SharePoint 2013: What’s New? What’s Gone? What’s Next?

It’s been a BIG summer here at Rackspace for all of our SharePoint-focused people. In July, Microsoft announced and demoed a whole fleet of new and improved products. For us, the biggest were the preview release of Office 2013 and the SharePoint Server 2013 Preview. Take a look at the official announcement from Microsoft about the Office 2013 Preview. There is a lot of cool stuff to see, so buckle in and get ready to hear more about SharePoint 2013!

So where to start? Microsoft has been pretty clear that SharePoint 2013 is actually a dual purpose product for them. Not only are they delivering a refreshed version of their popular server product; this version also puts a push behind being able to deliver SharePoint-as-a-service in the cloud. And Rackspace is a company with a strong support team for SharePoint, and a lot of experience with delivering software-as-a-service in the cloud, so we’re ready to take you to the next level with SharePoint 2013 — you could say we’re a little excited about the whole thing. In fact, by some weird coincidence we had shipped almost all of our SharePoint brains to one location the week of the announcement for a meeting and I can tell you that our boss had a hard time keeping us focused on anything other than downloading the preview and Twitter.

If you want to learn more about SharePoint 2013 yourself, take a look at the SharePoint 2013 IT Pro training or check here for all of the recently published content from Microsoft. Those two links will give you a good overview of the new features in the product as well as some basic guidance about installing a test farm of your own.  And stay tuned to the Rackspace Blog and Rackspace Knowledge Center for future updates and information. If you don’t want to dive in that deep, we are here for you. Our SharePoint team has spent every spare moment polishing and testing the new SharePoint toys and we decided it was time to collect all of the things we have found into a posting for your reference. SharePoint 2013 is a major revision, so there is a lot to keep up on. If you don’t have the time or the experience to explore it yourself right now, these posts are a great primer to keep you up to date. Buckle in, there is a lot of content ahead.

If you are already overwhelmed with all the information, Jennifer Mason, Racker and SharePoint Server MVP, has created a Getting Started with SharePoint 2013 post that might help you put things into a useful order.

Another SharePoint Server MVP, Racker Todd Klindt, has been our most prolific information source. Todd has been on a bit of a binge and his roster of content is pretty extensive:

To top all of that, Todd did three netcasts (1,2,3), just self-published a book and has a lovely wife and adorable children — so buy him a coffee next time you see him.

Our other SharePoint Server MVPs here at Rackspace have also produced some great content.

Laura Rogers (a.k.a. WonderLaura) gave us a look at:

Randy Drisgill, designer supreme, has given us the Top 6 New Features for Designers in SharePoint 2013.

John Ross has been really excited about the new Web Content Management (WCM) features for SharePoint 2013.

Finally, just in case the SharePoint Developers were feeling left out, our resident code crafter Jonathan Mast has collected some SharePoint App Development Getting Started Resources for all of his fellow developers as a reference tool.

Now that I have given you your reading list for the next week or so, you can see why we are all so excited about the new SharePoint 2013 Preview. Lots of things are new, lots of things are better and a few things have gone away. The Rackspace SharePoint team is on it; whether you want to host all of this new functionality with us in the cloud without the restrictions of Office 365, or need some kick start information to handle this new technology in-house.

Keep a watch on this space for more information about SharePoint 2013 and be on the lookout for announcements about new training opportunities as well. SharePoint Rackers are planning all kinds of outlets to help you get the information you need and many of us will be appearing at local events like SharePoint Saturdays and national SharePoint events like the SharePoint Conference 2012 in Las Vegas. Come meet up with us. We want your take on what we can do to help you make your SharePoint projects a success!

Shane has more than 15 years of experience architecting and administering large-scale server farms using Microsoft enterprise technologies. For the past seven years, he has been working exclusively with SharePoint products and technologies as a consultant and trainer.


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