SharePoint 2016 – What can we expect?

Today, Microsoft has given the first preview of the latest version to the Microsoft SharePoint family.  SharePoint 2016, which is expected to be released in Q2 of 2016 was announced to a packed house at Microsoft Ignite in Chicago.  I got a first hand account of what we can expect:

Investment in Hybrid

With SharePoint 2016, Microsoft is planning to really improve the overall Hybrid experience between On-Prem and Office 365.  Tighter Search Integration between the 2 will bring a unified Search result experience between not only SharePoint, but also Delve as well.

Next Gen Portals

With the recent previews of Office 365 Video and Delve People profiles, Microsoft is bringing new experiences to users through SharePoint.  These Next Gen Portals represent Ready-to-Go functionality, that can empower end users to find the information they want or need, without the need for building them from scratch.  More of these Next Gen portals will be announced and Demo’s later this week at Ignite


With SharePoint 2016, Microsoft has announced that Server roles will now be much more specialized, to help properly scale and extend the On-Prem SharePoint Farm.  As Demo’d during the session, These new Roles are:

Special Load

Web Front End



Distributed Cache

Each role can be specified when running the SharePoint Configuration wizard.


Microsoft has announced ‘Zero Downtime Patching’ for SharePoint 2016, by reducing the overall footprint of patches and cumulative updates.  While they haven’t announced the exact details of this feature, this should be a welcome respite from everyone who has tried to update a SharePoint farm or two 🙂

While the first session was a bit light on actual hard facts, Microsoft has provided a hands-on-lab for SharePoint 2016 at Ignite, which I will try out his week and discuss in more detail.  As Microsoft will have almost a full year until a final product, I expect much more to be announced in the way of features in the future.

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