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5 SharePoint Announcements from Ignite You May Have Missed

Author by Drew Madelung

Wow Microsoft Ignite had a lot of information. This latest Ignite conference I believe provided the most announcements than any other event I have attended before. Another continued takeaway from these Ignite conferences is that the SharePoint community and team really own the majority. Once again SharePoint was one of the most discussed products via sessions and through social channels. As a SharePoint guy this is always good to see. There is no question that SharePoint is big and not going anywhere.
During Ignite I kept track of as many announcements as I could through a Microsoft Sway here. There were a ton of announcements and some huge ones like Hub Sites and Multi-Geo for SharePoint. I wanted to highlight some that may have gone unnoticed. 

1. Work with large lists & libraries with Predictive Indexing

I have seen some gigantic lists in my consulting days. 30,000,000 items can be stored in a list but if you had more than 5,000 items you had the very specific list view threshold. Predictive indexing will kick in as a list grows beyond 5,000 items. SharePoint will now take the fields used in the views and add indexes without the user needing to do anything. The modern user experience is also optimized to use those indexes, when available – and to retrieve data in sets to avoid throttles and unavailability. So now when you have a large list you can just keep scrolling down and see all your content.
  • What is going to be done
    • Allow creating indices on libraries up to 20,000 items
    • Automatic index management runs as a background job
      • Adds indices to views with filter or sort for libraries under 20,000
    • Partial results in modern experience (scrolling) and indexing on the sort field
    • Will run the auto index logic when a view is edited
    • Runs the auto index logic when sorting in the modern experience
    • Predictive indexing works in classic, but intelligent queries are modern only
    • You can set up a view (which creates indices) to mirror your API calls so you can query a larger amount
  • What is looking to come next
    • The auto index logic will work for libraries larger than 20,000

Overall this is a pleasant addition to working with large data but doesn't fully clear the 5,000 item issue. A few last things to note on this one is that If you are looking at doing a migration make sure you set up your indexes before you migrate.

2. Updated left navigation control for Office 365 Group SharePoint sites

You can now quickly add links to such things as the Office 365 Group calendar or Planner. This is an inline editing experience that has prefilled options along with empty text boxes that you can put whatever link that you want into it. As someone who works with a lot of Groups a lot the navigation between services has been a bit of a challenge once you are in SharePoint. You had a centralized Group navigation when you were in Outlook but once you went to SharePoint you had to click on the 'Conversation' link to get back to your total navigation. With this new navigation it makes adding Group based workloads to your left navigation very easy.

3. Additional insights for site owners

The existing (but yet still new) site usage page in SharePoint shows you things like page hits and item views. The insights and reporting for sites is being updated with such things as:
  • Most viewed and most unique viewers
  • Trending content
  • Historical views
  • Page level (comments/likes/views/viewer counts)
  • Views and viewer counts for SharePoint pages will be available on each page and everyone with view permission will be able to see this. This will be available in SharePoint team sites and communication sites.
  • Whether in a SharePoint team site or communication site, the Site usage page gives insights into how your site is being used over time.

4. Microsoft Forms web part

Microsoft Forms is a simple, lightweight tool that lets you quickly create a form, collect responses in real time, and view automatic charts to visualize your data. You now can use SharePoint as the front end to gather your information on your SharePoint pages.

With Microsoft Forms you can create:

  • Surveys: Collect customer feedback, measure employee satisfaction, and organize team events
  • Quizzes: Measure student knowledge, evaluate class progress, and focus on topics that need improvement
  • Polls: Find out what the class thinks of your trip idea, where the team wants to meet, or how attendees react to your presentation.

5. The new Me tab within the SharePoint mobile app

The new "Me" tab in the SharePoint mobile app is to provide you easier access to things that are most related to you. This tab focuses on bringing recent and saved views on a mobile device. This should quick access to something that you were just working on.
  • The Me tab focuses on bringing a Recent and a Saved experience to SharePoint mobile (iOS on the left, Android right).

Drew Madelung

Technical Architect