May 28, 2015
Many old things become trend and new again, and even that holds true with software, at least in principle. The old functions of SharePoint are withstanding the test of time, and the trendy new buzzwords that Microsoft worked so hard to push these last few years (cloud, social, collaborative) are fading out. Of course, some of it has to do with perception, but it does seem that Microsoft is harkening back to what the tried and true longtime users want. Read more in the CMS Wire article, “SharePoint is Back, Yammer… Not So Much.”
The article sums up the last few years:
“But these last few years, Microsoft seemingly didn’t want to talk about SharePoint. It wanted to talk about Office 365, the cloud, collaboration, social, mobile devices and perpetual monthly licensing models. Yet no one appears to have told many of the big traditional SharePoint customers of these shifts. These people are still running SharePoint 2007, 2010 and 2013 happily in-house and have no plans to change that for many years.”
So it seems that with the returned focus to on-premises SharePoint, users are pleased in theory. However, it remains to be seen how satisfying SharePoint Server 2016 will be in reality. To stay tuned to the latest reviews and feedback, keep an eye on ArnoldIT.com and his dedicated SharePoint feed. Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime leader in search with an interest in SharePoint. His reporting will shed a light on the realities of user experience once SharePoint Server 2016 becomes available.
Emily Rae Aldridge, May 28, 2015
May 27, 2015
Sometimes when items are combine they create something even better, such as Oreos and peanut butter, Disney and Marvel, and Netflix and original series. EContentMag alerted us that a new team-up is underway between two well known companies. The press release title says it all, “Altiar Cloud-Based ECM Platform Is Embedding The dtSearch Engine.” Altair is an enterprise content management platform that has been specifically used by Microsoft Azure. The popular dtSearch platform has been searching through terabytes since 1991 and is referred to as a powerful search tool. Embedding dtSearch into the Altiar core will make it a more powerful ECM.
Altiar is a popular ECM and can only be improved by dtSearch:
“A cloud-based service, Altiar includes rapid setup, scalability, and storage. It can accept any type of file, from PowerPoint to streaming video, as well as providing a host of tools and services to create custom content pages, newsletters, personal zones, and the like. The platform lets users not only access content from any connected device, but also manage, share, and track content, including features like email alerts.”
Microsoft is not a main player in the cloud computing and Microsoft Azure is supposed to drive more customers to them. Anything, like this new Altair improving its search will make it more appealing.
Whitney Grace, May 27, 2015
May 26, 2015
As SharePoint Server 2016 gets closer to a release date, experts turn their attention to its various components. Along with those that are getting an update to accompany the new release, there are several pieces of deprecated software that will come along for the ride. Read the details in the Redmond Magazine article, “SharePoint Server 2016 To Rely on Some ‘Deprecated’ Software.”
The article begins:
“SharePoint Server 2016 will arrive with a deprecated InfoPath 2013 forms creation technology. In addition SharePoint Server 2016 will require Windows Server AppFabric 1.1, which also is being deprecated. Per Microsoft’s definition, ‘deprecated’ software can continue to work. It doesn’t exactly mean that the software is dead product. It just means that Microsoft won’t perform any further development work on it.”
Keep an eye on these and other components that may cause a hiccup at the time of upgrade, or further down the road. Also, stay tuned to ArnoldIT.com for workarounds, tips, and tricks to help ease the transition to Server 2016. Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime leader in search and an interested party in SharePoint. His SharePoint feed is a concise and professional rundown of need-to-know information.
Emily Rae Aldridge, May 26, 2015
May 19, 2015
It looks like SharePoint is planning to bring the cloud to its SharePoint Server 2016 users at critical points, rather than forcing them to go “all cloud.” This technique allows Microsoft to continue with the cloud-based services that they have invested in, while improving the on-premises experience that users are demanding. ZDNet covers the whole story in their article, “Microsoft’s SharePoint 2016: What’s Hybrid Got to do With It?”
The article sums up the much talked about hybrid approach:
“Though it will run on top of Windows Server 2016 R2 and/or Windows Server 2016, SharePoint 2016 will include support for what Microsoft calls ‘cloud-accelerated experiences,’ meaning new hybrid scenarios . . . Instead of trying to push all SharePoint users and all SharePoint workloads to the cloud, Microsoft is acknowledging there are some reasons (compliance among them) that not all data can or should be in SharePoint Online. That said, Microsoft wants to enable its SharePoint users to get at their data wherever it’s stored.”
