SharePoint 2016 General Availability
SharePoint Server 2016 and Office Online Server have reached “general availability” status as of May 4.
With those releases, it’s possible for organizations to start deploying Microsoft’s newest collaboration and document file-sharing server. In the interim leading up to its release, Microsoft has typically emphasized the “hybrid” capabilities coming with SharePoint Server 2016. The hybrid aspect refers to capabilities powered by the use of Office 365 cloud-based services and SharePoint server farms on premises.
It’s true that SharePoint Server 2016 will have some basic product improvements over its predecessor, SharePoint Server 2013, although the products are somewhat similar. The new server will have more relaxed limits for lists, file sizes and site collections. There are some topology improvements, including a new MinRole option that promises more simplified SharePoint farm deployments. A new “durable links” feature promises to make it easier to move files without losing connections to them. There’s also a coming Fast Site Collection Creation feature and hybrid search, among others.
Microsoft’s announcement this week stressed its collaboration vision with SharePoint Server 2016 and Office 365. It also provided a roadmap for the capabilities available today, as well as future improvements. The themes included “intelligent discovery,” Office application collaborations and mobile access to SharePoint and Office 365 services.
Many of the new capabilities coming for SharePoint Server users may require having Office 365 subscriptions in place, as well as the use of Office Online Server.
Office Online Server, now at general availability, is the successor to Office Web Apps Server 2013 and lets organizations host Office applications that are designed to run in Web browsers. Office Online Server can support organizations ranging from 100 employees to 100,000 employees, according to Microsoft, and it also works with Exchange Server 2016 and Skype for Business Server 2016, with backward compatibility to 2013-branded servers.
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