I cannot express enough how happy I am that I am now able to talk about SharePoint 2010. Trying to bite my tongue, and keep it all in for the past months has been really difficult because there are so many things that have been greatly improved and are just so darned exciting. http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/2010/Sneak_Peek
Be sure to also look at their “Get Ready” for 2010 guidance: http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/2010/Sneak_Peek/Pages/Get_Ready.aspx. Personally I think they should also have a ‘get ready for end users’… but anyways.
My all time favorite is something that seems relatively simple/non technical but has a huge impact which is the inclusion of the Ribbon interface into SharePoint. If you think of the typical SharePoint page it has a ton of different navigation and option bars. My number 1 ‘surprise’ remark from clients and users is: I didn’t know it could do that! With the ribbon it brings the options to the user in an easy/obvious manner instead of hidden in menu’s. This will greatly improve/reduce the number of people that say “I didn’t know it could do that” empowering users even more than it has done previously.
It also makes training/user adoption significantly easier since things are logically grouped. I still remember when I first saw this how I jumped up and down (literally) with excitement.
SharePoint Dialog Interface:
Now you know where you need to look/take action without thinking. This is a great improvement in my mind and was also my second favorite change. It will greatly improve usability, user adoption and make using SharePoint a much more pleasant experience.
“Web Edit” and Rich Text Editing:
No more clunky menu’s and Rich Text Editor. Now it makes it much easier to modify a page’s content. The image browser/uploader is also a much needed enhancement that will greatly help end users with improving pages. (Ever tried to train a user to upload an image then copy source/urls? Not an easy task).
Great if you have silverlight controls, but more importantly you can imagine the templates/silverlight controls they might include in the product release. This is also great news for those getting into the new UI/UX experiences Silverlight provides.
For anyone who has ever worked with branding this is a wonderful enhancement that can help greatly reduce the amount of effort involved in theming SharePoint (if any effort is necessary). You can also imagine how useful it can be to develop your own Rich Theming options for end users.
Multiple Browser Support:
Not going to say much about this one because I would hope this was expected from most people. Especially with the changes in SP2 that greatly improved alternative browser support.
SharePoint Designer 2010:
To be safe I am just going to say I LOVE the changes they have made with SharePoint Designer and the vast improvements done to make it even more indispensable to those working with SharePoint. (Especially power users/super users, not just designers).
Groove 2010 (Err SharePoint Workspace):
One stop super solution for offline synchronization. Not really more needs to be said here. (IMO)
Rich Media Support:
Really wish they went into more detail on this stuff. The features under Rich Media are very powerful and have been implemented in a very easy to use manner.
Business Connectivity Services:
Really it’s all about the connection in Office 2010 here that’s the most important part. Think about how much more robust/useful you could make Office 2010 solutions if you can easily have users access business data from other systems/places.
Take what they did with excel and excel services and imagine that with Visio. That’s probably the best way to describe this one. Very powerful when you think about how many users don’t need/have visio. Think about process diagrams and workflows and how they will be impacted by this and Visio 2010 upgrades… *nudge nudge* *wink wink*
Just understanding that administration has been greatly improved and designed to be more automated (best practices analyzer) and to provide clearer visibility on issues, usage, and logging should give you the right idea of how administration experience has been GREATLY improved.
It’s also important to note the significant cost reduction in recovery with Unattached Content Database Recovery. Then there’s the Large List Resource Throttling which provides more information to end users and makes it easier to control/support large lists.
Lastly the upgrade process has been broken into two steps. First you upgrade the ‘back end’ and then you upgrade the ‘user experience’. This is my absolute favorite change from 2003-2007. As you can imagine this will make the entire process much easier. It also enables you to do it on a situational basis. So converting one area of the site that has little unghosting and little customization can be switched over, but converting the significantly customized areas can be done separately with lots of planning.
For me personally the Developer Dashboard is my favorite new developer change. No more ridiculous test harnesses/reporting modules that I have had to build in the past. 🙂
LINQ for SharePoint(might be new/a bit of learning for some developers but it’s a great improvement that will help speed up development and reduce potential performance issues, bad code, and reduce errors. (IMO)
The templates/process improvements they have made in VS 2010/Business Connectivity should really make it MUCH easier for new developers coming into SharePoint. Many of the other things aren’t really new so much as slightly improved (more automated) or centralized/included into VS 2010 (IMO).
Hope you are as excited as I am. If you are coming to the Conference in October and want to hang out/talk I will be there.