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Webinar: Discover SharePoint 2016

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What’s new in SharePoint 2016, and should you upgrade to this next version? That’s a good question, one I have been getting more and more these days while meeting customers, and at conferences.

The thing is, as of today, all we have to go on is the SharePoint 2016 Preview, and it doesn’t show much added value for the business, other than for the infrastructure and ITPros running the servers. However, perhaps we’re looking at it the wrong way, and are too used to the traditional three year release cycle. Could SharePoint 2016 be the first of multiple releases to set a strong foundation for what is to come?

What to Expect from SharePoint 2016

Of course, this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t start familiarizing ourselves with our favorite collaboration platform. In this webinar, I discover SharePoint 2016 to see what’s new and different in this release. Packed with demos, and bad jokes on my part, I dive into SharePoint 2016 and see what’s new for IT Pros, as well as where things seem to be going for this modern collaboration platform.


Well, good morning, good afternoon. Hi everyone. My name is Benjamin Niaulin, and this is going to be exciting. We’re looking at SharePoint 2016 today. We’re going to look at some of the rumors, what things we’re worried about. There’s going to be lots of demos. I’m extremely excited because we’ve got some very, very cool demos to show you. Then we’re going to talk a lot about what’s been talked about in the…Recently, actually, there was a European SharePoint Conference just last week I believe. I just came back from a couple of conferences. I forgot the dates to be honest. 

And then just before that, we had the MVP Summit where Microsoft shared with us a lot of NDA secret stuff, but I can definitely share with you my excitement in what I saw and what’s coming to SharePoint 2016 in the future. Even if you download the preview right away, or you download the beta in the coming weeks or days, stay tuned, there’s even more coming in the future. I am super excited. 

Just in case we’ve just met for the first time, my name is Benjamin Niaulin. I do work at Sharegate here in Montreal. You can definitely keep the conversation going both on the question box here…I think I have 10 colleagues of mine answering your questions to help me out today. So if you have questions, put them in the question box. This session is recorded. You will have a video recording of this session afterwards. Hit me up on Twitter. Follow up on questions. There is tons, and tons, and tons still to come. We’re definitely going to continue there. There we go. 

Migrate to SharePoint 2016 Preview, at NO COST, with Sharegate

Definitely, ask us the questions. All of it’s going to be available afterwards as a recording. We have 10 of us here to help you. And worst case, I’ll go through the questions afterwards. Of course, hit me up on Twitter and I can put you in contact with the right Microsoft people, if it’s one of those questions. All right. Just so you know, Sharegate is giving out free migrations. If you want to test out your SharePoint 2016, we thought, you know what? Right now SharePoint 2016 is in preview. Download the Sharegate trial and it’s going to work flawlessly with your 2016 destination for as long as the betas continue to work, so until the SharePoint 2016 release. 

This is fun because it’s nice to download the beta. It’s nice to start out with SharePoint 2016, but if you don’t have your real content in it to actually see what it would work like, where there could be possible bugs or issues, it’s not the full experience. So definitely check that out, and that’s about the only time where I will talk about Sharegate today. 

All right. Oh boy, you ready? SharePoint 2016. Well, it’s been an interesting journey right? You’ve been with me, or with us, for a couple of years now, whether it’s been from SharePoint 2010, then we went to 2013. I got really excited about SharePoint 2013. I’m not going to lie. The search stuff and all of the new interface changes that came along and of course, it’s been a while now that frankly, we’ve been wondering. It’s been an interesting year if…I’m not going to lie, right? You guys have been with us here. There’s been even rumors as to whether or not there will be a SharePoint Server release at all, or if it was just going to stay in Office 365. 

What next for SharePoint? Are we supposed to go to Cloud only? For a long time, even though Microsoft had never said otherwise, we could feel from them that what they expected was for us to go to the Cloud, to go to Office 365. Specifically, and of course, I’ve talked about Office 365 many times but that’s not the topic today. There’s pros, there’s cons. Today, we’re going to be talking about SharePoint but I think this is important to note that this has been a reality. 

What’s next for SharePoint and where we supposed to go? A lot of people have been wondering. I’ve been talking to consulting companies, SIs. I’ve been talking to ISVs and literally wondering what’s next. Should we be doing Intranet still in SharePoint? Should we start looking at doing them in Azure and then putting them in Office 365, or how does that work? How do I migrate if I am on 2010 or 2013 and we’ve taken years to build these custom solutions in SharePoint? My business runs on them. I can’t just go to Office 365 and change them to apps or add-ins, whatever they’re called, right? There’s a lot of considerations in there. There’s a lot of things to think about. 

Frankly, I’ll tell you a story. I hope you guys don’t mind stories. I was at a conference not too long ago in Las Vegas, and I was sitting in a panel. We were answering questions. It’s usually the typical questions, “Hey, where is SharePoint going? What’s going on with workflows and forms?” And the typical things that we hear quite often in this SharePoint world. A lot of the time these days, and that’s what the question was, is I could feel it in that person’s voice. I think, if you’re listening today, I’ll never forget your face. 

It was a touching moment. The developer in the room came out, stood up and said, “Okay, I’ve been working on SharePoint for the last 10, 12, 15 years. Is my job something I should be worried about. Am I going to lose my job? Should I be learning some new things that I’ve not spent the last 10 years doing? And what’s this Office 365 thing? I don’t want to learn these exchange and Skype for business. I’m a SharePoint developer. Benjamin help me out, is my job in peril?” 

What a touching moment, truly. I realized at that moment that a lot of people were concerned that SharePoint would be going away, and that we would not have anything at all, and we would have to relearn something new. We’d have to go through something completely different, and that was definitely very, very scary. So while all of this has been happening, while we’ve been debating whether there’s going to be a next SharePoint, and while we’ve been looking only and strictly at SharePoint, some people, namely the business users…You guys like the slides?

Users bypassing the IT department

The business users have been finding solutions themselves online. And if you’ve come to some of my previous sessions online, or I’ve done couple of different conferences, it’s been one of my main tackles for the last couple of months, because the reality is the business users, they just go online and find whatever solutions that they want or need. Be honest with me, you’re a culprit, too. You’ve been going to Dropbox, you’ve been going to these other services, Google Drive, OneDrive. You haven’t just strictly been using the company stuff anymore, right? That’s the reality we live in. 

