Microsoft Ignite 2018 recap

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In the week of September 24th, Microsoft held their biggest tech event of the year and I had the privilege to be there again. This post will give you a summary of my journey thru this week.

The official conference starts on Monday but on Sunday evening I got invited to the welcome party of Microsoft Netherlands to meet all Dutch participant, get to know the others and meet all we already know. This is a great way to start the conference.

On Monday Satya Nadella kicked off the Microsoft Ignite and Invision conference with a keynote. The main take away from this was:

  • Open Data Initiative (This initiative is from Microsoft, Adobe, and SAP to open the siloed data in the company’s software)

  • Security and trust are essential for digital security

    • Operation
    • Technology
    • PartnershipMicrosoft handles about 6.5 trillion security signals each day
  • Small business is the one that is most venerable, they usually do not have the resources for security like big company’s

  • Enabling MFA is a small change with a huge impact on security and should always be enabled.

  • Security for IoT devices, Microsoft announced Azure sphere

After this keynote, there were sub keynote sessions with a deeper dive into the products, where I went to transform your workplace with Microsoft 365. This session showed a lot of demos on what is coming to Windows 10 and Office client in combination with Microsoft 365. Microsoft 365 is a combination of licenses (Windows 10, Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility Suite). The announcements in this session where:

  • Microsoft search, a consistent search over all Office 365, Windows and Bing
  • A lot of voice and video devices with support for Microsoft Teams
  • @to-do in Office application will add a note in the document on what needs to be added in that location
  • @ will give that person a notification that there is a request in that document, just like you can do in an email now.
  • 87 of the top 100 fortune company’s use Microsoft Teams, it is rapidly adopted
  • Passwordless authentication is coming, Sign in to Azure AD without a password with Microsoft Authenticator
  • Compliance manager, unified labeling across your data where ever it is
  • New Microsoft 365 dashboard thru
  • Microsoft Search preview can be enabled in your tenant’s admin center.

The session Modern teamwork Transform collaboration and communication with Microsoft 365 went deeper into Microsoft Teams and Yammer.

  • Yammer tab for Microsoft Teams is coming
  • Announcement: SharePoint list in Teams has custom columns, column formatting. The common file view is coming everywhere
  • Sync button is also available
  • Announcement: Files on demand is coming to Mac
  • Announcement: @mention in the canvas
  • Announcement: search in the header of the various office apps
  • A SharePoint news connector is in Microsoft Teams
  • Chat next to the document that was shared
  • Background blur is enabled on the users end
  • Teams meetings can invite everybody, internal and external
  • Meeting recording is now GA
  • Mobile App has Drive mode, which will disable all inbound video and content shared
  • Teams meeting now has a new mode, Live event. This enables you to broadcast to up to 10.000 people
  • Extending the certification program for devices:
  • Shifts is a new schedule-based add-in for Microsoft Teams
  • Fasttrack for upgrading SfB to Teams
  • Teams will have the ability to use dynamics memberships

Also, for SharePoint there where a lot of announcements

Employee engagement across your organization

  • news: custom page designs
  • Central image libraries with corporate approved images
  • Custom metadata on the news page
  • Modern audience targeting including AD groups and AD dynamic groups
  • Organizational news
  • News linking -> share a news item from mobile device
  • Stream mobile app will be available in October for both iOS and Android
  • Stream mobile can save video’s on the mobile app
  • New Yammer web part will ship begin 2019
  • Hub sites gives common branding and consolidated news
  • Updated site usage page with better graphics on when people use your site
  • Section background on communication sites
  • Mega menu’s for landing pages

Flexible solutions for teamwork

  • Moving columns in a view visual

  • Easy color formatting on a column

  • Location data column can search, no more coordinates to input

  • Dynamic data so you can have a file viewer dynamically loading the selected document You can leverage dynamic data like the connected web parts- Full page applications can be a tab in Teams without building it twice

  • Files tab in Teams is updated

    • Sync
    • Custom columns
    • Column formatting
  • Views build in SharePoint shows in Microsoft Teams as they are built

  • Admin

    • Filter all sites belong to a hub site
    • Save site collection view to reuse
    • Connect or associate to a hub site
    • Multi geo settings and available for SharePoint sites and OneDrive sites
    • Multi geo does only mean were the data is stored, users can access all the sites they have access to
  • SharePoint migration tool

    • Migrate the whole site including page with web parts and connected sites
    • Migrate to modern site
  • Labels and policies can be added to a SharePoint site and enforced.

