What’s New in SharePoint 2016 On-Premises Server


  • Updated in March 2016 – Added features introduced in SharePoint 2016 RTM release
  • Updated in December 2015 – Added features introduced in SharePoint 2016 Beta 2 release.
  • Updated in August 2015 – Added features introduced in SharePoint 2016 Preview release.
  • First Article in May 2014 – SharePoint 2016 Preview version released

Microsoft has recently announced public preview of SharePoint 2016 on-premises server product. There are many enhancements and critical cloud ready features added into new release making it very compelling investment for organizations continue interested in hosting by themselves.

Here are the complied list of key features and list of announcements released for new SharePoint 2016 server product for reference.

Key Information

  • Timeline – Preview released August 2015, Beta 2 released in Nov 2015, RC will be released in Q1 2016, GA and RTM availability in Q2 2016
  • Codebase Philosophy – First ever cloud-down code base based on SharePoint Online, back-ported capabilities for on-premises differentiators (e.g. PerformancePoint)
  • Hardware Requirements – Not changed at all – 64 bit OS, 12-16GB RAM, 1xQuad Core CPU, 80GB OS Drive
  • Software Requirements – Windows Server 2012 R2 with .Net Framework 4.5.2 or Windows Server 10 with .Net Framework 4.6, SQL Server 2014 SP1 and later
  • AppFabric Support – Continue support for embedded version of Windows Server AppFabric 1.1 for distributed cache and social features despite it’s still supported for Windows OS anymore, windows team is still committed to support embed version in SharePoint through product life cycle even though it’s not supported in GA Windows servers.
  • Unfavorable Features – No plans to deprecate any unfavorable features from SharePoint 2013 for vNext including InfoPath Form Services, SharePoint Social, Full Trust Farm Solutions, and Sandbox Solutions

New/Enhanced Features

  • Improved Mobile and Touch Experiences
  • Themable Suite Navigation
  • Simpler Navigation and Commands – Some of the most common SharePoint Online navigation features introduced in SharePoint on-premises – App Launcher, Document Library Commands and Site Pages pinning
  • Document Library Accessibility Features – Keyboard shortcuts to work on files in document libraries
  • OneDrive for Business Updates – Some of the most common OneDrive for Business features introduced in SharePoint On-premises – Shared with Me view, Site Folders View, Recycle Bin
  • Upgrade Scenario – Upgrade only from SharePoint 2013 to SharePoint 2016 using database-attach upgrade method, not supported direct upgrade from SharePoint 2010 or earlier
  • Auth Protocol Support – SAML as first class citizen as Authentication protocol, both NTLM and Kerbros Windows Identity will continue be supported
  • Encrypted Connection Support
    • SMTP can use non-default ports and supports sending emails to SMTP servers using STARTTLS connection encryption.
    • When you set up an SSL binding in Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager to host your web application, SharePoint uses TLS 1.2 connection encryption if your client application supports it.
    • SharePoint also supports TLS 1.2 connection encryption when connecting to other systems, for example when crawling websites.
  • New MinRole topology – designed based on SPO learning and SP2013 streamlined topology, option to choose during installation wizard to optimize user services, robot services, and caching services – Front-End, Application, Distributed Cache, Search, and Specialized Load, support for specialized load for existing SharePoint installation patterns, support for SharePoint health analyzer to enforce min-role topology – scans all role except special load, new cmdlets would be released to support automation of these services configurations, MinRole will change search topology, core limitation of SpecialLoad is that it is excluded from compliance and reporting capabilities
  • Simplified Patch Management – Zero-downtime patching, not sure what this really means yet except it will have smaller update footprint with reduced number of MSI and MSP, I personally think it will be still require downtime but reduced to minimal with smaller patches
  • Central Administration Management Improvements
    • Central Administration is no longer provisioned on all servers by default – Provisioned on the first server in a farm by default when using the SharePoint Products Configuration Wizard. Central Administration is not provisioned on additional servers in a farm by default. You can provision or unprovision Central Administration on individual servers in a farm either from Services on Server page on Central Administration or psconfig.exe -cmd adminvs operation or SharePoint Products Configuration Wizard or PowerShell cmdlets: New-SPCentralAdministration & Remove-SPCentralAdministration
    • Simplifed SSL configuration of Central Administration Site – New PowerShell commands available: New-SPCentralAdministration -Port <number> -SecureSocketsLayer, Set-SPCentralAdministration -Port <number> -SecureSocketsLayer, and Psconfig.exe -cmd adminvs -port <number> -ssl
  • Improved Boundaries
    • Content DBs can be in TB’s (no specific figure released)
    • List Thresold >5000 (no specific figure released)
    • Max FileSize is increased from 2 GB to 10 GB (Document BLOBs still be stored in the content database and leverage Shredded Storage feature introduced in SharePoint 2013)
    • SharePoint Search supports indexing of up to 500 million items per Search Server application (almost 2x increase)
  • Improved files upload/download performance – BITS protocol support to upstream and downstream document response replacing existing FSS over HTTP and Cobalt to reduce IO between servers and bandwidth to the end user, BITS will optimize upload and download chunking, uploads will use BITS instead of Cobalt, byte-range HTTP GETs for download, and BITS specific block-based upload protocol for uploading files
  • User Profile Sync Service Update
    • Support for only unidirectional AD Sync for read-only
    • Removed built-in FIM based User Profile Sync service, still supports external FIM service including Microsoft Identity Manager to support both read-write scenarios
  • Durable Links – DocID based Durable Links, it remains same even with document move. Files shared via durable links will reference a site ID and document ID to avoid broken links if files are renamed or moved, requires a WOPI binding to Office Web Apps 2013 or probably Office Online Server
  • Fast Site Collection Creation – Use the SPSiteMaster PowerShell cmdlets to create sites and site collections quickly, which reduces the round trips required between the SharePoint and SQL servers.
  • File Names Extended Characters Support – SharePoint has historically blocked file names that contained a GUID, with leading dots, more than 128 characters, or included the &, ~, {, and } characters. These restrictions are removed with Beta 2 release.

