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 firsthand 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 two will bring a unified Search result experience between not only SharePoint but also Delve as well.

NextGen Portals

With the recent previews of Office 365 Video and Delve People profiles, Microsoft is bringing new experiences to users through SharePoint. These NextGen Portals represent Ready-to-Go functionality that empowers end users to find the information they want without the need for building them from scratch. More of these NextGen portals will be announced and demoed 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 demoed during the session, these new Roles are:

  • Special Load
  • Web Front End
  • Search
  • Application
  • 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 Microsoft hasn’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 this 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.

This article was originally published on Linkedin