What’s New in SharePoint 2019 On-Premises Server

Microsoft has announced this week that SharePoint 2019 is in GA.  Arguably SharePoint 2013 was the last great product of the SharePoint on-premises server. SharePoint 2016 was labeled as the first cloud-born SharePoint on-premises product with lots of infrastructure update, without any major UI or features updates. SharePoint 2019 is the polar opposite and comes with modern SharePoint Online features with minimal infrastructure updates. It’s built on the cloud-born model introduced in SharePoint 2016, but brings modern SharePoint Online user experience and cloud innovations to the on-premises customers. SharePoint 2019 will be remembered as modern SharePoint version and introduces all the SharePoint online features circa fall 2017, minus cloud only features like Delve, Office 365 Groups, Yammer, or Microsoft Teams integration.

SharePoint-2019

Microsoft first announced the availability of the SharePoint 2019 at Microsoft Ignite 2017 (Sep 2017), first showed the preview of SharePoint 2019 product at the SPC 2018 (May 2018) before releasing public preview bits in July 2018. At Microsoft Ignite 2018 (Sep 2018), they have shown SharePoint 2019 to the much larger audience before releasing RTM or GA version in October 2018.

This blog summarizes the announcements and new features introduced as of Oct 2018. I must say – none of our customers were interested in upgrading their on-premises environment to SharePoint 2016 (due to infrastructure upgrade and large numbers of servers required to support min-role model, IT don’t call shots anymore), but we hear lot more buzz around SharePoint 2019 (due to a large number of features and this is primarily UX dominated release, business wins in most cases). I do expect more organizations will modernize their SharePoint environment during this release than infrastructure only SharePoint 2016 release. I do expect more organizations will migrate their SP2010 and SP2013 to the modern UI and cloud-born SP2019, skipping SP2016 directly.

SP2019 will be remembered for some of the features like Modern team sites, Modern lists and libraries, Communications sites, URL paths with 260->400 and #% characters, Increased file upload size to 15 GB, New Search Center, OneDrive Sync Client, and a lot more powerful SharePoint Framework support.

Here is the summary of all the announcements of SharePoint 2019. You can also find all the summaries in the wonderful PDF document released by Microsoft as SharePoint 2019 Reviewers Guide.

Share and work together – modern collaboration experience investments

  • Self-site creation experience for team and communication sites from SharePoint homepage; it creates sites in seconds. It supports OneDrive personal sites (introduced in SP2016), Modern SP Team sites and SP Communication sites (new in SP2019); this will allow creating sites in minutes, rather than long-running timer jobs.
  • Modern Team Sites – Updated experience for home page, lists, libraries, pages, and news; easy to customize; navigation in App launcher refreshed similar to cloud; these team sites are not group connected (Office 365 Groups are cloud only capabilities); upgrade from SP2016 to SP2019 will stay with classic team sites but you can take advantage of modern lists and libraries on upgraded classic team sites; you will be able to create modern team sites using modern team site templates.
  • Modern Libraries – SP2016 FP1 introduced modern OneDrive user experience, SP2019 introduces same experience for SharePoint sites; it’s responsive UI with modern, simplified sharing experience, newly detailed pane to view important metadata for documents; still supports classic view – Ability to pin multiple documents to the top, details pane for document metadata (e.g. preview generated by office online server, who has access to documents, and recent activities)
  • Modern Lists – Introduces new lists experience; JSON columns formatting with JSON like color coding and data columns (opensource gallery available on GitHub); simplified filtering and managing columns directly from the UI; details pane to view important metadata; new bulk editing capabilities; still supports classic view – intuitive experience with new filtering pane, bulk edit items and live update of list views, and save personalized views
  • Modern Pages – Rich authoring, mobile-friendly, responsive framework, out of box modern web parts using SP Framework (SPFx first introduced in SP2016 FP2 without any buildout web parts)
  • OneDrive Sync Client – Fast, reliable, and proven experience with OneDrive.exe (NGSC); Sync documents from devices and computers form on-premises for both SharePoint and OneDrive folders; new sync experience like files on demand, push notifications – no more Groove available in SP2019; OneDrive modern user experience available since SP2016 FP1, new capabilities in SP2019 are OneDrive Sync Client integration (click on sync button to setup sync relationship with user personal OneDrive, uses files on demand by default, it means files are not downloaded to your hard drive by default, either you download OnDemand or make it cloud only by clicking on free up my space), push notification (OneDrive sync client is notified, and instances syncs those files). OneDrive sync client will support only SP2019 or later. OneDrive Sync client will not be supported on the previous version of the SharePoint.

