Tech & Gadgets

What’s New in SharePoint 2013 – Part 3

In this 4-part blog series we are examining a few of the new features and changes available in SharePoint 2013.

In the last post, we looked at SharePoint 2013’s content authoring and mobile device support aspects.

In this post, we will examine search and business intelligence. 


Major changes in the search engine are included with this new release of SharePoint. Internally, the product includes a new search engine combining the best features of SharePoint search with the enhanced capabilities of the FAST search engine. Combined, these search engines are used across the platform to provide fast, highly relevant search results to users of the system. Features include:

  • A completely redesigned search results interface that enables users to preview document content by simply hovering over a search result
  • New ranking models for improved search relevancy
  • Analysis of both content and user interaction to improve search result relevancy
  • New content search web parts that utilize the search engine to provide near real-time content from search content sources. Using these web parts, it is now possible to display concepts such as most recently added document or most popular discussions.
  • The inclusion of continuous crawls for local SharePoint content.

Business Intelligence

SharePoint Server 2013 includes minor improvements to the Business Intelligence (BI) platform such as an improved chart web part, but also introduces enhanced capabilities and capacities across the various services – Excel Services, Visio Services and PerformancePoint Services. A few of these features include:

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  • PowerPivot now offers deep integration with SharePoint Excel Services. This integration provides users with the ability to create relationships between data from different sources and the ability to view complex data in a more refined, normalized form.
  • Excel Services continues to build on the capabilities found in previous releases by taking advantage of the new features provided in SharePoint Server 2013, such as connecting to almost any data source – including the Open Data Protocol (OData) – and supporting multiple/concurrent data connections. While the Excel workbook itself remains limited to 2 GB, once opened in SharePoint its size limit is only governed by memory resources and disk space on the server. Data sets that span millions of rows are now possible.
  • The iPad is now a fully supported client to PerformancePoint dashboards. Users can now access PerformancePoint dashboards interactively. This includes the ability to use touch and native gestures.

In my next post, we will take a look at SharePoint 2013’s eDiscovery/records management and analytics features.

Learn more about the technologies, processes, and data resources involved in using big data in our recent whitepaper, Examining Big Data’s Potential in Predictive Marketing.

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