That said, this post is about the new SharePoint Properties Panel that just started showing up in First Release this week. When I was talking to Lynn Parsons (@nnylsnosrap), who is the Operations Systems Manager, Information Technology at the World Wildlife Fund (a great organization!) at SPTechCon, she mentioned she had seen something odd when she was editing a document in Word. Someone else – whose name I didn’t get, unfortunately – had also mentioned some issues in Word. The three of us got together and realized that the SharePoint Properties Panel was indeed available (and solved the issues)!
The SharePoint Information Panel is the successor to the venerable DIP, which many people were disappointed to see disappear in Office 2016. In fact, it kept many organizations from upgrading to Office 2016 from 2013. Unfortunately, Microsoft seems to have a penchant to remove things with their successors not yet available. The SharePoint Properties Panel is currently only targeted at Word, but I would hope it creeps into the other important Office applications (Excel and PowerPoint, at the very least) as well.
Here’s a screenshot Lynn was nice enough to share with me which includes some real content:
Notice how well the managed metadata column works in the panel. It even does a good job with a multi-select lookup column (from my tenant):
After Ignite – where the SharePoint Properties Panel was announced – Chris McNulty (@cmcnulty2000) sketched out what was coming in his post Updating content management for the cloud on the Microsoft Tech Community. The release date in that post is currently [January 2018], but obviously some of us are already seeing it.
I’m on the Monthly Channel for Office updates (my version below), and my Office 365 tenant is set to First Release for Tenant. So you may need to perform some incantations to be able to view the SharePoint Properties Panel at the moment – assuming you have the appropriate permission levels.
If you think you ought to see the SharePoint Properties Panel, look for the button to pop it out under the View tab, at the far right.
What challenges are you hoping to solve with the SharePoint Properties Panel? Do you see it as just the “new DIP”, or do you expect more? As a HUGE fan of a reasonable amount of metadata, I’m very happy to see this capability arriving back in Word. Some people are saying that AI means that metadata is dead, but I strongly disagree with that idea. No one understands content better than the people who create it – not a machine, nor anyone else in the organization. Metadata from the source is the best way to make content useful. Period.