35,000 Foot View of SharePoint 2013 for End Users

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This is the last article of a four-part 35,000-foot overview of some of the major changes expected in SharePoint 2013. What's in store for the end user?

What’s New for End Users?

When end users begin using SharePoint 2013, they will notice additional collaboration features, as well as an increase in social components.


SharePoint has always been a tool for collaboration, but SharePoint 2013 promises even more robust collaboration tools. SharePoint 2013 has added new features to increase collaboration, including:

  • OneNote Notebook included in the Team Site for taking and storing notes locally
  • Share Dialog Interface, which allows users to quickly add people to list and share content even between site collections
  • Callout Feature for managing Items in List or Library
  • Drag and Drop Between Sites or between SharePoint/Desktop allowing you to quickly move documents between sites or between SharePoint and your local environment.

Video and Rich Media Improvements

Video and rich media is invading the business world, and SharePoint 2013 is striving to make it easier to organize and access this form of data. Improvements related to video and rich media, include:

  • Videos have video pages that contain metadata to improve the search functionality.
  • Users can now preview videos from the search results before spending valuable time downloading the video.
  • Users can now search for videos by length or by date.
  • HTML5 and Silverlight Players are Supported in 2013 for viewing.
  • Improved refinement options when it comes to SharePoint 2013 from end user perspective.

Records Management and Compliance

There are improvements to the records management functionality that help meet compliance requirements you may have in your organization, including the following:

  • Site-Based Compliance -- SharePoint Sites are now integrated with Team Mailboxes in SharePoint 2013,which means that any time an end user is preserving content, both theSharePoint Sites and the Team Mailboxes are searched.
  • In-Place Records Management -- SharePoint 2013 still has In-Place records management, but now it preserves content that has been modified. So if a user has put a lock on the content, it allows other users to make a change to the document, but it keeps a copy of the content as it was prior to the modification.

    Documents, list items, pages and Exchange Server 2013 mailboxes can be preserved. The preservation of the information is done at the site level but you can use filters to avoid preserving the entire site or mailbox.

  • Enterprise-Wide e-Discovery -- SharePoint Server 2013 introduces a new site for managing and holding yourdiscovery cases. Within this site collection you can perform e-Discovery queriesacross multiple SharePoint farms and Exchange servers and preserve the itemsthat are discovered.

    You create a new site for each case using the eDiscoveryCenter site template. This site creates a portal through which you can accessdiscovery cases to conduct searches, place content on hold, and export content.To implement e-Discovery across the enterprise, configure SharePoint Server2013 Search to crawl all file shares and websites that contain discoverablecontent. You can then export the results of an e-Discovery search for later importinto a review tool.

Social Computing

With an emphasis on making SharePoint more social, end users will notice new social features in SharePoint 2013, including the following:

Learning Opportunities

  • Community Sites -- Community Sites allow users to create discussions and organization them basedon categories. SharePoint 2013 also includes new Site Templates for theCommunity Sites.
  • My Sites -- My Sites have been redesigned and modernized for SharePoint 2013. They havealso been simplified and provide more unified navigation. There is also a TasksPage for the aggregation of tasks that can be synchronized using the new WorkManagement service application.
  • Document Libraries -- Document Libraries can be used to share content with others to increasecollaboration. Users can create libraries and choose which libraries they want toshare with other users to collaborate on documents in the library.

Mobile Device Enhancements

SharePoint 2013 is more mobile friendly than ever before. New updates to improve functionality on mobile devices include the following:

  • Optimized Browser Experience
  • Office Mobile Web Apps
  • Push Notifications

Search Improvements

SharePoint 2013 has made significant improvements to search features, including:

  • Interface Enhancements
  • Relevance Enhancements
  • Ranking Models
  • Content Search Web Part (Similar to the Content Query Web Part, but better)
  • Improved Refinement

Title image courtesy of S.R. Lee Photo Traveller (Shutterstock)

Editor's Note: You may be interested in reading the entire 35,000 Foot View of SharePoint series.

About the author

Brian Alderman

Brian Alderman | CEO & Founder, MicroTechPoint