3 recommended updates: Modern experiences for the SharePoint metadata service

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Version 20.04.23

Microsoft MVP Jasper Oosterveld on the SharePoint spaces public preview, changes to video layout in Teams meetings, and modern experiences for the SharePoint metadata service.

ShareGate‘s easy-to-use SaaS tools enable organizations to achieve more than ever before with Microsoft cloud technologies. In our ongoing series, Jasper Oosterveld brings you up to speed on the latest and greatest from the world of Microsoft and Office 365.

I hope you enjoyed the last one—where I discussed updating Microsoft 365 feature adjustments, multi-window chat for Microsoft Teams, and audience targeting in SharePoint site navigation.

Let’s move on to the latest installment!

In this release, you’ll find my opinion on the public preview of Microsoft mixed reality experiences, the increased number of simultaneous videos in Teams meetings, and the updated term store for SharePoint metadata.

Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at 3 recommended updates that you should know about now.

SharePoint spaces preview: Microsoft mixed reality experiences

First introduced almost two years ago at the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas, SharePoint spaces is a web-based, immersive platform that lets you create—and share—secure and extensible mixed reality experiences. Essentially, SharePoint spaces lets you add a new dimension to your intranet by using 2- and 3D web parts to create your own mixed reality (MR) vision.

The new mixed reality experience for SharePoint has been in private preview for a long time—and now it’s finally going to be made available to the world!

Often—and I’m not saying this is going to apply to SharePoint spaces—these new technologies never escape the marketing phase and prove their promised business value. Once SharePoint spaces is available to the general public, I’m interested to see real world examples that demonstrate real business value.

Good to know:

  • Once SharePoint spaces is available in your tenant, you might want to notify SharePoint site owners and users who have access to 3D models and 360-degree images or videos that this new functionality is available.
  • SharePoint spaces is enabled for the tenant but turned off by default. Any site owner can turn it on from the Manage site features page of their site.
  • It’s advised that you review the documentation on how to use SharePoint spaces so that you can create communication and learning materials as needed.

Microsoft is gradually rolling out SharePoint spaces to targeted release customers starting in April 2020. There are no announcements (so far) about the rollout to all customers.

Increase in number of simultaneous videos in Microsoft Teams meetings

Thanks in part to the increase in remote work, Microsoft Teams is booming. Many people worldwide are working from home and digital meetings are the new norm.

One of the most requested features has been the ability to display more than four people in a meeting. Personally, this never really bothered me. But the competition (Zoom) has this feature, so Microsoft Teams can’t stay behind.

We are increasing the number of participants who can be viewed simultaneously on the Teams meeting stage from 4 to 9.

Microsoft 365 Roadmap, Featured ID: 63341

I’m curious about the impact this will have on performance. The Microsoft Teams Windows 10 client requests—although it has improved—requires a lot of CPU power and memory. Occasionally, I find myself having to disable other applications to ensure a smooth Teams experience. Let’s hope this new feature doesn’t have a negative impact on the performance and overall experience.

Good to know:

  • For meetings with more than nine participants, Teams will prioritize showing those who have their video on. Participants with audio only will be shown below the meeting stage.
  • To provide a high audio and video quality experience, the layout logic will consider user bandwidth and alter the number of videos shown to provide the best meeting experience.
  • Microsoft is working on increasing this limit even further so that more participants can be viewed simultaneously.
  • Start updating your user training and documentation now, and prepare your employees by sending out a news post announcing this update and its benefits.

Microsoft is starting to roll out this feature to all customers in late April, and expects worldwide rollout to be completed by early May 2020.

Modern experiences for the SharePoint metadata service

We’re ending this update with a bang! Finally, after almost ten years, an update is being released for the managed metadata service.

The managed metadata service, first introduced with SharePoint Server 2010, helped us realize modern (for the time) document management solutions. The addition of a centrally managed metadata taxonomy that could be applied throughout your SharePoint Server was especially powerful stuff.

Unfortunately, through the years we discovered multiple shortcomings—mainly around the management of terms and term sets—and we have since been patiently waiting for an update.

Finally—finally!—we’re getting an update for the management of content types. Hopefully, (fingers crossed), this solves my issues from 2017.

Use the updated term store to create and manage terms and term sets in SharePoint to enter data consistently. The new experience, within the SharePoint admin center, makes it easier to manage your company’s taxonomy and content types.

Microsoft 365 Roadmap, Featured ID: 57315

Good to know:

The new term store experience in the SharePoint admin center.

The new term store experience.

  • The new content type gallery allows you to create and manage custom content types from the admin center. These content types will continue to be stored in the content type hub. This change does not affect the classic experience for managing content types.
New content type gallery in SharePoint admin center.

The new content type gallery.

  • End users will see new filtering and tagging options in the managed metadata columns. When filtering, this new tree control is available within ‘See all’ in the filter panel. When tagging an item, users will see a new tree control to help select the desired term.
New filter options.

New filtering options.

New tagging options.

New tagging options.

The tagging and filtering update will be gradually rolled out to targeted release customers from April through early May 2020. The modern admin experience for the term store and content type gallery will be gradually rolled out to targeted release customers from late April to mid-May 2020. Standard release customers can expect the update sometime between late May and early June 2020.

You can read the official Microsoft Blog to learn more about this update.

Modernizing SharePoint metadata

My favorite update, by far, is the new modern term store experience; I’ve been waiting a long time for an update and overall improvement.

This update is connected to the upcoming release of Project Cortex, whereby the usage of metadata plays an important part. Let’s hope this update solves our frustration and issues with the service.

Until next, time, stay safe everyone!

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