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Microsoft Previews Modern SharePoint Online Lists

Microsoft is rolling out its “modern” SharePoint lists to SharePoint Online, along with “one-click” integration of PowerApps and Microsoft Flow.

The update is part of a new cloud-first, mobile-first vision and roadmap for SharePoint, which was announced by Microsoft earlier this year.

The SharePoint lists update is being rolled out to Office 365 First Release customers, as part of the roadmap which the Microsoft team describes as an initiative to “empower people, teams and organizations to intelligently discover, share and collaborate on content from anywhere and on any device.”

An underlying feature of SharePoint, lists enable teams to gather, track, and share information by using a web browser. According to a Microsoft blog post attributed to Chris McNulty, senior product manager for the SharePoint Team, modern SharePoint lists help people “to collaborate on structured data directly from their team site to help teams organize content—such as investment account onboarding details, field service requests, or even softball team T-shirt sizes.”  More than 10 million custom lists are already in use across Office 365, the company says.

Following the initial availability of modern SharePoint lists to First Release customers in August 2016, Microsoft will add PowerApps and Flow to the command bar.

According to McNulty, with modern SharePoint lists organizations can improve ease of use by enabling users to add columns to lists and sort, filter and group data in place; improve data quality by viewing and editing all item details in the information panel without leaving the list; increase productivity by bulk editing list items with a Quick Edit feature; automate simple business processes with versions, approvals, and alerts; and enrich static information with rich data types including people, images, and managed metadata tags.

Almost all SharePoint classic lists will automatically inherit the new modern SharePoint list interface, and modern SharePoint lists support the themes, navigation and custom buttons that were created in classic mode, according to McNulty. He noted that Microsoft will monitor compatibility of customizations when users visit a list and if there is a compatibility issue, the list automatically reverts to the classic experience, and users can choose to revert to the classic experience at any time. He added that there are “no plans to remove classic mode anytime soon.

Flow and PowerApps are both currently in public preview.

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