This is the typical scenario. What shall we use for this? Well, we’ve got Dropbox. We’ve got Salesforce. One time I was sitting with a customer, and the customer tells me, “No, we’re never going to the Cloud”, and then later on in that same day, they were talking about the issues they were having with You guys realize is a cloud app anyway. So We Transfer. 

One time, I was at a company so that they could send me files. This is a military context company with highly secured breach security controls, export controls. That person could not send me the files using Dropbox or OneDrive. All of these were blocked. Guess what. There was still one site on the Internet called and they were able to send me the files. 

Another company found that most of their users were creating private YouTube channels for their teams, because they felt like the new way of training their teammates when they came in to the organization, or discovered new things, was using video. They could now make very easy and quick videos with their iPhones, or with their Windows phones, whatever device, and then they could put them on YouTube in a private channel for HR, for onboarding, for Outlook team, for SharePoint team, and anybody could go and consume those videos anywhere – at home, from any device – and this served their business scenario, right? Because they had no other solution. 

Same thing here. Right here at the office, we switched to Office 365 and guess what? Skype for business isn’t ideal on a Mac. It’s still called Link 2011, ’11. So it was definitely not ideal for all of our Mac users. All of a sudden, they start up a subscription for the team. And then before you know it, I lost control, IT lost control. Right here in this very office, where we’re pushing Office 365 and SharePoint all the time, we lost control by the business. The business used slack and all of a sudden, it is now the main communication tool in our organization. This is the reality. 

I’m not going to go over Trello, and that’s what we’re seeing in Office 365 with planner and all of this stuff. I’m not going to go over all of this. I just want to talk to you about the reality that we live in today, that while we’ve been wondering whether or not there was going to be another SharePoint Server release. Meanwhile, our users have been bypassing us and grabbing whatever they needed, whenever they wanted, so that it works on any device. 

That’s why Microsoft went into a mobile first, Cloud first environment or scenario, whatever you want to call it. My French is my French. What’s happened here is that we got confused, and we thought we just needed to update SharePoint but no. What I’m going to talk about Hybrid, a lot of people associate SharePoint 2016, with Hybrid, with Office 365. Yes, that’s going to be one of the main factors because you’re not going to build your own YouTube. You’re not going to build your own Trello, and you’re not going to build your own OneDrive for your organization. That’s too much effort. 

That is clearly not what every company in the world can spend the time building, in house, so that it works on any device anywhere. That’s where we need to connect the Office 365 experiences to our different users. This is where it’s at. Of course, we got super excited. Finally, Microsoft showed up and they said, “Guess what guys. SharePoint 2016 IT preview.” For whatever reason, I’ll be honest. I’m one of the first ones to admit that. I ignored the fact that it said “IT preview”, and I just said, “SharePoint 2016”. 

I opened it up and then after a closer look, we clearly, a lot of us, completely ignored the fact that it was called an IT preview, and that it’s possible that Microsoft would change a lot of things on how they deliver SharePoint, that yes, there will be SharePoint Servers On-Premises to come in the future, and they already announced that there’s going to be another release of SharePoint Server On-Premises. This is publicly by the corporate vice president, Jeff Teper on stage in European SharePoint Conference, just last week.

There are still SharePoint Server coming, but what we haven’t really looked at is, should we still be looking at SharePoint Server On-Premises the old way, which is every three years we get a big release with a bunch of things, or should we start looking at an IT preview that makes sure that the foundation of SharePoint, the infrastructure, the hybrid connectors, all of them are as solid as possible, so that later on we can add new patches or add-ons. We’ll see. They haven’t really spoken about that, but we saw what Windows 10 is doing. 

Windows 10 said, “This is the last release of Windows,” and now they’re releasing with new features, and new big service packs, so to speak where, they got brand new things coming in. Could it be where SharePoint is going? Obviously, time will tell. They’ll probably make many announcements sometime next year as well when SharePoint 2016 is coming out, but it certainly does feel a lot like it. I hope you guys are ready. We’re going to go ahead and discover SharePoint 2016. You guys are not ready? No, I’m kidding. All right. So SharePoint 2016. 

What’s new in SharePoint 2016

This is our agenda for today. And I’ll be honest, I’m particularly proud of my image. It’s funky. There’s no bullet points. All right, let’s continue. We’re going to be looking at different things. We’re going to be looking at the interface changes. Of course, again, don’t hold your breath right now for interface changes. As I said, this is the IT preview. It’s a beta of the beta for IT Pros and the infrastructure. We’re going to be looking at the interface. We’re going to talk about the mobile experience that comes with SharePoint 2016, the apps, IT Pro and infrastructure changes. Obviously, big part of it is going to be the hybrid scenarios. 

What’s changed? Just today, there’s been a new announcement. SharePoint 2016 beta 2 has been released for you to download, and there’s an added hybrid experience available, which is connecting with the Delve people experience. But I’ll show you what that is in just a few moments. We’ll talk about the new site templates. There’s no new community site or new team site. There’s new features or new functionalities, especially in terms of data loss prevention, and compliance, that’s going to help us in our hybrid connected environments, but also just strictly on-premises. 

I want you guys to know, I’ve looked at SharePoint 2016. I’ve been to the Microsoft Office and talked to the product team over there. I’ve seen what’s coming in the future. Obviously, you get more with hybrid. You will get more with connecting Office 365 stuff, but there is still a lot of good stuff on the way for SharePoint 2016 On-Premises. It’s got me excited. I’m sure you will too, once it is finally released and announced. 

We’re going to talk about migration scenarios. How do you migrate? Is it the same as going from 2010 to 2013? Can you go from 2010 to 2016? I can tell you right now, “No. You cannot,” but we’ll go over a lot of these details when we approach the migration topic. Lastly, you should know that there’s a lot of things that are changed, or that are simply missing. There is no more SharePoint Designer 2016. We’ll talk about that. Lastly, I’m going to try to give you some hints as to division and where is it all going if I haven’t already dropped quite a few until now. I hope you guys are ready. This is going to be SharePoint 2016 with Benjamin Niaulin, here at the Sharegate office. 