Stephen E. Arnold is a lifelong leader in search and a long-time expert in SharePoint. He keeps managers and users updated on the latest SharePoint news through his Web service ArnoldIT.com. All eyes should stay peeled for continuing developments, as users get closer to seeing a public release of SharePoint Server 2016.
Emily Rae Aldridge, May 19, 2015
May 14, 2015
The Ignite conference in Chicago has answered many of the questions that SharePoint users have been curious about for months now. Among them was the question of release timing and features for the latest iteration of SharePoint. CMS Wire gives a rundown in their article, “What’s Up With SharePoint? #MSIgnite.”
The article sums up the biggest news:
“Microsoft will continue to enhance the core offerings in the on-premises edition. It will also continue to develop SharePoint Online and update it as quickly as the updates are available. A preview version of SharePoint 2016 will be made available later this summer, with a beta version expected by the end of the year . . . In an afternoon session entitled Evolution of SharePoint Overview and Roadmap, the duo gave a rough outline of Microsoft’s plans, albeit without precise delivery dates.”
Having had to push back delivery dates once already, Microsoft is likely hesitant to announce anything solid until development is final. As far as qualities for the new version, Microsoft is focusing on: user experience, extensibility, and SharePoint management. The inclusion of user experience should be a welcome change for many. To stay in touch with developments as they become available, keep an eye on ArnoldIT.com, and particularly his feed devoted to SharePoint. Stephen E. Arnold has made a lifelong career out of all things search, and he has a knack for distilling down the “need to know” facts to keep an organization on track.
Emily Rae Aldridge, May 14, 2015
May 12, 2015
Some details about the rollout of SharePoint Server 2016 were revealed at the much-anticipated Ignite event in Chicago last week. Microsoft now commits to being on track with the project, making a public beta available in fourth quarter of this year, and “release candidate” and “general availability” versions to follow. Read more in the Redmond Magazine article, “SharePoint Server 2016 Roadmap Highlighted at Ignite Event.”
The article addresses the tension between cloud and on-premises versions:
“While Microsoft has been developing the product based on its cloud learnings, namely SharePoint Online as part of its Office 365 services, those cloud-inspired features eventually will make their way back into the server product. The capabilities that don’t make it into the server will be offered as Office 365 services that can be leveraged by premises-based systems.”
It appears that the delayed timeline may be a “worst case scenario” measure, and that the release could happen earlier. After all, it is better for customers to be prepared for the worst and be pleasantly surprised. To stay in touch with the latest news regarding features and timeline, keep an eye on ArnoldIT.com, specifically the SharePoint feed. Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime leader in search and serves as a great resource for individuals who need access to the latest SharePoint news at a glance.
Emily Rae Aldridge, May 12, 2015
May 7, 2015
It seems that Microsoft and Yahoo are friends again, at least for the time being. Search Engine Watch announces, “Yahoo and Microsoft Amend Search Agreement.” The two companies have been trying to partner on search for the past six years, but it has not always gone smoothly. Writer Emily Alford tells us what will be different this time around:
“First, Yahoo will have greater freedom to explore other search platforms. In the past, Yahoo was rumored to be seeking a partnership with Google, and under the new terms, Microsoft and Yahoo’s partnership will no longer be exclusive for mobile and desktop. Under the new agreement, Yahoo will continue to serve Bing ads on desktop and mobile, as well as use Bing search results for the majority of its desktop search traffic, though the exact number was undisclosed.
“Microsoft and Yahoo are also making changes to the way that ads are served. Microsoft will now maintain control of the Bing ads salesforce, while Yahoo will take full control of its Gemini ads salesforce, which will leave Bing free to serve its own ads side by side with Yahoo search results.”
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer painted a hopeful picture in a prepared statement. She and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella have been working together, she reports, to revamp the search deal. She is “very excited to explore” the fresh possibilities. Will the happy relationship hold up this time around?
Cynthia Murrell, May 7, 2015
May 5, 2015
Short honk: In my college days, I studied with a fellow who was the world’s expert in the morpheme burger. You are familiar with hamburger. Lev Soudek (I believe this was his name) set out to catalog every use of –burger he could find. Dr. Soudek was convinced that words had a future.
He is probably pondering the rise of ideographs like emoji. For insiders, a pictograph can be worth a thousand words. I suppose the morpheme burger is important to the emergence of the hamburger icon like this:
Microsoft is pushing into new territory according to “Microsoft Is First to Let You Flip the Middle Finger Emoji.” Attensity, Smartlogic, and other content processing systems will be quick to adapt. The new Microsoft is a pioneering outfit.
