Microsoft has released some Sneak Peek videos giving a preview of what we can expect to see in SharePoint 2010. For the most part, the features that I'm excited about are going to contribute to an enhanced user experience. I think from an end-user perspective, MOSS 2007 is a pretty intuitive product, but there's always room for improvement. Here are five things that I'm really looking forward to.
- The Ribbon
It seems like people either love or hate the Ribbon. I'm a big fan. Microsoft is definitely not getting rid of the Ribbon anytime soon (in Windows 7, Paint and WordPad both feature a Ribbon), so it's not shocking to see one in SharePoint 2010, but it's nice nonetheless. The Ribbon is contextual and configurable, and contains all the necessary tools for editing content, managing permissions and properties, and much more.
- No Postbacks
The new interface is completely asynchronous so there'll be no more postbacks or refreshing while editing page content, web parts, etc. That was one thing that always drove me crazy about working with MOSS 2007, so this is an exciting improvement.
- Using Office Themes to Customize a Site
Some projects just don't have the budget for a nice shiny custom design. MOSS 2007 contains some out-of-the-box themes but if users aren't satisfied with their choices (lime-green "Verdant" anyone?) they need to enlist the help of a designer to create a custom theme. In SharePoint 2010, users can create their own Office themes (something Office power users should be comfortable with), upload them to SharePoint and apply to a site. This is a quick and easy way to apply corporate branding to a site when it is not feasible to implement a custom design.
- Central Administration
Central Admin has been revamped to provide a more streamlined site administration process and it looks great. The menus are more intuitive, and the Ribbon is also featured.
- Best Practices Analyzer
This new Central Administration feature allows site admins to effortlessly monitor the service performance and health of their sites. With this feature, a set of best practice rules are periodically run against the site and potential issues are identified along with suggestions for resolving the issue. New rules can easily be created and out-of-the-box rules are completely configurable. You can even set up a rule to automatically resolve an issue in a specified way.