SharePoint 2013 – It’s here!

SharePoint 2013 has reached the public beta. So, what’s new with SharePoint 2013? A lot, I can tell you. I have mainly focused on Search and I will write more posts about this later. But for now I will list some new features regarding Service Applications.

Be aware, that this article is mainly written based on SharePoint 2013 beta version, functionality can still change when the RTM is released.

Service Applications

There are some new service applications and some have gone. New with SharePoint 2013 are App Management Service and Machine Translation Services. Both Office Web Apps and Web Analytics Service Applications are gone. Office Web Apps has evolved into a separate server product. Web Analytics is now part of Search.

The SharePoint App Management Service allows you to install SharePoint apps from the Office Marketplace or the App Catalog. It’s responsible for storing and providing information regarding SharePoint App licenses and permissions.

The SharePoint Machine Translation Service allows you to automatically translate content. It provides built-in machine translation capabilities on the SharePoint platform. It can translate documents, pages and sites.

The SharePoint Machine Translation Service uses an online service and therefore the server running this Translation Service needs to have a connection with the internet. On port 80 and that may be an issue for some companies.

Other service applications have improved in many ways.

Business Connectivity Service (BCS) supports SharePoint Apps, BCS models for Apps are scoped at the app level and not farm level. BCS provides alert capability for external lists, that have improvements for performance, filtering, sorting, export to Excel. Developers can access BCS with CSOM.

The User Profile Service has improved mainly the synchronization part. Better performance, more reliable and compatibility. AD Connections can now be set up with AD Direct Import, and not using FIM. I was able to setup this AD Direct Import successfully. First, you need to configure the synchronization settings by selecting the option Use SharePoint Active Directory Import:


After that, you can create a connection and the connection type is now Active Directory Import:


Using the AD Direct Import for synchronization is easier to setup than the good old FIM way. Your Farm Administrator account does not have to be Local Administrator this way for provisioning purposes. But AD Direct Import has its limits though. E.g. it is one way only, you cannot write back to AD. More information about AD Direct Import:

Ow, and the annoying reordering User Profile properties still exists.

The Managed Metadata Service is now an enabler for different kind of functionalities. Think about navigation, term and search driven pages. Terms can now be pinned, for read only reuse of the term somewhere else in the hierarchy. Better support for multilingual environments supporting the automatic translation.



Search has lots of enhancements and for this reason I have written separate bog posts about Search.

Just read all the blog posts from my fellow Mavention colleagues as they have explored other areas of SharePoint 13, but mainly go get the bits yourself and enjoy the beta of SharePoint 2013!