Now that SharePoint 2016 is here, Microsoft is slowly releasing SharePoint Document Libraries to its commercial Office 365 subscribers using SharePoint Online.

The new document libraries take SharePoint in a more user-friendly direction. They make it easier for users to access documents, edit document metadata and push content to the top of the document library.

It's a big deal — which addresses persistent complains about previous editions of SharePoint around the difficulties of use.

In the long run-up to the release of SharePoint 2016, Microsoft promised to focus on user experience.

Benefits of Document Libraries

A document library provides a secure place to store files where teams or enterprise workers can easily find them, work on them and access them from any device at any time.

For example, you can use a document library on a site in Office 365 to store all files related to a specific project or a specific client. Adding files or moving files between folders is as easy as dragging and dropping them from one location to another.

In a blog post about the release, Chris McNulty, senior product manager for the SharePoint team, pointed out that the new document libraries have an updated user interface that offers an experience similar to OneDrive, so it’s more intuitive to create a new folder and upload files in the browser.

While the libraries are easy to use, IT will still be fully in control of the experience.

“Since usability requires manageability, we keep IT in control of the experience. You may be ready to adopt this across the board or you might want to stay in classic mode until you can prepare your users. We give you full control of using classic or modern looks at the tenant, site collection and library level,” McNulty wrote.

“When we bring modern document libraries into production later in June, it will become the new default for all libraries in most cases. However, we will add the tenant and administrative controls in advance of the actual library rollout, so if you choose to opt out, you can do so before users start seeing the new experience."

In the coming months, Microsoft will also be looking at extensibility and customization, in particular support for customizing pages “using modern techniques.”

M-Files Digitizes Signatures With DocuSign

Plano,Texas-based document management vendor M-Files is now offering digital signatures from DocuSign.

M-Files metadata-based document management system pulls down repository walls by locating documents based on what they are rather then where they are. So now any document used in the enterprise can be pulled into business processes and signed-off without ever being printed.

Once all authorized individuals have signed, the completed document is saved to the M-Files vault, where it can then be further processed and managed. DocuSign can also be used for signing documents when signers do not have access to M-Files.

Over all, this means digitized processes from beginning to end along with visibility into every paper and deal that is signed. It’s a small addition to M-Files, but a useful one for a company that has put so much breaking boundaries between departments through the use of metadata.

Xerox Picture Becomes Clearer

Norwalk, Conn.-based Xerox announced Ashok Vemuri will become the chief executive of its business process outsourcing unit after the company splits into two publicly traded entities.

Learning Opportunities

This ends months of speculation about the future leadership of the company.

Vemuri, who headed IT service  provider IGATE  from September 2013 to last October, will join Xerox July 1. While at IGATE, Vemuri led the company's sale to French rival Cap Gemini for $4 billion. He previously worked at Infosys in various roles for 14 years.

In January, Xerox announced plans to split its legacy printer operations and its business process outsourcing units into two companies. By the end of this year, it will consist of a $7 billion organization focused on business process services and a second $11 billion document technology business that includes printers, scanners and copiers.

Xerox’s Document Outsourcing will focus on automating business processes and improving the way businesses work. As the separation approaches, he said the creation of the standalone Document Technology Company will allow Xerox to better respond to partner and customer needs

Xerox has not said who will head its printer business, but current Chief Executive Ursula Burns will become chairman of that company once the transaction closes, expected by the end of 2016.

ActivePDF’s New WebGrabber

ActivePDF, which develops digital transformation PDF automation tools, announced the release of WebGrabber, a batch conversion tool used in .NET applications to convert web page or raw HTML string to PDF documents.

The enhancements deliver higher fidelity with a more intuitive user experience. Ease of navigation within the PDF creates a more natural web-style viewing experience to access targeted content, the company claimed in a statement.

With it users auto-generate PDF bookmarks to deliver quick access to targeted content, consolidate URL HTML content for easy distribution, create PDF versions of documents on or within web based applications, and convert high volumes of HTML vendor reports to PDF.

Founded in 2000, Laguna Niguel, Calif.-based ActivePDF is a global provider of PDF server-based tools for integration within business processes, including enterprise content management (ECM), document management and workflow solutions.