my world of work and user experiences

December 31, 2012

Happy 2013

Filed under: SharePoint — Tags: — frederique @ 14:35

I wish you all a very happy 2013!

First of all I mean the new year 2013 that is about to start with a bang – actually a lot of bangs, of fireworks and popping champagne corks. I wish you lots of fun, good health and generally all the best.

Secondly, I also wish you lots of fun and all the best with the new SharePoint 2013. We’ve already seen quite a bit of it, but this will be its official year and I hope I will see it in production in my client’s workplace.

Of course I do not expect the new SharePoint to be all fireworks and champagne. But I do think it will make us happy, by making our lives easier. And maybe even healthier, if we can stop pulling our hair out over limitations in the SharePoint 2010 cloud that we are working with now. I think the following will make me happy:

  • Manageable managed metadata with a quick edit option to edit the managed metadata of multiple list or library items in a bulk operation.
    Now we can only edit fields like choice fields in the datasheet. The centrally defined managed metadata have to be set one by one, with some possibilities to set smart defaults so that you have a head start when you upload multiple files for instance. Third party tools like Colligo’s Contributor  can handle bulk editing, but the bulk of our users does not have that tool at their disposal. Really annoying, so we look forward to the new ‘quick edit’.
  • Follow functionality that gives users quick access to the team sites they use a lot and keep an eye on people and places of interest. Now we use alerts to keep track of content and have a non-standard implementation of the old My Links for my favorite team sites. That is a bit clunky, so bring on the follow options.
  • Sharing with external users seems smoother, more integrated with “normal” sharing.
    Right now, we are struggling with external users. They are supposed to participate in some serious business solutions. But the interface for inviting them confuses the site owners. And once they are on the site, it is not easy to assign tasks to them. Can you make that better? Yes please!
  • Records management functionality that will allow us to keep our environment clean, by setting policies that help owners to clean up old content.
    Now we have prepared for this by including an expiry data field in all content, but we’ll wait for 2013 to take action in content life cycle management.
  • Configurable search results that include custom properties, so that we can roll up information across site collections and present the result nicely.
    At the moment we are stuck with search results with standard properties, as the Content Query Web part does not look across the boundaries of site collections and the search result cannot include the custom properties that enrich our libraries.
  • Advanced workflows that work, using Nintex Workflow Online. I have seen in my playground that I can add the Nintex preview “app” from the store. Definitely a new toy that I want to play with, as soon as I have a moment.
    The last month or so, this has been one of the key issue that made me pull my hair out. We only have SharePoint Designer at our disposal to build the custom workflows we need to support several of our business processes. And that is  not only slow and unfriendly, but it is also limited to about five steps. Any more steps, and you simply cannot publish your workflow anymory – it is caused by some time-out that you are supposed to circumvent by changing your webconfig, which of course is not available to us in the cloud. By stripping out everything that was not crucial I managed to squeeze in almost all required steps. And I’ve told the users that we will try again as soon as SharePoint 2013 has arrived in our workplace.

And in the mean time: happy new year!!

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

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