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SharePoint Online web parts modernize corporate intranet

Microsoft unveils new features that will allow users to access Office 365, social media, news feeds and PowerApps all within one SharePoint intranet site.

Enterprise content management systems have become increasingly attractive in the workplace, allowing employees...

to interact with different digital assets more efficiently.

But delivering the content and search capabilities that most ECMs claim as core functionality is no longer sufficient. The need for data from multiple sources within one intranet pushes many to look for platforms that support integrations with external systems.

To provide one centralized site that can deliver native SharePoint content along with data from external entities, Microsoft launched SharePoint Online web parts -- providing administrators with a way to display a summary of third-party content directly inside of a SharePoint page.

Several new SharePoint modern web parts promise to bring data together under one intranet.

Deliver external feeds into SharePoint via Office 365 Connectors

With the popularity of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and online third-party services like Jira and Asana, Microsoft is rolling out a new SharePoint Online web part that can be used to access these services and implement them as part of a webpage. This enhancement allows end users to interact with native SharePoint content, as well as content from the different online sources within the SharePoint system.

Native support for Office 365 services directly in SharePoint

With more users adopting other Office 365 services such as Planner, Groups and Forms, Microsoft has added a new SharePoint Online web part to allow users to display their planner tasks and activities -- including content such as a group calendar and survey forms -- inside SharePoint pages.

More collaboration options in SharePoint modern web parts

There is a multitude of options to choose from for collaboration and social platforms. A few options Microsoft already offers to its enterprise clients include Office 365 Groups, Yammer and Teams. To ensure SharePoint users utilize those tools directly within its pages, Microsoft has planned a Yammer web part to make conversations accessible from within SharePoint and an Office 365 Groups web part to deliver group calendars directly to the pages.

Enable PowerApps access from SharePoint Online

With the ongoing enhancements to PowerApps, Microsoft is finally ready to debut PowerApps inside of SharePoint. This SharePoint web part allows organizations to deliver custom-developed PowerApps to the new SharePoint modern pages. End users can access the apps from within their intranet to interact with data using PowerApps, regardless of its source. This also means that groups still considering InfoPath for data collection from within SharePoint can finally adopt PowerApps and deliver interactive experiences with forms directly within SharePoint webpages.

While real-time collaboration platforms such as Slack, Teams and Spark have gained popularity over corporate intranets, there is still value in using intranet sites as a gateway to all services and content that users need day to day. The improvements that Microsoft is making to SharePoint Online web parts helps keep the content management platform relevant and valuable to its users.

SharePoint Online has add web parts for customization of intranet pages. Learn more here.

This was last published in November 2018

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