Meet “Oslo”

During the SharePoint conference early March, Microsoft exploded with integration after integration based on multiple acquisitions and technology platforms they are taking to the “cloud”. One of two social networking technologies the big M announced was its new search and discovery app, code-named “Oslo”. Both of the technologies are based on Microsoft’s “Office Graph” engine, which is a new information fabric that works across communications silos for Office 365 subscribers.

How’s Oslo work? According to Microsoft “Oslo delivers insights to end users about their communications, according to Gregerson. Oslo is based on Microsoft’s FAST enterprise search technology and was developed by a Microsoft team in Oslo, Norway. It’s not related to the ‘Oslo’ modeling technology that went by the same code name.”

Meet Oslo

Cem Aykan, senior product marketing manager for Microsoft Office, demonstrated Oslo, which will get a new name at product roll-out. Oslo uses “content cards” that show information associated with documents. Users can check to see what documents were shared with them, as well as the documents that are part of their “trends.”

Oslo pulls the information together via the Office Graph engine. For instance, Oslo will check a user’s calendar and see that a user was scheduled for a meeting. It can then deliver a recording of that meeting, if available, as a document for the user’s review. It doesn’t matter if content was shared via Yammer or the OneDrive for Business app because Oslo will find it and make the content available, based on the user’s trends.

Oslo joins a number of new features like support for SQL Server 2014, expected mid-2014, and new records management system features already available. The later includes ways to better utilize SharePoint’s ability to distinguish between a record and a document. This includes automatic rights-management and retention policies for documents and leaves control over the designation to the end-user.

For many organizations, defining the difference between records and documents is important because of the complexities of compliance. A record may have a specific definition according to compliance requirements; the handling of records versus documents may be carefully spelled out; who has access to records as opposed to documents within a particular site may be a factor; and what happens to a record or document once its active life has expired is almost always a consideration.

SharePoint 2013 records management offers two options for accommodating these sorts of compliance issues: the records archive, which isolates records from documents; and in-place management, which permits the handling of records and documents in a common location.

Deciding which and how best to utilize the new features, both for established SharePoint and 365 users and those new to these systems can be a daunting task. Seeking the advice of organizations with long track records working with businesses who have deployed either on-premise or cloud-based systems can use their insights to properly plan for future improvements.

Although not the only player in town SharePoint is still a major player with a large installed base. These new features and capabilities are sure to be welcome to that community of loyal customers.