A number of details were announced at Ignite today on SharePoint 2016. Here are some of the key highlights and interesting features that were announced at various sessions.
Easier Hybrid Setup
There are a number of new features in SharePoint 2016 to enable hybrid scenarios and to provide a more seamless experience to users who have a mixed environment and who are looking to take advantage of some of the cloud based offerings in Office 365 while still keeping SharePoint running on premise for some workloads.
A new hybrid configuration wizard replaces complex PowerShell scripts with a wizard experience for common scenario.
True Hybrid Search
In the current hybrid search scenario, you can enable searching of on premise content from Office 365 and vice versa. However, in the current scenario, the indexes are still separate from each other and when you search they are treated as separate.
In SharePoint 2016, you can now create a true hybrid index that combines search results from Office 365 and SharePoint 2016 on premise in a single index.
Surfacing of On Premise Content in Delve
Delve will support surfacing of on premise content from SharePoint 2016. This means that you can have a single delve activity feed that provides access to both Office 365 and SharePoint on premise content in a single view.
This delve feature will also be coming to SharePoint 2013 as an update later this year!
Mobile UI Coming to SharePoint 2016
Office 365 has a touch mobile UI and this will be coming to SharePoint 2016.
One of the key features that have been a challenge for many versions is the management of URLs as durable instead of changing as documents are moved around. In previous versions of SharePoint, you could turn on the Document ID service to generate unique IDs for your documents but it was specific to a site collection.
The service also handles the context switching of URLs as documents are shared on premise, through guest access, or through external sharing.
New Boundaries and Limits
SharePoint 2016 will have expanded boundaries and overcome some of the existing limits in SharePoint 2013.
New Infrastructure Roles
There is a concept around application service roles for setting up the SharePoint 2016 infrastructure. There is a new Server Role installation wizard that better isolates and segments the tiers in the infrastructure. This will also help to reduce the data center footprint compared to previous versions and make it easier to patch the farm.
Zero Downtime Patching
Microsoft is promising “zero downtime patching” which will mean you can apply patches while keeping the SharePoint farm online!