SharePoint 2016 User Interface

All right, so first thing’s first, new UI. You like the slides? First thing’s first, new UI. You know what I’m going to do? I’m definitely going to jump straight into demo. Here’s a quick look at what you can see. SharePoint 2016, if you start installing the preview, let’s be clear right now. We’re talking about the IT preview, and even the beta 2 preview, nothing’s changed there, except a couple of things that were added from the preview. A lot of people are getting excited today about beta 2 preview. It’s a great step forward. There’s DLP improvements. There’s a new hybrid approach, but there’s nothing that’s been drastically changed for the business. This is not the business user preview, at the moment. It’s just a second preview of the IT preview, if you want. 

Let’s close down my presentation here, and I want to give a special shout out and big thank you to Bill Baer from the Microsoft Product team working on SharePoint 2016, because it’s a lot of hours…Not even anymore, but to set up a hybrid environment with SharePoint 2016 and Office 365. He’s allowing me to use his environment today. So if it crashes, it’s not my fault. I also have my own environment because I want to show you some of the Central Administration in short, but essentially, this is SharePoint 2016. This is next, next, next install out of the box. 

If I put it in front of you very quickly, you’ll say, “Wait a minute, that’s 2013.” Yes, once again, bear in mind that SharePoint 2016, if it goes the way I think it might go, if we’re looking at the similar Windows 10 model, we’ll see what they’ll talk about and what they’ll announce, but they’ve shown an IT preview and a beta 2 preview, and we’re getting awfully close to a second quarter release date that hasn’t changed. So my guess is they’re going to make sure SharePoint 2016 is solid and then when they were talking about another release of SharePoint coming after, that’s just going to be an extra package. We’ll see, right? We’ll see what happens but essentially, this is my SharePoint. 

They made a lot of improvements on the speed, definitely made a lot of improvements. If you want, one of the popular sayings that we’ve heard was SharePoint 2016 was built from the Cloud up. That means Microsoft had finally had to use their own server. They had to use SharePoint at a scale that’s unimaginable, which is Office 365. They have to run this server, so they had to make sure that it came with high performance, lots of logging, lots of analytics for them, so we’re definitely going to see a lot of these come to our On-Premises server release as well. So you’ll see that the improvements in speed is already very, very nice. 

Obviously, there’s not a lot of content here. What else can we notice? Nothing is very much different in terms of the interface for now. What we do see is that we do have this suite bar at the top here so that if ever you do decide to connect with Office 365, your end-users will feel comfortable because it’s important to know that your end-users don’t care whether you chose on-premises or on Office 365. They couldn’t care less about that. They’ve got other worries. They’ve got whatever roles they’re in, and they want to find stuff. They want to click on stuff. So whether they’re going to click on one site, or they’re going to click on another site, the fact that that one site is on-premises, the other is in the Cloud, no difference to them. 

In today’s release with beta 2 of SharePoint 2016 IT preview, they announced that the App Launcher that comes with SharePoint 2016 is now expansible. So you can modify it, so that you can make it as close as possible if, you wish, to your Office 365 App Launcher, or if you want to add your own custom links, or whatever you want your other apps or custom internet that you’ve built on the outside, whatever the case, you’ll be able to add. It’s going to be your SharePoint, or your On-Premises app launcher, just as much as will be your Office 365 App Launcher at the moment. 

I’m going to switch back into the Fabricam Health Care Division team site that Bill Baer was kind enough to lend here, and I’m going to look at differences here. You’ll notice that in terms of everything my user, my app launcher is still here, and we’ll talk about these hybrid connections of my document library, but what’s changed here? Well now, just like in Office 365, or very similarly, you will have your UI here at the top now to make it a lot easier to upload, and create content, and sync. The new OneDrive for Business Next Gen Sync is already in preview for you to download, if you want to test it out. Otherwise, the release should be very, very soon, to remove all of those pesky sync problems that we’ve had in the past. 

But what’s really cool is that you can just go on a document, you’re not going to have to select it, but you can just right-click now, and you will get the in-context menu for that document. So I can go view the properties for the document, the version history, copy, I can download it, I can share it with people. You’ll notice that the share screen has changed a little bit. Now we do have the “shared with” button that’s right over here, instead of clicking on “shared with” here and clicking on “more.” So quickly, I can see who this is shared with and yeah, exactly. 

What’s interesting though, is will you still need the ribbon? That’s a good question to ask. If I can right click, and I’ve got everything right here, it’s still here. The ribbon is still here, but I’m wondering if, when I’m going to provide training videos, I’m still going to have to bring anyone in this area, other than of course to create the library owner that’s going to be creating the columns and the views and so on. It’s interesting to see what we’re going to do, and how we’re going to interact with this new SharePoint. 

I do want to tell you that tags and notes has been deprecated. Even though the button’s still there, you should not be using it in SharePoint 2016. Let’s get back to our presentation because we have a lot of things to talk about. Let’s press play over here. There we go. So the new UI, obviously, not a lot has changed at the moment, but if you follow what I’ve been saying up to now, this is definitely normal. I’m very excited, and we’ll talk about that towards the end of this presentation. 

SharePoint 2016’s Mobile Usability

The mobile experience with SharePoint 2016, well, you know what guys? I can tell you when I’m very excited. I can tell you when I’m a little less excited. This is one of the times…it’s nice. It’s not bad. We’ve got a mobile friendly version of SharePoint. However, let’s be clear. This is not a responsive site. Your SharePoint team sites are not responsive. They’re not going to adjust to whatever device the person is landing on. This is a separate page. A completely separate page in your layouts folder and, if the mobile view feature is activated on your site, people joining your SharePoint 2016 site will be able to see this application that you see on the right hand side, with a menu or home screen that you can click on at the bottom left, and then you will see apps and sub-sites. 

So here we have the apps, which is essentially the list and libraries within the site that somebody can quickly go to. But frankly, I don’t know how I feel about this. When I’m on a mobile device, I don’t want to have to go look for the content the same way that I’m on a desktop application, or desktop browser. What I do want is for the content to come to me or for me to quickly find it, such as the Delve app or the OneDrive for Business app. If anything, I’m probably going to be using the OneDrive for Business app that’s on my mobile devices, that’s now merged with the OneDrive for Pleasure, the regular OneDrive that you have at home app, right now it’s all just one app.

