Microsoft SharePoint 2013: What’s new

Let’s start playing with Microsoft SharePoint 2013!
First of all, when you install it you will find the following prerequisite components:

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5
  • Windows Management Framework 3.0 (CTP2)
  • Application Server Role, Web Server (IIS) Role
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 Native Client
  • Windows Identity Foundation (KB974405)
  • Microsoft Sync Framework Runtime v1.0 SP1 (x64)
  • Windows Server AppFabric
  • Microsoft Identity Extensions
  • Microsoft Information Protection and Control Client
  • Microsoft WCF Data Services 5.0
  • Cumulative Update Package 1 for Microsoft AppFabric 1.1 for Windows Server (KB2671763)

The list is really interesting, because reading through it you can understand that:

  • SharePoint 2013 is based on .NET 4.5!
  • Windows Identity Foundation is enriched with some extensions, mainly oriented to provide support for OAuth 2.0.
  • WCF Data Services 5.0 are used.
  • Windows Server AppFabric is leveraged by SharePoint 2013 in order to provide caching (Velocity) and Workflow hosting capabilities.

Moreover, after installing SharePoint 2013, you can discover the following features and key aspects, from a Developer point of view:

  • The programming model based on Web Parts, Server Object Model, Client Object Model, etc. can be considered “legacy”. Now there are Apps, ClientParts, and the new client web API.
  • There is a completely new Web 2.0 api available for consuming data and interacting with SharePoint 2013. The purpose of this new api is to easily access SharePoint from outside SharePoint (i.e. from Apps, ASP.NET, PHP, Java, whatever else).
  • There will be an App marketplace for Office and SharePoint.
  • In order to keep data safe and secure the new SharePoint 2013 infrastructure is claims-based by default and leverages WIF extensions for OAuth in order to securely consume SP2013 data from outside SharePoint, even from third party platforms (PHP, Java, etc.).
  • All the service applications architecture (and the Service Application Framework) are still there, almost the same. This is important because you will not loose your skills!
  • The new workflow engine of SP2013 is based on Windows Workflow Foundation 4.x. However, the 3.x legacy workflow engine is still there, for backward compatibility. In order to make possible to have 3.x and 4.x workflows running within the same environment, you will have 3.x workflows running in the SharePoint environment, as like as it happens in SP2010, and 4.x workflows running outside hosted in AppFabric, on Windows Azure or on-premises.
  • There is a new model of remote event receivers that will leverage WCF services to make possibile communication between SP2013 and external apps.
  • There is OData support in Business Connectivity Services.
  • There are improvements in the search engine, in particular there are new components (content processing, analytics processing) and new DBs (analytics, link), as well as an improved presentation of search results.
  • The new UI of SP2013 is based on the metro-style principles (content, no chrome) but it still works on non HTML5 browsers.
  • It looks like you will not be able (no more) to host SharePoint on a Windows 7 box. Finally! 🙂

For more details you can read the following documents:

In the upcoming months I will do some posts about these topics, in order to better cover the new capabilities and features of SharePoint 2013, which really rocks!