Sunday, March 20, 2016

SP2016 Intro: The Top 10 SharePoint 2016 features to look forward to

Hello folks, its been a while since my last post, but that is about to change.

I recently spoke at the Digital Transformation Conference in Cape Town, to our esteemed Western Cape customers and potential customers, on the Top 10 SharePoint 2016 features and in a nutshell, I would like to share with you what those are. By the way, the RTM version of SharePoint 2016 came out last Tuesday the 15th March 2016.


So lets dive into it.

Firstly, I would like to mention that its all about Hybrid cloud. I strongly believe that Microsoft is going in the right direction with the hybrid cloud approach and I believe in their vision for it. I also have a feeling that one day, we will turn back and look at where we have come from, and ask how we survived without the cloud, similar to asking right now on how we survived without cellphones.


  1. Extensible App Launcher
    • The extensible hybrid app launcher is designed to help you get to your Office 365 apps and services from SharePoint Server 2016 Beta 2. 
    • The extensible App Launcher is enabled when enabling hybrid Team Sites and/or OneDrive for Business, once you enable this feature, you’ll see the Office 365 Delve and Video apps, along with your custom Office 365 tiles, appear in your SharePoint Server 2016 Beta 2 app launcher.
    • The Extensible Hybrid App Launcher is a SharePoint Server 2016 Beta 2 feature that requires Office 365 functionality which is scheduled to roll out during December 2015 and January 2016.
  2. Hybrid Team Sites
    • Hybrid Team Sites provides a solution to help hybrid users reconcile and rationalize site membership and discovery across SharePoint on-premises and Office 365.
    • For example, if you're a member of several team sites in your organization, you may want to start following them for easy access. 
    • When you follow a team site, it gets listed on your Sites page. 
    • When you follow sites, you can quickly navigate to libraries on these sites from OneDrive for Business or the Sites tile on-premises or in Office 365.
  3. OneDrive for Business
    • In SharePoint Server 2016 Beta 2, you can redirect users to OneDrive for Business in Office 365 when they click OneDrive or Sites in the navigation bar. This is known as OneDrive for Business hybrid.
    • With this feature, no matter where they are, users can quickly access their documents and any information that they choose to sync from their SharePoint sites.
    • This best-of-both-worlds approach lets you keep your key business information in your own environment while allowing users the flexibility to access their documents from anywhere.
    • With this feature, you can continue to use your on-premises SharePoint farm while providing your users with an easy way to store, share, and collaborate in the cloud with OneDrive for Business in Office 365.
  4. Cloud Hybrid Search
    • The Cloud Hybrid Search scenario represents the next generation in hybrid search and discovery.  
    • With the cloud hybrid search solution, both your on-premises and Office 365 crawled content is unified in a search index hosted in Office 365.  
    • When users query your search index in Office 365, they get search results from both on-premises and Office 365 content.  
    • The content metadata is encrypted when it’s transferred to the search index in Office 365, so the on-premises content remains secure.  
    • You configure search in Office 365, except for the crawling set-up, which you do on SharePoint Server.
  5. Hybrid Scenario Picker (o365)
    • The hybrid scenario picker is a new feature in Office 365 that simplifies the configuration and deployment of hybrid capabilities with SharePoint Server 2013 and SharePoint Server 2016.  
    • You can use the scenario picker wizard to redirect OneDrive for Business to SharePoint Online, and/or to make a Server-to-Server (S2S)/OAuth connection for your SharePoint Hybrid features.
  6. MinRole
    • You can now install just the role that you want on particular SharePoint 2016 servers. 
    • This will only install what’s required there, but even better, it'll make sure that all servers that belong to each role are compliant. 
    • You’ll also be able to convert servers to run new roles if needed.
  7. Zero Downtime
    • Patch Phase (Patch Deployment)
      • New binary files are copied to the server running SharePoint Server 2016. 
      • Services that use files that the patch has to replace are temporarily stopped. 
      • Stopping services reduces the requirement to restart the server to replace files that are being used.
    • Patch Phase (Binaries Deployment)
      • The installer copies support dynamic link library (.dll) files to the appropriate directories on the server that is running SharePoint Server 2016. 
      • This step ensures that all the web applications are running the correct version of the binary files and will function correctly after the update is installed.
    • B2B Upgrade Phase
      • The first action is to upgrade all the SharePoint processes that are running. 
      • After you upgrade the processes, the databases are crawled and upgraded
  8. Fast Site Collection Creation
    • End users don’t generally have self-service Site creation which from a SP perspective is a heavy-lifting operation (provisioning and enabling of features/services). Now using SPSite.Copy at Content Database Level you can rapidly enable site creation.
    • In the background, we’re replicating SQL rows from a ‘master’ template from point A to point B – and thus bypassing code and feature activation.
  9. New Compliance Center
    • Allows you to apply policies to a saved site collection template.
    • Allows you to apply global policies that override existing policies.
    • SharePoint 2016 brings some of the features of the Compliance Centre that are currently featured on Office 365, on premises. 
    • The In-Place Policy Hold Center and the Compliance Center allow you to build your own policies and apply them against your environment. 
    • As an example new basic policies allow you to delete data in OneDrive for Business sites after a certain amount of years for example, similarly to the retention policies.
  10. Durable Links
    • Allows you to change the name of the document, without having to change the document's url.
    • The is a huge win for users who would have saved or bookmarked the url to a document, should one of the contributors to the document change the name of the document. 
Thats it for now. Catch you in the next post. Now go download that RTM version and try it out. Exciting times!!!


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