Tuesday, 17 July 2012

SharePoint 2013: Initial Thoughts

Some initial thoughts after skimming through all the material Microsoft posted here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30361
Over all this release looks to be more about improvements and refinements.  It does not contain any major overhauls like the Service Application layer of SharePoint 2010.  That being said there are some exciting new features.

SharePoint 2010 == SharePoint 14 == 14 Mode
SharePoint 2013 == SharePoint 15 == 15 Mode

This version of SharePoint is built on .Net 4.0.  I suspect it is using the new .NET Web API for their REST web services.
Looks like it would be possible to have a Service Farm in the cloud being consumed by an on-prem SharePoint farm.  In SharePoint 15 they have removed the database permission required in cross farm sharing of service applications.
Single Web Application can now consume both local and remote services.

Service Applications:
The service application architecture is the largely the same as SharePoint 2010.
Web Analytics has been rolled into Search.
Office Web Applications is no longer a Service Application.  Instead it now requires its own set of VM(s).
New: App Management Service – To support SharePoint Apps from either the Market Place or Corporate Catalog
New: Translation Service:  Cloud based translation service for documents, pages and sites.
User Profile Application now includes the User Profile Replication Engine.  In 2010 this was a separate download required to replicate User Profiles and social to another farm.  This was very handy for Disaster Recovery.

Request Management:
SharePoint 15 provides the ability to route requests based on the following information:
·         Url
·         UrlReferrer
·         UserAgent
·         Host
·         IP
·         HttpMethod
·         SoapAction
·         CustomHeader

This could prove to be one of the most useful features of the new version.  This allows you to reject potentially malicious requests.  It could also allow you to route request to certain servers based on the data requested or the person who sent the request.  In a large organization this could allow you specify sets of servers to handle requests for certain departments.

Custom Code:
SharePoint 2013 will still handle Farm Solutions (same as 2007 & 2010) and Sandboxed solutions.  In addition it has added SP Apps.  This, apparently, will be the preferred method of deploying solutions to SharePoint 15.
SP Apps:  Not really sure how solutions are going to map to an app yet, but here some details on how an app will function:
·         One App == One Web == One URL
·         Only deploy Web Scoped Features (SPWeb)
·         App features are not available outside of the App
·         End users cannot manipulate the app web with SharePoint Designer or the browser
·         App Package will contain: Pages, Scripts, Styles and Manifest
·         App can be hosted on: A Developer Server, Azure, Any SharePoint server
·         A SharePoint farm can use Apps from the Market Place or from their private Corporate Catalog
·         Separate license for each app (The App Management Service will manage all these licenses)
·         Looks like web config must have Trust Level set to Full for apps to work
·         Can be built in the new version of Visual Studio

Looks like there have been some more improvements to the upgrade process from SharePoint 2010.  Most notably is there will be a SharePoint 2010 mode, like Visual Upgrade but more.  SharePoint 15 will have all the SharePoint 14 features, when in SharePoint 2010 mode the site (and all customizations) will still be running all the SharePoint 2010 code and features and all customizations will still live in the 14 hive, not the new 15 hive.
Preferred method for upgrade is the database attach method (same as 2010).  The following databases will support this method:
·         Content Databases
·         Project Database
·         Search Admin
·         Profile
·         Social
·         Managed Metadata
·         Secure Store

PowerShell Commands: Test-SPContentDatabase (same as 2010) and the new Repair-SPCotnentDatabase to fix the issue discovered in the Test-SPContentDatabase command.

A Site Collection Health check that will run before the upgrade to ensure everything is ok before upgrade.

Ability to create side by side copies, one in 14 mode and one in 15 mode that can be run at the same time.

You can also create new site collections in 14 mode.  This could come in handy during a migration.

Social:  Haven’t read too much about this, but the images look very similar to the NewsGator sites we’ve setup…

That’s it for now

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