SharePoint Server 2016 IT Preview - new improved Features and Enhancements

SharePoint Server 2016 IT Preview - new features

Below is a break-down overview of the new features and capabilities offered by SharePoint 2016. Do keep in mind, this is a preview, so we can expect changes in the below stated.

Faster Site Creation - This SharePoint 2016 feature is going to save you time in creating SharePoint sites. This is a rapid site collection and site creation method. There are templates that work at the same level as SQL Server, thus reducing the round trips required between SharePoint and SQL servers. PowerShell cmdlets are used to create the sites.

File names with expanded support for special characters - SharePoint 2016 supports certain special characters that can be used in file names that were previously blocked. Few supported inclusions are - &, ~, {, }, file names with GUID, file names containing dots, file names longer than 128 characters.

Durable links - These are Resource-based URLs which become seamless to changes for the users. The durable links in SharePoint 2016 retain the links when file names are renamed or moved within SharePoint. This sounds a great feature but requires Office Online Server which was earlier known as Office Web Apps Server (OWA).

Hybrid in SharePoint 2016 - This enables integrating on-premise FARM with Office 365 productivity experiences which allow adopting cloud. This allows users to have a single profile in Office 365, access files from anywhere via Office 365, consolidated data. It also provides Cloud Hybrid Search for unified search experience where on-premise indexed content is also available searchable from Office 365.

App Launcher - SharePoint 2016 has a new feature called App launcher which allows users to take quick actions like view files from OneDrive for Business, send an email, look at the sites user is a member of.

MinRole - Using the MinRole feature in SharePoint 2016, SharePoint Administrator can define the role of each server in the FARM Topology. Based on the defined role, SharePoint automatically configures services on each server which optimizes the performance of the farm based on that topology. Six predefined server roles are available - Single Server Farm, Front End, Search, Application, Distributed Cache, Custom.

Larger file support - SharePoint 2016 removes the restriction on file upload limit completely, but Microsoft recommends not to go beyond 10GB. Users will see time out errors or get disconnected if they try to upload too large files.

No Downtime for patching - This is something goof for Administrators. The size and number of packages are reduced in SharePoint 2016. The downtime for updating SharePoint servers has also been removed.

The threshold of 5000 removed – The previous SharePoint 2013 version had a threshold of 5000 on document libraries that took care of SQL Database lock issues. SharePoint 2016 has automated creation of Indexed Columns which will allow the user to go beyond this threshold.

Improved Mobile experience - The earlier mobile interfaces for SharePoint sites have not been that good and helpful. SharePoint 2016 offers an improved touch-based mobile navigation experience. Users can tap tiles or links to navigate, can switch from the mobile view to the PC view.

Customized web parts - With SharePoint 2016, there are improvements in the compile-time for web parts using customized XSLT files. These include web parts like - Content Query, Summary Links, Table of Contents. Document Library accessibility - You can work with SharePoint 2016 Document Libraries in an entire new way with Page landmarks for easier navigation and keyboard shortcuts for document tasks (Alt + N = New, Alt + E = Edit, Alt + U = Upload, Alt + M = Manage, Alt + S = Share, Alt + Y = Synchronization). The callout message reading is also improved and there are announcements for upload progress, file names, file types.

Access Services Improvements - New Access features are added with Access Services in SharePoint 2016. Some key features include - Cascading Combo Box, Support Office Apps, Access App upgrade, Download in excel with pivot tables.

SharePoint Search Enhancements - Apart from the changes and improvements in user experience, SharePoint 2016 Search Service Application has significant changes to its deployment. Search now supports indexing of up to 500 million items per Search Server application.

Sites page pinning - This is a new feature with SharePoint 2016 which helps users see and follow sites. Users can pin sites that are seen on the sites page. A pinned site shows at the top of the list of followed sites.

Compliance tools - SharePoint 2016 allows users to build own policies and apply them against the SharePoint environment. There are new basic policies allowing users to delete data in OneDrive for Business sites after a set time period.

Identify and search for sensitive content - Data loss prevention capabilities as Office 365 are now available with SharePoint 2016. This is available across SharePoint 2016, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business. There are in-built sensitive types for passport numbers, credit cards, Social Security numbers.

Sharing improvements - SharePoint 2016 has a new and improved way of sharing like - share hints, create and share folder, improved invitation email, see users with whom folder is shared while viewing a folder, One-click email to approve/reject the request for access.

Project Server improvements - SharePoint 2016 includes the new features and capabilities of Project Server 2016 Preview. Definitely, the project managers are going to like this.

Image and Video preview - SharePoint 2016 allows users to preview images and videos from document libraries when they mouse hover over the image/video or click on it.

Open Document Format (ODF) - SharePoint 2016 adds support for Open Document Format (ODF) files with document library templates. The Open Document Format (ODF) enables users to create new files in a document library and save as ODF files so that users can edit the new file with a program they choose.

New controls for working with OneDrive for Business - SharePoint 2016 provides controls that are shown at the top of personal document folders making common tasks in OneDrive for Business more accessible. Control can be used to upload files, create documents, synchronize files for offline use, and share files.

Site Folders view - SharePoint 2016 has a new view called Site Folders which allows users to access the document libraries in sites followed by the user.

Web Application Open Platform Interface Protocol (WOPI) - SharePoint 2016 provides a new WOIP iframe on the browser page where users can rename files, create new files, share files.

New Recycle Bin in OneDrive and Team sites - With SharePoint 2016, a link for the Recycle Bin is provided in the left navigation area of the OneDrive and Team sites.

Information Rights Management - SharePoint 2016 provides Information Rights Management (IRM) capabilities that are used to secure information. This is done by encrypting and securing the information on SharePoint libraries with OneDrive for Business.

ReFS file system support - This is a new addition and now SharePoint 2016 supports drives that are formatted with the ReFS file system.

Encrypted Connections - SharePoint 2016 uses TLS 1.2 connection encryption (provided the client application supports) when SSL binding is used in Internet Information Services Manager (IIS) for hosting the web applications. It also supports TLS 1.2 connection encryption when connecting to other systems, for example when crawling websites.

SMTP Connection Encryption - SharePoint 2016 supports sending email to SMTP servers which use STARTTLS connection encryption.

SMTP ports (non-default) - SharePoint 2016 has support for SMTP servers that use TCP ports other than the default port (25).

Install and get your SharePoint 2016 playground ready, we will keep this page updated with new announcements and changes to the above features.

List of Deprecated and Removed features from SharePoint Server 2016 IT Preview -

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