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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Some interesting changes for SharePoint 2016

Overall, SharePoint 2016 is simply an upgrade to 2013. One significant change is that Server Roles must be assigned when installing (i.e. web front end, etc.) and the Distributed Cache role is also new (as a setting that is – 2013’s streamlined model accounted for this role though most folks didn't use it). It is clear that it will require a few more servers in your average farm.

There are some cosmetic changes to the site templates (they changed the header a little bit – site settings now in a new black bar at the top of the page):

Overall, the installation process and adding servers is pretty much the same. All of the service applications are the same – and surprisingly, PerformancePoint is still available (Microsoft hinted at dropping that two years ago). They did add a new service for Project Server (see below). Site deployment remains the same and templates are the same as 2013.

As for features, annoyingly, the Access App feature is automatically enabled meaning you have to turn it off it you don't want your users using that (the security issues around Access still remain). This time though, they did expand on the explanation of what it’s for (in 2013, it just said Access web app).

They have added some new ones (not sure if this represents a merge of Project Server but sure looks like it; since this is preview, they might not include these in the final):

  • Announcement Tiles - Enables Announcement Tiles feature and adds the webpart to the site.
  • Project Proposal Workflow - Provides a review workflow for managing project proposals.
  • Project Web App Connectivity - Provides the lists required within a Project Site for integration with Project Web App including issues, risks, and deliverables.
  • Project Server Approval Content Type - This content type is used by the Project Server Approval workflow
  • Project Web App Permission for Excel Web App Refresh - When this feature is active, users can refresh reports containing Project Web App data within Excel Web App.
  • Project Web App Ribbon - Contains the ribbon controls for Project Web App pages.
  • Project Web App Settings - Project Web App PMO Settings
  • Sample Proposal - Sample workflow for Project Server

The Services on Server has changed a bit too, in addition to the Roles, they’ve added a new Restart option and an indicator if the Service is in Compliance (not 100% on the last one, but would appear to be based on the Role of the server):

Probably the biggest changes is the new 2016 Hybrid Feature – this allows connection to Office 365 and OneDrive:
“With hybrid features, you can take a best-of-both-worlds approach by providing access to Office 365 productivity services and offerings directly within SharePoint Server 2016. To learn more about SharePoint hybrid solutions, visit the 'SharePoint Hybrid Solutions Center' (”

So – there you have it! As the preview, Microsoft is usually around 3 months to customer release – I expect we’ll see the final in December!

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