Microsoft has met its self-imposed deadline to release the SharePoint Server 2016 Preview before the end of August, and now the testing begins. As you put the Preview through its paces, here are 10 things you should know.
1. The Preview is not a done deal. Microsoft has been quick note that it will add new capabilities as SharePoint 16 moves toward final release: “We’ll continue to add new capabilities that represent our investments in audience and workload capabilities. What we’re sharing today is just a fraction of what will be in SharePoint 2016!” said Microsoft’s Bill Baer in a blog post.
2. SharePoint is designed to reduce the burden on IT staff by, among other things, streamlining administrative tasks. Baer notes in his post that tasks “that may have taken hours to complete in the past have become simple and efficient processes that allow IT to focus less on day-to-day management and more on innovation.” This was actually a common refrain at the recent SharePoint Fest Seattle Conference: Microsoft speakers touted all of the extra time IT pros will now have to focus on the aforementioned innovation, but many show attendees and speakers noted how scary that prospect can be. (What does focusing more on innovation mean? What does it look like in the day-to-day life of an IT pro? How is such change managed? Will it really happen, or will companies just let those admins go? Fodder for additional stories and research, for sure.)
3. A “deep investment in HTML 5” will enable developers and app designers to enable “device-specific targeting of content.” This—and a more consistent experience cross-screen--will increase the accessibility to (and value of) SharePoint on mobile platforms.
4. Apps will now be available from the top navigation bar, enabling users to work more efficiently in their day-to-day tasks.
5. SharePoint is all about sharing, right? People will likely share more, a la Facebook, with the Share button at the top right corner of every page. Users can see who has access to a site through the settings menu, and, of course, all of this will be based on SharePoint’s permission levels, groups and inheritance.
6. During Baer’s keynote at SharePoint Fest Seattle, attendees demonstrated their approval when he announced that SharePoint 2016 would support files uploads of 10GB. This, Baer noted, was in keeping with the trend toward really big data--or, files comprising video, audio and multiple images.
7. When it comes to compliance, SharePoint 2016 delivers features designed to preserve items in SharePoint and OneDrive for Business for a fixed period of time and to delete them after a specified period of time: In-Place Hold Policy and Document Deletion Centers, respectively.
8. The Preview is available here.
9. As far as system requirements go, the supported operating system is Windows Server 2012 R2 , Windows Server Technical Preview 2.