combined in one Search Engine. About 80% of FAST Search was embedded in the Microsoft SharePoint Search platform, representing the most used features of FAST Search. It also includes the new framework for search result types. It includes many of the capabilities of Microsoft SharePoint 2010 and provides numerous improvements, such as in query processing and targeting of search results. It also helps administrators to configure search in such a way that the users can find relevant information more quickly and easily.
• Rich Results Framework – Microsoft SharePoint 2013 Search includes a new results framework that makes it easy to customize the appearance (i.e. look and feel) of the search results user interface (UI). Now, instead of writing a custom XSLT to change how search results are displayed, you can customize the appearance of important types of results by using display templates and result types.
Enterprise Content Management
Microsoft SharePoint 2013 added some of the best capabilities of an ECM software. The newly added features are,
• Design Manager – If you want your Microsoft SharePoint 2013 site to represent your organization’s brand and not OOTB SharePoint look & Feel you can create a custom design and use Design Manager to achieve that goal. Design Manager is a feature in Microsoft SharePoint 2013 that makes it easier to create a fully customized, pixel-perfect design while using the web-design tools that you’re already familiar with. Design Manager is a publishing feature that is available in publishing sites in both Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 and Office 365. You can also use Design Manager to brand the public-facing website in Office 365. With Design Manager, you can create a visual design for your website by using whatever web design tool or HTML editor you prefer, using only HTML and CSS, and then upload that design into SharePoint. Design Manager is the central hub and interfaces where you manage all aspects of a custom design.
• Managed Navigation – A well-designed navigation tells your site’s users a lot about the business, products, and services that the website offers. By updating the taxonomy behind the navigation, businesses can drive and keep up with change without having to recreate their site navigation in the process. In Microsoft SharePoint 2013, the managed navigation feature enables you to design site navigation that is driven by managed metadata and create SEO-friendly URLs that are derived from the managed navigation structure. Managed navigation provides an alternative to the traditional SharePoint navigation feature—structured navigation—that is based on the structure of Microsoft SharePoint. Because managed navigation is driven by taxonomy, you can use it to design site navigation around important business concepts without changing the structure of your sites or site components.
• Cross-site Publishing – Cross-site publishing is the tool that enables you to write content in one place and surface it in other places through search. You’ll be able to generate sites in some new and exciting ways. And for the first time, Cross-site publishing breaks down the site collection barrier—content can be shared across site collections, web apps, and farms.
• EDiscovery – eDiscovery is how records managers and litigators discover content in electronic format. Typically, eDiscovery requires searching for documents, websites, and email messages spread across laptops, email servers, file servers, and other sources, and collecting and acting on content that meets the criteria for a legal case.
eDiscovery uses search service applications (SSAs) to crawl SharePoint farms. You can configure SSAs in many ways, but the most common way is to have a central search services farm that crawls multiple SharePoint farms. You can use this one search service to crawl all SharePoint content, or you can use it to crawl specific regions—for example, all SharePoint content in Europe. To crawl a SharePoint farm, search first uses a service application proxy to connect to it. The eDiscovery Center uses the proxy connection to send preservations to SharePoint sites in other SharePoint farms.
No Licensing for SharePoint for Internet Sites
For someone estimating their SharePoint license costs for a new farm, this is a big deal. In Microsoft SharePoint 2010 companies were required to purchase an Internet-facing license if your solution would be accessible by an anonymous user (typically for a website) or by large numbers of external but authenticated users (for a portal).
How do they define an external user? For this licensing change, this is the big question. It is probably easier to define what they consider an internal user and you can induce an external user as anything outside of that definition. Internal users are a company’s employees or its affiliates and any onsite contractors or onsite agents. All other users are considered external users and do not need licensing.
No separate licensing for Enterprise and Standard
Besides making licensing simpler, this move adds some serious horsepower to your SharePoint Portal. There are three big gains with the new enterprise functionality:
• FAST Search capabilities: This is now part of a standard Microsoft SharePoint installation. So not only is it now free, it’s a lot easier to deploy and configure. Besides greatly increasing the search center capabilities, site designers can efficiently use dynamic page templates to build very large and more personalized websites and portals.
• Hosting multiple domains on one farm: In an earlier version of Microsoft SharePoint, licensing multiple websites on one farm was a big investment which alarmed away a lot of prospective users, now this capability is included with every SharePoint deployment.
Business Intelligence/Dashboard Features: This gives you the ability to add Performance Point, Excel Services, Visio Service and now Power View to your portal. We are expecting to see powerful BI dashboards to be much more common as more companies start to experiment with these capabilities.