Microsoft recently announced the availability of the SharePoint Server 2016 IT Preview, and boy are we excited. Here at FMT we can’t wait to get our hands on this new and shiny SharePoint platform to discover all its cool, new features. We’ve explored the preview thoroughly since its release, and this blog provides an overview of some of the new and improved features in SharePoint 2016.

Before the release of the Preview, Microsoft shared with us that SharePoint 2016 will deliver enhancements and new capabilities in three major areas:

  • Improved user experiences
  • Cloud-inspired infrastructure
  • Compliance and reporting

New Features in SharePoint 2016

Let’s review some of the prominent new features in more detail to get a sense of how much SharePoint Server 2016 has improved in these three major areas.

Mobile Experience in SharePoint 2016

Microsoft has invested heavily to ensure a consistent experience across all screen sizes, and to make sure that users are able to access SharePoint 2016 on their mobile and tablet devices without compromising feature fidelity.

Mobile Features in SharePoint 2016

 

Large File Support

With files getting larger and larger by the day due to the proliferation of rich media content in the forms of video and audio and others, the need for storing larger files in SharePoint has never been greater. Therefore, SharePoint Server 2016 allows you to upload and download files of up to 10 GB.

Durable Links

In SharePoint 2016 document URLs remain permanent even if documents are renamed or moved. You no longer need to worry about broken links, and renaming documents is now completely hassle-free.

Filenames without Restrictions

Filenames with &, ~, {, }, GUIDs and dots were not allowed in previous versions of SharePoint. And neither were filenames longer than 128 characters. These restrictions have been removed in SharePoint 2016.

Image and Video Previews

You can now preview images and videos in document libraries in SharePoint 2016 simply by hovering the mouse over the image or video, or by clicking the thumbnails.

Site Folders

This new feature allows you to view document libraries of any site you are following in one single location.

Site Folders in SharePoint 2016

 

Simple Controls

The Simple Control feature in SharePoint 2016 makes it easy to create new Office documents, upload files, synchronize files for offline use, and share files.

Simple Controls in SharePoint 2016

 

Hybrid in SharePoint 2016

SharePoint Server 2016 opens up a wealth of new possibilities for hybrid scenarios, enabling you to work with SharePoint on-premises and online seamlessly. You can now follow sites in both SharePoint on-premises and online and see all sites in a single consolidated list. With SharePoint 2016 you also have to maintain only one Office 365 profile instead of using two separate profiles for SharePoint online and on-premises. Accordingly, one single OneDrive for Business account in Office 365 can be used for both SharePoint online and on-premises.

Last but not the least, you will be able to search for content in both SharePoint Online and on-premises and get unified results by setting up a single search index deployed in Microsoft Office 365.

SharePoint 2016 Hybrid

 

Compliance & Reporting

SharePoint Server 2016 comes with a new In-Place records management feature and a Document Deletion Center template which together allow users to manage in-place and delete policies which are time-based and organization wide.

SharePoint Search Service Application

In SharePoint 2016 the search indexing limit has been raised to 500 million items per search service application, making it easier and faster to locate an even greater amount of information.

MinRole Farm Topology

In SharePoint 2016 you can specify the role of a given server when setting up a server farm. The services will get configured on each server based on the server role, which will help optimize the performance of the farm. The six predefined server roles are:

  1. Front end
  2. Application
  3. Distributed Cache
  4. Search
  5. Custom
  6. Single-Server Farm

I hope this article has provided a brief overview of some of the many new and exciting features available in SharePoint 2016.

Let us know in the form below if you are interested in learning more about Microsoft SharePoint 2016 or would like to set up a demonstration.

 

Written by:
Bilal Amjad, Senior SharePoint Consultant
FMT Consultants