Microsoft outlined some SharePoint 2016 details at the Ignite conference in Chicago (4th- 8th May 2015). We still have a significant wait while development continues, but what do we know so far?
- SharePoint 2016 will continue to support on-premises installations. Many features from SharePoint Online / Office 365 will be included in the on-premises version.
- Unified Search across local and cloud content sources
- Increased thresholds for storage, lists limits, file sizes and indexes
- Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 10.
- AppFabric 1.1 for web application scalability will still be supported for SharePoint 2016. Microsoft recently discontinued development for other uses.
- The "Stand-alone" installation will no longer be provided. You can still deploy SharePoint on a single server, but this must be in Farm mode.
- Upgrade from SharePoint 2013 to SharePoint 2016 is supported.
- Microsoft will not provide a direct upgrade path from SharePoint 2010. A two step upgrade is required. The complexity of this will vary depending on the level of customisation in the current environment.
- Reduced patching requirements making it faster to deploy updates and reduce the need for high-availability to keep SharePoint online.
- Cloud based authentication model OAuth and SAML for users wishing to move away from traditional Active Directory NTLM authentication.
- ODF file saving for cross platform document compatibility
- Support for encrypted SMTP ports – currently hard coded to port 25. This will improve email security for outbound email.
- Durable links – move a file and the URL isn’t broken
Other improvements including changes to One Drive for Business, a new “About Me” portal and Office Graph are also coming with this SharePoint release.
Microsoft have made it very clear that SharePoint has an on-premises future. Microsoft recognises that some organisations have legal, security or other practical reasons for continuing to deploy SharePoint internally.
Microsoft are expecting to release SharePoint 2016 in the second quarter of 2016.
More SharePoint 2016 details will be released over the coming months. We look forward getting our hands on the preview releases too.