I can switch from OneDrive Personal to OneDrive for Business, and really switch back and access my content and see where that’s going to evolve. It looks like there’s a lot of investment on OneDrive for Business as a personal document experience, especially coming in the future. Stay tuned, but I think there’s a lot that’s going to be there, that the mobile version of SharePoint 2016 isn’t just quite exciting for me just yet, but it’s there and it’s better than before. 

SharePoint 2016 for ITPro and Infra

What about for IT Pros? Like I said, it’s pretty much where everything is happening right now. This is the IT Pro preview pretty much. We’re going to be looking at it. I think you’ve heard about this time and time again, the MinRole. What does that exactly mean? Let’s recap. I hope you guys have some water next to you because we’re about to go and explore quite a bit of SharePoint, and do quite a bit of demos. I hope you’re ready. Thanks again for joining. I really appreciate everyone, a couple four thousands of you here that decided to join. 

The MinRole’s experience, it’s not even experience. I don’t know why these days we like to say everything is an experience with Microsoft stuff, but very, very, very interesting. It’s not an experience. It’s just a new way of installing. Let me talk to you about MinRole for just a few seconds. Essentially, it’s again, they learned from their Office 365 experience, and what’s happening now is, for the IT pros that are deploying SharePoint into their infrastructure, into their servers, instead of managing it on a per server model, and what I mean by that is that you have a two server farm, a front end and an application server, and then you realize that to scale better, you’re going to need a second front end. 

You leave a lot of room for human mistakes, because you’re going to have to install the server. You’re going to have to make sure that all the right services and all the right features are activated, that you’re not forgetting anything installed, and what the MinRole is trying to do is, first, it’s only going to install the right things on the server that is part of the role. So if I deploy a server, and I say, “You know what? You’re going to be a front end role,” then it’s going to activate, and optimize, and monitor for a front end role. And every future server that I’m going to add into this front end role, will automatically get the same features and services activated, so that as an IT admin or as a server admin, as SharePoint admin, I don’t actually have to worry about this too much. 

I can have a script that adds the server to the front end role. What changes is essentially, as a SharePoint admin, you go from managing each individual server, to actually managing the role itself. You go check out the application role, the search role, the distributed cache role, and if you want to do your custom way of adding your roles, you do it custom. But you manage the role itself, and you decide what you want activated, what it means to be compliant to this role in your SharePoint farm. And any server that you decide to add in the future, in this role, will automatically get in that role, and all the features will get activated. 

And it’s going to be perfect for those of you that want to scale, get large environments, that want to add servers as people grow in the environments. It’s great for those testing QA production environments, to make sure that everything always respects what you have. I don’t know what’s going on today. I must be tired because I keep wanting to say French words. So bonjour tout le monde. I got it out of my system, we may continue with SharePoint 2016.

All right, so I hope you guys get the whole role scenario now. It’s a big step forward. It’s also great because to apply patches, we could just do it on the roles. Much, much better in terms of managing that server infrastructure. There’s still, of course, the single server farm, where you put everything on one single form. If you think that in the future, you may want to use MinRoles, you may want to put a single server farm in the custom role, and later on, create new front ends, new search and move certain roles to these new servers type of thing. Definitely check that out. MinRoles, however, you should note something very important. 

If you’re going to go the MinRole way, it’s going to be a minimum of four servers, right? That is without any redundancy in your servers. That means that you have to have four servers to get started with SharePoint and if one of these servers breaks down, then you’re screwed. If you want that redundancy, you go all the way up to 11 SharePoint Servers to make sure that everything is redundant. Wow. So if you want to get started with SharePoint 2016 MinRoles, we’re talking quite a bit of servers, but that is up to you. You can go with a custom role. You can do whatever you want. That is up to you, right? You can go with four servers. You can go two servers still. I’m just letting you know what the recommendations are on the Microsoft site. 

How’s everybody doing? Still good? All right. Let’s go in demo. I don’t like slides. Let’s go in demo. I have my Central Administration right here, and I’m using a Mac so we’ll be able to zoom whenever you feel like it. Just let me know. Actually, don’t let me know. There’s too many of you. And I’m not looking at the questions just yet. Again, the Central Administration doesn’t look too different from the one that we have in 2013 because, once again, what we’re preparing right now is the infrastructure layer of SharePoint 2016, to make sure that we have something solid on the ground before anything else gets added on top of it. 

In terms of the roles, we were talking about role deployment and then monitoring. You can actually look at managed services in this farm, and managed servers in this farm. What you’ll see here, is you’ll see a bunch of services, and you’ll automatically for your…whether they’re configurable or all of them. Because I’m going to single server farm right now, obviously, it’s all in this particular server, but it’s going to tell you if it’s compliant. 

What does compliant mean? It means that it’s compliant if this particular server that you’re pointing on is compliant with the role itself that it belongs to. For example, if I’m looking at a server that is supposed to be a front end server, or in the front end server role at least, and somebody installs this Central Administration, and a certain server like the search service, and activates it, it’s going to fall into “Compliance” > “No”, to let me know that this is not in compliance with the server. I usually have some things on what to do to fix it, or do it myself in the configurations. 

I’ll go back to the System Settings. We also have managed services on…I’ll just view managed servers in the farm. Actually, I’ll go back to my Central Administration here, and I’ll go to “Managed Servers in this Farm”. There you go. You will see here, all of the servers that you have. You’ll see whether or not they’re compliant, what services are running on it. Ironic here that we have a STSADM command when they’ve deprecated STSADM by the way, in SharePoint 2016. So PowerShell all the way, Management Shell all the way. Try to stop using STSADM, that is gone. 

You’ll be able, here, to move and change the roles. Right now I chose a single server farm role, so I’m not going to be able to choose and change the rolls of the server to a front end or whatever else. But if you chose the custom MinRole, you’ll be able to then move them across to something different as time passes by. Essentially, this is the Central Administration once again. You’ll see that mostly everything is exactly the same, even if you go to service applications. Most of them are pretty much the same. The Search Service Application Topology changed because of the search role, but it’s the same thing. 

Nothing there, so far at least. Whoops, where’s my VM? It changed the URL to my internal URL. I see you. We’re not going to go here. Let’s go back to our Central Administration. Okay. Now, you’ll know all of my URL. There we go. Then we’re later on going to look at the hybrid scenarios in SharePoint 2016. Let’s continue on. Let’s take this out. 

