Microsoft SharePoint 2016 new and deprecated features

At the #Ignite conference in Chicago, Bill Baer from Microsoft disclosed several new (and deprecated) feature we can expect from SharePoint 2016.

Below is a highlighted listing of what we can expect, thanks to Matty Vasquez for compiling this list.

Release Information

  • Public Preview – 2015 Q4
  • SharePoint 2016 RC – 2016 Q1
  • SharePoint 2016 RTM – 2016 Q2
  • SharePoint server hardware requirements have not changed (12-16GB RAM, 1xQuad Core CPU, 80GB OS Drive)
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 with .Net Framework 4.5.2 or Windows Server 10 with .Net Framework 4.6
  • SQL Server 2014 SP1 or SQL Server 2016

Deprecated Features

  • There is no ‘standalone’ option during installation which installs SQL Express – SQL must be installed and running prior to installation
  • There are no plans to release SharePoint 2016 Foundation
  • Forefront Identity Manager is no longer included to sync user profile attributes with Active Directory (uni-directional sync using AD Import is still available and MIM can be configured separately to enable bi-direction sync)
  • SharePoint Designer will not be shipped with SharePoint 2016 – Designer 2013 will continue to be supported
  • InfoPath 2013 will continue to be supported (EOL April 2023) and InfoPath Forms Services will be included

Upgrade Considerations

  • There is no direct upgrade path from 2010 to 2016 (sites and databases must be running in 2013 mode)
  • The upgrade process is the same as 2010 to 2013 (2013 databases are attached to a new 2016 Farm and are upgraded)

User Improvements

  • Support for ODF documents
  • Files shared via “Durable Links” will reference a site ID and document ID, so renamed or moved files will not result in broken links
  • File name length and other character restrictions are being removed
  • New Knowledge Management Portal (Site Template?)
  • New User Profile page to include content from Delve and Office Graph API
  • Updated blogging experience including drag and drop feature for adding images to posts

System Improvements

  • Optimisations within the server roles to reduce latency and traffic between servers
  • Initial configuration of Farm and Server Roles has been simplified in the GUI (MinRole server configuration)
  • Fast Site creation based on copying a master template Site Collection from the database level using “SPSite.Copy” function
  • Reliability improvements to Distributed Cache (still relies on AppFabric 1.1 and will continue to be supported for SharePoint 2013 and 2016’s lifecycles)
  • MS Project Server content is now consolidated into the SharePoint Content databases and not in separate databases
  • SharePoint Logging API (SLAPI) allows easier ability to record and report on analytics and telemetry across a whole range of objects in the Farm

Security Improvements

  • SMTP connections now support TLS
  • SAML claims-based authentication is the preferred and default authentication method (NTLM and Kerberos will continue to be supported)
  • Compliance features with complex rules (51 out of the box) to support identification and protection of sensitive data

Hybrid Improvements

  • eDiscovery and Legal Hold will now traverse SharePoint Online in O365
  • Search Service can query SharePoint Online in O365 and provide a single ranked results set with integrated relevancy (no separate verticals)
  • Consolidation of Social features to ensure followed on premise and online content appears in a single social profile
  • Delve and Office Graph API can surface content from on premise services along with content in O365 (will be released for 2013 this year)
  • Item level encryption using Azure AD Rights Management Services

Patching Improvements

  • Patches will be much smaller – currently 37 MSIs and down to 4 MSIs in a single patch
  • Can be applied to servers online with zero downtime to the Farm and no disruption to the users

Scalability Improvements

  • Content DBs will scale into TBs (no specific figures on site template, workloads and actual size released yet)
  • 100,000 Site Collections per database (was 20,000)
  • List view threshold will reach >5,000 items (currently 5,000 but no specific figures released yet)
  • Maximum upload size has increased from 2GB to 10GB (BLOBs will still be stored in the content database and leverage Shredded Storage)

Performance Improvements

  • 500 million maximum items per search index partition (was 10 million)
  • BITS now replacing FSS over HTTP and Cobalt to reduce IO between servers and bandwidth to the end user
  • Traffic Management endpoint automatically routes user requests based on server health

More information can be found on Bill Baer’s blog

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