Feature Pack 1 for SharePoint Server 2016 now available

Today’s post was written by Bill Baer, senior product manager for the SharePoint team.

When we launched SharePoint Server 2016, we shared our vision that it would be a foundational release, born in the cloud and built for continuous innovation. Today, we’re pleased to announce our next step on this journey with the availability of Feature Pack 1.

Through the November 2016 Public Update for SharePoint Server 2016, we’re delivering several new features based on customer feedback, extending support for hybrid scenarios and developer needs, including:

  • Administrative actions logging for common SharePoint administrative actions.
  • MinRole enhancements to support small and medium-sized farms.
  • A OneDrive for Business modern experience.
  • Custom tiles in the SharePoint app launcher.
  • SharePoint hybrid auditing unified across site collections on-premises and in Office 365.
  • Hybrid taxonomy unified across on-premises and Office 365.
  • OneDrive API for SharePoint on-premises.

Administrative actions logging

SharePoint administrators spend time troubleshooting administrative changes to their on-premises environment that can result in failure conditions or other undesired effects. To aid in troubleshooting, especially in the increasingly common multiple administrator set-ups, we have added logging around key SharePoint administrative actions performed either through the SharePoint Server 2016 Central Administration website or through the SharePoint Server 2016 Management Shell.

MinRole enhancements

MinRole is the new farm topology in SharePoint Server 2016 that simplifies your deployment experience and improves performance and reliability. Based on a set of predefined server roles, MinRole takes the guesswork out of making sure that services are running on the right servers in your farm. You decide what services you want to run in your farm, and MinRole handles the details of where they should run.

We’ve enhanced MinRole with two new server roles that are optimized for small and medium-sized farms: Front-end with Distributed Cache and Application with Search. Now, you can deploy a MinRole farm with just two servers or a high availability (HA) MinRole farm with just four servers. Our farm topology guidance has been updated to cover the full range of MinRole farm sizes.

OneDrive for Business modern experience

The new look and feel is clean, intuitive and beautiful; the navigation is simple to understand and use, and you always have frequently used actions like upload, edit and share just one click or touch away. We’ve also made it easier to keep your files organized with easy selection and drag-and-drop features that work just like folders on your PC. And power users will notice that familiar keyboard commands and right-click options make working with your files even faster. The OneDrive for Business modern experience is available to Software Assurance customers.

Custom tiles

The App Launcher provides quick and easy access to all your SharePoint and Office 365 workloads. Now, you can also add your own custom tiles that point to other SharePoint sites, external sites, legacy apps and more. This makes it easy to find the relevant sites, apps and resources to do your job.

OneDrive API

Build a quick integration that allows your users easy access to OneDrive files from within your app. Now, with OneDrive for Business support, you can build a robust file management and workflow app for your line of business.

The OneDrive API provides a set of HTTP services to connect your application to files and folders in OneDrive Personal, OneDrive for Business and document libraries in SharePoint Online. OneDrive API makes it easy to connect your app to your user’s files across Office 365 and access the advanced functionality of files in OneDrive and SharePoint.

In addition to the updates above, we’re extending support for additional hybrid scenarios with SharePoint and Office. Hybrid provides a bridge between your existing on-premises SharePoint investments and Office 365. With Feature Pack 1, we’re introducing two new hybrid scenarios, auditing and taxonomy.

SharePoint hybrid auditing (preview)

Microsoft SharePoint Insights is a new hybrid feature that aims at helping administrators manage their SharePoint infrastructure by giving them access to various reports and dashboards in Office 365. The reports generated from SharePoint 2016 Preview on-premises diagnostic and usage logs.

If you opt in for this service, audit logs get collected and uploaded to Office 365 regularly. From the Office 365 dashboard, you can view auditing and activity reports that show usage and reliability patterns in your SharePoint Server farm.

Hybrid taxonomy (preview)

Taxonomy is key to promoting discoverability and access to the right information at the right time. Hybrid taxonomy in SharePoint Server 2016 allows customers to bring their taxonomy store to Office 365 enabling a single-source for creating and managing Terms, Term Sets and Groups through a single Managed Metadata Service.

Learn more about what’s in Feature Pack 1 and how to get started at go.microsoft.com. For more information, read our blog post, “Announcing Feature Pack 1 for SharePoint Server 2016—cloud-born and future-proof.”

—Bill Baer

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