SharePoint insights. This is actually very exciting. I saw this at Ignite last year and I’m expecting because there’s been a couple of interviews where Jeff Teper has dropped a few hints here and there about analytics for SharePoint being available on-premises. The SharePoint insights, you may have noticed, it was the only service on my server that is in need of fixing. It is the service that is not compliant to the role because at the moment, it is still not available. They have not open the doors for the SharePoint insights for us to test it out. I’ll definitely be checking that as soon as they release it, but if you want a peek of what we saw at Ignite, essentially, you have your logging that’s going to be announced here at…

Sorry, everything that’s going to be done in your SharePoint environment is going to be logged. How? Well, they’ve learned from years of experience with Office 365 and serving it to others. They’ve needed to take decisions on whether to remove a certain site template because it’s not being used, or how can they do to promote it a little bit more? How can we make it so that there’s more team sites being deployed and used? How do we even know that they’re being used? Analytics has always been a big, big issue. 

What they’ve done is they’ve taken what they’ve learned from SharePoint 2016, and they brought it back down into SharePoint 2016 on-premises, and now you’ll be able to upload. Once you’ve connected this, it does require a hybrid scenario. The reports are in Office 365. That’s where they are. However, you can connect your SharePoint 2016 on-premises to ship all of the logs, because they’re incoherent. You have to map grids and tables together to figure out what’s going on. They’ve done all of that work on their servers in their data centers for your tenant. 

What you can do is you can configure SharePoint Insights, and you’re going to get say, the storage. What you can see here is a breakdown. Storage by site template. I can see team sites, I have five of them. They represent 2% of my sites visited last month. Eight sites within it and 0.3% of my total storage. And I’ll get even more storage breakout here, different graphs, there’s some that didn’t load up here. I have another one on your daily usage activity. Daily users on your SharePoint environment, interactive. You can click on it, see the browsers that have been connecting, so you can surely manage your SharePoint environment. 

Make better decisions, because I’ve seen this, we’ve built multiple intranets and we built multiple public facing websites for our customers here in Montreal. Something that people take to really look at, is the actual stats, the analytics. Are people actually using the Internet, are people going on your homepage, are people using mobile devices at all? You’re building this whole responsive website, but you have no users that are using mobile devices. Is it worth it? So these kind of analytics are going to be coming. The ones that I’ve specifically shown today are for hybrid connected customers, so Office 365 will be required in this case.

If you’re asking me to take a guess, I’m going to go ahead and say, “You’re going to have to be on that E5 plan, so yeah.” However, the way that some of things were said on different interviews by Jeff Teper, I get the feeling that we may see some kind of lightweight analytics to show up in our SharePoint 2016 on-premises in the future as well. So stay tuned for that as well. 

Of course…Lot of dots. I do apologize for the excessive use of dots. You are allowed to blast me on that on Twitter. “Benjamin uses too many dots in his presentation.” Wow, and time is flying by. So I want to talk to you also about…This is actually very, very, very, very, very, very important. Zero downtime patching. I’ll talk about fast site collection creation in a few seconds. What’s really important is the zero downtime patching. You’re going to say, “Oh, whoop-dee-doo Ben? I can do my patches quicker and no downtime”. That’s actually big news already. I don’t know why you’re talking like that, but there’s more to it than that. 

First, what does zero downtime patching mean? First, it means that they’ve reduced the number of patches. What used to be around 37 to 40 somewhat patches, now reduced to 2 files about. You’re going to give your MSI that installs, and then you’re going to get your MSP files, and one more patch for language pack, so very, very easy patching. We’re reducing the number of patch files immensely because historically, I’m going to be very honest with you. I’ve started SharePoint when SharePoint 2007 barely was coming out and to this day, I’m still figuring out how I’m supposed to patch a SharePoint Server.

If as soon as you get out of a single server environment, it starts like which order of servers am I supposed to be doing? When is the configuration wizard supposed to be run? Am I supposed to have a backup of my database? For regular people, I understand in enterprise or people that are consultants that do this every day, I understand that they’ve got that down pat and no problem. But for us to have our own SharePoint server, what’s the patching story like?

The fact that I have a zero downtime patching, with just a single file or two files, or maybe three files if I have language packs, that is especially exciting for me. I don’t know how you feel about that. Let me know on Twitter, but very, very excited about this whole zero downtime patching. But let’s think about that. By the way, I’m purely speculating here, but it does smell quite a bit like this. Because I’ve been paying close attention to the Windows team and how they’re deploying now. They’re just doing that one Windows deployment, and then patches to change Windows as time passes by.

All of a sudden, we’ve got this super robust SharePoint 2016 infrastructure with MinRoles, and all of a sudden they say, “We’ve got zero down time patching coming”? I wonder if that was for us, or if that was for them to be able to send you a new package on top of the SharePoint Server 2016, right? Let’s say the last version of SharePoint Server on-premises, for example. Again, I have no idea. I’m sure Microsoft will announce to say what’s coming in the future, but could it be that if I have zero downtime patching, a patch that’s been sent, I can just apply it on my SharePoint Server on my roles, and just have it run instantly and people switch without having to take a server down? This could be interesting. Yes, this could be interesting. 

Then we also have fast site collection creation. What this does is frankly, I’m not that excited about it. I’m sure the people that have a lot of site collections, getting created every day, they’re very, very excited, but I’m not in the business of bulk site collection creation. It’s nice if I have a script running. I have a testing QA environment. I don’t want to deploy very quickly, but I’ll be honest. What is it, right? What is fast site collection creation? 

Essentially, what that is, is that it’s going to create site collections at the SQL Server level. It’s going to skip the back and forth with the SharePoint Server to create it. It is only and strictly using Power Shell. This is not you going into the Central Administration and clicking on “new site collection”. This has nothing to do with that. This is all about PowerShell. You selecting a template that you want to be the master. And then every time you create a site collection using Power Shell, you can say from site master. I forget the exact control, but it’s going to create the site collection at the data base level and thus, making it a lot quicker. 

They were advertising speeds of up to one site collection per second, and that’s what they use in Office 365 now. We’ll see what comes and if we’re actually going to use it. I can definitely tell I’m going to use it for my Testing QA environment, so anything that I’m scripting on my day to day life, I don’t think that’s going to impact me that much though. Definitely exciting larger…whoops, I lost my microphone so permit me to put it back on, otherwise, the recording is not going to be as good. There we go. 

