What’s new in SharePoint 2016?

On the weekend I was lucky enough to give a presentation on all of the information out on SharePoint 2016 at the Office 365 Sydney Conference (#O365Syd), so I thought I would cover off a few of my favourite features below, and explain the value they are providing

#1 Durable Links

Finally, Microsoft have decided to finish the last 10% of the “Document ID” feature and make them the default (Only!!) links to documents. This is a feature that has existed in practically every Document Management system except SharePoint, and it removes so many of the issues surrounding document links: Limited URL length (255 characters), naming conventions (there should at least be parity with Windows folders, but have you ever tried to drag and drop a file in it with an ‘&’ in the filename?), file relocation breaking saved links, etc. I never understood why you got an “alternate URL” when you activated Doc ID’s. It never made any sense, and finally the full conversion over to durable links is done.

#2 Document Discussions

I always look at social media implementations in Enterprise businesses and ask “what is the problem it is trying to solve?”. Too often I get blank stares in return. Being able to discuss a document from the context of the document itself in a way that permanently captures the discussion (and with durable links, can always be linked back to the source document) solves 2 real-world problems. One being “How do we capture people’s feedback on documents in a way that others with feedback can get value from”, and the other, “How do we do it contextually from the document itself”. Both are real needs that all businesses face today and in 2016, the problems surrounding these needs are solved.

#3 Hybrid Search

Not really a SharePoint 2016-dependant feature, but due out at the same time as the beta is being released, so close enough

Microsoft have come up with a way of providing a unified search experience across all On-prem and cloud-based content storage environments (SharePoint, File Shares, web sites, CRM, SAP, the whole 9 yards). In the past, there’s been a separation with “on-premises” results and cloud results, and the best you could give the users was a federated view where the results came back in 2 separate result sets. An additional benefit is that you are “outsourcing” the crawling and indexing workload to the cloud, which (for larger implementations) means there’ll only be at most one standalone server providing search services. Previously, you might have had 4 or 5 sharing the crawling and indexing jobs, as well as responding to search queries.

There was heaps of other info that came out as part of Ignite, but these are probably my 3 favourites at this stage as they solve real problems with the way SharePoint works currently and aligns it more towards the way people want to work.

Compilation of Ignite information

Bill Baer’s IT Pro presentation

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About Brad Saide

I'm a SharePoint consultant. I'm also slowly going bald, seem to have a permanent spare tyre around my waist and enjoy socialising with friends over a beer or 10. The last 2 may possibly be related. Started working with SharePoint when the first version was in limited beta release (participated in the Technology Adoption Program while at Woolworths) and have been committed to the adoption of the technology as a business enabler ever since.
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