Organizing, sharing and tracking down documents is a constant headache for most businesses and employees. Microsoft SharePoint makes it easy to organize, share and manage documents and streamline business processes.
Microsoft’s latest iteration, SharePoint 2019, aims to improve the SharePoint experience for on-premises and hybrid users.
In this blog, we’ll dive into the new SharePoint 2019 features so you know what to expect and how to prepare, including:
- New UX features
- Team site updates
- Communication site improvements
- Hybrid OneDrive environments
- IT administration & infrastructure updates
- Integration with hybrid environments
- SharePoint training courses
About SharePoint 2019
It’s easy to assume that most businesses have moved to the cloud. But in truth, many organizations are still running on-premises environments in some capacity. In fact, 65 percent of enterprise workloads are still running in company-owned data centers, according to a recent study.
With the release of SharePoint 2019, Microsoft proves it’s still committed to customers who operate within on-premises and hybrid scenarios.
SharePoint 2019 offers a new, modern design that’s optimized to work across any screen, whether you’re working on a tablet, phone, laptop or desktop. The new iteration aims to help users spend less time searching for content and configuring settings and more time working on productive tasks.
New SharePoint 2019 Features
SharePoint 2019 supports increasingly common hybrid IT environments. It includes many of the features that users felt SharePoint 2016 lacked. Here’s a breakdown of the most anticipated new features.
Modern User Experience Improvements
SharePoint 2019 includes new UX enhancements that are in line with the SharePoint Online experience, including better communication and collaborative capabilities. These features include:
- SharePoint Home: The new home screen will offer all the sites and news you care about in one central dashboard. If you’re familiar with Office 365, you will recognize the SharePoint home screen.
- Modern team and communication sites: Likely one of the most anticipated features of SharePoint 2019, appealing to cloud users through Office 365.
- Lists and libraries: Modern lists and libraries are also available in SharePoint 2019.
- User-friendly pages, web parts and authoring: Human error is common when creating and editing pages in older versions of SharePoint. With new user-friendly improvements in SharePoint 2019, anyone can quickly and easily create content.
- Suite Navigation and App Launcher: The popular Office 365 “waffle” menu is now available.
- Simplified sharing experience: Previously, you could only let outside users access your SharePoint on-premises content by giving them a SharePoint license or anonymous access. Now you can enjoy the flexible sharing capabilities offered in Office 365.
Team Site Improvements
SharePoint 2019 makes it easier to integrate your Office 365 group content, SharePoint team sites and Microsoft Teams.
You can connect an existing SharePoint team site to a new group in Office 365, giving you access to a group calendar, shared document library and planner to manage tasks. You also have the option to add a team in Microsoft Teams as a hub for collaboration.
In addition, Microsoft Teams now lets you access and share SharePoint pages and news articles, not just documents stored in SharePoint libraries.
Communication Site Improvements
New and improved communication sites are available in SharePoint 2019.
Communication sites dynamically pull content from Office 365 using SharePoint web parts.
The modernized communication sites feature new web parts that simplify the process of creating and sharing important updates and announcements. These web parts include Planner, Microsoft Forms, Group Calendar, File Viewer and Twitter.
Organizations with large on-premises libraries will be pleased to know that SharePoint 2019 brings a significantly improved OneDrive Sync Client.
The new iteration features OneDrive Sync Client support for personal and team sites, including files on demand. It also includes push notifications to help create a fast, reliable synchronization experience.
Previously, these features were only available in the cloud. Now on-premises users can access them in hybrid environments.
Improved Support for Business Processes
Businesses rely on SharePoint to support collaboration, business process automation and custom business applications.
Moving complex workloads to the cloud can get messy. Fortunately, SharePoint 2019 includes process automation and forms technologies like PowerApps and Flow to connect with your on-premises data.
There are quite a few SharePoint 2019 features aimed at improving administration and infrastructure, including:
- Direct links to SharePoint documentation: You’ll no longer need to search far and wide for documents. You can now use direct go-to links in Central Administration.
- SMTP authentication for sending emails: You’ll be able to use actual authenticated SMTP (including Office 365) to send your emails.
- Workflow Manager 2019: Workflows are not going away any time soon. This new version replaces Workflow Manager 1.0 with new and improved features.
- Integration with PowerApps and Flow: With SharePoint 2019, you can expect some deeper integrations with Flow and PowerApps. The new features have improved performance and fewer restrictions than before.
SharePoint 2019 advances upon many previous features to make SharePoint easier to configure and manage in hybrid environments.
Here are some examples:
- New Hybrid Status Bar: Monitor the status of your hybrid configuration in one view with this new feature.
- Holistic Search: SharePoint 2019 includes a modern search feature for hybrid environments.