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Microsoft Announces SharePoint Server 2016 Feature Pack 1

In May, Microsoft unveiled its plan of bringing in cloud-born innovation to the SharePoint Server 2016. The most recent announcement has come in the form of details for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016 Feature Pack 1.

SharePoint Server 2016

Feature Pack 1 would be made available in the month of November. It brings a number of major enhancements that have been driven by the most recent innovation done in Office 365 as well as user feedback. The enhancements include:

• Logging of administrative actions that have been performed in Central Administration using Windows PowerShell.
• Unified auditing across all site collections that are on-premises as well as in Office 365
• Unified taxonomy across Office 365 and on-premises
• OneDrive API 2.0
• Enhancements to MinRole in order to support small environments
• A new OneDrive to boost business user experience
• Availability of custom tiles in SharePoint app launcher

Feature Pack – What Does it Refer to?

Unlike earlier SharePoint versions, release-to-manufacture does not define the termination of innovation, but indeed the start. As Microsoft continues to develop SharePoint Server 2016, they are paying deep attention to whatever customer feedback is available.

Moreover, focus of Microsoft is also on following –

• Trends in content management
• Team collaboration
• User experiences across different devices
•Blending Cloud into existing on-premises conditions in newer and more compelling ways

Let’s take a deeper look into some key improvements SharePoint Server 2016 Feature Pack 1 comes with.

Administrators to Gain New Capabilities

For the case of IT professionals, Feature Pack 1 comes with several new capabilities that are purely based on the feedback that has been received from users during SharePoint Server 2016 development. Following are the key aspects in this regard –

Administrative actions logging— What’s very much common for SharePoint administrators is to spend considerable time in troubleshooting administrative modifications that have been done to their on-premises environment. This can result in potential failure conditions or may be some other undesired effects.
Based on user feedback regarding the requirement for more insightful and granular logging; Microsoft made some changes in Feature Pack 1. Logging of general administrative actions performed in Central Administration website has been introduced as a result of these feedbacks.

MinRole enhancements—The MinRole concept is major infrastructure advancement in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016. MinRole has been designed to convert architectural guidance into code, besides simplifying deployment and scaling with SharePoint.

New user experiences

New OneDrive to Boost Business experience – An integral part of MS Office 365 and dedicated SharePoint Server is OneDrive for Business. It actually provides a place where users can store, share as well as sync their work files.

Feature Pack 1 brings in the “OneDrive for Business” user experience straight away to SharePoint Server 2016 in a modern way. The modern, new OneDrive user experience can be considered a Software Assurance benefit.

Custom tiles in SharePoint App Launcher — App Launcher offers a common location for following –

• Discovering new apps
• Navigating between on-premises SharePoint and Office 365 applications

Now, with custom tiles, it becomes easier to find relevant sites, apps and other resources.

Besides these, there have been some developer enhancements done too. All features of Feature Pack 1 will be available in November this year. So, there is still a bit of waiting to do.

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