What’s New in the SharePoint Online Update

Microsoft recently completed the first update to SharePoint Online, enabling a greater reach to both people and external data, while increasing the number of supported devices and Web browsers. Some of the most influential additions to SharePoint Online have to do with breaking down barriers to:

External Content

All Office 365 midsize and enterprise customers now have access to Business Connectivity Services (BCS) in SPO which leverages Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) Web Services endpoints to enable users to connect to external data sources. That means that users can design solutions that extend collaboration capabilities that include external business data, even line-of-business (LoB) applications that sit behind customer firewalls or are being transitioned to the cloud are accessible now. You can download SharePoint Designer 2010 at no cost to help make the connections.

External Sharing

As a SharePoint Online, you are now supported when working with people who are NOT part of your company, such as vendors, business partners, and customers. Leverage these external sharing capabilities to invite external users to view, share, and collaborate on your SharePoint Online sites. By default, this featured is turned off. However, a SharePoint Online Administrator can enable external sharing for the whole company thereby empowering individual site collection owner administrators to decide if they wish to share externally.

Connected Systems

This update makes it easier than ever to connect to your own SharePoint Online sites now that more browsers are supported – including Internet Explorer 9 and Chrome along with earlier versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox.

SPO also easily connects with LoB applications like Microsoft Dynamics CRM. CRM users gain access to rich, SharePoint Online document management functionality directly within the Microsoft Dynamics CRM application. Users can create SPO Document Libraries dynamically within CRM along with adding Document Management capabilities to entities such as Accounts, Opportunities, Cases or even custom entities in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

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