What’s New in SharePoint Server 2016?
There’s a lot of excitement about SharePoint Server 2016. Everyone is curious as to what’s new in SharePoint Server 2016. Microsoft has already been talking about this and has been sharing some insights with the public. Perhaps one of the most noticeable change in SharePoint Server 2016 is that, in Microsoft’s words, “it brings cloud innovation to your datacenter.” According to Microsoft the following are the 3 areas of focus in SharePoint Server 2016.
1. Improved User Experiences
SharePoint Server 2016 will provide improved mobile access to content, people and applications along with touch-based experiences across devices and screen sizes. It will make file storage and document collaboration more people-centric. There is a lot of focus on people-centric features in SharePoint Server 2016 and you may notice that some of the Office 365 features will be available either as part of your on-premises deployment or through a hybrid implementation of SharePoint Server 2016 and Office 365. In general, you are likely to see a lot of integration between on-premises and cloud environments.
2. Cloud-Inspired Infrastructure
Microsoft will focus on solutions and partners through a standardized set of APIs and experiences that span on-premises and the cloud. If you are familiar with Office 365 and SharePoint online, you will feel right at home with SharePoint 2016 because of the tight integration of Office 365-like functionality.
3. Compliance and Reporting
SharePoint Server 2016 will offer a bunch of features and capabilities that are meant to ensure security of sensitive information. You will heat the term Data Loss Prevention (DLP) often when Microsoft talks about security and compliance in SharePoint Server 2016. The compliance tools will span on-premises servers and Office 365 but will make sure that the users are able to do their work while businesses can ensure that users are adhering to the corporate policy.
In the past, upgrading to a new version has been a challenge. However, if you are using SharePoint Server 2013 today, you are likely to upgrade to the new version without much hassle. Just install SharePoint 2016 and attach your SharePoint 2013 database. Okay, this may be over-simplifying to make the point but the point I am making is that it won’t be a big hassle like an upgrade from Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 to SharePoint Server 2010. When you upgrade from SharePoint Server 2013 to SharePoint Server 2016 make sure that if you have any sites that are using SharePoint Server 2010 experience that they are upgraded to the SharePoint Server 2013 experience.
SharePoint Server 2016 is expected to become generally available in Q2 2016. You can download the SharePoint Server 2016 Preview from Microsoft’s Web site. I recommend installing it on Windows Server 2016 Preview 3.
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