  • The same labels can be used on documents

Powerful file collaboration for everyone

  • Simplified design across all applications and across all platforms

  • Expand on fluid what was introduced last year

  • Microsoft Search is in every Office 365 application, client and browser

  • Ideas in Office can help you with your content.

    • PowerPoint will help you design your slides and give relevant ideas and inconsistencies
    • Excel will help you create better charts, get relevant information about your data in Excel
  • Office app, like

  • OneDrive connect you to all your files in Office 365

  • In OneDrive you get the full document library experience from SharePoint sites

  • Ritch previews for over 300 file types

  • Comment on every document in OneDrive

  • Share files, you can block the download of the file and add a password on the file for extra security

  • With block download, you cannot copy it out.

  • Changes on a PowerPoint will be highlighted since you last viewed it

  • Files on demand for Mac OS 10 or higher

  • OneDrive app shows you all files even from SharePoint sites

  • Know folders on your computer sync to OneDrive, you can keep using your local folder and are protected with cloud protection and DLP and compliant

  • File restore also available for SharePoint libraries for up to 30 days

Accelerate content collaboration with AI

  • Document panel displays inside slot on that document and the number of views
  • Searching in the OneDrive app suggest previous searches and highlights before typing
  • Searching also includes content in videos
  • Using flow and the vision action you can automate insights of the data and add this as metadata

SharePoint Server 2019 will get released in October 2018

  • Files on demand
  • Modern designs
  • Communication sites

A full summary from Microsoft on all these changes can be found here:

On the other days, I went to some focus groups, these are small meetings with researchers and Microsoft Product teams where you get the latest on a specific part of the product and you can give feedback or where they give a direction that they are looking at and ask for the opinion of the group. These are amazing to be part of. I also used the time between those session to visit the expo hall with all the sponsors and partners to see what there is available. I spoke with some Microsoft members about questions I got from my customers. This opportunity is what Microsoft Ignite makes so valuable.

One of the focus groups was about the new learning possibilities for learning Azure, give that a try at

Updates for SharePoint lists

A great session I went to is about the new features coming to SharePoint lists. Microsoft is creating a new experience for creating lists, this new experience will give the user the ability to use an Excel table to create a new list, use an already existing list somewhere in SharePoint to be a template for the new list. The column formatting is now visual instead of having to copy and past JSON. For the users that ever tried to use the location field, this got a big update where you now can use an address to search for within SharePoint, besides this new field, it will save the GPS coordinates into the old location field

A bit hurdle for lists was the 5000 items limit, they finally got a was for this called “predictive indexing”. This will create indexes based on the values and will let you add over 30 million items to a list without issues. The actual limit is possibly higher, but Microsoft tested it to 30 million. This all works with modern lists, not the classic.

Formatting is now saved, like the width of a field in the view, the order of fields can now be done with drag and drop

In Microsoft Teams there will be a new SharePoint tab that will just display the list like in SharePoint


Another big topic this year was security. Not much is changed since last year about the impact of security. The three main ways to get breached are:

  • Password Spray
  • Phishing
  • Breach replay

The easiest way to protect your uses is to disable legacy authentication where possible (BRK3408 Azure AD Best practices from around the world) and give everyone multi-factor authentication. Enabling MFA can bring your risk down with 99% Besides that educate your users on the possible attacks and how to recognize phishing emails. Use self-service to get a better prediction on what users are doing and move to passwordless authentication.

All guidance can be found on and some other resources


It was again a great event this year and I will go next year again. For everyone that we’re not here, all sessions can be found online on Log in with your Tech Community or the account you used to login for Ignite.