In the last SharePoint 2013 exams I took, something caught my attention: in most of the use cases hybrid solutions were involved.
Hybrid solutions include most of the time a central SharePoint repository in the cloud (Office 365) called from different platform (mobile phone, windows app, other SharePoint on-premise platforms, etc.)
Thinking about it, it makes sense as the current tendencies from SharePoint, and globally all Microsoft technologies are 1. Move to the Cloud and 2. Multiplatform accessibility.
SharePoint: a central piece in Microsoft strategy
SharePoint is becoming the central piece in the Microsoft strategy, especially in the cloud. Although no official information can confirm this, the hints are very clear:
- Microsoft already did it the past, as with Project Server that was basically a SharePoint site with customization
- OneDrive for Business is SharePoint
- The SharePoint and Office Apps can be developed with many languages, using different technologies, and can be platform independent even if they are stored in SharePoint
- The number of use cases in Microsoft exams confirm this tendency by describing hybrid solutions with SharePoint Online
- SharePoint designer view has gone since 2013 version. Microsoft wants us to use Apps
- Most of the Office 365 features are based on SharePoint, like the collaboration platform Yammer and the new Power BI
Conclusion: is it a good strategy? Probably
It is a huge improvement to have one unique platform, it makes interaction easier (view the Oslo / Delve new Office 365 feature), user acceptance faster, code writing and customization easier.
SharePoint worst drawback still remains its boundaries, due to its internal database structure that is far from being optimum, caused by compatibility with older versions
Actually SharePoint’s name may disappear, at least from the ears of business people and end-users. Microsoft may even change its name, but SharePoint professional we will know it is still there underneath, and essential.