SharePoint 2016 Officially Launches – Plus A Few Thoughts

Joel Oleson March 15, 2016 0
SharePoint 2016 Officially Launches – Plus A Few Thoughts

So great to see another SharePoint milestone as SharePoint Server 2016 reaches the release milestone. Read more on the Official SharePoint and OneDrive blog at SharePoint 2016 RTM and the future of SharePoint event. (Be sure to mark your calendars. It is important announcements. Really!) While it will be a while before we see a lot of SharePoint 2016 in production, I think there’s a lot of reason to celebrate. First this is the first release where the software is based on SharePoint online. That’s a big deal. It’s comforting to know that with this release coming from SharePoint Online, it will be easier to keep in sync with the cloud and have further consistencies and easier to build apps between the two. There’s a lot to be said about that from a dev and IT perspective. I do think there are a few distinct messages to the main audience of the product as you approach SharePoint.

Developers

The 2016 launch is a message of API consistency and another push out of SharePoint development as the core mechanism of building apps and solutions. While you own the servers in on prem and can essentially build whatever you want against it. You’ll find Microsoft more and more saying stay out of adding things directly into the SharePoint Server. SharePoint developers shouldn’t be developing in SharePoint, they should be developing in .NET, C#, and Java and so on. Use your language of choice in an app of your choice that’s in Azure that consumes SharePoint APIs. Use Javascript and other client side objects to build apps and interfaces. Wide variety of APIs that can be consumed from the cloud or on prem, but we should be feeling the pinch on SharePoint development as less about building features and server solutions in SharePoint.

IT Professionals

Stability, availability, reliability, performance. Sure there’s a lot of infrastructure changes in the profile, min roles, compliance, reporting, analytics, hybrid, and so on, but nearly 80% of the backend is about hybrid and integration with Office 365. Most of the changes should streamline your role. You’re now running your own private cloud. Once configured a SharePoint 2016 farm should be more rock solid than ever… Disaster recovery, and business continuance planning and governance, then start your upgrade. Post upgrade, an administrator should find ways of adding value by digging into the services stack. Dig into mobility, search, identity, Azure, and powershell scripting. Your farm should be deployable via a script and replacing any given server should be elastic… fluid.

Business Users

There should be less to complain about. It should feel more and more intuitive with less to complain about. Drag and drop should just work. Sync should just work (still getting there). The multi and mixed file upload experience should be much improved with much improved performance and handling. Cross site navigation, cross The UI for working with lists should work better. Mobile is somewhat better (still not where it should be, definitely add the Responsive UI pack, but you don’t have to wait long for even more improvements), and integration with the mobile apps is more intuitive and easy. For the most part the average user won’t even notice the servers have been upgraded. They will simply start to have improved navigation and integration with cloud services. Hybrid will start to light up for things as they are or if they are configured. Shouldn’t require much training at all. A good 30 minute video could introduce your users to the new features and get them excited.

 

Catch up on the new features and announcements:

Reviewer’s Guide for SharePoint 2016

Download SharePoint 2016 then get language packs

TechNet Details for SharePoint 2016 including planning, installing and exploring the features and deprecated features

Top 10 Features for Business Users in SharePoint 2016

More links and resources on the SharePoint blog

SharePoint Releases 2016 bits – Redmond Magazine

Microsoft Announces SharePoint 2016 Release to Manufacturing – eWeek

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