Large file size limit. Before the max file size that you could put on SharePoint in a document library was two gigabytes. They’ve moved that up to 10 gigabytes. So you don’t need any RBS. You don’t need anything special. They use their shredded document technology, shredded storage. I was trying to figure out what the name was, and they’ve used bits, so that the transfer of the files does not get a timeout or connection errors, so you’ll still be able to work pretty well with this, but I do want to tell you, be careful. Should you be putting files that are up to 10 gigabyte file in a SharePoint Server? Think about that, but it will be possible. 

I know there’s a lot of requirements with images, with videos, especially in where we’re going today, but with the video portal, I think that’s where you should be putting your videos. Definitely, since they work on any device anywhere all the time. This brings me, if we’re going to be talking about document libraries, obviously, I’m going to be talking about the 5000 view threshold. Oh boy. You’ve heard about this right? You go to a document library and eventually, if you haven’t really paid attention or you just put a bunch of documents in it, you get close to the 5000 view threshold, it’s important to note because a lot of people think that the view threshold is the limit. The view threshold is a view threshold. 

The limit of documents in a document library is 30,000,000 documents. 30,000,000 documents in one document library, that’s the limit. Five thousand is a view threshold. Because what happens is, when a person visits a document library, where is the content? The content is actually in SQL Server. What happens is we have to go and we have to query SQL Server to figure out what documents are in the document library, so it’s a query. When there are too many documents in there, what can happen is a SQL Server table lock, and you get problems. You get issues. You get performance hits, if not just complete crashes. 

What they’ve put down is that 5000 view threshold, and yes, if you have SharePoint on-premises, you can actually modify that. It’s a web application resource throttling configuration, but we don’t recommend you changing it because there’s an actual problem. There is a performance hit. There are SQL Server table locks. So at Ignite, they said, “You know what? We are doing a big announcement and we are removing the 5000 view threshold”. I’m sorry to say that unfortunately, that is actually not entirely true. 

The 5000 view threshold is still there. They are looking to increase it. I don’t know what the number is. Truly, I do not know. Perhaps it’s going to be the same as the admin which is 20,000 in the view threshold, but truly, I have no idea what the new 5000 view limit is going to be, but there is going to be a view threshold. In the past, there was only one way of bypassing this problem. Let me show you. We go to a document library. I would go into say, this document library here and I would go into library settings. And then under library settings, a lot of people probably didn’t understand what this meant. Something called “index column”. 

The index column actually has nothing to do with SharePoint search, and it has everything to do with the SQL Server index for this document library, for this column essentially so that you can bypass the complicated query that we have to do. Another way of bypassing it is to actually activate Metadata navigation, and filtering for your document libraries, because what that’s going to do is it’s going to automatically create these index columns for you as a ghost. 

Essentially, in the past, if you thought you were going to have a 5000 view threshold limit, before you would even start using the document library, or at least at 2500 documents, you would go into the library settings, you would click on index column, and you would choose the right column because this only applies to views, to SharePoint views. If you don’t have any SharePoint views that filters on anything, or sorts by or groups by anything, you’re still going to hit the 2000, regardless of your indexing columns.

So, I think it’s very, very important for everyone out there that you understand that in SharePoint 2016, what we have is automatic management of indices, or automatic index management of your document library. It’s turned on by default. If I go to a document library say here, and then I go to library settings, which I seem to not have access to, so library, library settings…Bill Baer gives me the environment but doesn’t give me full control. Wise choice, Bill, wise choice. 

Here, I was going to go to advance settings, and under advanced settings, you’ll see that we have an option called “Automatic Index Management,” and it’s set to “Yes” by default. What happens is you actually have a timer job on your SharePoint Server that I believe runs once a day. I may be wrong. You may have to go check out the timer job, and it checks in all libraries that have over 2500 items in their libraries or lists, and what it’s going to do is going to automatically look for a column to add into the index. 

The SQL Server index for the SharePoint environment, not search, so that if you have views that used them, it’s going to detect them, and it’s going to select those specific columns for you. This does not mean, this does not guarantee that you will no longer have a 5000 view threshold issue. If I go into my document library here on the homepage, or on my home site, and I add thousands and thousands of documents, I will run into that view threshold problem. 

SharePoint 2016 and Hybrid Experience

All right. What else do we want to look at? We got to continue because we still have a lot of things to look at. Oh my goodness. Let’s go into hybrid. I think I’m just going to do hybrid as a demo, the connected hybrid experience, but I do want to share something. It doesn’t matter where you choose to store your SharePoint. You can have SharePoint Server on-premises. You can have SharePoint online. It is completely separate and different than your Office 365 experiences. That is separate and people have a tendency to mix the two, that, “Oh, Office 365 SharePoint is different than SharePoint.” No. 

You have your Office 365 experiences. This is power BI, the planner that’s coming out, the video portal, Delve, the new blogging experience, OneDrive for Business that’s in Office 365. These are experiences. SharePoint is SharePoint. You can have SharePoint online and make it work with your Office 365 experiences, and then you can have your SharePoint on-premises and have it work with your Office 365 experiences as well. That’s what we want. We want you to choose where your SharePoint is going to be based on regulatory or needing and being compliant with certain…Whatever norms you have, you can choose. 

That’s besides the point of what Office 365 brings to you with the experiences with the Microsoft Graph that’s been gone in global availability actually today. What does that mean in hybrid? First, they added a new hybrid picker which is like a wizard. It’s really, really nice, because all you got to do is you got to make sure that your ADFS is configured, and then there’s a wizard that runs on your SharePoint Server that does all the work for you, to connect your on-premises SharePoint Server with your Office 365 environment. This is very, very cool. 

Let me show what this gives you instead of slides. Here, I have my SharePoint on-premises environment. In this SharePoint on-premises environment, I have sites, sub-sites. What I’m going to do is I’m going to search something called Fabricam right here. I’m going to search for Fabricam, and if you noticed, I said, “Search in my site collection,” here. So I get a bunch of results. All of them are from my on-premises environment. Before, if you wanted to connect something else, like your Office 365, it would appear as a separate set of results, kind of like what we have here with Bing results for example. Let’s try something. 