Is it possible to combine the hamburger icon with the middle finger emoji to convey a message without words.
Dr. Soudek, what do you think?
What about this alternative?
How would one express this thought? Modern language? Classy!
Stephen E Arnold, May 5, 2015
May 5, 2015
The ebb and flow of SharePoint expansion and contraction can be described as a “big bang theory” of sorts. This cyclical pattern can be seen in many businesses, but Redmond Magazine helps readers see the cycle in SharePoint. Read more in their article, “The SharePoint Big Bang Theory.”
The article sums up the illustration:
“As Microsoft added capabilities to SharePoint over the years, and provided the flexibility to configure or customize its features to meet just about any business requirement, the success of the platform exploded . . . End users and administrators alike started thinking about their information architecture and information governance policies. Companies . . . began consolidating their efforts, and started to move their businesses toward a more structured content management strategy . . . [then] the rise of the enterprise social networks (ESNs) and cloud-based file sharing solutions have had (are having) a contracting effect on those intranet and structured collaboration plans. Suddenly end users seem to be totally in charge.”
There’s no doubt that SharePoint has learned to weather the turbulent changes of the last twenty years. In some ways, their adaptability is to be applauded. And yet, most users know the platform is not perfect. To stay attuned to what the next twenty years will bring, keep an eye on ArnoldIT.com. Stephen E. Arnold has made a career of out reporting on all things search, and his dedicated SharePoint feed distills the information down into an easily digestible platform.
Emily Rae Aldridge, May 5, 2015
May 3, 2015
The number of companies offering alternatives to Oracle’s traditional database management system continues to go up. The most notable anti-Oracle outfit may be Microsoft, or, the “new” post-Ballmer Microsoft.
A number of specialist companies have offered expensive and often quite complicated NoSQL content management systems. These have been positioned as publishing systems, analytic systems, business intelligence, and other types of unstructured information solutions.
I read “Microsoft Announces General Availability of Azure DocumentDB.” The key paragraph in the write up is a quote from a Microsoft expert which asserts:
We built DocumentDB in response to the increasing demands of mobile first, cloud first application development. NoSQL databases are becoming the tool of choice for many developers however running and managing these databases can be complicated and costly, especially at scale. DocumentDB is delivered as a fully managed database-as-a-service (DBaaS) with built in high availability, SQL query over indexed JSON and multi-document transaction processing.
Like most things Microsoft, this solution has been chugging along for many years. Microsoft has its own relational database to nurture. Leaving the market to the likes of MarkLogic and legions of open source developers and repackagers motivated the ageing Microsoft to keep on pecking away at the unstructured information problem.
Will Microsoft be successful?
The question is, “Sure, probably.” There are many Microsoft certified professionals, certified Gold resellers, and tag-along consultants who milk the Microsoft cow. The installed base combined with job security and consulting opportunities means that over time, Microsoft’s document database will have an impact.
What companies will be affected? There are several categories of firms which may suffer some immediate pain; for example:
- MarkLogic-type proprietary vendors will have to deal with the price pressure Microsoft brings to the market. Microsoft also supports a community familiar with the Byzantine methods of Microsoft software. The combination of familiar programming conventions and job security are likely to be a powerful mix.
- Vendors who drifted from Microsoft may have to fall in love again. Some specialist companies like Coveo and Smartlogic have shifted from Microsoft centric business to support for other systems and methods. If the document centric database sector catches on quickly, then these companies will have to rekindle their Microsoft affection. The challenge will be to fit into a Microsoft world in which more loyal developers have been faithful.
- Licensees reeling from the cost and complexity of XML centric document solutions may find that loyal licensees are kicking the tires of the Microsoft approach. Microsoft developers are easier to find and hire than masters of proprietary XML programming methods. JSON may become a good enough alternative to XML wonkiness.
What about search? I assume that an open source outfit like Elastic will encourage its fans to carry coals to the New Microsoft castle. Vendors of proprietary Microsoft add ins are likely to be revving up to offer snap in solutions to Microsoft’s migraine inducing search and retrieval function.
Net net: Microsoft is creating an opportunity as it inflicts pain on companies struggling in a tough economy. Worth monitoring this initiative. Will Oracle sit on the sidelines? How will proprietary content processing vendors respond? No answers yet.
Stephen E Arnold, May 3, 2015