Microsoft launched SharePoint 2016 as a major event, terming it as the future of SharePoint. Microsoft even went to say that SharePoint 2016 will not be the last on-premise release. Microsoft demonstrated many upcoming features that will be included in SharePoint, however, most of them were available in SharePoint Online (Office 365). To cover up this issue, some key updates were available in SharePoint Server 2016 (On-Premise release) such as UI enhancement, hybrid improvements and a feature pack was introduced to push the new updates from the cloud to your on-premise server without waiting for another SharePoint on-premise Version.
Alright, let’s see what is new in SharePoint 2016 (on-premises release):
- SharePoint Server 2016 has a similar code base as SharePoint Online and is the base release for getting hybrid ready.
- The new MinRole server idea is cloud inspired and prioritizes in managing the server roles instead of the services. The available server roles are Front-end, Application, Distributed Cache and Search. Every server role must be designed on its server and can’t be combined with a second role. So you will need at least 4 SharePoint servers to a Multi-Server farm when initializing MinRole. You can also choose for a custom role where you can configure the service as per your needs. The final role is the Single-Server farm which runs all SharePoint services on one server.
- Update packages are smaller and more streamlined. The update procedure can be initialized without taking the entire farm offline.
- Some of the new features and systems on SharePoint Online (Office 365) will likewise be provided to SharePoint Server 2016 users with Software Assurance through Feature Packs.
- Two changes worth specifying from the hardware side are the extra data disk and the enhanced RAM requirements.
- The minimal software requirements are Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard or Datacenter and SQL Server 2014 Service Pack 1.
- The User Interface and the ribbon have been refreshed to match Office 365. This experience makes it simpler to swap between the platforms when the hybrid is being used.
- Microsoft put resources into HTML5 to provide abilities to device-specific content delivery, yet the mobile experience is still limited, in spite of the fact that there is a new touch-friendly UI.
- OneDrive for Business is getting increasingly important for SharePoint. The look and the capacities of document libraries and OneDrive are getting closer.
- The new sync client additionally takes care of numerous issues when utilizing offline sync.
- A big improvement is the document handling with which you can add files up to 10 GB, file names with special characters and file names with more than 128 characters.
- The list limit view has been expanded to more than 5000 elements.
- Support for Open Document Format (ODF)
- Durable Links can be utilized while connecting the SharePoint Server with your Office Online Server (Office Web Apps), both on-premises. The URL to your archive still contains the path, however, gets an additional ID attached toward the end of the URL. With this ID you can open your Files regardless of whether they have been moved to another area.
- The hybrid deployment is much easier and can be done utilizing a wizard. With one exemption: The Cloud Hybrid Search has still to be configured utilizing PowerShell.
- The App Launcher can be extended with tiles from your on-premise or SharePoint Online to navigate easily between those platforms.
- Sites can be developed and followed in on-premise on SharePoint Online. When you tap on the “Sites” tile you will be able to fetch all the followed resources from both the platforms in the same place.
- The MySite and OneDrive can be moved to SharePoint Online to utilize Delve Profile and the new and improved OneDrive with all its highlighted features.
- The Cloud Hybrid Search Service Application gives a unified index and empowers authenticated clients to look at SharePoint Online or on-premise and come with results from both on-premises and on the web.
Supportability, Migration and Updates
- It’s possible to have InfoPath Forms Services and it is supported for the duration of SharePoint 2016’s support lifecycle.
- InfoPath 2013 and SharePoint Designer 2013 will be the last product versions, yet custom workflows developed by SharePoint Designer and hosted on SharePoint Server 2016 and Office 365 are as yet supported until 2026.
- Support for SharePoint Server 2016 will be available until 2026.
- An in-place upgrade from SharePoint Server 2013 (or some other adaptation) to SharePoint Server 2016 isn’t possible. From 2013 to 2016 you can attach the content databases. Majority of your 2013 solutions ought to likewise work on SharePoint Server 2016.
The new SharePoint mobile app
The new SharePoint Mobile App for iOS and Android gives you access to your SharePoint site, frequently used sites, organization news, announcements, peoples and applications. The application will work for SharePoint Online and SharePoint on-premises.
The SharePoint Insights hybrid feature will be shipped to SharePoint Server 2016 on-premises. SharePoint Insights combines review and compliance in one place. Some of the key services of SharePoint Insights are PerformancePoint services, Excel services, Visio services and Status Indicators.