I connected this SharePoint on-premises environment with Office 365 in a hybrid environment. And then if I click on “Search Everything,” you’ll see that it brings me results from both my on-premises environment, but also my…Where is that? I’m going to do another search, Fabricam search. Come on. We should see our…There it is. Come on. I’ll go into the next page maybe. We should see our SharePoint online results which of course…I may have to do a nice little…Oh yeah, sorry. That’s my bad. I have configured it in a way that the hybrid, I’m only going to show you from the Office 365 search center to keep the search on-premises. It’s for me to be able to do these two demos with Bill Baer. We’ve kept it separated. 

When you configure what we call hybrid search, this is a new cloud search service application. Let me explain to you what that works like. You still have your regular search service application. This is what I’m using right now. This is my choice. You can then, in a hybrid environment, configure a separate cloud search service application that is completely different. What happens is, the crawling happens on your on-premises environment, but the index is stored in the Cloud. The content processing is also happening on the Cloud. So if you actually use this, you leverage Microsoft storage for the index file that can grow quite large in the long run, and you also leverage their CPU processing power to go across all of the data for you. 

Literally, your SharePoint on-premises doesn’t do any search anymore. All it does, it crawls your content and it says, “Thank you Microsoft. Take care of it now.” And they pay for the storage, right? I haven’t seen any announcements about you paying for the index storage in the future, so let’s go check it out. Let’s see what that actually does. This is my OneDrive for Business in my Office 365, that’s connected with my on-premises and already, look at that user experience. I’m definitely expecting for a lot. I’m talking I think a lot. If I click on details, look, it pops on the right hand side. If you don’t think that this is going to be what a document library looks like in the future in SharePoint team sites, then I don’t know what to tell you because this is definitely foreshadowing.

This is what a document…It’s similar to a OneDrive for Pleasure or OneDrive Personal, and your OneDrive for Business looks very much like the same so people don’t feel lost in it. They have the details, who it’s shared with. Apparently nobody because it’s only with me. The preview, this is slick, this is fast. I can get a link, and I’m sure document libraries and team sites are going to be just as responsive and just as fast. Right now, I’m going to go to my search center in…Let’s go to sites. Let’s go to search actually. Let’s go to and we’re going to be looking…I’m going to search for something called Fabricam once again. 

Oh, this is the search results page. Whoops, I was looking for things. See, I know how to write search queries. We’re going to go and refresh this and we’re going to search for Fabricam, just like we did on-premises. And look at the difference here. Now, I see results from my on-premises environment and my Office 365 environment, all in one search center. Do you realize what this means? This is extremely powerful, folks, because we’ve been building sites that are search driven now. We’ve been building search driven intranets, search driven pages with SharePoint using the content search web part, using the refiners web part, using the search results web part. 

Imagine now that your content comes from both your on-premises environment and your cloud connected environment with Office 365. This is very, very cool. Going back to my OneDrive for Business here, I want you to see as well that in a hybrid connected environment, if I go to a site, let’s go to my Fabricam site, so let’s go back to the root here. If I click on “Follow” in an on-premises environment, it is now merged with my Office 365 following experience. Whether you click on “Follow” in an on-premises site, or you click on “Follow” on an Office 365 site, when you’re going to click on sites, they’re going to appear. 

I have a screenshot of that. I’m going to show it to you right here, one that is ready. As you can see, this is Bill Baer’s, and what he has is his on-premises environment or on-premises environment here, and the Office 365 all in one place. It looks like they’re making sure that the site experience or the sites page that shows a lot of the things a lot better. I’m definitely anticipating this page to get a lot of improvements in the future. We’ll see what happens but I’m very, very excited. It’s one of the pages that I use the most, so very looking forward to see what comes out in this space as well.

We still got time. Oh my goodness. I got to go a lot faster. In terms of Redirect, if you’re on-premises and you click on One Drive, you can set it up so that it points people to their office 365 so that they only have one, OneDrive for Business, with a sync that works, with an interface that’s fresh, that works, that’s clean, that’s responsive, that’s fast, definitely very, very excited to everything that’s coming out on this front. Again, if you don’t see anything in terms of brand new UI or changes for the business user, remember that it is because at the moment, we are in the IT preview. There is still a lot coming for the SharePoint team sites. A lot that’s going to get everyone very, very excited, I promise. 

SharePoint 2016 and Hybrid Search

Let’s continue on here. All about hybrid search at the moment, the IT previews about making SharePoint robust on your servers, scalable, easily patchable, easily manageable really, and of course, adding that hybrid search experience with this new cloud search service application to connect your Delve, your content search web part, your search center, search driven sites. If I go in my Office 365 and I click on Delve, if you’re familiar with Delve, it’s where I can see all of my content, all the things I’m working on. If I look for Fabricam once again, it’s going to include content from both my on-premises environment and my Office 365. 

Look at this. If I click on it, I’m now in my on-premises URL, on-premises environment. That is awesome. That means it’s all as if it’s one and as of today, the App Launcher can be extended as well for your SharePoint 2016 on-premises. Definitely some very, very cool stuff. 

New Stuff in SharePoint 2016: Compliance, e-Discovery, Previews, Site Folders, Project Server, Durable Links, and More!

What else do we got? If you don’t mind sticking around for another 5, 10 minutes, because I’m recording this anyway so I have to continue on. We’ll answer your questions. I know all my friends, my 10 friends at the office have been answering questions. I’ll get back to them and I’ll stick around as well. If you have to go, I do understand. The new stuff coming out, we’ve got the compliance center site and e-discovery. We’re going to get previews with pictures and videos, site folder so that every site that you belong to, you will see in your OneDrive for Business. 

Project Server is not now integrated in SharePoint Server. When you install SharePoint Server 2016, you get Project Server installed as part of it as well. Licensing wise, it might be different but it’s part of the SharePoint Server now. Offer those heavy duty task management, you’d get there. I’m going to do a demo of everything we see here including durable links because it’s something that I absolutely wanted to show you. 

Let’s go back into my on-premises environment. I have this document library here on the root site, and I added a document, called “The 2012 Pricing Guidelines”. Here, as you can see, I have Office Online Server, which is essentially the new Office web apps but on-premises. It’s still on-premises. It’s called Office Online Server, but it’s a server that you install. What’s different here is I’m going to take this URL. I’m going to copy the URL. I’m going to make sure I copied it, and I’m going to right-click in this document. I’m going to change the properties of this document. What I’m going to do is I’m going to rename the filename. I’m going to save this and, technically, a URL should no longer work anymore. 