Inform and Engage Employees – Connecting employees to resources and data they need to perform their job

  • SharePoint Home – New SharePoint landing page for collaboration; Your relevant sites, news, activities are in one place. In Cloud, it’s powered by Graph. In on-preemies, it will be powered by SP search engine – keeping up with personalized experience (news from sites, following sites with most recent activities, suggested sites with most recent activities), a quick search box to lookup with type ahead, featured links are links promoted by an organization for all the users
  • Team News – Allows you to keep up with and broadcast key events and announcements with other members of the team, including videos & images & rich formatting capabilities
  • Communication Sites – Intended to create beautiful and dynamic sites to reach broader audience with predefined rich, responsive layouts – new web parts (hero web part, events view/calendar web part, activities web part); communication site can be the root of web application on on-premises (will be available on SharePoint online by end 2018)
  • Mobile Experience – Beautiful sites on every device, get SharePoint on the go with the SharePoint mobile app – Sites and News (communication site, modern team site)
  • New Search Experience – Modern search experience; type ahead contextual results in search box with instant search results; combined search results for sites, files, and people, modern search results page for SharePoint home and site search; the hybrid search is available through hybrid search configuration wizard

Transform business processes – Modernizing productivity of your business with business process automation

  • SP2019 integration with PowerApps and Flow using data gateway (similar as SP2016 and requires a hybrid connection), no integration directly from UI, you have to start from PowerApps and Flow services UI and use connectors.
  • Project Server 2019 (included part of SharePoint binaries since SP2016)
  • Office Online Server – Evergreen model, once or twice a year they release a new version, both existing and newer version will be compatible with SP2019
  • Continued support for SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 workflows

Developer Investments

  • SharePoint Framework (v1.4.1 for SP2019 except for Microsoft Graph capabilities) for cloud-ready and future-proof customizations – Build custom lightweight and mobile-ready client-side web parts, Extend SharePoint experiences within a modern web page and libraries using extensions and custom actions, automate business processes using webhooks (connect to services to listen to events of SharePoint)
  • What is supported in the SharePoint Server 2019 from development platform perspective? – Modern pages, Modern team and communication sites, modern subsites, Column formatting, SharePoint Framework client-side web parts and extensions (v1.4.1, except the Microsoft Graph capabilities), Webhooks, Asset packaging – hosting your solution assets automatically from app catalog site collection, Tenant scoped deployment – deploy your web parts cross the farm just by installing them to the app catalog, ALM APIs for add-in and SharePoint Framework solution management
  • What is NOT supported in the SharePoint Server 2019 from development platform perspective? – Site Designs and Site Scripts, Hub sites, Custom modern themes – Out-of-the-box modern themes are available for team sites and communication sites, and Site collection app catalog

IT Pro Investments

  • Continued simplified SharePoint administration introduced in SP2016 – Zero downtime, Min roles
  • Software Requirements – Windows Servers (Win Server 2016 or Win Server 2019) and Database Servers (SQL Server 2016 or SQL Server 2017)
  • Key Software Prerequisites – .NET Framework 4.7.2 and WCF Data Services 5.6
  • SharePoint Hybrid Configuration Wizard – Triggered from SPO admin center for earlier versions, integrated from central administration in SP2019
  • SMTP Server Authentication – SP can now authenticate to your SMTP email servers (no more anonymous relays just for SharePoint)

Infrastructure and Platform Improvements

  • Large file support – SP2019 supports uploading files up to 15 GB (compare to 10GB supported on SP2016)
  • Expand Supported Characters – support # and $ in file and folder names, supporting valid windows file and folders names, will work with new OneDrive sync
  • Long URL path – 400 characters for MAXURL (increased from 256 characters), more expressive names for your sites, libraries or use deeper nesting for your content organization
  • Recycle bin recovery improvements – Recover your content deleted by others from your recycle bin (you would need edit permission on that document to recover)
  • Performance Improvements – Up to 25% file I/O performance improvements for file upload/download and page load
  • Modernized IIS integration – Remove IIS6 dependencies by switching to modern IIS APIs

SharePoint 2019 Deprecated and Removed Features

  • Deprecated Features – A feature still available/supported in SP2019 but MS no longer choose to invest, MS suggests customer look for alternative options, may be removed from future SP on-premises releases
    • Access Services 2010 and 2013
    • Aggregated Newsfeed
    • Custom Help
    • InfoPath Client/InfoPath Services
    • Lists web service
    • Machine Translation Service
    • PerformancePoint Service
    • SharePoint Designer
    • Site Mailbox
    • Site Manager
  • Removed Features – No longer available/supported in the product binaries, either they are removed from previous SP on-premises releases or SharePoint Online
    • Automatic Mode in incoming email (no more IIS6 support)
    • Code-based sandbox solutions
    • Digest Authentication
    • Multi-Tenancy
    • Silverlight rendering in PerformancePoint Services and Visio Services
    • SQL Reporting Services Integrated Mode
    • Power Pivot and Power View

Resources

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