One thing is clear at SharePoint Conference 2014, cloud is the future for Microsoft (if it’s not already the present). Jared Spataro kicked off yesterday’s keynote with 4 goals that will shape the future vision of Office.
- We believe the future of work is all about working as a Network.
- We believe in personal insights that can be heard when you cut through the noise.
- We believe in the power of an open development platform and a robust ecosystem.
- We believe that the future of work is only possible when people can work anywhere on any device where organizations can still manage them securely.
These four goals framed the rest of the keynote presentation and set the stage for the products and services to be released in Office 365, Yammer, and SharePoint.
The next server release for SharePoint and Exchange was announced for 2015. This means all on premise customers will have these updates available sometime next year. However, it is clear there will be no major feature additions to the on premises server versions. It was even stated these releases would have a subset of features compared to Office 365. Microsoft is committed to the cloud and their message is clear – “We can provide better services in the cloud”.
What does this mean for on premises customers?
The same great features you enjoy today in SharePoint Server 2013 will be available to you (except InfoPath Forms). You will continue to be able to use the product for a long time into the future and Microsoft will continue to support on premise deployments until at least 2025 (10 yrs of support to SP 2015).
However, you will continue to see new features, products, and services released to Office 365 (SharePoint Online) and Yammer that will not be available to you on premise. Every bit of new functionality I’ve seen here are the conference is only applicable to the cloud. Read between the lines, cloud is king!
I might also guess PerformancePoint will be going away in SP 2015. In SharePoint 2013, there were no additions or changes to PerformancePoint. Microsoft has been heavily investing in Excel for a number of years now. PowerPivot, Power View – and now Power Map and Power BI (Office 365). If you are looking to do Business Intelligence in SharePoint, Excel Services is the answer. If you are already using PerformancePoint, that’s ok. If you are starting fresh, start with Excel.
Features for Enterprise Content Management, Web Content Management, Search, Workflow, MySites, etc. will likely not change. In previous released versions, there were significant changes to the product or architecture – Service Applications, HTML 5, App Model, CSOM, FAST integration, just to name a few. Although it hasn’t been clearly stated, I’m getting the distinct impression there won’t be any blockbusters this time around.
If you plan to live on premise and have no desire to move to the cloud, that’s ok. The cloud still isn’t for everyone. And with the announcement of SP 2015, you can rest assured your on premise deployment will be supported for years to come. If you have specific questions or thoughts, feel free to comment or email me.
Stay tuned for my next post and I’ll go through all the new and exciting announcements for Yammer and Office 365.