Let’s check it out. I’m going to paste the URL that I had gotten before. You can see the filename. It’s still the old filename. Let’s press enter. The document still opens. Whoa. Durable links requires your Office Online Server though. It is a separate install from SharePoint Server 2016, but what happens is, if you rename the file, if you move it in your document library, or you just move it to the record center or wherever, the links to the document will still work. If you send out links to certain users, this will still be available. Very exciting. Of course, this will come with its own challenge of governance, to make sure that people are not supposed to access the document anymore, that you’ve probably removed their security, because now the link is going to work. 

Let’s check out the new sites quickly. We’ve got the in-place hold policy here, same as before. It leverages the search to find something and then get statistics for example, and find and preview the results, so it uses the search to find any document that’s used in this litigation that we’re in using Contoso, or Contoso Pharmaceuticals, and I can hold relative to the create dates, or for certain time period as well. This is very, very nice. And since the search is now hybrid with the Cloud and on-premises, this provides us with a lot of added value. Same thing for the sensitive information discovery in the compliance side, you’ll see that you can search and export. 

For example, I’m looking for all the content that’s using credit card numbers in the files, or in the content in our SharePoint. What I can do is I’m going to click on search after I type. This is a regular SharePoint search query. It’s going to work with your on-premises and Office 365 just like that. I’m going to click on search, and voila, I get the results. I can take the URL, paste it, and make sure that this document doesn’t actually have a confidential security or security cards information. Let’s check it out quickly because everybody is looking at me because the time has expired. 

Let’s look at the candidate profile. Let’s open up this document [Garth]. Did you put…You put the credit card number. You’re not supposed to do that. We’ve got also a brand new document deletion policy center. This is an amazing site that allows you to create policies. We can look at a sample MySite policy for example. Once you create these policies, you assign them to templates, and then you assign the templates to different site collections, or entire site, multiple site collections at once. For example, modify date plus five years, you put the MySite in the documents in the recycle bin. And you can easily create these policies now, both your on-premises and Office 365 environment, and get that for you. 

SharePoint 2016 Migration

This is what I wanted from those retention policies that we used to build by document library. Now, it’s centralized and it’s better than ever. Definitely love this aspect. All right, let’s finishing up here with migration. Simple, there is only migration from SharePoint 2010, sorry. No, there is only migration from SharePoint 2013 to 2016. That’s it. It’s only database attached upgrade. There’s nothing else. There’s no site collection deferred upgrade. It’s database attached, and that’s it. 

If you’re looking for anything else coming out from me, no, you’re going to have to make sure that your custom solutions still work. Frankly, everything should still work because 2013 and 2016 still have a pretty similar, how can I say this? Interface and…Most of everything has been done at the infrastructure level. What you should know, SharePoint Designer is no longer going to be made. There is no SharePoint Designer 2016. However, until they release some of the tools that’s going to help us do what we used to do, for workflows, or for views and forms perhaps such as Infopath, whatever they’re going to add for us, and they’ve hinted at a couple of things, that’s not going to be available. 

However, you can still use SharePoint Designer 2013 with all of our Office 365 and SharePoint 2016. So until they announce some of the new stuff, and the new stuff looks cool, definitely continue using that. It’s fine. Excel Services is no longer part of SharePoint. Now it is part of Office Online Server, so you need Office Online Server. Basically, they merged Excel Services with Excel Web app that came afterwards and it’s time, and they merged that into one in 2016 for Office Online Server 2016. There is no more SharePoint Foundation, so you’re going to have to pay for SharePoint, or look for Office 365 instead. 

There is no more Sequel Server Express in standalone mode with SharePoint. There is no longer STSADM command lines, and there’s no more tags and notes. Again, remember, this is the IT preview. A lot of the things are things that were not even supposed to be announced, like SharePoint Designer announcement came too early. There are some things that are in the works. They’re not ready to talk about it yet. Take my word for it, it’s going to be cool when they do start talking about it. Just stay tuned. SharePoint right now is in the works. As Jeff Teper said, and I was very excited, they have a renewed focus on SharePoint. Look at that circle. It says it all. 

OneDrive for Business and SharePoint. You start with the little guy at the top, you work by yourself in your OneDrive for Business, they’re going to make it easier to then move to a group, or to a team site, to work in SharePoint, to secure it and then add other analytics, Power BI, and other things connected experience and apps. SharePoint is back in the center, folks. They’re putting back everything. And look at this slide. Team sites is being modernized. 

Right now, you looked at the SharePoint 2016 IT Preview, the beta 2 of the IT Preview, and now, they’re looking at…You can’t see the text behind in the slide but it says, “Investment areas”. I already took a peek at that. They’re modernizing the SharePoint team sites. They’re modernizing to make it look crisp, to make it work the way we expect it. I’m very, very excited to see how that comes out in the future. Expect that as well. 

SharePoint 2016 is not just 2013 with hybrid. There’s still a lot more to come, and it’s all very, very exciting. I’ve seen it, and folks, it looks great. I’ve very happy to see this focus on document lifecycle that makes sense, to go from OneDrive for Business document to SharePoint team sites, and so on. Folks, I believe that SharePoint is back on the map. I know it was never gone, but now there’s no doubt in my mind. It’s okay if you’re evaluating whether you’re migrating to another SharePoint. Go to SharePoint 2016, take my word for it. It’s going to be a robust platform at the infrastructure level, easy to patch. Connect it to hybrid if ever one day you decide to go to Office 365 for the experiences and, better yet, there are still things to come, still investments made. Jeff Teper is back. 

All of the teams are oriented and directed in the same direction to make that modern collaboration happen. Thanks for joining us. Thanks for sticking around for an extra 10 minutes. I’m so happy you’ve decided to take that time with you. Thank you. Continue the conversation on Twitter, @bniaulin. Some of you I may see at SharePoint Fest. Let me know if you want one of the discount codes. I’ll see you next week. Not next week, December, got a key note there. We’re going to be showing some more SharePoint 2016 stuff. Definitely, see you there. Awesome? Thank you.

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