New Office 365 and SharePoint On-Premises Hybrid Scenarios

  • New Cloud Search Service Application and Cloud Hybrid Search – Support for crawling both SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint 2010 on-premises environment and pushing it out to the Office 365 as cloud index to surface on-premises data in SharePoint online Search and Delve.
  • Extensible App Launcher – Introduction of Office 365 App Launcher in SharePoint On-premises product to improve consistent navigation between two products
  • Profile Redirection – Mastering user profiles between On-Premises and Office 365. Profile Redirection enables the extension of profiles to Delve About Me and additional Office 365 experiences for select users within an organization.

Removed/Deprecated Features

  • SharePoint Foundation Support – There will be no SharePoint Foundation 2016
  • Standalone Installation Mode – SharePoint Server 2016 no longer support the standalone install option which installs SQL Express, SQL must be installed and running prior to installation even for single server farm scenario
  • SharePoint Designer Support – There will be no SharePoint Designer 2016, SPD 2013 along with InfoPath Designer 2013 will work with SharePoint 2016
  • InfoPath Designer Support – InfoPath Form Services 2010 without any features added to SharePoint 2016 server product, InfoPath Designer 2013 will continue to be supported (End of life is April 2023) to design InfoPath forms, there won’t be any InfoPath Designer 2016
  • FIM as User Profile Sync Engine – As mentioned above, SharePoint Server 2016 no longer uses FIM as the synchronization client for profile synchronization
  • Excel Calculation Service Support – There will be no Excel Calculation services in SharePoint server product, Excel Services functionality is now part of Excel Online in Office Online Server Preview
  • Tags and Notes feature – The Tags and Notes feature is deprecated in SharePoint Server 2016 and SharePoint Online. Users can no longer create new tags and notes or access existing ones. However, an administrator can archive all existing tags and notes by using the Export-SPTagsAndNotesData cmdlet.
  • Tasks Management Service – This was introduced in SharePoint 2013 and will be removed from future version. It’s been removed from SharePoint Online.
  • STSADM.EXE – Although this is well known and haven’t seen anyone using this tool since 2013 released, it’s officially deprecated for 2016. It will be still added to support previous version.


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1 Response to What’s New in SharePoint 2016 On-Premises Server

  1. The increase in doc size is interesting. How will sharepoint upload a 10Gb file to IIS ? 🙂
    they probably implemented a binary upload method.The SAML topic would indicate you can directly auth to an azure AD tenant now, but i didn’t test this yet.

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