SharePoint 14 is the next version of Microsoft SharePoint and during the PDC 2008  nothing new was revealed about SharePoint 14, but some small parts of the Office 14 clients were seen. SharePoint 14 will, most certainly, be released at the same time as Office 14 which most probably will be released when Windows 7 is released. My guess is that this point in time is in about a year.

Windows 7 will pretty soon hit the beta stage, pre-beta bits are already out, and the Office 14 and SharePoint 14 products must enter the beta stage in the near future, to be able to have a release within a year or so. Closed or open beta remains to be determined.

I have done some thinking about what will SharePoint 14 contain for the world to embrace, and I thought that I should write them down (so I later can see how right or wrong I am). Some of you out there have maybe seen the pre-beta bits of SharePoint 14 so please correct me if I’m wrong…

Probable changes

Here are the stuff that I think will most probably be in SharePoint 14, not listed in any special order:

  • A web standards compliant user interface – The web user interface will support the web standards
  • Non-table driven interface – The user interface is not solely based on a table-driven design, but rather a more simple approach using DIVs, which makes it more customizable
  • AJAX based interface – this is one thing that I’m rather confident about being updated
  • .NET 4 based – SharePoint will use the .NET Framework 4. This will also give support for the new WF stuff.
  • No changes to the WebPart classes – I have not seen any changes in the WebPart classes in the .NET 4 beta framework. Making changes to these parts would break current existing SharePoint applications.
  • Developer tools – the Visual Studio extensions for SharePoint will go to version 2 and finally be useful
  • An STSADM GUI – a more user friendly way to work with SharePoint administration. STSADM will still be there for sure, but a user interface (web based or not) that makes it more easy to manage features will probably be there.
  • Licensing – I would not be surprised if we get a new SharePoint edition, such as a SharePoint Publishing Edition, that has a better price level if you just want to use the publishing features of MOSS.
  • Excel Services - MOSS 2007 contained the first version of Excel Services and version 2 will most probably have some really nice enhancements that make Excel Services even more powerful.
  • API changes – the API’s will not change so much that it breaks current applications but rather have some fixes that makes it even better and easier to program against. See my previous post on this.
  • Social Networking and Enterprise 2.0 – the social networking pieces will be taken to another level. What happened to Townsquare?
  • Groove – Groove and SharePoint will now be fully integrated
  • 64-bit only – SharePoint will only be available on 64-bit platforms
  • Other stuff
    • Option to customize the application.master in a better way
    • Tight integration with the new Office Live products
    • FAST Search features out of the box
    • Document standard support: ODF, OOXML, PDF, all ISO approved document formats
    • Silverlight everywhere!

Changes/features I would like to see

Here are some other changes or features that would make me happy:

  • Claims based authentication. Easy configuration to use the Geneva Server and Framework for authentication
  • Based on the MVC framework – if this was the case then no one would be happier than me!
  • Installation possible on workstation OS (Vista and Windows 7)
  • Return of the Office to HTML renderer. The download has disappeared from Microsoft download but my guess is that this one will return.

Of course there are many, many more features that I would like to see…

What’s your take?

NOTE: This is just my guesses, so don’t accuse me if the stuff above is not present in the upcoming version…