Microsoft has just released information around upcoming SharePoint version 2016. 

The purpose of writing this down is to summarize what one can expect in new SharePoint 2016. This information is based on the articles published and information shared by Microsoft across different locations.


SharePoint 2016 – Quick Facts

  • Release milestones: Public beta – Q4 2015, public download – Q2 2016 and a release candidate (RC) in between.
  • The design, development and maintenance for SharePoint 2016 going to inherit from cloud DNA.
  • Focusing on content management, team collaboration, user experience across devices and how the cloud can be blended into existing on-premises scenario.
  • New and improved capabilities will be delivered focusing on
    • Improved User Experience
      • Improved mobile experience
      • Personalized insights
      • People-focused File storage and collaboration
      • Power of Office graph and Delve (via hybrid)
  • Cloud-inspired infrastructure
    • Improved performance and reliability
    • Hybrid cloud with global reach
    • Support and monitoring tools
    • Simplified user experience and integration with products like next version of Win Server, SQL Server, Exchange Server 2016.
  • Compliance and Reporting
    • New DLP
    • Enable data encryption
    • Improved Analytic and reporting
    • Microsoft taken SharePoint online, modified to suit on-premises. Components which were not available are back ported.


SharePoint 2016 - New & Improved Features

New information available for SharePoint 2016 can be classified in 4 categories:

1. Management of platform

Hardware Requirements

Installation Scenario

Memory / RAM


Hard Disk

Single Server*

16-24 GB

64-bit, 4 cores

80 GB

Farm Server

12-16 GB

64-bit, 4 cores

80 GB

Database Server

Refer system requirement for 64-bit version of SQL Server 2014 Service Pack 1 or SQL vNext

*There is a built in SQL Server. You need to install a separate SQL Express/Developer or any other edition even for development server.

Software Requirements

  • Any one of Windows Server 2012 R2 | Windows Server 10
  • Windows Management Framework 3.0
  • Application Server Role
  • Web Server (IIS) Role
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.2 (in on Windows Server 10, then Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.6)
  • Update for the .NET Framework 4 (KB2898850)
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Native Client
  • Microsoft Identity Extensions
  • Microsoft Sync Framework Runtime v1.0 SP1 (x64)
  • Windows Server AppFabric v1.1 (MS is planning tend AppFabric, but it will be supported for SP 2013 and 2016).
  • Windows Identity Foundation v1.1
  • Microsoft Information Protection and Control Client
  • Microsoft WCF Data Services.

Upgrade and Migration

  • Upgrade path is from 2013 t2016
    • Upgrade 14.5 mode site t15 mode and then upgrade
    • Allow the same database attach upgrade process
  • Migrate Content t2016 (using migration APIs or partner tools)

Auth N-Z

  • Windows Identity over SAML claims
  • Trying to normalize on oAuth/OpenID standards

SMTP Connection

  • Allow using non-default ports
  • Allowing to use STARTTLS connection encryption.


2. Reliability, Performance and scalability

  • Moving from SharePoint 2013 based job enable / disable to predefined set of logic executing on a machine (Termed as MinRole Topology)
  • New Server Roles in SharePoint 2016
    • Special Load – custom service applications, services, third party components which are outside of MinRole Topology
    • Web Front End – services end user requests. Servers are optimized for low latency
    • Search – service application provisioning, indexing service and other search components.
    • Application – services backend jobs or requests triggered by backend jobs. Servers are optimized for high throughput
    • Distributed Cache – servers distributed cache for the farm.
    • Single Server Farm – for development purpose, configure (excluding SQL Server) all services on one server.
  • New Service categories in SharePoint 2016
    • User Services
    • Robot Services
    • Caching Services
  • Server Role and Health Analyzer
  • Patching Updates
  • Improvement in boundaries and limits
    • Content DB size up tTB’s (not yet identified the limit)
    • 100K sites per site collection
    • List view threshold > 5000 items
    • Upload file size up t10 GB and removed character restrictions
    • Search scaling up t500 M items.
  • Better File Performance
    • Use BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer Service) for better file performance
  • Fast Site Creation
    • Create faster site collections at database level using the standard site template saved as site.
    • Remove feature activation overhead
  • User Profile Service
    • Bi-directional sync using external FIM service. Nbuilt in FIM anymore.
  • Project Server
    • Still require separate Project Server Licensing, but SharePoint and Project Server content database is merged.
  • Durable Links
    • New sharing URLs are resources Id based, thus renaming file, moving file will not break the link already shared.


3. Analytics (Insights and Data)

  • Real time data analysis on various parameters
    • Usage
      • daily active users
      • Weekly active users
      • Usage by browser
      • Usage by agent
      • Usage by OS
    • Storage
      • Storage by site template
      • Daily storage
      • File type
      • Storage breakout
    • Health Reports
    • Network
    • Portals


4. Cloud Experience

  • Compliance Center
    • This showcase the feasibility of bringing same compliance system ton-premises which works well in O365 with Azure RMS.
    • Discover and preserve with hybrid eDiscovery.
  • Cloud Search Service Application
    • This unifies the on-premises and cloud data search from one search center.
    • This also adds value to Office Graph / Delve textend the presence on on-premises.
    • This can alsleave search running in cloud only while indexing from on-premises and online.
  • Extranet
    • Making easier to maintain and publish sites to Internet.
    • Using O365 Identity federation services.
  • Team Sites
    • Separate the data in either on-premises or in cloud
    • Follow sites, documents or people in on-premises and master the information in cloud.
    • Allowing ODF files creation.
  • Scenario Picker
    • Hybrid deployment automation
    • Select the Hybrid configuration required and use automated and wizard driven information to setup Hybrid (forget the lengthy procedures and PowerShell scripts to run)

Note: the information in this blog post is based on the information presented and available on public forums. The actual product SharePoint 2016 can have difference from what is available. Please take time to check the new features when the product is released.